I first covered Avli Taverna (1335 W. Wrightwood Ave., Lincoln Park), and its goal to change the way you think about Greek cuisine back in June. It was scheduled to open over the summer but as it goes in the restaurant business, there were some delays. The restaurant has finally opened, celebrating a launch over the weekend.


Here’s one of the most exciting pieces of chef-related news I’ve heard in a while: Chef Gene Kato of the dear, departed Sumi Robata Bar, is coming back to Chicago from Charlotte, North Carolina. I reported a few weeks ago that Momotaro had lost its executive chef. Turns out, Kato is taking over the top spot at the fancy Japanese restaurant by Boka Restaurant Group. Good luck, chef!

Fans of Proxi (565 W. Randolph St., West Loop) can soon look forward to an extra treat. The restaurant begins serving weekend brunch this Saturday, November 10. Dishes like coconut and pandan leaf French toast with dulce de leche and toasted coconut are available alongside delicious cocktails like the Proxi mimosa, made with tequila, orange juice, and a blood orange champagne ice cube.

The Tribune is doing another of its “one-treat-a-month” specials, which have made my mouth water every time. The November theme is dessert, and the team has already gotten off to a good start with the Palmer House signature brownie, the Grand Marnier soufflé at La Sardine and the insane foie gras candy bar at Roister. Check back every day this month for new treats.

These are sad shutters to report: Last week, BellyQ and Urbanbelly announced their closures because the building housing them at 1400 West Randolph Street has been sold. The space, which longtime diners in the area may remember as onesixtyblue back in the day, will be developed into something more extensive, which probably makes sense given the fact that it’s a large lot in a hot neighborhood. I’ll miss Bill Kim’s presence there, but I can’t imagine he’ll stay out of the game for long.