A new restaurant has come to the top floor of Saks Fifth Avenue. Althea (700 N. Michigan Ave., River North) replaces the often delicious (but always overpriced) Sophie’s on the seventh floor. Helmed by Matthew Kenney, the restaurant is vegan and serves dishes like cashew raclette, kung pao cauliflower, and kelp noodle cacio e pepe.


Here are a number of closings worth mention as we head towards the end of the year: Godfather’s Famous Pizza in Uptown is shuttering after 52 years, as rising rents have priced it out of the market. Hema’s Kitchen in Lincoln Park closed a couple of weeks ago, though the Devon Street location is still open. And if you’re a hot dog fan, you might miss U.B. Dogs, a Loop favorite that is closing soon.

On the Tuesday before Thanksgiving, a fire broke out on West Randolph. Originating in a grease chute at Bad Hunter, the flames, luckily, were contained, but the restaurant did suffer some damage and is currently closed. There’s no word yet on a re-opening date.

If you’re starting your holiday shopping and any foodies are on your list, here’s an idea: The newest edition of Fooditor 99, which is now on sale. This awesome guidebook from Fooditor editor Michael Gebert lays out 99 essential Chicago dining spots and includes everything from high end omakase restaurants to corner markets. As Gebert puts it, “Chicago–ness runs throughout the book, there’s Chicago–osity on every page. If there was a font called Giardiniera, it would have been typeset in it.” Order it here.

One of the city’s most beloved sommeliers, Andrew Algren (Cherry Circle Room), died on November 15. A fellow wine steward, Jon McDaniel, wrote a touching remembrance at Second City Soil that’s also a meditation on relationships in the service industry, and how you can know someone so well in their professional capacity without really getting close to them. Worth a read.