All About Eve
Matt Fisher, the owner of eight-month-old Tallulah (4539 N. Lincoln Ave.; 773-942-7585), hasn’t slept since summer. He signed a deal in late August on the old Flapjaws space (840 N. Wabash Ave.) in the Gold Coast, which he is rehabbing and renaming Eve—and he has his chef at Tallulah, Troy Graves, crafting a menu to be ready by the time Eve opens for lunch on October 27th. “I’m about half done with the menu,” says Graves, who will split time between Tallulah and Eve. “I’ve just got to get it all on a piece of paper. It will be similar [to Tallulah], but maybe just a little bit more sophisticated.” This means dishes such as grilled lobster sausage with chanterelles, applewood smoked bacon, pearl onions, and maple béchamel. And how’s this for optimism: Eve has a private entrance for celebs so they won’t have to walk through the dining room.
“The feeling of friendship is like that of being comfortably filled with roast beef; love, like being enlivened with Champagne.” –Samuel Johnson (1709-84), English poet, critic, and writer
“Jewish people in this area feel there hasn’t been a deli out here in ten years,” says William Davis, 26, a partner at the new south suburban Bergstein’s NY Delicatessen (200 Dixie Hwy., Chicago Heights; 708-754-6400). “My dad grew up in Brooklyn and he always missed a New York–style pastrami sandwich.” So Davis and Michael Mesirow, a partner and old friend, took notes at the famous delis of New York—places like Katz’s, Stage Deli, and Second Avenue Deli—and built their own 52-seat spot in the south suburbs. Bergstein’s corned beef comes from Manny’s, its smoked fish by the pound from Acme Smoked Fish Corp. in New York, and its bagels from New York Bagel and Bialy. “It’s hard to bring everything to the south suburbs,” says Davis. “We actually have to pick up everything ourselves.”
Everyone’s going bonkers right now for The Bristol (2152 N. Damen Ave.; 773-862-5555), Bucktown’s new “artisanal neighborhood eatery and bar.” The well-trained staff are obsessed with keeping everyone happy and not rushing patrons—and they’re doing a nice job. Everything’s on the mark: the specialty cocktails, melt-in-your-mouth monkey bread, grilled skirt steak with blue cheese ravioli, nutter butter cookies. The only drawback is noise. “We sat at the end of one of the two large communal tables and could hardly hear each other,” an FOD lamented. And that was on a Monday night. FYI: Metromix launched a new audio feature last week called “Sound Bites” and The Bristol was its first subject. Look for a familiar face in one of the shots.
Things We Would Never Pay $30,000 For
5 Questions for Radhika “Rad” Desai
5 Questions for Radhika “Rad” Desai
Desai, the 28-year-old chef at Between Boutique Café & Lounge (1324 N. Milwaukee Ave.; 773-292-0585), will appear on the upcoming season of Bravo’s Top Chef, which premieres on November 12th.
D: First things first. Who are you?
RD: I’m from Cincinnati and I moved here to go to culinary school. Graduated from CHIC, worked at Vermilion, fell in love with the city, and wanted to stay here. I saw this ad [for Between Boutique], had quite a few interviews, some auditions, and they hired me shortly after that.
D: Are you a devotee of Top Chef?
RD: Completely. Religiously. Have seen every episode at least three times if not more. To be on the show was ridiculous. Every day I was there, I couldn’t believe that I was.
D: What was your reaction to getting “the call”?
RD: I was walking to work. I was in the middle of the street and this guy called and said, “How you doing? I have some news.” I was freaking out. Crying. Laughing. I’m still on cloud nine, from that day on.
D: Between Boutique isn’t exactly high profile. Why do you think you were chosen?
RD: I was the first Indian chef on the show. For that reason, I think I was chosen. I have unique flavor profile and I’m a unique sweet person. Now hopefully, it will be high profile.
D: What is your culinary philosophy?
RD: I want people to be happy and smile and laugh when they eat my food. My bio says “globally eclectic with a huge spoonful of love, always.”
Things to Do
- Ponder the possibility of Topolobampo’s Rick Bayless as the White House chef.
- Attend the launch party for Ryan Ver Berkmoes’s Walking Chicago: 31 Tours of the Windy City’s Classic Bars, Scandalous Sites, Historic Architecture, Dynamic Neighborhoods, and Famous Lakeshore (Wilderness Press) at Hopleaf Bar (5148 N. Clark St.; 773-334-9851) on October 8th at 7 p.m. Limited tab and free books for first-comers. RSVP here.
- Lend your support to breast cancer awareness by purchasing “Poppin’ Pink Kettlecorn” from Nuts On Clark (835 N. Michigan Ave.) or by adding $1 to your check at any of these restaurants.
- Watch this and win a bar bet.
Dot Dot Dot . . .
Publican (837 W. Fulton Market; 312-733-9555), the long-awaited tribute to beer and pork from Blackbird’s Paul Kahan and cronies, finally unveils on October 9th. . . . Province, Randy Zwieban’s Central American/South American/Spanish/Contemporary American spot at 161 North Jefferson Street (312-669-9900), is slated to open on October 13th. . . . The Lincoln Park outpost of P.J. Clarke’s (1141 W. Armitage Ave.; 773-327-8000) reopened last week after a short closure. . . . The Pontiac Cafe (1531 N. Damen Ave.; 773-252-7767), a Wicker Park mainstay known predominantly for its boozy outdoor patio, will close for good on November 1st. . . . Sullivan’s Steakhouse is all set to open its third area location at 250 Marriott Drive in Lincolnshire in a 300-seat spot with a 21-foot wine display. . . . Cru Café & Wine Bar (25 East Delaware Pl., 312-337-4001) has a new chef, Tru and Tramonto’s alum Greg Biggers, who is introducing more entrées. . . . From 4 to 7 p.m. on the first Sunday of every month, Via Carducci (1419 W. Fullerton Ave.; 773-665-1981) offers a ten-inch pizza or dessert for kids celebrating their birthday. . . . When it opens in December, Fresh 1800, the abysmally named French-inspired restaurant in the Hyatt Regency Woodfield (1800 E. Golf Rd., Schaumburg), will anchor the hotel’s $32 million renovation.