Balcony Café, on the second floor of the Art Institute’s Modern Wing, will be reborn this Friday as Caffe Moderne (159 E. Monroe St.; no phone yet), with the team upstairs at Terzo Piano taking charge. Museum guests can combat the Munch-ies with salads, soups, freshly pressed paninis, and house-made snacks like popcorn with coriander and lime salt.
Count Brigid Novak, a Chicago native and a graduate of the Cooking and Hospitality Institute of Chicago, as the latest to hop on the food truck ride—and with her concept, CookieYum, she’s bound to please everyone. “I’m baking five different types of cookies every day at Splice Kitchen and taking the truck everywhere,” says Novak, who spent ten years in catering. Novak promises fresh chocolate chip cookies, sugar cookies, an oatmeal number, and “surprise” cookies when her truck gets rolling in early November (in a neighborhood to be announced). If she can wait that long. “I’m excited about the [food truck] movement,” she says. “And I want to be a part of it.”
"Conversation is the enemy of food and good wine." —Alfred Hitchcock (1899 – 1980), English filmmaker
Like a Rolling Stone
A foodie renaissance seems to be in the works on Taylor Street, with the birth of another Italian small-plates destination just down the street from the four-week-old Davanti Enoteca (1359 W. Taylor St.; 312-226-5550). Opening the week of October 18th, Three Aces (1321 W. Taylor St.; 312-243-1577) will pair fresh pastas and serious Midwestern brews with a farm-to-table slant and an edgy rock-and-roll atmo. “It’s going to be something like the Italian countryside meets the American farmhouse down in Keith Richards’ basement bar,” says Matthew Troost, formerly the chef of Fianco and sous chef for The Lobby at Peninsula Chicago. “I listened to a whole lot of rock and roll—Tom Waits, the Rolling Stones, some modern rock, too—trying to get that vibe in my head while writing the menu.” Rock on.
Husband-and-wife team Nico Karabatsis and Veronica Ciobotaru quietly opened Delia’s Kitchen (1034 Lake St., Oak Park; 708-358-1300) in the former Maple Tree space in mid-September. Similar to their home-style restaurant, Marilyn’s (5900 W. Dempster St., Morton Grove; 847-663-1900)—both serve American breakfast, lunch, and dinner items such as pancakes, salads, and burgers—Delia’s is “more healthy and trendy,” says Ciobotaru (i.e., some vegan and gluten-free options). Popular dishes include baked oatmeal (with walnuts, cranberries, apples, and cinnamon), homemade charcoal-grilled salmon, and Amish Greek chicken with olive oil, oregano, lemon, garlic, and wine. How does the couple handle two places? In the morning, “he’s at Delia’s and I’m at Marilyn,” says Ciobotaru, “but I get there in the afternoon. We alternate. It’s hard, but we love it.”
• Penny’s NYC food crawl recap: bagels, cupcakes, and comfort food, plus envy over an order of meatball sliders.
• Twenty-four reasons for a repeat visit, courtesy of The Sit Down.
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Things To Do
1. Pick up appetizers, caramel apples, or cider—on the house—at SugarToad (Hotel Arista, 2139 CityGate Ln., Naperville; 630-778-8623) from 4 to 7 p.m. on Thursday, October 14th.
2. OD on meat for $30 at an all-you-can-eat adventure in beef at Fulton’s on the River (315 N. LaSalle St.; 312-822-0100) this Friday, October 15th.
3. Make a reservation, starting this month, at Eve, Le Bouchon, or any of the other participating Celebrated Chefs restaurants and 5 percent of your bill goes to one of dozens of Chicago non-profits.
Dot Dot Dot . . .
The Andersonville bar formerly known as Charlie’s Ale House is now officially Acre (5308 N. Clark St.; 773-334-7600), a pub-and-restaurant combo that will do the right thing by honoring any lingering Charlie’s gift certificates. . . . Chicago Cut Steakhouse (300 N. LaSalle St.; 312-329-1800) will serve breakfast Monday through Friday, and brunch during the weekend, starting next week. . . . The curtain’s down on Theatre Café, which gave way to DeVine Restaurant & Wine Bar (2958 W. Irving Park Rd.; 773-866-2233) mid-August. The new owners hail from Belgrade, Serbia, which undoubtedly accounts for the cevapi sausages on the menu. . . . Shout outs to Epic (112 W. Hubbard St.; 312-222-4940) and Longman & Eagle (2657 N. Kedzie Ave.; 773-276-7110) for making Esquire magazine’s best new restaurants list.