Curious about that glass-and-steel skyscraper on the river that opened this past April? You can get an inside peek (and take in the scenery) starting September 18 at Porter Kitchen & Deck.
The restaurant—the 14th venture owned by Four Corners Tavern Group—will be housed at 150 North Riverside, an office building that also hosts investment bank William Blair. Perhaps it’s fitting, then, that its decor will have a “vintage boardroom-inspired vibe”: blue banquettes, a boomerang table, and a bar designed to look like a bookcase.
Executive chef James Keane—who, before coming to Four Corners, plied his trade at a Harry Caray’s in the suburbs—will preside over the “elevated American” menu. The signature dishes include a homemade pappardelle with fennel-crusted short rib, and a simple cacio e pepe with pecorino, Parmesan, roasted garlic, and parsley. There’s also a higher-end take on traditional American favorites (a mac and cheese with Dijon mustard and honey), and street food played straight (no-frills elotes). “There’s something for everyone. There’s even a little deli stuff going on: an egg salad sandwich and a bowl of soup,” says Keane.
As important as the food, however, are the drinks. The in-house beverage selections include the Palenque, a spicy cocktail composed of Ancho Reyes—a liqueur made of ancho chiles, or dried poblanos—and Banhez mezcal, which is manufactured by an Oaxacan farmers’ cooperative. That’s in addition to classic martinis, a wide wine selection, and a dozen or so craft beers, most of them local.
The dining room, which seats about 260 people, will be level with the river, and there’s an additional floor with an outdoor—you guessed it—deck. That'll include lounge seating for 75 and a bar with a “snacky kind of bar food,” according to Keane, but it's likely to close as the weather begins to turn.
Still, Four Corners will remain busy through the winter: They’re partnering with the New York-based TAO Group to develop what will probably be a joint club and restaurant in the 40,0000-square-foot River North building that used to house the Chicago Historical Society.