HUTCH AMERICAN CAFE OPENS IN RIVER NORTH

Hutch American Cafe is now open in River North. The new brunch-centric eatery is sibling to Wrigleyville’s popular Hutch American Bistro, opened in 2013 by restaurateur Marc Wuenschel. Hutch American Cafe features a line-up of brunch and lunch selections, served 8 a.m. to 3 p.m, 7-days a week. Menu must-trys include Avocado Chicken Toast, Smoked Salmon Eggs Benedict. Fried Chicken and Corn Waffle with bacon butter, Lox and Bagel Board, assorted flatbreads, burgers, salads and wraps.  Monday through Friday, from 4pm to 7pm, Hutch American Cafe hosts one of the best Happy Hours deals in River North, with $2 glasses of champagne, $3 beers, and $5 craft cocktails. During that time, a special menu of snacks and small plates is offered, including Smoked Salmon Flatbread, house made Tater Tots with truffle cheese fondue and more, each priced at just $5.

Hutch American Cafe, 416 West Ontario, Chicago. 312-300-4195.

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HARVEST MOON LAUNCHES WINTER MENU

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Harvest Moon has now launched an all-new Winter Menu. The 100-seat artsy-chic Harvest Moon offers a loungey vibe, complete with custom-designed banquettes, bold murals by popular artist David Bozic, and live music on weekends, all under the warm glow of Edison lamps and flickering candles. The seasonal, farm-to-table menu provides dinner options like Seared Scottish Salmon — with polenta fritter, mustard cream, and Braised Short Rib — with Yukon Gold parsnip mash.

Saturdays and Sundays 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Harvest Moon’s new Winter Brunch Menu highlights comfort classics presented with a contemporary spin. Must-trys include Breakfast Pot Pie — fluffy egg custard, spinach and bacon, topped with puffed pastry, Chickpea Hash — served with 2 any-style eggs and country toast,  and Chicken ‘n Waffles — crispy fried chicken breast, bourbon bacon waffle, maple syrup.

Harvest Moon, 1805 West Division Street, Chicago.

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Mr. B’s BBQ SIZZLES

Mr. B's BBQ - photo: Mark Silgalis Photography

Mr. B’s BBQ Competition Platter  – photo: Mark Silgalis Photography

Since quietly opening late spring, Mr. B’s BBQ has been busy racking up ribs, along with throngs of followers, at its Lincoln Avenue location in Chicago’s North Center neighborhood. With indoor seating for just 20, an additional 14 on its outdoor patio, this tiny, family-owned BYOB is creating plenty of big buzz…and big flavor. Featuring secret family recipe spice rubs and sauces, Mr. B’s BBQ ribs, pork, chicken and brisket are smoked low and slow daily in-house, over apple and hickory wood.

Mr. B’s BBQ represents a labor of love for Chicago’s Bogyo family. Brothers Chris Bogyo (Le Cordon Bleu grad, formerly City Winery), Greg Bogyo (Chicago police officer), and Jeff Bogyo share a long-time passion for backyard barbequing. After years of rave reviews from friends and neighbors, the brothers, joined by Chris’ wife Nicole and her secret-recipe bbq sauces, took the show on the road. Armed with a fleet of Weber grills, the Bogyos joined the prestigious Kansas City Barbeque Society, competing at events across the Midwest. “We pulled-up to our first competition hauling 7 Weber grills, most of them salvaged. Others were using $12,000 smokers, but we weren’t intimated,” Chris remembers.

Menu stand-outs include the Competition Platter featuring 2-pound of meat, including 1/4 slab ribs, pulled chicken, brisket, and pulled pork, $25. All of Mr. B’s menu items are served with a choice of home-made sides, like corn fritters, baked beans, mac and cheese, and chipotle potato salad. All items are available for carry-out, as well as for delivered-to-your-door catering for parties and special events.

Mr. B’s BBQ, 4160 North Lincoln Avenue, Chicago. 773-880-1100. BYOB.

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ALTIRO LATIN FUSION ARRIVES CHICAGO

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Altiro Latin Fusion is the latest addition to Chicago’s explosive dining scene. Since opening 2013 in suburban Geneva’s popular downtown dining district, the sleek, minimalist 50-seat Altiro quickly gained buzz and attention among savvy diners. Through combined efforts with Chicago restaurateur Marc Wuenschel, of Hutch America Bistro, Altiro’s Chicago location is now open at 2116 West Roscoe, Chicago.  Altiro’s menu features an innovative selection of Latin-fusion small plates, designed to be shared, passed around the table. The menu is divided into two primary categories: on the left, “Al Bocado,” Spanish for “bite size,” smaller, shareable entrees…similar to tapas. The collection includes Al Raviole Basque jumbo shrimp atop house-made ravioli, creamy Serrano pesto, $9.99; Al Calambre — local farm skirt steak, roasted peppers-pineapple, guacamole, melted chihuahua cheese, avocado-tomatillo salsa. $9.99.   On the right, “Al Taco,“ gourmet Latin-fusion mini tacos, served four to an order, ideal for sharing. Options range from from Al Carnitasslow roasted pork belly, escabeche onions, cilantro, roasted Chile de arbol salsa, $8.99, to Al Salmonjillo — grilled King salmon, grilled pineapple, tomatoes, chipotle aioli, $11.99.

Altiro Latin Fusion, 2116 West Roscoe, Chicago.

Real Kitchen: Comfort Food Ready for Pick-Up, Delivery

RealKitchen

As Chicagoans endure another round of record-breaking low temps, the gang at Real Kitchen is busy making warming, comfort classics like Roast Amish Chicken, Veggie Pot Pies, Lasagna Bolognese and more, along with mom-approved sides including Potato Gratin, Roasted Winter Vegetable, and Grilled Mushroom with Red Onion…ready to grab-and-go at Real Kitchen’s two locations, or delivered straight to your door.

First opened 2011 at Montrose and Clark, another location at 3301 North Sheffield last summer, the concept is simple: take a Charlie Trotter protege, turn him loose in his own kitchen to create classic home cooking favorites. Make everything affordably-priced, ready for delivery or take-out to heat and enjoy at home, and you have the recipe for Executive Chef/owner Nick Schmuck’s Real Kitchen.

Real Kitchen has locations at 1433 West Montrose (773-281-2888), and 3301 North Sheffield (773-857-1240) Chicago. Menus change weekly, and are up-dated on their website: http://www.realkitchenchicago.com.

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Miku Sushi Opens in Lincoln Square

Miku's Flaming Dragon Maki, Sashimi Matsu

Miku’s Flaming Dragon Maki, Sashimi Matsu

The husband and wife team of Stanley Liem and Nuchsara “Sara” Katekaew, have launched Miku Sushi,  now open at 4514 North Lincoln Avenue, Chicago. The opening of Miku Sushi signals the return of an upscale Sushi destination to Chicago’s explosive Lincoln Square dining scene,  while bringing Stanley and Sara’s expanding mini empire to a now total of three Chicago-area restaurants.

The couple first met in 2008, while working together at Chicago’s renowned Tank Sushi (2003 to 2014); Stanley as a waiter, Sara as Tank’s long-time General Manager. Stanley left Tank in 2011, pursuing his dream of opening his own restaurant, Inari Sushi. The couple eventually married, and Sara left her decade-long run at Tank Sushi in 2013 to focus on two pending projects: the fall 2013 opening of Sala Bua, the couple’s popular Thai concept at 2002 South Wentworth, Chicago, and the arrival of their now 17-month-old son. Ironically, Stanley and Sara’s latest venture, Mikui, is in the very same Lincoln Square space that once housed Tank Sushi, where they first met 7-years ago.

Miku’s menu features an extensive selection of Maki, Nigiri, and Sashimi. A line-up of hot and cold small plates include Seared Duck Breast — Asian pear sauce, mushroom, shallot, red wine reduction $10; Spicy Tuna Ravioli — tempura crunch, crab meat, wrapped in thinly sliced avocado $6; Pork Belly Chips — crackling salt and lemon pepper pork belly, spicy mayo $6, and King Crab — butter soy sauce, caviar, chive $18. Assorted grilled mini-skewers, ranging from classic Rib Eye $2, to exotic Alligator $2.50, along with Tonkotsu Ramen $12 and Spicy Roasted Garlic Miso Ramen $13, round out the offerings at the 80-seat Miku, which is currently BYOB.

Miku Sushi, 4514 North Lincoln Avenue, Chicago. 773-654-1277.

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$2 Lunch, $22.22 Dinner as Local Root Marks 2-Years

2LocalRoot

Farm-to-table focused Local Root marks its 2-year anniversary Sept 15-19, continuing to bring farm-fresh, organic, locally-sourced goodness to the center of Chicago’s high-rise heavy Streeterville. Using a network of small farm owners and food artisans from around the Midwest, Local Root continues to impress with an imaginative line-up of lunch, dinner, and weekend brunch selections.

In celebration of the 2-year milestone, Local Root offers a 3-course, $22.22 dinner menu Monday, Sept 15 through Friday, Sept 19 with choice of appetizer, entree, and their signature bread pudding with gelato and caramel sauce. Wednesday, Sept 17,  from 11 am to 2 pm Local Root will set-up an outdoor station offering $2 mini versions of their most popular sandwiches like Champagne Chicken, BBQ Pulled Pork, Stuffed Portobello, along with $2 pomme frites, and $2 Local Root brand soda in 6 assorted flavors.

Local Root, 601 North McClurg Court, Chicago, IL, 312-643-1145.

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