Nick Kokonas just put the news on Facebook:
The Aviary is pleased that Charles Joly will be joining us to direct our beverage program beginning at the end of July.
Charles will no doubt proudly call himself a bartender while we made the distinction to utilize 'chefs' in the Aviary 'kitchen'. Therein lies the allure of working together. Charles is one of the most talented, knowledgeable, and accomplished bartenders in the country. Combining his experience with the Aviary's staff, resources, and culinary focus will allow both Charles and the Aviary to stretch in new, creative directions.
We can't wait to see where this will lead...but we're quite sure it will be fun and delicious.
Joly is a surprising pick for Grant Achatz's bar, if only because he is so closely tied to the Drawing Room, the bar he has been at the helm of since it opened about six years ago. Reached on the phone, Joly admitted that he is indeed tied to that space—but that's exactly why this opportunity felt right.
"I've been with Three Headed [the company that owns the Drawing Room] over a decade, and we've been working on the Drawing Room for six-plus years...so the timing was really serendipitous. I was looking for my next step, and they were looking to fill the role, and I think it's a great fit. Totally new challenge for me, a whole other set of opportunities and the right time."
In fact, it just so happened that Joly had been sharpening his modern-mixology skills. He recently completed a two-week stage (apprenticeship) at London's 69 Colebrooke Row, a bar that practices the same kind of cocktail-experimentation as the Aviary. There, Joly was exposed to much of the same equipment and techniques the Aviary uses, some of which were new to him. (Joly's style at the Drawing Room has leaned history-inspired and classic in technique, though some of this was due to the fact that the Drawing Room didn't have the tools to produce cocktails in the more modern style). "Techniques I'm not worried about," Joly says. "I'm not worried about being able to learn. The creativity will be there."
"Obviously my style is going to certainly influence [the Aviary's menu]," he continues. But "it's important to stay true to the vision of what the Aviary is. I'm excited to take on the challenge."
Joly's last day at the Drawing Room will be Saturday, July 14th. He'll start at the Aviary shortly thereafter (he'll head to Tales of the Cocktail in-between the gigs). Cristiana DeLucca, one of Joly's deputies, will take over the Drawing Room's program. "I feel confident in my staff there," Joly says. Which brings up another reason why Joly may be a perfect choice for the Aviary. Besides his obvious cocktail talents, he's a seasoned pro with years of experience running a staff. And that, if you believe the comments on this Eater post, is something the Aviary is badly in need of.
The Fourth of July is about going big: Heaping plates of food, extravagant fireworks displays, huge gatherings of family and friends. It's a day to indulge, relax, and celebrate everything Ameri-tastic. Is the fact that this year the holiday falls on a Wednesday going to put a damper on things? Heck no! This is America, son.
Chicago bars and restaurants are opening their doors on the eve of the Fourth (aka July 3rd) to offer drink and dinner specials. Epic restaurant is throwing a “Red, White & Blue” themed rooftop soiree with multi-colored drinks (we'll give you one guess which colors) and updated takes on classic grill fare. HUB 51 will offer specials of ribs and Miller High Life (because what’s more American than BBQ and cheap beer?); sister restaurant Paris Club will be serving late-night food until midnight. (HUB is also serving a brunch the next day.)
On the big day itself, Tavern on Rush will host its first ever Lobster Fest (actually, ToR is doing this on both July 3rd and 4th). The special features lobster, corn, potatoes, and cornbread complete with lobster bibs, dessert and adult libations. Also serving seafood on America day is Shaw’s Crab House, which will be shucking half-priced oysters all day. Oak Street Beach Food & Drink will offer an afternoon BBQ special, and the Wet Deck of the W Lakeshore will break out the grill, too. The selling point of those last two places: A unique vantage point for fireworks. America!
Jam has been amping up since it made the move from Ukrainian Village to Logan Square last year. The latest updates: The restaurant, which has been cash only since it opened in its original location, will now accept credit cards. Which makes sense since it's launching a wine and spirits program, and how much cash can you really expect lushes to carry around? (The best part about this news: BYOB is still an option, and there is still no corkage fee.) Last but certainly not least, chef Jeff Mauro is bringing back Market Dinner, a nightly seasonal prix-fixe inspired by the Logan Square Farmers' Market. The dinner is available in four-course ($35) and five-course ($46) versions, with beverage pairings an additional $18 (for the four-course) or $21 (for the five-course). The first such dinner is July 11!
Jam (3059 W Logan Blvd, 773-292-6011) serves dinner Tue–Sat.
Now what does this mean for Uptown? Marigold, the contemporary Indian spot that opened next to the Annoyance Theater six years ago, announced this morning that it will move north, to Andersonville. The last day in the Uptown location will be Sunday, July 8; the new Andersonville spot will open in the fall.
Much has been made of Mayor Rahm's plans for Uptown (specifically the Uptown Theatre), which of course is just the latest part of a decades-long conversation about the potential of the neighborhood. Marigold seemed like part of the neighborhood's transformation to something more gentrified (not that I'm placing a value judgement on that). But apparently, Marigold either couldn't or wouldn't wait for the neighborhood to change even more.
The address of Marigold's new location isn't being disclosed (if I had to make a random guess, I'd say 5403 N Clark St, the former La Cocina de Frida space), but it doesn't even matter: If it's in Andersonville, there'll be no more waiting for the neighborhood to "transition."
Can't make it out to Long Grove this weekend for the 29th annual Strawberry Festival? Fear not, 'cause we've rounded up some of the tastiest-looking berry treats we could find on Foodspotting for this week's edition of TOC Foodspotting Fridays. Strawberry cupcakes? Check. Strawberry balsamic gelato? Check. Looks like Chicago really is a strawberry kinda town.
Wondering what Foodspotting is? It's a social network for foodies, where you can find and recommend dishes, not just restaurants. Follow us on Foodspotting and spot your favorite dishes, or follow our guides, including Sweet Scoops and Best Bar Food.
Have dinner on a whole new level! Join The Dinner Party and Time Out Chicago on June 25 for a lively conversation hosted by Fear No ART’s Elysabeth Alfano with local cultural luminaries centered around a monthly dinner cooked by a Chicago chef. Join Big Jones chef Paul Fehribach and other guests including Steve James, Regina Taylor and more!
Watch The Dinner Party right here as we stream it online, or catch it in person at Mayne Stage (check out more info on how to get tickets). Online viewers can tweet in questions and win prizes!
Visit timeoutchicago.com/dinnerparty and come back June 25 for your front-row seat to this month's party and to interact with the show via Twitter.
Seafood, raw bar and absinthe are the three key terms that the Savoy, which is opening the week of July 13 in Wicker Park, uses to describe itself. This "homage to Bohemia, nautical antiquity and old Chicago" is the concept of owner/operator Ricky Moore and chef Brian Greene, whose résumé includes Tramonto's Steak & Seafood,and two restaurants in Highland Park: Abigail's American Bistro and M Restaurant, where he was most recently the executive chef.
The restaurant is a long, narrow space divided into four sections. First, there's the raw bar, from which will come East and West Coast oysters, ceviche, geoduck clams and more. Then the dining room, where the seafood focus continues with dishes like grilled fresh-water eel anticuchos (skewers), sturgeon with black forbidden rice and grilled purple kale, and black-garlic escargot with parsley brioche crumbs. (Non-seafood dishes, like a bone-in ribeye or pairing of Black Earth Farms pork-belly confit with seared scallops, will also be served.)
In the back half of the restaurant is the bar area, which will have a single tap line: Greenbush Brewing Co.'s Penitence, a rye stout that the Savoy collaborated on with the Sawyer, Michigan, brewery to pair well with oysters. (The beer is available exclusively at the Savoy.) In addition to the one draft, the Savoy will have domestic and imported craft beers (with an emphasis on hard-to-find European brews) as well as wine, cider (the Savoy will feature six) and cocktails, all of which can be consumed in the "curtained-off" back lounge.
This is not to mention the absinthe program, which will feature a range of European and American varieties served traditionally and in cocktails (such as the Corpse Reviver, Death in the Afternoon and Absinthe Suisesse), in an effort to "serve as the spirit's hub in Chicago."
The Savoy (1408 N Milwaukee Ave, savoychicago.com) is slated to open the week of July 13 and will open initially for dinner from 5–11pm, with a late-night menu served from 10pm–1am; the bar will stay open until 2am. Lunch (Mon–Fri) and brunch (Sat, Sun) will launch the following week.
What was once the Reagle Beagle, then briefly a place named Grami, is now Canteen, "an upscale, contemporary Mexican road house," which is open now, and celebrating its grand opening on June 28. The new concept is part cocktail lounge (the bar makes Old Fashioneds, French 75s and Pisco Sours), part sports bar (there are 11 flat-screen TVs) and part Mexican restaurant: The menu includes elotes (grilled corn on the cob with soft butter and chile de arbol), flautas doradas (fried corn tortillas with chicken, chihuahua cheese, avocado salsa verde, topped with cotija cheese, aioli and queso fresco) and shrimp ceviche. Lastly, DJs spin on Friday and Saturday evenings, and the bar will occasionally host live bands.
Canteen (160 E Grand Ave, 312-755-9645) is open from 4pm–midnight nightly, with additional 11am–3pm lunch hours Thu–Sun.
Olive oil is oft thought to be the key to a long life—picture a wrinkly Greek woman well into her 90s. Oh, Olive! will open its fourth location this weekend in Lincoln Park, boasting 28 varieties of extra-virgin olive oils. Oils from near (California) and far (Tunisia) are centerstage, but an assortment of teas, vinegars, pastas, and spices are also offered. Owners Sandy Schuenemann and Mary Koval bring the Olive Oil Tasting Room and Emporium to a garden-level shop, with a sky painted on the ceiling and vines and murals of country scenes painted on the walls. During the grand opening this weekend, there will be free tastings of oils, vinegars and teas, as well as appetizers and desserts made from them. Indulge if only for the sake of longevity.
Oh, Olive!'s (904 W Armitage, 773-897-7881, oo2go.com) grand opening will be held Friday, June 22 thru Sunday, June 24 from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m.
In a time when gaming means poorly drawing something on your iPhone, Danny and Doug Marks are bringing a little nostalgia to Wicker Park with a bar stocked with 24 craft beers on tap and 35–40 classic arcade games, mostly from the '80s and '90s. "There's so many great small breweries in the Midwest and Chicago," says Danny: Emporium will feature beers from rotating breweries like Revolution, Founders, Great Lakes, Goose Island, Metropolitan and Lakefront Brewing, plus out-of-towners like Lagunitas, Dogfish Head and Allagash. Yet instead of antlers or local art, the walls of Emporium are lined with arcade games, which the Marks brothers found locally through Craigslist. "These games are so colorful," Danny says, "and the artwork on a lot of them is really intricate." They're not meant to be decor, however: They're meant to be played, for 25 cents, a concept Danny picked up from Barcade in Brooklyn, where he used to work. “This hearkens back to a simpler time,” Danny says, “when a video game was a 500-pound box.”
Emporium Arcade Bar (1366 N Milwaukee Ave, emporiumchicago.com) is slated to open Tuesday—if not sooner.