Jared Van Camp, et al, to open "bohemian" Euro spot in the West Loop
Photo: Lindsay Gallup
Following a few months of speculation, TOC can finally make it official: The team behind—chef Jared Van Camp, Chris Freeman, Chris Dexter and John Warken—have signed the lease at 833 W Randolph St (the space formerly known as Marché).
This will not be Old Town Social: Part Two. Rather, it's an entirely different concept, with influences ranging from The Rolling Stones to an etiquette book published in 1528. Not kidding.
Let me break it down:
- Van Camp summarizes the concept as "rock 'n' roll bohemian chic fused with sprezzatura; it is essentially our group's impertinent take of refined dining." (Van Camp goes on to explain that sprezzatura is a term defined in Baldassare Castiglione's 1528 etiquette book, The Book of the Courtier, as "a certain nonchalance, so as to conceal all art and make whatever one does or says appear to be without effort and almost without any thought about it." Got it?)
- As for the "rock 'n' roll bohemian chic" part, the crew is taking as their influence Villa Nellcote—the mansion where the Stones recorded Exile on Main Street in 1971.
What does this mean for the food? It'll be simple European soul food. Just as at Old Town Social, most things will be made in-house—the pastas, the pizzas...even the flour for the pastas and the pizzas is being milled, from local grains, in-house. Meats, vegetables and seafood will all be cooked on a wood-burning grill.
Will there be cocktails? Yes. (They might even be made in the kitchen, by the chefs.)
Will there be charcuterie? Honestly, I haven't asked Van Camp that, but do I really need to?
Will there be a name? Of course. But for that, we'll have to wait a little more. Just as we'll have to wait for the spot to open, which is currently slated to be October/November 2011.