Deep Dish Food News: January 19

Welcome to the New Year!

Lots of foodie news to share, despite the crazy Polar Vortex, the rain, the snow, the sleet, the black ice, and all the other weather-related impediments to leaving the house.

Another Opening, Another Restaurant

I’ve shared previously that Lulu’s Dim Sum is closingafter 21 years in Evanston, and that a new restaurant had already been selected to fill the space. The big news is out: Brian Huston, an Evanston native and current chef de cuisine at the perennially hotPublican restaurant in Chicago’s Fulton Market district, will take the helm as head chef of Boltwood. This farm-to-table restaurant, to be located at 804 Davis St., is a joint project with Huston’s brother,Brady, Seth Kaplan, and John Kim (who also owns the popular Brothers K Coffeehouse). Boltwood, named for a section of ETHS (these are hometown boys, you know), will serve lunch, dinner and weekend brunch. They are scheduled to open in May.

Highwood Happenings

Gerry Geffen, owner of the local Once Upon a Bagel chain, plans to open the Lucky Fish Deli (530 Sheridan Rd., Highwood, 847-291-1411) this coming week. They will feature Southern (po’boy sandwiches, jambalaya) and New England-style seafood (lobster rolls, chowder) in a casual setting.

News on the street is that Jay Lovell, of Lovell’s of Lake Forest, will soon open a comfort-food restaurant at 830 Sheridan Rd. in downtown Highwood. Stay tuned for more deets on that one!

Family Night Wednesdays!

Max’s Deli in Highland Park (191 Skokie Valley Rd., 847-831-0600) is running a Family Night special every Wednesday night through March: Free make-your-own s’mores for the kids and half-price wine for the adults. It’s a win-win situation.

Erwin’s Back

Artisanal Wilmette (414 Linden Ave., Wilmette, 847-830-2467) owner Marsha Pesavento tells me that Erwin Drechsler has joined the team at the specialty grocer. “Having Erwin at Artisanal is exciting for many reasons,” she shares. “We share the same goal of elevating prepared foods, he brings a wealth of experience, knowledge and creativity to our endeavor, and I’m honored to work with him.” Drechsler specializes in seasonally driven foods, and he’ll be featuring comforting entrees, soups, grain salads and more, sourced largely from local purveyors. I can’t wait to stop in to sample the goods!


Grand Chefs Gala

January 31 is the date for the 17th annual Grand Chefs Gala to benefit the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation (CFF). This Oscars-style event will be held at the Fairmont Chicago Millennium Park (200 N. Columbus Drive, Chicago) and will include the presentation of the Jean Banchet Awards. Some of Chicago’s biggest chefs, including Curtis Duffy (Grace), Giuseppe Tentori (GT Fish & Oyster) and Jimmy Bannos (Heaven on Seven, Purple Pig) will be on hand to prepare their signature dishes for the 750 expected guests. Live music, dancing, and a premium live and silent auction are planned for the big night. CFF is hoping to surpass last year’s record-setting total (more than $500,000). Tickets and tables can be purchased on the website. Tickets cost $500 for the entire evening, and $100 for the “Nightcap” portion (from 9:30 p.m. to midnight).

Chicago Restaurant Week is Coming!

Make your reservations now: Chicago Restaurant Week will run from Friday, Jan. 24 through Sunday, Feb. 6 this year. More than 200 participating restaurants will feature three-course, prix fixe meals for lunch ($22) and dinner ($33 or $44). Such a bargain! Some of my recs in Chicago: Balena,BellyQ, Embeya, Naha, Perennial Virant, Riccardo Trattoria and Tortoise Club. Participating North Shore restaurants, in case you don’t want to haul into the city (see weather reference above):Bistro Bordeaux, FarmhouseOceanique and Quincein Evanston, Wildfire in Glenview and Lincolnshire, Morton’s Steakhouse and Ruth’s Chris Steakhouse in Northbrook, and McCormick and Schmick’s in Skokie.

McCormick and Schmick’s

Remember, if you have any breaking news of openings, closings, or any foodie events, please let me know! Email me at or follow me on Twitter @juliechernoff.

Top right photo: Wildfire 

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