Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Update on Rustik in Logan Square

(Photo: Rustik)

I've got some more news you can use if you're heading over to Rustik (2515 N. California Ave., 773-235-0002) in Logan Square this weekend:

Partner Tim Leahy tells me that it's looking good that they'll have a liquor license by the weekend. Just to be on the safe side, I'd take a bottle or two with me if I were you.

He also gave me details on their menu, and it turns out that the team behind this restaurant has quite a history.

Executive Chef Pedro Angel is best known for Angel's, his Latin-influenced, family-owned eatery in Andersonville that was closed over the summer (they're scouting for a new Angel's location in 2008). It was always mad crowded for brunch, so look for Angel to gain another cult following once Rustik begins brunch service sometime in January. He'll probably even add a little Latin spice to it, too.

Rustik's daily menu consists of modern American comfort food, including meatloaf stuffed with Boursin cheese and topped with caramelized mushrooms and onions; mac 'n' cheese with smoked gouda; a "Rustik" burger stuffed with chorizo, smoked gouda and bacon; root vegetable pot pie and grilled hangar steak.

It's only 50 seats, plus a communal, “showpiece” table in the middle of the dining room.

Don't forget to vote

The Nightlife Poll is still open, so cast your vote for the top new hot spot of 2007. Fat Cat (4840 N. Broadway, 773-506-3100) is still dominating, so if you disagree, then get on it!

NYE: Last call

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It's official. These popular restaurants will serve their last dinners on New Year's Eve. Want to get a taste of what's certain to be memorable, emotional events? Make your reservations now at:

The Grotto. The Gold Coast hot spot will offer an Italian buffet,
two champagne fountains, two chocolate fountains and two deejays spinning dance music. Of course, there's going to be a midnight champagne toast and party favors for revelers. 9pm-2am. $150. NOTE: Guests are required to show ID on the night of the event. A manager added that they're opening a new location in Oakbrook in February and also they're shopping for a new downtown location later in 2008. 1030 N. State St., 312-280-1005.

Meritage. The swanky, wine-focused Bucktown restaurant will serve a seasonal, five-course dinner with seafood and steak entrees. There's open seating and alcohol will not be factored into the $85 cost. For those who just want to say a final farewell, a cocktail party takes place 11pm-2am. And you get one more chance on New Year's Day for a special brunch. 2118 N. Damen Ave., 773-235-6434.

Timo. After 10 years, John Bubula is closing his award-winning, Italian-style restaurant in River West. And he plans on doing it in high style with two seatings: the first, at 5:30pm, is three courses for $50; the second, at 9:30pm, is four courses for $80. Guests choose from a list of 20 signature items, among them risotto with sausage, smoked Gouda, and asparagus; “chef’s whim” house-made ravioli; steak in red wine sauce; pork shank with gnocchi, bacon, and roasted onions; and six desserts, including a creme brulee trio and a chocolate gateau. Both packages come with a complimentary glass of champagne, and the Dan Cray Trio plays jazz at the second seating. 464 N. Halsted St., 312-226-4300.

Herban Gourmet expands to Mag Mile

Josh Gelvan, who's done well with his Lincoln Park catering biz, Herban Gourmet Catering (1750 N. Clark St.), expands to a full-scale retail space in January.

Look out for Herban Gourmet Cafe and Smoothie Bar to open on Jan. 7 in the 900 Shops (900 N. Michigan Ave.) with gourmet sandwiches, soups and smoothies.

Deal of the day . . .

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Spend quality time with your sig other at this Couples' Night Out event at the Denim Lounge (43 E. Oak St.) on the Gold Coast. It's a chance to grab some last-minute gifts as four local independent business owners are joining forces to offer some serious deals. G Boutique, Sarah's Pastries, Lush Wine and Spirits along with Denim Lounge will offer discounts on denim, tops, lingerie, "adult" items, chocolates and wine. Also, enjoy appetizers and a wine tasting provided by Lush. For more information, call 312-642-6403. 5-8:30pm tonight.

Or head to Wicker Park's Smoke Daddy (1804 W. Division St., 773-772-6656) to celebrate the arrival of their new, state-of-the-art smoker with a barbecue celebration. They're retiring the Lil Red Smoker—which has been smoking meat for more than 26 years—tonight from 8pm-midnight. They're celebrating with complimentary cake and live music.