On the restaurant scene: Tortoise Club, Fat Rice, and other recent openings

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That kind of place
  • That kind of place
It's "the kind of place my wife and I want to go to ourselves," Keene Addington III, former CEO of Flat Top Grill (and great-grandson of former Sears chairman and CEO General Robert E. Wood), told Loop North News last November. That kind of place turns out to be a retro spot along the lines of the old Pump Room, which was the source for the mahogany trappings used to transform the former Crunch Fitness Club in the Marina City complex. The resulting Tortoise Club, which opened Monday, offers classic cocktails served by girls in pearls and a menu featuring Dover sole, lobster Thermidor, pheasant pie, and cauliflower mac 'n' cheese.

Also new in River North: John Barleycorn's downtown location, where bottle service runs $100-$250 and up; and, in the train of Waffleizer, Bel 50, a quick-service spot purveying all kinds of waffle sandwiches.

Also under the category Why the Hell Not, I Guess is the mac 'n' cheese grilled sandwich, just one of the grilled cheese varieties available at North Center's the Big Cheese.

Joining Ing and the forthcoming OON in the silly-name category are Pl-zen, a gastropub in the neighborhood more commonly known as Pilsen, and MorseL, an upscalish restaurant and bar in the former dollar store to the west of the Morse el stop.

Editor's choice: Fat Rice, a Logan Square storefront from Abraham Conlon and Adrienne Lo of the underground supper club X-Marx, offers a genuinely interesting-looking menu of colonial-Asian-inspired curries, noodle dishes, hot pots, and grilled meats, along with wines, specialty cocktails, and teas from Rare Tea Cellar. Hugh Amano of Food on the Dole has hired on as the restaurant's sous chef through the end of the year.

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