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I got an e-mail this morning from Mark "the Oyster Whisperer" Mavrantonis, who's been quietly helming things at Ditka's in Oakbrook Terrace since mid-March. (That's in the western suburbs, Slick.) It's only been open for two months and they've yet to develop a raw bar program. At present he's only serving one type of oyster (with a Bloody Mary-sorbet palate cleanser).
Mav brought most of the kitchen staff from Fulton's along (except his sous chef) and seems pretty excited about all the new toys he has to play with: a Wood Stone pizza oven, a line "that can pump out 1,000 covers on a Saturday night," an ice cream machine that can crank out 12 quarts in less than ten minutes.
There's no Web site yet but early reports indicate that the menu leans more heavily on sea creatures than the chops- and steak-centric downtown location. But don't think Da Coach has gone all soft and fishy in the 'burbs. "I just found out I purchase more Berkshire pork bellies than any other restaurant," Mavrantonis wrote. "We cure and smoke our own bacon here, about 49 slabs a week."
Mike Ditka's of Oakbrook Terrace is at 2 Mid America Plaza, 630-572-2200.