In What’s New, our periodic roundup of recent openings, Mike Sula—whose story The Charcuterie Underground landed him in Da Capo's Best Food Writing 2010—falls for Henri, the French-influenced sibling of the Loop gastropub the Gage. In an elegant room, owner Billy Lawless and executive chef Dirk Flanigan offer reimagined classics like a lobster and foie gras "Wellington" along with old-school Dover sole meunière and plats du jour including cassoulet, bouillabaisse, and steak au poivre. Bartender Clint Rogers has developed a cocktail program that includes wine-based drinks like his Venetian Mai Tai, made with almond-infused grappa rather than orgeat. According to Sula, Lakeview’s Chizakaya features a remarkable sake list curated by sommelier Chantelle Pabros, formerly of L2O, along with small plates like a selection of $3 yakitori, crispy pig ears, and hamachi sashimi with bone marrow from fellow L2O vet Robert Rubba and chef-owner Harold Jurado (Sunda, Japonais, Trotter’s). Sula finds the Vietnamese food at the Randolph Street restaurant and lounge Sawtooth dumbed down for American tastes, its pho served sans tendon, its congee bland even for porridge, and its claypot catfish lacking depth of flavor and, as you might expect, twice as expensive as on Argyle Street.
In the listings that follow are 11 more recent openings, among them welcome additions like Logan Square’s La Boulangerie, where though owing to a noncompete agreement you have to buy croissants by the dozen, it’s worth it; Ravenswood’s City Provisions Deli, where owner Cleetus Friedman butchers on-site, makes his own bacon and lardo, and offers scads of locally made or grown products in packaged or prepared form; and Edgewater’s M. Henrietta, in the former Standees, a sibling to M. Henry that’s BYO and open for dinner.