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Eater reports that Michael Altenberg, chef-owner of Bistro Campagne, died Friday night after experiencing breathing problems. Altenberg, a Kendall grad and Lettuce Entertain You vet, worked at a number of iconic restaurants in both Chicago (Le Francais, Gordon) and Italy before opening Evanston's Campagnola and Bistro Campagne in Lincoln Square. In 2007 Nicholas Day chronicled his quest to open Crust, the fourth certified-organic restaurant in the country and the first in Chicago (an opening that wasn't without controversy).
Crust closed in January, but Altenberg's wife says Bistro Campagne will remain open.