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Saturday, November 14, 2009

Too New to Review: Big Stars, Top Chefs, and More

Posted By on 11.14.09 at 12:00 PM

Pork belly and birria tacos at Big Star
  • Ed Fisher aka gleam via Flickr
  • Pork belly and birria tacos at Big Star

Sprout, the ambitious Lincoln Park restaurant that opened in early October and promptly went through two chefs in its first month, reopened last night, Friday the 13th, under Top Chef alums Dale Levitski and Sara Nguyen. Owner Satko Ibrahimovic—who originally promised all-organic entrees costing as much as $120—is now offering three-course $60 prix fixe meals selected from a list including foie gras, short ribs with truffle, and Bosc pear with chocolate and almond.

Big Star, the highly anticipated Wicker Park honky-tonk taco shack from Terry Alexander, Donnie Madia, Paul Kahan, and friends, opened Monday. At the bar there are bourbons, premium tequilas, cheap beer, Mexican coke, and creative cocktails curated by Michael Rubel of the Violet Hour; from the kitchen there's tacos (including birria and pork belly), tostadas, and other bites from former Avec sous chef Justin Large. A walk-up takeout window is in the works.

Also jammed on opening day: DMK Burger Bar, the Lincoln Park project of Michael Kornick (MK) and David Morton (Morton’s steakhouse), featuring over-the-top burgers (would you like pastrami on that?), truffle fries, 35 kinds of bourbon, malteds, and house-made cherry soda.

Other recent openings:
The Cupcake Gallery, a new cupcake bakery and coffee shop offering flavors like the Arnold Palmer, lemonade cake with sweet tea icing, plus gluten-free and vegan treats.
DeColores, a Pilsen Mexican restaurant and gallery
Katakana and Koko Sushi Bar, an amibitious 4,000-square-foot restaurant in Logan Square
Manghal, a kosher restaurant in Evanston
Melanthios Greek Char House, a Lakeview taverna that is BYO for now
Sushi Taigo, a River North restaurant from the owners of Shine and Rise, in the former Farmerie 58 space

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