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Leopold Getting Ready for a Mid-December Opening

An open kitchen to watch chef Jeff Hedin work his magic
An open kitchen to watch chef Jeff Hedin work his magic

It's been a few months in the making, but Leopold, West Town's Belgian-themed new restaurant, is getting closer to actually opening. Owner Christy Agee said they're aiming for mid-December to get the doors open and people in their seats. And the timing is perfect for chef Jeffrey Hedin (Spring, Green Zebra, the Bristol) to introduce his hearty, upscale comfort food.

Leopold, whose name was inspired by a European trip Agee and Hedin took a few months ago, will be awash in neutral Earth tones contrasted with a chocolate brown floor. The 98 seater will have a comfortable lounge area up front with a cream-colored leather couch and wooden tables, an eight-seat private dining alcove and an exposed kitchen. Agee, who is opening Leopold with her husband, Don, used much of the material left behind when Relax Lounge closed, including the Wenge wood from the back walls to make tables and a set of cube seats, which they had reupholstered.

Small antique-looking sconces dot the long western wall, above which hangs exposed white-painted cylindrical duct work. Banquettes will line that wall for a series of two tops. The large rear dining room that leads to the open kitchen features a few vintage-looking chandeliers and exposed brick.

Hedin's Belgian/German/French-inspired menu will source ingredients locally when possible from farms like Klug, Nichols and Green Acres. Sample menu items include steak tartare with quail egg yolk and frisee salad; oysters on the half shell; poutine de merguez with hand-cut fries; mussels and frites in two different preparations; poached duck egg with braised oxtail; seared foie gras with almond and fig brioche, brussels sprouts and currant gastrique; and braised short ribs with glazed turnips. Best of all, everything on the menu is under $20. We may need to spend more time in West Town.

· West Town's Relax Morphing into Belgian-Themed Leopold [~EChi~]

Green Zebra

1460 W Chicago Avenue, Chicago, IL 60622 312 243 7100

Leopold

1450 W Chicago Avenue, Chicago, IL 60642 312 348 1028

The Bristol

2152 North Damen Avenue, , IL 60647 (773) 862-5555 Visit Website

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