Sola chef/owner Carol Wallack just let us know that the restaurant will go out with a big gang: its official last night in North Center is New Year's Eve.
Sola will then shutter and get ready to move to its new River North digs at 340 N. Clark St., where it'll be open for lunch and dinner. At this point, she has no opening date, but will likely happen sometime in early 2011 after she gets building permits sorted out.
Fortunately, Wallack won't abandon her North Side neighborhood. The space will undergo a monthlong makeover and re-emerge in early February as 'ohana, which means "family" in Hawaiian. The chef has strong ties to the islands as she spends much of the winter chillin' at her place on Maui; and yes, we
hate envy her for that.
Expect to see a lot of Asian and Pacific influences on the 'ohana menu. Wallack will showcase dishes like tempura shrimp and squid; P.E.I. mussels in a broth of red curry and coconut milk; vegetable ramen with scallions and egg; seared salmon with jasmine rice; Kalua pork sandwich with banana bread and pickled pineapple; and udon with meatballs and preserved heirloom tomato.
As far as the whole "family" concept, Wallack feels very much a part of the North Center community and wants to continue to feed the people there. She feels her restaurant is a comfortable "home away from home" and that she delivers "good food, from good people, to good people." We can't wait to meet the family.