- Looking from the bar toward the kitchen
- Looking into the open kitchen
- A cozy nook behind the host stand
- Brand new stove ... see how it shines!
- The front lounge flooded with natural light
- Beautiful stained glass windows hang just behind the host stand
- Frames and sconces line the wall
- The back dining room looking into the kitchen
It's amazing what a month can do. Last time we checked on Leopold, West Town's new Belgian-inspired restaurant taking over the former Relax Lounge space, it needed a lot of work. But when we popped in Wednesday, the team had just passed city inspections, giving them the green light to move ahead with opening.
"We have food," was the first thing owner Christy Agee exclaimed when we saw her in the open kitchen with the brand new gleaming stove. And on New Year's Eve, the public will have food, too, as that's opening night. The restaurant will welcome diners on New Year's, but as a BYOB restaurant. Assuming Leopold (which was just issued a new phone number: 312-348-1048) gets its liquor license, it'll open with a full bar on Jan. 4.
As you can see from the gallery, the space has a warm palate of natural earth tones and chocolate browns, two lounge areas with cozy couches and a pair of spacious dining rooms, one that leads toward the open kitchen in the back where chef Jeffrey Hedin will create a seasonal menu utilizing local ingredients when possible. The opening menu will feature hearty comfort food like braised short ribs, moules frites, seared diver scallops, poutine de merguez and pan roasted dorade.
Leopold will add another level to West Town's growing culinary mix, which already sees an eclectic blend of restaurants with Branch 27, Mexique and Green Zebra, where Hedin once worked in the kitchen. It looks like you actually can come home after all.