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Kornick to Focus on Quality Wine, Cocktails and Small Plates at Still-Unnamed New Spot

Earlier this week, news emerged that the new restaurant project from Michael Kornick and David Morton would be called the Right Door. Apparently the pair has scrapped that plan, but not before ordering a bunch of glassware with that name on it. "Do you know someone who wants to open a place called the Right Door?" Kornick joked.

While the guys try to nail down a final name, they are working on formalizing the food and beverage program for their forthcoming 45-seat spot just off the Elston industrial corridor near the Hideout that could open as soon as mid February. Last week, the team behind DMK Burger Bar announced they were looking for a mixologist for the project and Kornick now said they're planning on holding a contest to find someone who can lead that program and become a partner in the business.

"We're not going to hire a consulting firm to set up a drink program," he said. "The compelling aspect of the place is that the bartender will be behind what they're doing." And Kornick, who is a wine aficionado, wants to offer higher-quality wines at really great prices. "It'll be the best pricing on really good wine on every price point we offer," he said. "I go into several restaurants in town that feel wine centered and I can't find anything. They're not representing the best producers available in those categories."

Kornick said they want the wine experience to wow their diners and because he is tired of seeing huge markups on mediocre wine, he will even post the wholesale prices on the menu so people can see the good deal they're getting. They plan on buying great wine they can sell easily and won't have any temperature-controlled wine cases. "I thought the coolers took away from the raw look of the space," he said. "It'll be more like an Italian trattoria," where bottles will be displayed on shelves.

Overall, the project, he said, will be divided up into four equal parts focusing on mixology, wine, farm-to-table, chef-driven food and an entertainment lounge. Where the food is concerned, the menu won't change seasonally, but rather based on what food is available to them on any given day or week. The menu will have mostly small plates with a few more substantial offerings all inspired predominantly by Mediterranean cuisine prepared with American culinary sensibilities, Kornick said. He added that Asian items may appear from time to time.

While the plans are still being created, Kornick said he will be joined in the kitchen by Jimmy Phillips (Marche), MK pastry chef Tony Galzan and Zoe Schor, who worked at Todd English and Eva Longoria's LA restaurant Beso. Maybe they can all help come up with a name that will stick.
· DMK Team Readying Next Project in Industrial Zone [~EChi~]

DMK's New Restaurant

1664 N. Ada St., Chicago, IL