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Balsan Getting a "Warmer" Makeover, Expanding Raw Bar

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Photo: Renderings of Balsan's makeover

More changes are afoot at the Elysian Hotel. First came the shocking news that two-star executive chef Jason McLeod left abruptly in January. Then they promoted chef de cuisine Danny Grant to oversee all the kitchens. Then came a new weekend brunch offering. And now Balsan is getting a makeover.

The rehab, which will slowly take place over the next few of weeks and will be complete by April 8, is an effort to warm up the restaurant. While the rustic menu has received many accolades, one complaint people have made more often than anything else is that the room felt cold, according to the Elysian's director of operations Attila Gyulai.

The room will have a color palette of brown, gray and white and has already received a fresh coat of paint. The hard marble tabletops have been replaced with stained white oak wood tops that have natural imperfections. The banquettes will be covered with rustic brown leather and the glass on the walls near the windows will receive etchings similar to those above the bar.

Tables will be removed in the smaller alcove toward the to back of the space, and be replaced with one taller stained white oak communal table featuring about 20 higher stools. New pear-shaped, amber-colored pendants will hang in a symmetrical line above the bar, which will also see a one-inch thick piece of the white oak laid atop the current marble.

Lest we forget about the food. Balsan will enlarge the raw bar by adding a L-shaped ice display for oysters, lobster, crab claws and other shellfish. A large wood cutting board will grace the bar for expanded charcuterie and cheese and they've added a new, large red Berkel slicer.

Balsan will close on March 28 for one day for further renovations, however breakfast and lunch service will remain uninterrupted and served in RIA.
· Jason McLeod Abruptly Leaves RIA; Danny Grant Promoted [~EChi~]
· Balsan's Saturday Brunch [~EChi~]

Balsan

11 E. Walton Street, Chicago, IL 60611 (312) 646-1400 Visit Website

Ria

11 East Walton Street, Chicago, Illinois 60611

Balsan

10 E. Walton, Chicago, IL

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