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Look Inside The Black Sheep, Opening This Weekend

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The main bar with gothic shelves and Edison bulbs
The main bar with gothic shelves and Edison bulbs

The Black Sheep [Photo: Timothy Hiatt Photography]

The Black Sheep, the long-awaited restaurant from chef/owner James Toland will finally open this weekend with reservations starting on June 14. The rock-chic interior of black leather, walls in shades of gray, slate rock and funky artwork pays homage to Toland's rocker roots. The front wall features Chicago artist Vincent Grech's panels of The Black Sheep band members, while additional Grech panels are featured throughout the dining room.

Partner and general manager Michael Simon (Graham Elliot), who also serves as the restaurant's beverage director, designed the cocktail menu around the theme of an old apothecary shop, with different cocktails suiting different "ailments." Expect 15 custom cocktails like the Hulk-Smash with green Chartreuse, Hayman's Old Tom gin, meyer lemon syrup, anise hyssop florets and homemade mint soda; and the Dark/Stormier/Sexier with Pampero Rum Aniversario, Fenitman's ginger beer, the Bitter Truth pimento dram and lemongrass froth. All cocktails contain unique elements like house made sodas, syrups and cocktail ice. A diverse boutique wine and craft beer list is available as well.

The restaurant will start service with an a la carte menu and add in two tasting menus (one vegetarian) and a secret late-night menu in the weeks to come. Expect a hyper-seasonal menu that changes at least four times a year, and elements of the menu to be mixed up as Toland sees fit. The current a la carte menu includes dishes like English pea soup with sour cherries and creme; eel steak with trochenberry, raisins and lemon balm; lamb "4 ways" in a potato tube; and skate wing with calves liver and asparagus.

Pastry chef Sarah Jordan (Blackbird) creates sweet desserts with surprising savory elements such as the smoked brioche beignet with malt semi freddo and the almond financier with buttermilk tarragon sherbert, wine soaked cherries and sweet beurre rouge.

Expect patio seating for 20 to open later this summer.

The Black Sheep Dinner Menu

· The Black Sheep Opening After Memorial Day [~EChi~]
· All Black Sheep Coverage on Eater Chicago [~EChi~]

The Black Sheep

1132 W Grand Avenue, Chicago, IL 60642