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Look Inside Tribute, Opening Today in the Essex Inn

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Hang out in the raised lounge area
Hang out in the raised lounge area

Tribute [Photos: Timothy Hiatt Photography]

They've promised to bring a modern, affordable restaurant that pays homage to American cuisine and it now looks like the anticipation is over as Tribute is set to open its doors tonight. The restaurant, co-owned by Simon Lamb, will add another upscale option to the growing South Loop area fronted by Grant Park. Tribute's design blends with the LEED-certified Essex Inn, where the restaurant is located. High ceilings, floor-to-ceiling windows and modern design flourishes all contribute to the light and airy feel.

The 6,800 square-foot restaurant has a 100-seat dining room, a 50-seat lounge and a private dining area that can accommodate another 45. The menu, led by chef Lawrence Letrero, will keep people fed from breakfast through dinner. Letrero's plan is to source all of the ingredients from within 300 miles of Chicago when possible and is already working with farms like Nichols, Slagel and Green Acres.

Guests can expect to pay between $6 and $12 for small plates and $14 to $26 for large plates for seasonal items like an apple-cheddar tart with bacon frosting; challah French toast with banana custard and nilla wafers; chicken and waffles with Tabasco maple syrup; salmon pastrami with avocado cream; watermelon-strawberry soup with cucumber and feta; hamachi crudo with succotash; patty melt with shallot marmalade; and pork belly with sweet potato. If you can't get down to Tribute right away, at least take a look at the full menu.

Tribute Menu

· Tribute, on track for June 21 opening, Reveals its Menu [~EChi~]