Fall starts tomorrow and with that comes cooler weather, falling leaves and the harsh reality that summer has come to an end. The good news is that there is also a lot to look forward to including some highly-anticipated restaurant openings. We've compiled 14 of them (in no particular order), in an easy to digest list and gave you some insight on what makes these places so special.
1) 2 Sparrows
Who: Gregory Ellis and Steven Fladung, 2 Trotter's vets.
What: "gastrobrunch" as they are calling it, refined dining at reasonable prices.
Where: 553 W. Diversey
When: Early October
Why you should be excited: Foie gras mousse pop tarts and in-house cured and smoked bacon. Need we say more?
Who: A BOKA/Bristol Collaboration with Chris Pandel at the helm, and Amanda Rockman heading up the pastry program.
What: An affordable, rustic Italian spot
Where: 1633 N. Halsted
Why you should be excited: Great pizzas (and delivery!), italian sodas and desserts, wood burning spit-oven. Not to mention the solid BOKA/Bristol partnership.
3) BLT American Brasserie
Who: Laurent Tourondel , Chef TBA
What: An American brasserie with pizza, sushi, salads, sandwiches, and more.
Where: 500 W Superior
When: Early November.
Why you should be excited: Although Tourondel is no longer involved with the BLT group, his restaurants in the past have been very popular in NYC, and with a menu so varied, there's something for everyone.
4)Bavette's Bar & Boeuf
Who: Brendan Sodikoff
What: a European steakhouse of sorts with with in-house butchering, chilled seafood, terrines and a signature bone-in ribeye.
Where: River North
When: TBD, end of October or early 2012
Why you should be excited: Between Maude's, Gilt Bar and the Doughnut Vault Sodikoff seems to know what he's doing. Plus there will be a burger, shake and fry window outside of Bavette's.
5) Grange Hall Farm Burger
Who: Chris and Angela Lee (Veerasway, Juhu Beach, Sushi Wabi)
What: free-range burger concept
Where: 844 W. Randolph
When: Sometime this fall
Why you should be excited: In addition to in-house ground burgers there will be seasonal pies and ice cream made fresh at the restaurant.
Who: Jared Van Camp, Chris Dexter and Chris Freeman
What: European inspired cuisine at affordable prices
Where: 833 W. Randolph
When: Late November
Why you should be excited: A $3.5 MM buildout, a place that's modeled after a villa in the South of France where the Stones recorded Exile on Main Street, in-house made flour, and a solid cocktail program. What's not to be excited about?
What: Vietnamese and French-Vietnamese food
Where: 5525 N Broadway
Why you should be excited: This place had a great reputation when it shuttered a few years back and will return with those same dishes and some newer, healthier dishes as well.
8) Publican Quality Meats
Who: Paul Kahan
What: Full-service butcher shop with prepared items such as sandwiches and salads
Where: 825 W. Fulton Market
When: November, maybe?
Why you should be excited: Not only can we expect charcuterie and cured meats, but it will also bake bread in house for the whole Blackbird group. Cooking classes and brunch are rumored down the line.
9) The Pump Room
Who: Ian Schrager, Jean-Georges Vongerichten, Bradford Phillips and Kady Von
What: A revival of the old Pump Room in the new Public Hotel, featuring new dishes and a few old.
Where: 1301 N. State
When: October, previews have already begun.
Why you should be excited: JGV has made ABC kitchen a huge success and a Chicago icon is back.
Who: Chef Ryan Poli and the folks behind Mercadito
What: Spanish-inspired small plates
Where: 151 W. Erie
Why you should be excited: An oyster and crudo bar, a focus on veggies and an inventive cocktails from the Tippling Bros.
Who: Chef Ryan McCaskey (Courtrights)
What: approachable seasonal American food
Where: 1639 S. Wabash Ave.
When: Early December
Why you should be excited: A new upscale restaurant while everyone else is going more casual. Two different tasting menus.
Who: Mark and Liz Mendez (Carnivale)
What: A wine bar with small, affordable Spanish small plates.
Where: 1023 W. Lake
Why you should be excited: Spanish and global wines with some on tap, interesting ingredients like tripe and blood sausage.
13) Bar Toma
Who: Tony Mantuano
What: Casual yet modern Italian bar
Where:110 E. Pearson St.
When: Late October
Why you should be excited: Gelato, mozzarella bar, pizzas, and more.
14) Slurping Turtle
Who: Takashi Yagihashi
What: Japanese tapas and noodles
Where: 116 W. Hubbard St.
Why you should be excited: A noodle and dumpling bar, sashimi and a Bincho grill.