Ryan Poli, who was recently named a partner in the company, will develop the menu at the new 150-seat American restaurant with a French brasserie feeling. He said they're currently testing new dishes, including a New York strip steak with short rib-cognac poutine and cheese curds, and that Chris Davies (Blue 13, Acadia) will be chef de cuisine overseeing daily operations.
Once again, Mercadito teamed with Paul Tanguay and Tad Carducci of Tippling Bros. to develop a unique cocktail program revolving around sparkling housemade sodas (Meyer lemon, blood orange cinnamon, smoked salted cream soda) that can be mixed with various spirits.
The room, which will offer breakfast, lunch, dinner and weekend brunch, will reflect a classic French brasserie with oversized mirrors, black and white tiles and art by Erni Vales. A 125-seat sidewalk patio will emerge in warmer months.
So if Mercadito has done so well with upscale Mexican and Spanish cuisine, why this? Poli and partner Alfredo Sandoval traveled to 12 different U.S. cities to gain inspiration to bring a new concept to the area. They're hoping to "have the freedom to do American food well," Poli said. "It's all very fun and casual. That will be the feel we are going for."
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· All Ryan Poli Coverage on Eater Chicago