About 20 years ago, Italian-born chef Mario Maggi came to Chicago to open the first installment of Bice. Ironically now that Bice seems to finally have departed the Chicago landscape, Maggi, who has worked in restaurants from Milan to Seoul to San Francisco to, of all places, Fayetteville, Ark., has returned to Chicago to open La Bricola in the former Jam space on Damen.
La Bricola, which Maggi is opening with partner Chad Williams (the pair worked together at Fayetteville's now-closed Savor), is aiming to open the doors on April 5, pending renovations and inspections. The approximate 60-seat restaurant has been undergoing a complete makeover to have more of typical Milano aesthetic with a "Milano wash" of orange and yellow sponge paint.
The restaurant will start off as a BYO, but will hopefully get a liquor license soon to primarily serve wine and beer since the intimate spot doesn't have the space for a proper bar. The restaurant will have housemade pastas, but will have more of a focus on entrees like potato-encrusted salmon, various steaks and other dishes crafted with fresh in-house-made ingredients.
And once the warm weather sticks, they plan to utilize the adjacent courtyard for a 60-seat patio.
· Bice Closed, Now "The Restaurant" at the Talbott Hotel [~EChi~]