Just when you thought it was safe to put a cap on your list of new restaurants to check out, here's comes another. Epic owner Steve Tavoso and business partner Jeff Krogh have teamed with former iNG exec chef Thomas Elliott Bowman to open Baume & Brix, a new spot taking over the vacated Rumba space across the street from East Bank Club.
The 220-restaurant, shooting to open by Labor Day, is broken up into four distinct sections—bar and lounge, dining room, private dining and an intimate six-person chef's table set in a former elevator shaft—in a design inspired by a vintage grid-map of Chicago.
Baume & Brix, named for a culinary term used to measure sugar content, usually in juice or wine, is being designed by Nick Bowers of BlocHaus (Epic Sky, Lillie's Q), who is capitalizing on the wood-lofted ceiling and other materials found throughout the space. And since the restaurant was already in pretty good shape, very little work needs to be done to it. "It's a great space; it has great bones," Tavoso said. "After doing Epic and redoing that, to go into a space like this, they laid it out perfectly. We only really have to do some cosmetic changes."
Not having to worry too much about the physical space will allow Bowman to put his focus on the food. Bowman is still working on the globally inspired menu (think: Greek, French, Italian, Japanese and American cuisines), that will be divided into sections Small (foie and chocolate; "naked" lobster tartare with shallot and tarragon; toasted gnocchi with maitake and gruyere) and Large (Margret duck with barley risotto; black cod with umami dumpling; duroc pork with sweet corn custard). Bowman, who also has a background in pastry, will oversee the Sweets section, which will have desserts like tiramisu dips and spreads.
"It's affordable fine dining with unique dishes that [Bowman] could use his creative genius on," Tavoso said. "He's an intellectual chef. I love his whole approach to everything—with the sweet and savory. He's involved with the wine concept and the beer taps ? he's involved in every little detail. It's a finite point where you can have this creative food at an affordable price. He gets that and wants to do that."
Thomas Elliott Bowman [Photo: iNG]