How's this for a way to kick off the weekend: Danny Grant is leaving RIA at the end of the month. The Michelin-starred chef who was also named a Food & Wine best new chef earlier this year, confirmed exclusively to Eater that he is leaving the critically acclaimed restaurant at the Waldorf Astoria (formerly the Elysian) and his last day of service will be July 27.
Grant said he will focus his attention on RIA for the next few weeks, but couldn't yet say what his next move involves. He did say he is moving on to pursue "a new project." And if Grant leaving weren't enough of a bombshell, RIA will also shutter on July 27 to re-concept.
Eater got a statement from the hotel saying, "In keeping with Waldorf Astoria Chicago's commitment to continually provide a fresh and memorable dining experience for both our hotel guests and Chicagoans, the hotel will be undergoing a repositioning of its food and beverage options. In the short term, this repositioning includes the closing of RIA, as of July 27."
As for Balsan and Bernard's, the casual eatery and the sophisticated bar will both remain open. Plans for what will go into the RIA space will be revealed in the coming months.
As far as Grant is concerned, he's leaving on a high note. "It has been an amazing three years," he said. "This is the most talented team I have ever worked with; without them none of this would have been possible. I am also grateful for our supporters [and] all of the people who help us each day. It's really something special."
· RIA/Balsan Chef Danny Grant Named a Food & Wine 2012 Best New Chef [~EChi~]