After turning on people with gastropub grub, French fare and upscale diner fare (have you had that burger yet?), Brendan Sodikoff is now turning his attention to ramen. 312 Dining Diva first reported this morning that the Maude's Liquor Bar/Au Cheval owner would open a ramen lounge below Gilt Bar this winter.
Eater got in touch with Sodikoff who confirmed the news and that the project would be called Kotsu Ramen, not to be confused with far north side sushi mecca, Katsu. The 20-seat spot will have a very limited menu and serve pork buns, ramen, beer and whiskey. Sodikoff said the chef is still to be determined, but he has "a few great candidates."
Kotsu will have a separate entrance off Franklin Street, but Sodikoff said it may make more sense to have people come in through Gilt so they wouldn't have to wait outside since the space won't take reservations.
While the concept may sound a little like Momofuku Noodle Bar in New York, Sodikoff said the inspiration came more from NY's Totto Ramen. So why ramen now? "[I] love ramen ... it's definitely one of my favorites foods," Sodikoff said. "We've been looking for the right spot, but nothing felt right. I wanted it really small for that traditional feel. Finally I realized I was literally standing on top of it."
So if Kotsu is going in, what's happening to Curio, the sexy cocktail lounge below Gilt? It may stay, but in a smaller, reconfigured space. Sodikoff said they need to do some duct work, which "usually dictates things," and that he won't know for sure until it's all laid out.
· Tiny Ramen Lounge in River North is Next Project for Sodikoff Restaurant Group [312DD]
Kotsu Ramen will open below Gilt Bar [Photo: Barry Brecheisen]