River North may be full of sports bars, but Municipal Bar + Dining Company, opening the first week in October, is looking to differentiate itself with upscale food from New York chef Jeff Arasi (Aureole, Imperial No. 9).
The 180-seat Municipal, named for the Municipal Device, a Y-shaped, historic emblem that represents Chicago's civic development (as well as signifying where the Chicago River splits at Wolf Point), will gain inspiration for its interior design from Chicago's iconic architecture and some of the grittiness of the streets. Expect to see industrial elements like a cement-top bar, digitally reinterpreted "El" signs and graffiti layered over Chicago street plans.
A gastropub-like menu will have items resembling that of a steakhouse like steak tartare with capers, red onion, quails egg yolk and parmesan crackers; braised lamb shank with truffled white corn grits and roasted root vegetables; and a New York strip and short rib duo accompnied by pomme puree and asparagus. More casual food, like entree salads, flatbreads and burgers, will also be available. The bar will feature a number of locally crafted beers, wine and an extensive cocktail program.
Municipal Bar + Dining Company, owned by Chris Lardakis (Kanela) and Sam Fakhouri, (former football player Simeon Rice, a Chicago native, is also an investor), will be open for lunch and dinner Monday through Friday and brunch on Saturday and Sunday. Late night dining will also be available every day of the week.
[Photo: Chef Jeff Arasi]