Come mid-January, Uptown will get a new fine dining restaurant in the former home of a Chester's Chicken joint. Chef Jake Bickelhaupt, along with his wife, general manager Alexa Welsh, will open 42 Grams, an 18-seat restaurant with a single tasting menu.
42 Grams will be strictly BYOB and feature staggered seating times (6:00 p.m. for the communal table seating ten, 8:30 p.m. for the chef's counter seating eight) Tuesday through Saturday evenings.
Bickelhaupt took the leap to the brick-and-mortar in Uptown after running the successful underground dinner club Sous Rising for the past year and a half. His resume includes time spent working at such culinary institutions as Schwa, Alinea and Charlie Trotter's.
Because it is solely owned by the husband and wife duo, Bickelhaupt says "we are free to be very small and personal. We want guests to feel that they are coming to our house for a fine dining dinner party. It should be unpretentious and inviting."
The menu will feature "around 15 courses" that will "take the guests on a journey," he says, adding "I am so passionate to make people happy."
Per the restaurant's website the total cost per person will be $203.67 (meal, service fee and tax). Reservations are currently being accepted from the expected opening date of January 10 through February 14 and payment is made at the time of the reservation.
Taking what he learned from his time at his former employers ("make it happen no matter what"), Bickelhaupt knows that his clientele will be "affluent diners that like to experience a high (level) of service, food, and ambiance," but desires anyone with "a passion for food" to dine at 42 Grams.
When asked what his long term plans for the restaurant are, he stated matter of factly, "survive the first year." Perhaps we'll get to see how all of that first year plays out as filmmaker Jack C. Newell (writer/director of Open Tables, the forthcoming romantic comedy set within Chicago's dining scene) is currently filming a documentary about the move from Sous Rising to opening 42 Grams.
· 42 Grams [Official Site]
42 Grams [Photo: Huge Galdones Photography]