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Look Inside Earth + Ocean, Now Open

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[Photos: Steve Hardy]

Venturing out of the city may seem like a chore at times, but many Chicago restaurateurs are moving in the direction of adding a suburban option, with success. Chef Rodelio Aglibot, aka "The Food Buddha," and partners Aeron Lancero and Paul Lee (Sunda), have recently "soft opened" Earth + Ocean in the new Randhurst Village in Mount Prospect. The grand opening will happen on March 2 and benefit Autism speaks.

The space, which seats 160, is designed by Gary Lee (Sepia). It is modern, yet incorporates elements of nature wherever possible. The bright green moss wall is a stunner, and the large, silver, abstract ceiling hanging looks like water droplets. Colors of aquamarine, rich blue and green can be found throughout, and dark wood furniture rounds out the thematic focus on wood, earth and water. In the warmer months, a patio with a fire pit will seat an additional 50 to 70.

The menu is new American, but has strong global influences. Starters are more playful, with options like the miso-candied bacon with pumpkin seed popcorn and smoked pea hummus with crispy cauliflower. Main dishes run the gamut from Roman-style pizzas to Moroccan-rubbed roasted chicken. A raw bar is a large part of the menu, with various shellfish options, sushi and sashimi, and Latin-inspired ceviches and crudos. Fans of the Food Buddha will be happy to see the return of "The Ridiculous," one of his signature dessert items; vanilla ice cream wrapped with ginger carrot cake, walnuts, caramel sauce and whipped cream cheese.

This won't be the last you hear of the trio behind E + O. Operating under the brand umbrella Intrestco, they plan to open various restaurants downtown and in the suburbs over the next year. Stay tuned.
· Rodelio Aglibot Opening Earth + Ocean With Sunda Vets [~ECHI~]
· All Coverage of Rodelio Aglibot [~ECHI~]