"You have to have something on the menu that makes other tables stop and look," Grand Tour chef Roger Herring says as he places a glazed pig's head and bao buns on the table, snout and eyeball included.
Grand Tour is only soft open so other tables are scant. But the "culinary international grand tour" is about to begin en force, pig's head included.
The staff is serving a preliminary menu now (subject to change), a snapshot of cuisines around the globe compiled inside a large corner space on the cusp of Ravenswood and Lincoln Square. Each dish represents a different country: Thailand sweetbreads, USA fried chicken, China pig's head. There's bar snacks, small plates, and large plates.
Herring (Socca) and chef de cuisine Matt Cyr are cooking a lot of styles under one roof, also highlighting a different country each month on a separate three-course menu. This month's menu features Canadian-inspired dishes: short rib poutine, salmon with mussels and onion hash in cream sauce, and a "maple dessert" with maple ice cream and chestnut cake in maple and lingonberry sauce for $33.
It's BYO for now, expect booze service next week. The beverages, like the food, will bring together cultures from around the world.
The space is nearly complete, save for the shuffleboard and foosball tables that are on the way. The tour begins with an open sports bar-esque room with a large circular bar; a back hallway leads to a second room decorated with globe and flag artwork, and a second bar.
The interior holds 200 people; a sidewalk patio will run the length of the building on the Artesian side and seat 100 more. Live musicians and other entertainers will perform on a stage inside.
Grand Tour fully opens on February 27. Expect brunch service down the line—there's no word whether pig's heads will be on that menu.