Nearly nine months after the Michelin-starred tasting-menu restaurant Senza shuttered, the husband-and-wife team behind the concept are heading out on their own. Noah and Cara Sandoval—along with Jean Banchet award-winning pastry chef Genie Kwon, are planning to open Oriole, a small tasting menu-only spot, this winter at an undisclosed location somewhere in the West Loop. "I'm stepping away from what everybody wants me to do and doing what I want to do," Noah Sandoval says.
The Sandovals and Kwon announced the restaurant at a small media gathering this morning. Expect 16-18 "small" courses for under $200, with either full pairings or a la carte beverage options, plenty of seafood, an open kitchen, 28 seats, and an "interactive and fun" atmosphere where cooks will often step into the dining room to serve patrons. Kwon was most recently the pastry chef at Boka, where she won the 2015 Banchet award for "rising star pastry chef of the year."
Noah Sandoval says the restaurant is named for "something Cara likes," in this case the baseball team from her native Baltimore. The pair say they have a lease but won't disclose the address yet, saying "you'll see" when asked for the reason why. Stay tuned.