—Sarah Grueneberg (Spiaggia) is oh-so-close to unveiling her first restaurant, Monteverde. Exterior signage is up (pictured), a valet stand has appeared on the sidewalk, and despite paper still covering the windows, a sign on the door says the highly-anticipated Italian restaurant is "closed for a private event," signifying that friends and family dinners are underway. There's no concrete opening date yet, but expect it very soon.
—Spot On Group—the people behind clubby bottle-service spots Cuvee and SHAY—are in the neighborhood bar biz after purchasing longtime River North watering hole Clark Street Ale House. According to a release, they plan to "celebrate the traditions the River North staple has created and maintain the charm of the long-standing concept," and are considering adding a food program.
—Michael Symon is the latest to pile on against deep dish. The celeb chef unleashed a stream of tweets suggesting ways to describe the Chicago treat other than pizza that was first noticed by the Tribune, including "good luck fountain," "volcano," and "hot tub pie machine."
—The folks behind Saigon Sisters are also close to opening their next restaurant, Bang Chop Thai Kitchen at 605 W. Lake. A preview dinner is set for Nov. 17 but the official opening date isn't available yet.
—Venerable Chicago brand Eli's Cheesecake is releasing its first cookbook on Dec. 1. The Eli's Cheesecake Cookbook: Remarkable Recipes from a Chicago Legend from Agate Publishing includes 10 recipes from Eli's restaurant, 20 cheesecake recipes, and recipes for crusts and toppings.
—Want to own the long-shuttered cult-favorite Logan Square bar/dance hall Bonny's? The space at 2417 N. Milwaukee Ave. finally appeared on the real estate market for a cool $650K, according to Curbed. If you don't want to shell out the dough you can still head to Slippery Slope.