On Wednesday, acclaimed longtime chef Michael Taus will open his first restaurant since he closed Zealous more than two years ago. Taus and team have redone the former Prasino Wicker Park space into Taus Authentic in five months, and while the layout is the same, the feel is more of a snug, classy neighborhood restaurant where the Trotter protege intends to offer "the most personal dining experience of his career."
Whereas Prasino's front bar had a clubbier vibe, Taus has made it into a comfortable 50-seat lounge filled with handmade couches and armchairs, two fireplaces and bookshelves. The deep 110-seat main dining room is now separated by half-open walls of barnwood. Suede banquettes and two-top tables line both walls under drawn curtains, giving it an exclusive feel; with thick handcrafted communal tables in the center. Expect the long streetside patio space to be put to good use when the weather turns warm, and Taus says the full menu will be available in every area of the restaurant.
The Division Street strip has seen much change in recent years, as bars populate the area in greater number than ever. But Michael Taus hopes his personal followup to the nearly 20-year-old Zealous will be a neighborhood staple for many years to come.