—The owner of Andersonville sandwich shop Piatto Pronto is under fire for wearing a T-shirt with the phrase "I Can Breathe, I Obey the Law," which apparently references the NYPD chokehold killing of Eric Garner, Chicagoist reports. Mike, the owner, vehemently apologized, says he "wasn't thinking" about Garner and says he is black, but that hasn't stopped the outrage on social media.
—Alpana Singh is exploring opening a restaurant in Evanston. The Boarding House and Seven Lions owner put out a Craigslist ad last week looking for a chef for a new restaurant featuring wood-fired cuisine, but says her group is "still working on the details" and "nothing is finalized as of yet." Stay tuned.
—Noah Sandoval's Oriole continues to come together, as he has added an accomplished sommelier to the team. Aaron McManus, most recently of Intro and L20, has joined the former Senza chef's party, the Tribune first reported, and he's working on two pairings for the tasting menu that will have a "strong focus on white wines, with old world and global influences." The restaurant is slated to open this spring.
—Dive bars continue to dwindle in Chicago, as another longtime watering hole has gone away due to a real estate development deal. South Loop dive George's Lounge (646 S. Wabash) shuttered last week, DNAinfo reports, to be replaced by a 16-story residential high rise.
—Eataly locations around the globe, including Chicago, are celebrating its nine-year anniversary with a flurry of deals, including $9 entrees, $5 glasses of wine, and many retail discounts.
—Tickets for the Jean Banchet Awards for Culinary Excellence are still available here. Chicago's top restaurant and chef awards take place on Sunday in the South Loop.