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The Most Anticipated Chicago New Restaurants, Winter 2016

Get psyched for winter's hottest openings.

Imperial Lamian
Imperial Lamian
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With the new year underway, it's time to take a closer look at the restaurants that will be making headlines in the coming months. From long-awaited places to big-name openings, there will be plenty of hotspots to keep you warm during the winter freeze. So check out Eater Chicago's Most Anticipated Winter Opening Report and start marking your calendars because it's shaping up to be another good year.

Bunny The Micro Bakery

Address: 2928 N. Broadway St.
Projected opening: January 22

The oft-delayed bakery from Iliana Regan has set an opening date. She should be delighting guests with pierogi, pastries, doughnuts, breads, jams and more as well as an assortment of beverages. The space will also serve as a popup venue in the evenings to showcase full meals.

[Photo: Marc Much] Marc Much/Eater Chicago

[Photo: Marc Much]

El Che Bar

Address: 845 W. Washington Blvd.
Projected opening: March

The Argentinean restaurant and bar from John Manion is nearing completion. The menu will offer wood-fired cuisine from a custom-built hearth inside of an open kitchen. Expect plenty of smoked, seared, roasted and grilled meats and veggies as well as possible musical acts to help transport diners back to a different place and era.

[Photo: <a href="https://www.facebook.com/elchebarchicago/photos/pb.1483311048653271.-2207520000.1452610842./1483317818652594/?type=3&theater">Facebook</a>]

[Photo: Facebook]

Oriole

Address: 661 W. Walnut St.
Projected opening: Winter

Former Senza chef Noah Sandoval and his wife Cara are getting back into the game with a new restaurant in the West Loop. The couple is teaming up with Jean Banchet award-winning pastry chef Genie Kwon to create a tasting menu-only experience. There's expected to be seafood aplenty and with just 28 seats in the space, it'll be an intimate meal where diners will be able to interact with cooks in the open kitchen.

[Photo courtesy of Oriole]

[Photo courtesy of Oriole]

Roister

Address: 951 W. Fulton Market
Projected opening: Winter

Grant Achatz and Nick Kokonas' new project appears to finally be almost ready for its debut. The experience will be quite different from the pair's previous restaurants and Andrew Brochu is in charge of the food that's being billed as "rustic but refined."  Diners can look forward to a relaxed atmosphere with communal seating, open-hearth cooking and a playlist of loud tunes, which the restaurant is taking submissions for. The crew also plans on dividing the dining room into "a sushi bar-type area, a la carte spaces and tasting menu spaces with the kitchen right in the middle."

[Photo: Ashok Selvam]

[Photo: Ashok Selvam]

The Northman

Address: 4337 N. Lincoln Ave.
Projected opening: February

The city's first long-awaited cider bar is finally (almost) here. Expect the city's largest selection of hard cider, with more than 100 varieties on tap or in bottles and cans. Fountainhead chef Cleetus Friedman will serve French and English bistro-style fare such as cider-braised onion soup with grand cru gruyere as well as escargots with cider butter and goat milk biscuit.

[Photo: Google Streetview]

[Photo: Google Streetview]

Furious Spoon

Address: 2410 N. Milwaukee Ave.
Projected opening: March

Shin Thompson's popular ramen spot is headed to Logan Square. The new location will feature a bar for patrons to hang out at and there are plans to turn the rooftop into a 80-100 seat bar—called "Drunkn' Spoon"—that will serve cheap beer, $6-8 cocktails and yakitori chicken skewers from a charcoal grill.

[Photo: Meghan Keyes/Idea Kitchen]

[Photo: Meghan Keyes/Idea Kitchen]

Imperial Lamian

Address: 6 W. Hubbard St.
Projected opening: Winter

Chicago will be home to the first U.S. concept by Indonesia-based Imperial Group. The kitchen will be led by three chefs, each specializing in either traditional wok dishes, dumplings or hand-pulled noodles. They're promising to serve dishes not found in Chinatown along with a specialty beverage program offering herbal teas and spirits infused with local fruits and herbs. The interior will be inspired by early 20th century Shanghai and house an open kitchen, bar and private lounge.

[Photo: <a href="https://www.facebook.com/ImperialLamianChi/photos/pb.1108694722480941.-2207520000.1452610695./1224532654230480/?type=3&theater">Facebook</a>]

[Photo: Facebook]

Forbidden Root

Address: 1746 W. Chicago Ave.
Projected opening: February

New brewpubs are popping up all over town but Forbidden Root is aiming to separate itself from the pack. The West Town spot, which is located inside the former Hub Theater, will take a scientific, botanical-minded approach by adding a variety of herbs and spices to the brewing process. Twelve beers will rotate on tap while Dan Weiland of the late Francesca's Forno will deliver "elevated bar food."

[Photo: Ashok Selvam]

[Photo: Ashok Selvam]

Flamingo Rum Club

Address: 601 N. Wells St.
Projected opening: Winter

Rum sure won't be in short supply after the new Cuban-inspired restaurant and lounge opens this winter. Restaurateur Phil Stefani and Adolfo Garcia of Pearl Tavern are bringing one of the country's largest rum selections to River North and will treat guests to Afro-Cuban jazz by live bands. The vibe will be further enhanced by a 1940s-1950s Caribbean theme featuring palm tree wallpaper, cement tiles from the Dominican Republic and bartenders sporting pink tuxedos.

[Photo courtesy of Stefani Restaurants]

[Photo courtesy of Stefani Restaurants]

Kimski

Address: 960 W. 31st St.
Projected opening: Early 2016

Patrons of Maria's Packaged Goods & Community Bar will soon have some in-house grub to complement the endless beer list. The forthcoming Korean and Polish street food eatery will be situated right next to the bar and offer a mashup of cuisines from chef Won Kim. Expect Polish sausages with kimchi and Korean mustard, Korean-style potstickers with pierogi fillings, borscht soup specials and more.

[Photo: <a href="https://www.facebook.com/kimskichicago/photos/a.537954879676153.1073741825.537941969677444/574870895984551/?type=3&theater">Facebook</a>]

[Photo: Facebook]

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