Mirabell Restaurant’s nearly 40-year run evoked a strain of sentimentality in Chicago, as German restaurants have become scarce in the city. Arthuro Aucaquizpi hopes he can continue to channel those decades of good times as he opens Mirabella Italian Cuisine at 4 p.m. today in the historic space on Addison Street. Aucaquizpi will use his experience accrued at Chicago’s famed Gene & Georgetti, the esteemed, historic Italian steakhouse where he spent 20 years as executive chef.
The opening was originally scheduled for last week, but nearby work from People’s Gas crews intermittently knocked out the restaurant’s gas and water. It disappointed Aucaquizpi, but he and his team knew the importance of making a first impression on diners.
One vowel makes a big difference, as Aucaquizpi is cooking Italian food and revealed his menu in early November. He’s a native Ecuadorian and given his experience at Gene & Georgetti, it’s not that surprising to find a selection of chops on the menu. Aucaquizpi arrived in America in 1992 and it’s been his dream to open his own restaurant.
Mirabell’s beer steins have been replaced with wine glasses. The color schemes have also changed. However, some of the elements from the old German restaurant remain, including the colorful old country wall mural. The taxidermy is gone and chairs have been swapped out.
The owners of Mirabell (the German spot) attempted to salvage the space, emphasizing the bar element and changing names to M Pub before selling to Aucaquizpi. Thus, Mirabella has some big shoes to fill. Find out starting today if the crew is up for the challenge.
Mirabella Italian Cuisine, 3454 W. Addison St., (773) 463-1962, open 4 p.m. to 10 p.m. on Tuesday to Thursday; 4 p.m. to midnight on Saturday; 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. on Sunday. Closed Monday.