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The Most Anticipated Chicago New Restaurants, Summer 2016

They're going to be scorchers

Revival Food Hall
Revival Food Hall
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Summer's here and we know you're looking forward to the hottest openings of the season. Discover where you'll be hanging out in the next few months with a guide to 15 of the most buzzed-about restaurants and bars set to debut.

Photo courtesy of Honey's

[Photo courtesy of Honey's]

Honey's
Address: 1111 W. Lake St.
Projected opening: Today
The West Loop is definitely not lacking in coming attractions but Honey's might have the highest aspirations. The 100-seat restaurant is divided between a laid-back bar area and a separate, sophisticated dining room. Executive chef and Sepia veteran Charles Welch told Chicago Mag the kitchen wants to "push for a Michelin star," but promises it'll be a neighborhood place with "dishes that people crave." Expect a raw seafood bar, wood-fired rotisserie grilling and simple cocktails that highlight the base spirit.

[Photo: <a href="https://www.facebook.com/animalechicago">Facebook</a>]

[Photo: Facebook]

Animale
Address: 1904 N. Western Ave.
Projected opening: June 8
Fast-casual concepts are on the rise and the team behind Osteria Langhe is getting in on the action. Owner Aldo Zaninotto and chef Cameron Grant are opening a counter-service eatery in Logan Square that will offer Italian classics and street food. The menu will be broken into four sections including pastas, panini sandwiches and other items such as rabbit livers and bacon-wrapped sweetbreads.

[Photo: <a href="http://galdones.com">Galdones Photography</a>]

[Photo: Galdones Photography]

Giant
Address: 3209 W. Armitage Ave.
Projected opening: June
It was a huge shock to the city's culinary scene when Jason Vincent stepped away from the kitchen two years ago. Now, the former Nightwood chef is ready to start cooking again at his new Logan Square restaurant. Despite the name, the space is small and will seat around 40 guests along with a backyard patio. The menu will comprise of an assortment of small, medium and large plates focused on seasonal ingredients as well as a housemade pasta program.

[Photo: <a href="https://www.facebook.com/smythchicago">Facebook</a>]

[Photo: Facebook]

Smyth & The Loyalist
Address: 125 N. Ada St.
Projected opening: July
Charlie Trotter's alums John and Karen Urie Shields are returning to Chicago in a big way. The couple, whose previous stint in the Virginia countryside garnered national accolades, is opening an ambitious, two-pronged project. Upstairs at Smyth, guests will be treated to a fine dining, tasting menu experience while the lower floor, The Loyalist, will be a more casual and approachable spot for drinks and bites.

[Photo courtesy of El Che Bar]

[Photo courtesy of El Che Bar]

El Che Bar
Address: 845 W. Washington Blvd.
Projected opening: Summer
It's been a long time coming but John Manion's second restaurant will soon be firing on all cylinders in the West Loop. The Argentinean spot is inspired by Manion's travels and will have a ten-foot hearth as its focal point, reflecting the growing trend of open-fire cooking. Look for plenty of roasted meats, grilled seafood and smoked veggies to be complemented by beverage director Bill Anderson's drinks. Those will feature South American spirits and incorporate elements of smoke, ash and fire.

[Photo: <a href="https://twitter.com/GTprimechicago/status/706124328090271744">Twitter</a>]

[Photo: Twitter]

GT Prime
Address: 707 N. Wells St.
Projected opening: August
The next project from the Boka Group is a meat-centric follow-up to the hugely successful GT Fish & Oyster. Unlike last year's steakhouse, Swift & SonsGiuseppe Tentori will instead go lighter by serving small plates of prime steak, available in several-sized cuts, and unique meats such as rabbit and bison.

[Photo: Anjali Pinto]

Ēma
Address: 74 W. Illinois St.
Projected opening: Early summer
C.J. Jacobson arrived in Chicago last year at rotating chef-concept Intro and delivered an exciting mix of Californian and Midwestern flavors. Inspired by his stint, the Top Chef is teaming up with Lettuce Entertain You again on a new restaurant. They'll open Ēma inside the Hyatt Place this summer, offering Mediterranean small plates, rotisserie meats, salads and a full bar and wine list that channels the region.

[Photo courtesy of the Conrad Chicago]

[Photo courtesy of Conrad Chicago]

Noyane/Baptiste & Bottle/Il Tavolino
Address: 101 E. Erie St.
Projected opening: August
No summer season would be complete without a new rooftop to lounge on. When the Conrad Chicago opens in August, it'll have that and two other concepts for guests to enjoy. Renowned chef Richard Sandoval is leading the way and the hotel's rooftop experience, called Noyane, will offer contemporary Japanese cuisine such as sushi, sashimi, sakes and top-shelf cocktails. On the 20th floor, Baptiste & Bottle will feature a bourbon-focused bar program alongside classic American fare while the ground floor restaurant, Il Tavolino, will be a street-side Italian cafe serving panini, pastries, pizzas and more all day long. There's a lot going on but with an eclectic trifecta of whiskey, sushi and pasta, everyone should be able to find something to like.

[Illustrations courtesy of  Blue Star Properties]

[Illustration courtesy of Blue Star Properties]

Revival Food Hall

Address: 125 S. Clark St.
Projected opening: July
Lunch in the Loop is about to get a whole lot better. This 24,000-square-foot project from 16" On Center (Dusek'sLongman & Eagle) is the latest food hall to pop up downtown and there's some serious culinary talent already on board. Fifteen fast-casual stalls—including Antique TacoFurious Spoon and a Table, Donkey and Stick outpost named Danke—will feed hungry patrons while a full-service bar and a coffee shop will offer places to unwind or get some work done.

[Photo: Google Streetview]

[Photo: Google Streetview]

Bad Hunter
Address: 802 W. Randolph St.
Projected opening: June
Randolph Row is getting a vegetable-friendly restaurant this summer courtesy of Heisler Hospitality. It'll be located right next door to the group's popular drinking hole, Lone Wolf, and center around executive chef Dan Snowden's seasonal and earthy dishes. Carnivores fear not, though, as there will still be some meat on the menu. A majority of the cooking will be done on a wood grill while the space evokes an English garden for guests to sip sessionable, low-alcohol cocktails.

[Photo: Iliana Regan]

[Photo: Iliana Regan]

Kitsune
Address: 4229 N. Lincoln Ave.
Projected opening: August
There was much sadness when Iliana Regan’s bakery Bunny suddenly shuttered just a few months in, but she’s bouncing back quickly with a new Japanese spot. It’ll be a pub concept with lots of local brews and sakes that pair with Japanese snacks, a couple of varieties of ramen and Regan’s popular sweets.

[Photo: Barry Brecheisen]

[Photo: Barry Brecheisen]

Dixie
Address: 1952 N. Damen Ave.
Projected opening: Summer
Southern cuisine in Chicago is about to get a welcome addition with pitmaster Charlie McKenna's new restaurant inside the Takashi space. The Lillie's Q owner is branching out from barbecue and instead focusing on small plates of veggies, rice and seafood. But that's not all as the property will also include a bourbon-based cocktail bar called 1952½, its name a nod to the address.

[Photo: <a href="https://www.dnainfo.com/chicago/20160420/bridgeport/pleasant-house-bakery-closing-bridgeport-location-report">dnainfo/Stephanie Lulay</a>]

[Photo: dnainfo/Stephanie Lulay]

Pleasant House Pub
Address: 2119 S. Halsted St. 
Projected opening: June
One of Bridgeport's most beloved spots has found a new home in the former Nightwood space. This new iteration will offer everything the original was known for—from savory royal pies to daily specials such as fish fries and burgers—with the added bonus of alcohol. The beer will be brewed by forthcoming Whiner Beer and drawn from traditional English beer engines, reports the Tribune.

[Photo: Ashok Selvam]

[Photo: Ashok Selvam]

Blue Door Kitchen
Address: 52 W. Elm St.
Projected opening: June
Art Smith's Table Fifty-Two closed at the end of last year to revamp itself as a "farm-to family" concept. The restaurant, which gets its name from an Indiana farm, will provide locally-sourced, seasonal dishes alongside "Garden to Glass" cocktails. The elegant interior is also receiving a face lift to create a bright, airy atmosphere that's in line with the cuisine.

[Photo courtesy of Coda Di Volpe]

[Photo courtesy of Coda Di Volpe]

Coda Di Volpe
Address: 3335 N. Southport Ave
Projected opening: Summer
Chicagoans (or restaurateurs) seem to have a never-ending love for Italian cuisine so Billy Lawless and Ryan O'Donnell are bringing more Neapolitan pizzas and pastas to Lakeview. Chris Thompson, who previously worked at San Francisco's famed A16 and Spruce, will helm the kitchen and cook southern Italian specialties as well as cure meats onsite. Clint Rogers and Jon McDaniel will curate the beverage program, which aims to consist mostly of wine varietals from the region.

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