The Polenta Bar takes the assembly-line/fast-casual concept and spins it with a fresh Northern Italian twist. The polenta-focused restaurant opens on Thursday at 1002 W. Lake St. It’s a novel idea that looks like a unique meal option in the West Loop, which is slated to be open for lunch and dinner.
Ownership touts their polenta machines that are imported from Lombardia, Italy. The proper machines offer automated stirring for the cornmeal so the polenta comes out perfect. The polenta serves as the base, as diners then pick from eight sauces. The selections include a classic pomodoro and the house specialty (salsa della casa)—a vegetarian sauce with mushrooms. There’s also a spicy diavola made with Milanese sausage. A rotating selection of veggies complete the dishes.
Things are heating up in Camillo's kitchen with our Salsiccia alla Diavola. Soft openings Thursday and Friday for lunch and our official opening day Saturday. Come in and try these local sausages cooked in a spicy tomato sauce and red wine served on top of our polenta. #spicy #polentone #polenta #salsiccia #chicagorestaurantsPosted by The Polenta Bar on Monday, February 20, 2017
The Polenta Bar will have other dishes available, possibly including polenta pizza. It’s a small space with 15 tables plus counter seating at the window with room for about 36 encompassing the seating. Polenta bars have become a popular party idea, with many magazines extolling the uniqueness of hosting your own polenta soiree. Eataly New York had a polenta bar in their food court but this restaurant appears to be the first attempt of such a restaurant in Chicago.
It soft opens on Thursday. Take a look around in the photos and read through the full menu below.