— Yes, it’s true: Bon Appétit has named Chicago its 2017 “Restaurant City of the Year.” There’s a heavy dose of Logan Square mentioned in the story with Giant, Fat Rice, Mi Tocaya Antojería, and Lula Cafe grabbing some pub. Chicago must have gotten really good in the last year, as the magazine omitted the city from its top 10 list of “Best New Restaurants” in 2016 — their 2017 top 10 is released next week. Elske, one of Eater National’s “Best New Restaurants of Year,” also gets some love for Anna Posey’s desserts, as does Young Gun winner David Park, the mastermind behind Hanbun in suburban Westmont.
— The more things change in Wrigleyville, thanks to the Ricketts family’s redevelopment plans around The Friendly Confines, the more they same the same. Stop at Nisei Lounge for a peek at its Malört Wall. A 100-bottle force where patrons can leave tasting notes on cocktail napkins. Jeppson’s Malört is the notorious bitter liquor that scares Chicago’s tourists and provides credibility for natives. Chicagoist asks how long will the wall last?
— Parker Restaurant Group — Hampton Social, Mahalo, and Bassment — has named a new corporate chef. Ivy Stark steps into the role. She worked at Dos Caminos in New York City. Stark will oversee the menus at those three locations as well the upcoming Hampton Socials in Streeterville and suburban Burr Ridge.
— A pair of Parachute alums have launched a pop-up series called “Hungry as F*ck.” Kelly Ijichi and Amy Lecza described their pop-ups as “as a way to put all the ridiculous food ideas we have out there and let people taste them.” Their next event is on Sunday, Aug. 13 at Kimski. It’s a Hawaiian-themed brunch from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. There’s no reservations or tickets. Check out their Instagram for updates. As far as ridiculous, check out their fried Spam musabi:
— Katana is red hot in River North, and former Bulls star (he was traded earlier this year to Minnesota) Jimmy Butler really, really likes the Hollywood import. After attending the VIP opening party last week for the sceney Japanese restaurant, Butler — in a goodwill gesture — took a group of about 35 Bulls employees to dinner on Sunday night. The Tribune reported that it was to say good-bye and thank you to team’s support staff. The dinner reportedly lasted for three hours.