Lettuce Entertain You Enterprises has recently opened a few restaurants in Fulton Market, but Chicago’s largest restaurant group has hardly forgotten its River North base. Tonight, the Melmans open Bar Ramone, the company’s first wine bar. They’ve taken over the former Bottlefork space and will serve small bites from LEYE partner/chef Doug Psaltis (RPM) and chef Hisanobu Osaka (Japonais, Intro Chicago).
It’s a Spanish-heavy menu with skewered pintxos, jamon, cheeses, and seafood. The snacks are meant to pair with the wine, but diners could build a meal, especially with a 12-ounce beef ribeye as the heartiest item on the menu.
The wine list, put together by Ryan Arnold and Richard Hanauer, is deep. The priciest bottle is a 2015 pinot noir from Domaine de la Romanée-Conti that costs $995. Wines from the French vineyard are difficult to find, leaving collectors running to auctions to purchase older vintages. More affordable bottles are also available, so novice drinkers shouldn’t be too intimidated.
The space’s layout remains the same, with the bar remaining intact. They’ve lightened the place by removing the dark woods. The space appears a little wider than the predecessor. It’s first come, first serve.
Walk through the bar and glance at the menus below. Hey ho, let’s go: Bar Ramone opens tonight.
Bar Ramone, 441 N. Clark Street, open 4 p.m. to 11 p.m. on Monday through Thursday; 4 p.m. to midnight on Friday and Saturday; 4 p.m. to 10 p.m. on Sunday.