The owners of Bistronomic (the French bistro in Gold Coast) and Troquet (the restaurant inside the Hotel Felix in River North) are opening a restaurant on the ground floor of the remodeled Hotel Essex (née Essex Inn). Grant Park Bistro is another French restaurant from LM Restaurant Group and it’ll serve breakfast, lunch, and dinner. It’s a return to the hotel for LM as the company operated Brasserie by LM from 2012 to 2016 inside the same South Loop building.
The official opening date is April 2 at the corner of 8th Street and Michigan Avenue. It’ll debut with breakfast, according to a spokesperson, before expanding to lunch on April 8 and dinner on April 15.
The owners are promising more modern, communal-style takes on French food. Customers will find grilled meats, fish, and veggies plus an assortment of terrines. The tarte flambée will even be grilled, opposed to the traditional baked preparation. The wines will draw heavy from France’s Loire Valley and Côtes du Rhône regions. They’ll also have French beers. The dining room features seating for 55 and an open kitchen. There’s also a bar with seating for 38. A patio will have a 40-seat capacity on Michigan Avenue.
The hotel will also have a bakery, a spinoff of Vanille, a mini chain with five locations. Petite Vanille will serve pastries, macarons, and slices of cake. Staff will also serve Big Shoulders Coffee and Rishi Tea at the bakery.
The renovations are part of $250 million of work to transform the Essex Inn. It also includes a neighboring 56-floor residential tower, Essex on the Park, next door. And there will be a bar that residents and hotel guests will have shared access to on the fifth and sixth floors. It’s called SX Sky Bar.