Former Carnivale chef Rodolfo Cuadros is close to opening Amaru, his first restaurant, in Wicker Park. The new pan Latin restaurant should open next week inside the space the housed Lokal for a decade at 1904 W. North Avenue. Cuadros said he’s hoping to open on Friday, July 12.
Cuadros did much of the work himself, including building a communal table that stands in front of the space’s window. Cuadros said he enjoyed working with his hands. His mother was a seamstress and passed that talent along to her son.
Dishes include a ceviche of the day, a yuca gnocchi, and pollo al carbon. The latter is marinated for the three days. Central and South American restaurants are trendy in Chicago this spring, including Stephanie Izard’s Cabra inside the Hoxton Hotel in Fulton Market. Amaru isn’t a rooftop restaurant. Being a smaller operation is helpful, as the kitchen can take concentrate on little touches. For example, ceviche will use fresh lime juice that’s squeezed per order instead of using juice that was harvested in the morning.
Cuadros grew up in Cali, Colombia, and moved to New Jersey with his family as an adolescent. He spent five years at Carnivale.
Stay tuned for more news as the project moves forward.