UPDATE: The restaurant submitted a new menu Wednesday afternoon that swapped lobster nuggets for seafood fritters. Revised story follows.
The menu at Flora Fauna, a new River North restaurant opening tonight, is a unique blend of Latin American, Asian, and Caribbean cuisines. The offerings include jerk pork shank fried rice, seafood fritters with a curry inspired by Kerala in South India; and a variety of hot pots that mix Chinese, Mexican, and European ingredients. Diners are in store for something different when the restaurant debuts at 11 W. Illinois Street.
Liz Pearce and Jonathan Meyer’s global travels inspired them to open their new restaurant inside the former Bohemian House space. Chef Meyer has created new dishes inspired by other cultures. For example, the idea behind the hot pots is to take a traditionally Chinese dish and serve it in a stone Mexican molcajete.
Vegetarians will find plenty to eat as the menu is divided into four sections. The “flora” contains items like braised jackfruit dan dan with noodles made of papaya as well as elote cakes. The “fauna” section includes small plates with meat like seared octopus and a tamarind-glazed turkey wing. The center section features robust dishes like a blackstrap glazed duck breast and a spicy chicken sandwich. Hot pots round out the menu.
Pearce, one of the city’s top bartenders, is known for her work at Green Door Tavern and Drifter in River North. She’s created five signature drinks including a Midori celery sour slushy. Customers can customize their drinks with the “build your own adventure” where they pick a base drink (whisky sour, mule, mojito, gin and tonic, margarita) and a flavor (banana mango turmeric, raspberry cucumber aloe, salted guava, tangerine grapefruit Campari, pineapple passionfruit, habanero).
Check out the menu below. Flora Fauna opens tonight.