While other food halls loudly announced reopening plans, Politan Row opened last week for outdoor-only dining in the West Loop with six vendors: Perle beer garden, Jewish-Mexican bakery Masa Madre, South Asian spot Wazwan, Asian street food stall Piko Street Kitchen, modern Mexican stall Mari Beez, and Israeli hummus bar LaShuk Street Food.
As in the case of Time Out Market, the enormous Fulton Market food hall that reopens Wednesday with about half its original vendors, Politan’s lineup has somewhat dwindled. Indian street food stall Thattu, a James Beard Best New Restaurant 2020 semifinalist, left the hall this spring and now exists in pop-up form as ownership ponders a possible storefront. Japanese comfort food spot Mom’s has also departed the hall for a new home at Marz Community Brewing. Passion House Coffee Roasters also departed Politan Row.
Speaking of Passion House, the coffee chain’s former chef consultant, Jeremy Leven, is seizing the opportunity provided by the food hall’s vacancies. His new stall, Gold Goose, should open Tuesday, September 1 for patio dining and carryout.
Leven says Gold Goose marks an evolution of his work at coffee shops influenced from the Danish cafes he frequented during a stint in Copenhagen interning at world-famous restaurant Noma. Money was very tight at the time, and sometimes the only decent meal he could get was at a cafe. Now he’s translating that experience, and some of what he learned at the two-Michelin star restaurant, in a tribute to European Old World.
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Tomato Tartine / Pan Tomate - combining the influence of France and Spain, our tomato Tartine features grilled sourdough rubbed with garlic, ripe tomato, olive oil. We top it with a variety of heirloom tomatoes, sea salt, some garden herbs, and squash flowers. Summer on toast. : @l.a_aguilar_ . . . . . #eeeeeats #chicagofoodauthourity #chicago #chicagoeats #eater #eaterchicago #food #cuisine #chicagofood #chicagofoodie #chef #foodie #tomato #tartine #pantomate
The patio launch, which features a limited menu, will run through September 6. By then, Leven hopes to have started offering a full menu via third-party delivery companies including Ritual, Caviar, and Tock. Customers will be able to order online or at a walk-up booth beside the patio, where Leven will be grilling chicken and other items.
Leven plans to start out featuring “stuff on toast” — French tartines and Danish smorrebrod — along with Spanish bocadillos, salads including a melon and prosciutto panzanella (grilled summer melon, prosciutto, tomato, arugula, whipped chevre, tarragon vinaigrette). He’s also eager to feature a botanical-heavy beverage selection in Denmark. He’s working with Chicago-based Spirit Tea to capture flavors of wild botanicals like pineappleweed. One the hall reopens for indoor dine-in service, possibly in a few months, he plans to introduce a full coffee and espresso menu as well. It’s cheffier than Danish cafe chain Joe & the Juice, which first landed in Chicago in 2018.
Gold Goose was originally conceived as a stand-alone cafe, but Leven says that financing disappeared after the pandemic turned the hospitality industry upside down in March. The infrastructure the food hall provides takes the burden of a build out off Leven’s shoulders so he can focus on the menu. “The way things have gone, getting financing on a brick and mortar is such a risky endeavor these days,” he says. “[Politan Row] lets us get our foot in the door and get our food out there. We’re planning to hold ourselves to the same standard we would at any restaurant, in any space.”
Take a look at the menu below before Gold Goose’s debut next week.