CORRECTION: Liva will open on Saturday, November 5. The restaurant mistakenly left its reservation portal open and accepting reservations for Friday, November 4 until late into the afternoon. The story has been updated.
The eagerly anticipated River North restaurant from a pedigreed Chicago chef is on the cusp of a debut inside the cavernous downtown space that houses newish local vintner Chicago Winery. Liva, helmed by executive chef Andrew Graves, opens Saturday, November 5, in the former Zed451 building at 739 N. Clark Street.
Graves is a longtime Chicago chef with a noteworthy list of credentials including three-Michelin-starred Alinea, Next Restaurant, and the Aviary, and at Terra & Vine demonstrated his ability to develop a menu that champions the marriage of food and wine. That experience should serve him well at Liva, which shares its home with a working winery, as well as an event space.
Despite his experience in fine dining, Graves aims to foster a more casual and communal atmosphere at Liva with a selection of contemporary Midwestern fare designed for sharing. These include vegetarian dishes such as ricotta-stuffed ravioli with sweet corn and black trumpet mushrooms; seafood like cast-iron mussels with grilled lemon and shishitos; and meats such as a cherry blossom-cured duck breast in porcini brodo. Especially ravenous patrons can scale up to a 52-ounce dry-aged prime steak Florentine or whole grilled branzino in a saffron broth. There will also be weekend brunch and a late-night menu.
In an effort to emphasize Liva’s lively and group-friendly nature, the team has installed a two-sided fireplace and used playful wallpaper to distinguish among various drinking and dining areas inside the restaurant. Arches placed throughout the space aim to evoke historic Chicago architecture and frame patrons’ view of the cask-laden winery itself from the main dining room. It seats 175 in total between bars, tables, and U-shaped booths upholstered with modern floral prints. An all-season sidewalk patio is also in the works along Clark Street.
Explore Liva and its menu in the photographs below.
Liva at Chicago Winery, 739 N. Clark Street, opening Saturday, November 5