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Barry Brecheisen/Eater Chicago

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Fulton Market’s New Napa-Style Restaurant Shows a Rustic Side of California Dining

Lettuce Entertain You Enterprises channels West Coast wine country at the Oakville Grill & Cellar

The Oakville Grill & Cellar, a new restaurant from Lettuce Entertain You Enterprises designed to evoke the effortless ease of Napa Valley dining, opened Monday, April 24 at 167 Green Street in Fulton Market. The latest spot from Chicago’s largest hospitality group, helmed by chef and ex-Land & Sea Dept. culinary director Max Robbins, embraces escapism and aims to transport Chicagoans to Northern California with crowd-pleasing dishes, a tasting menu, and pairings from a rotating winery-of-the-month.

A counterpoint to Summer House Santa Monica, LEYE’s bright and breezy SoCal-inspired spot in Lincoln Park, Oakville highlights a different side of Golden State style. Drawing on the bucolic charm of Napa’s vineyards and tasting rooms, the group’s in-house design team softens the 200-seat ground-floor dining room and bar with natural wood and plant life. An imposing staircase leads patrons up to a second-floor space that houses a bi-level glass wine cellar as well as a year-round terrace and bar that seats 80. When the weather allows for outdoor dining, the team will add 40 more spots on a patio.

A shot from above of a large dining room.
The Oakville Grill & Cellar seats 200 on the ground floor alone.
Faroe Island salmon (Janie’s Mill grits, barbecue glaze, charred ramps).

In May, those who’d rather opt for intimacy can try the Cellar Door, Oakville’s private six-seat tasting room where wine director Richard Hanauer (a LEYE partner with its RPM division) aims to replicate California vineyard wine tastings. He’ll feature a lineup of five pours from a roster of vintners that changes each month, as well as small dishes designed to pair with the wines.

Robbins' menu is attended to customer comfort, offering familiar proteins like Faroe Island salmon and mushroom eggplant ragout alongside dry-aged steak burgers and pork chops cooked on a white oak-fueled grill. Salads are plentiful, with selections such as the St. Helena Vegetable Market (Werp Farm greens, artichoke, peppers, avocado, lemon yogurt), as are classics like crispy fried chicken served with a bottle of pepper vinegar. For dessert, pastry chef Clair Smyth (Honey’s) tempts patrons with a tropical banana split, warm wild berry cobbler, and peanut butter pie with caramel ganache.

A staircase leading from the ground to a second floor.
Stone, wood, and neutral tones create a West Coast atmosphere.
A second-floor dining room with floor-to-ceiling windows.
Floor-to-ceiling windows fill the restaurant with light.
An outdoor restaurant patio.
A Napa theme demands al fresco dining.

Chicagoans in the know may recognize the building where Oakville made its home. Ahead of its opening, the new construction on Green Street was featured in a promotional video starring the Chicago Bulls’ Zach LaVine (a candy fan who previously partnered with Foxtrot) and Justin Bieber playing basketball on the structure’s 17th-floor convertible court. That floor will also serve as a corporate and private event space for LEYE.

Explore Fulton Market’s new tribute to Napa Valley in the photographs below.

The Oakville Grill & Cellar, 167 Green Street, Open 3 p.m. to 10 p.m. Sunday through Thursday; 3 p.m. to 11 p.m. Friday and Saturday.

A tiny six-seat bar.
The Cellar Door will open in May.
A tiny six-seat bar.
This is where director Richard Hanauer will host special one-hour tastings.
A section of a dining room with booths.
The Oakville wants to whisk patrons to Napa Valley, if only just for the evening.
A second-floor dining room with an enormous glass wine cellar.
A two-story glass wine cellar offers striking form and function.
A square bar inside a dining room.
There’s a California-only list of more than 750 wines by the glass and bottle.
Fried chicken (Napa Valley potato salad, pepper vinegar).
Wagyu hanger steak (roasted pepper, aged balsamic).
The Oakville peanut butter pie (caramel ganache, chocolate cookie crust, whipped cream).
A small second-floor bar.
A tight cocktail menu accompanies the vast wine selection.
Sonoma Sour (Redwood Empire rye, red grape, Aston Pinot Noir).
1996 Spritzer (Round Pond sauvignon blanc, vodka, elderflower, fennel, limonata).
A section of a second-floor dining room.
It’s not the same as back to Cali, but it may come close.

The Oakville Grill & Cellar

163 North Green Street, , IL 60607 (773) 309-2300 Visit Website

Lettuce Entertain You

5419 N Sheridan Rd, Chicago, IL 60640 (773) 878-7340
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