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43 New Chicago Restaurants to Hit This Summer

43 New Chicago Restaurants to Hit This Summer

Don’t miss these new restaurants this summer.

Posited as a creative Mexican restaurant for which “you don’t have to be in the mood for Mexican,” this new project from DineAmic (Siena Tavern, Bar Siena, Prime & Provisions and more) is a vast 200-seater in River North featuring dishes such as grilled scallops with poblano-uni relish, and a Mexican robata-style grill. Opening July. 65 W. Kinzie St.

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Taco Time

Taco Time

This summer, DineAmic Group will transform the 6,000-square-foot space on the corner of Clark and Kinzie streets, formerly BlackFinn Ameripub, into modern Mexican concept Barrio. Helming its kitchen, Top Chef alum Katsuji Tanabe will provide playful twists on Latin American street food in a shared-plate format. And there will be margaritas.

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Q&A with Katsuji Tanabe

Q&A with Katsuji Tanabe

Chicago’s new ‘Top Chef’ talks Mexican food.

If you keep up with “Top Chef,” you probably can’t forget two-time contestant Katsuji Tanabe, the Mexican/Japanese chef known for his Latin kosher fare and snappy comebacks. Now, Tanabe’s getting fired up for his latest project: partnering with Chicago-based DineAmic Group to open Mexican eatery Barrio this summer. We talked to Tanabe about our city’s culinary scene, what we can expect from the new joint and the one thing you’d never guess about “Top Chef” host Padma Lakshmi.

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Chicago’s 10 Most Anticipated Restaurant Openings

Chicago’s 10 Most Anticipated Restaurant Openings

Chicago’s 10 Most Anticipated Spring Restaurant Openings

Already wildly successful with Italian food at Siena Tavern and Bar Siena, and steaks at Prime & Provisions, the DineAmic Group is turning its attention to Mexican food with its newest venture Barrio. Taking over the massive Blackfinn space on the same block as Siena Tavern, Barrio will feature the contemporary handiwork of executive chef Katsuji Tanabe, who blends Mexican, Pan-Latin and American traditions. The menu will offer shareable plates, gluten-free options, organic ingredients and robata-style grill items like grilled diver scallops with poblano uni relish. Designed by Katherine Ingrassia and architect Ryan Nestor, the 6,000-sq.-ft. space will host a sprawling main dining room, an oval-shaped bar, an elevated deck and a private dining area with street views.
65 W. Kinzie St.; late spring

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New and Upcoming Chicago Hot Spots

New and Upcoming Chicago Hot Spots

#1 Barrio

The restaurant group that brought the city Siena Tavern, Prime & Provisions, and more, will open Barrio this summer introducing a creative take on traditional Mexican fare with pan-Latin and American influences. The 6,000-square-foot restaurant will be located in the heart of River North, at the prominent corner of Clark and Kinzie Street. Helmed by Executive Chef Katsuji Tanabe, of Top Cheffame, the restaurant will combine the quality and charm of scratch-made Mexican fare with the vibrancy of a bustling bar and lounge.
The menu will include playful twists on classic Mexican street food as well as American gastropub dishes with a Latin including the Guajillo Glazed Berkshire Pork Belly and Grilled Diver Scallop with poblano-uni relish.

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10 Most Anticipated New Chicago Restaurants

10 Most Anticipated New Chicago Restaurants

#6 Barrio

A concept as unique as “Mexican robata bar” requires an equally eclectic chef, and that’s just what DineAmic Group has in store for its next restaurant. They’re teaming up with another former Top Chef contestant, Katsuji Tanabe, to serve food that draws on several influences. Tanabe—who is half Japanese and half Mexican—is fusing flavors of both cuisines to create items like guajillo-glazed pork belly and grilled diver scallop with poblano-uni relish. The broad menu will also offer a standard variety of Mexican and American dishes complemented with mezcal-based cocktails and slushy-spiked horchata. Look for the restaurant to open in the former BlackFinn AmeriPub space soon.

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Barrio Will Defy Genres

Barrio Will Defy Genres

With Pan-Latin Influences and a Robata Grill, Barrio Will Defy Genres

The food comes from a Top Chef alum whose resume includes a kosher taqueria. From the same Japanese-Mexican chef who conceived the all-kosher taqueria comes Chicago’s first Mexican/pan-Latin (with a touch of American) restaurant with a robata grill. Really. It’s called Barrio (65 W. Kinzie St., River North), and it will open this summer as the latest project from Lucas Stoioff and David Rekhson of DineAmic group. The duo also operates Siena Tavern (which is in the same building as Barrio), Bar Siena, Prime & Provisions, and Public House.

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DineAmic Group’s New River North Restaurant

DineAmic Group’s New River North Restaurant

DineAmic Group is opening a Mexican Restaurant
inside the BlackFinn AmeriPub Space

River North is getting a Mexican restaurant inside the former BlackFinn AmeriPub courtesy of the owners of Siena Tavern. DineAmic Hospitality Group, which took over the space in November, plans on opening Barrio in late spring, according to the Tribune. The restaurant will feature charred meats from a Mexican robata bar.

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