A look back at 2014 restaurant openings in Chicago

This little gem showed up in my inbox and I had to share it. If you're looking to head out to a new spot over the holidays or know a foodie who would LOVE a gift card to a hot new spot, here's a few new places to put on your list.

A Look Back at Chicago’s Best Restaurant Openings in 2014

As one of the top dining cities in the U.S., Chicago has been blessed with the best chefs and restaurants and 2014 was a year to remember with several great restaurants joining the scene.  Including cozy neighborhood destinations, a Michigan Avenue transformation, and two celebrity chef hot spots, here’s a year in review of the Windy City’s newest dining spots in 2014:
18 S. Michigan Avenue
(312) 372-4001
Opening Date: August 2014
Locals and visitors welcomed Billy Lawless’ transformation of Henri to the more casual and cozy Acanto with open arms. Critics and diners fell in love with Executive Chef Chris Gawronski’s interesting Italian creations, including the Suckling Pig times Three (pork three ways, as garlic-infused sausage (cotechino), milk-braised belly and roasted skin-on loin), and Duck Egg Spaghetti. Complemented by Beverage Director Jon McDaniel’s extensive list of Italian wines, Acanto has become a central meeting place for those who love Italian food and an approachable, inviting dining experience. It is a must-do for visitors taking in Chicago’s nearby attractions, while locals have reason to return time and time again for get-togethers of all kinds – from bites and drinks at the bar to light lunches and hearty dinners for social, business and pre-theater gatherings. With glowing reviews in CS Magazine, Chicago Tribune, RedEye, and recently named one of Chicagoist’s 18 best new restaurants of 2014, Acanto is an exciting addition to Chicago’s Italian dining scene.
Ceres’ Table
3124 N Broadway St.
(773) 922-4020
Opening Date: May 2014
In May 2014, Ceres’ Table opened in Chicago’s bustling East Lakeview neighborhood. Chef Giuseppe Scurato, who introduced Ceres’ Table in Chicago’s Uptown neighborhood in 2009, joined forces with All Day Hospitality’s Caryn Struif, a Chicago restaurant veteran, to expand upon the successful concept that earned four Bib Gourmand awards from the esteemed Michelin Guide. This past year, Ceres’ Table was honored with its fifth Bib Gourmand award at its new location.

The restaurant features regional, Italian-inspired seasonal plates that pay homage to Chef Scurato’s Sicilian heritage. In the new, larger space, Chef Scurato has expanded the menu to feature new offerings, including homemade pizzas (one of Time Out Chicago’s Best Dishes of 2014) cooked to perfection in a newly installed wood-burning oven that sits at the heart of the restaurant.
Chicken Shop
113-125 N. Green Street
(312) 754-6941
Opening Date: August 2014
Chicken Shop serves up free-range birds, which are marinated overnight, steamed and then cooked over charcoal on a special rotisserie. Taking inspiration from 1950s American general stores, guests enjoy a fun, casual setting while indulging in a rare taste of rotisserie in Chicago. Guests can also enjoy the Dirty Burger, an extension of the Group's popular "burger joint" concept that originated in London, which features a house-made patty based on an original recipe specially crafted by Nick Jones and his chef team. Dirty Burger complements Chicken Shop’s concept, which is rooted in a simple menu with a focus on high quality, seasonal ingredients and tasty accompaniments. Chicken Shop serves dinner Monday through Sunday and brunch on weekends, where guests can enjoy the popular Fried Chicken and Waffles. Chicken Shop has been featured on Chicago magazine’s October 2014 Hot List and Zagat named it one of “The 15 Hottest Brunches in Chicago” and one of “Chicago’s 10 Hottest New Restaurants.”
CURRENT Restaurant 
644 N. Lake Shore Drive
(312) 255-4460
Opening Date: May 2014
Cornerstone Restaurant Group opened CURRENT Restaurant, a social, Italian-inspired restaurant with Executive Chef Gregory Elliott at the helm, in the W Chicago-Lakeshore in May 2014. True to its name, the menus at CURRENT feature a fresh, modern take on seasonal Italian cuisine showcasing Chef Elliott’s simple and soulful ingredient-driven dishes. Once guests enter into CURRENT's lively and inviting space, they notice interesting design details inspired by the restaurant’s prime location situated between sprawling Lake Michigan and the stunning Chicago skyline with the use of cool tones and highly reflective polished chrome mixed with earthy stone and silver-washed wood. When it comes to the cuisine, Chef Elliott serves seasonal, Italian-influenced flavors with a modern twist morning, noon and night.
Grillhouse By David Burke 
1301 American Lane, Schaumburg, IL 60173
(847) 517-1600
Opening Date: October 2014
Grillhouse by David Burke is serving modern American fare with a farm-to-table focus in the Northwest Chicago suburb of Schaumburg, continuing the James Beard Award Winner and Bravo Top Chef Master Contestant's long reputation for sourcing and utilizing the highest quality ingredients and preparing completely unique American dishes. At the new 22,000 square-foot, 450-seat grillhouse, guests can expect the same caliber of dining experience as Chef David Burke's award-winning downtown restaurant.
Pizza East
113-125 N. Green Street
(312) 754-6920
Opening Date: August 2014
Pizza East serves rustic pizzas made from traditional, seasonal ingredients. A ciabatta style, slow-proved dough is handmade in house every day, fired up in wood-burning ovens with an array of natural ingredients as toppers. An open layout provides a firsthand view of the hustle and bustle of the kitchen while the expansive sidewalk patio offers an al fresco dining option in season. The restaurant is open for lunch, dinner, and brunch on weekends. Top accolades since opening include Chicago magazine's October 2014 Hot List and Zagat named it one of “Chicago’s 10 Hottest New Restaurants” and one of "8 Hottest New Italian Restaurants in Chicago.”
River Roast
315 N. LaSalle St.
(312) 822-0100
Opening Date: July 2014
With a prime location overlooking the Chicago River, River Roast offers dramatic city and water views from every seat – inside and out – along with cuisine by Chef/Operating Partner Tony Mantuano and Executive Chef John Hogan.  A menu of contemporary American fare features meat, fish and veggies roasted to perfection and carved tableside as well as playful yet rustic small plates, sides, desserts and more.  Inventive drinks and cold-brewed cocktails, unbeatable craft beers and a well-crafted wine selection round out the experience.  On Sundays, River Roast welcomes live blues by famed local musicians with the Blues & Brews Brunch program.  With one of the best patios in the city, River Roast is a gathering place to connect for every occasion.  River Roast is open for lunch, dinner and weekend brunch.

Since opening, River Roast has been included on Chicago magazine's The Hot List, received 2 stars by Chicago Tribune Dining Critic Phil Vettel, named a new restaurant to try by Zagat, best brunch in Chicago by PureWow, received a positive review by Crain's Chicago Business and more.
Ten Mile House
1700 Central Street
Evanston, IL 60201
(847) 905-0669
Opening Date: November 17, 2014
A social hub for the thriving Evanston community, Ten Mile House serves thoughtful comfort food and beverages in a vibrant, welcoming setting. Located in the heart of Evanston’s Central Street district, just steps from Northwestern University’s Ryan Field, Ten Mile House serves an extensive menu featuring wood fired pizza, smoked meats and a diverse selection of comfort food classics and healthy fare. The restaurant continues the tradition of hospitality of the community’s original Ten Mile House, which was founded in 1836 by Major Edward H. Mulford and served as the social and economic center of Chicago’s growing North Shore. Brunch service is slated to begin in 2015.
The Allis 
113-125 N. Green Street
(312) 521-8000
Opening Date: August 2014
The Allis is an expansive lounge area perfectly suited for those seeking an idyllic space for popping open their laptop, meetings, social get-togethers, pre- or post-dinner cocktails and more. Open to the public, guests enjoy offerings that evolve throughout the day — with gourmet coffee, cold pressed juices and an array of house made pastries in the morning; salads, sandwiches, and afternoon tea by day; and delectable snacks and cocktails by night. Offering both members and nonmembers the chance to enjoy the Soho House experience, The Allis was designed to exude the Soho House look and feel - velvet and tufted leather couches and chairs, vintage chandeliers from Paris, Tiffany-style lamps, custom bookcases and a stunning array of artwork by internationally-renowned talent. The space is aptly named after the Allis family who owned the Chicago Belting Factory. The name "Allis Building" is also inscribed above the building’s front entranceway. The Allis serves breakfast, lunch afternoon tea, small plates and wine, beer and cocktails. Top accolades since opening include:
  • Chicago magazine's October 2014 Liquid Hot List
  • Chicagoist’s "Best New Bars" 2014
  • Eater "Drink Heatmap" 2014
  • Tasting Table's "Best New Bars" 2014
Unite Urban Grill
1450 W. Chicago Avenue
Chicago, IL 60642
(312) 455-8900
Opening Date: November 2013
A neighborhood restaurant, Unite Urban Grill serves seasonally inspired, modern comfort fare. Located in the heart of Chicago’s West Town, the restaurant serves a diverse menu in a contemporary dining space. The menu is designed to fit a variety of tastes and includes grilled steaks, seafood, shareable snacks, and an assortment of vegetable-focused items.

Information provided by Isabelli Media Relations.


  1. I am also a big fan of Chicago restaurants due to their unique menus and that is good news that you want to open your restaurant in Chicago. I will definitely visit your place to get the opportunity of having delicious food with my friends or family.


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