The James Beard Awards took place June 5 at the Lyric Opera House in Chicagoand the city celebrated a couple winners.
Chicago's Damarr Brown, who is chef de cuisine at Hyde Park's Virtue restaurant, was named emerging chef of the year. Also, Tim Flores and Genie Kwon, of the Filipino spot Kasama, won the award for Best Chef: Great Lakes Region. (Among those Flores and Kwon edged was Diana Davila of Chicago restaurant Mi Tocaya Antojería.)
Overall, Rob Rubba of D.C.'s Oyster Oyster was named Outstanding Chef while Philadelphia's Friday Saturday Sunday was named Outstanding Restaurant and Portland's Kann was honored as Best New Restaurant.
Among those appearing were new Chicago Mayor Brandon Johnson and Illinois Gov. JB Pritzker. Eric Adjepong, Esther Choi, Andrew Zimmern and Gail Simmons co-hosted the event.
The awards have been presented in Chicago since 2015 and are set to remain there through 2027, CNN noted.
bar avec steps up
Eight stories above avec River North, One Off Hospitality's ultra-trendy offshoot, bar avec, 640 N. LaSalle St., has now introduced expanded summer hours and all-day dining.
On top of bar avec's existing program of modern Mediterranean fare service now starting at 11:30 a.m. on weekdays and 2 p.m. on weekendsChef de Cuisine Dylan Patel has debuted some lunch-centric offerings, from artisanal sandwiches to summer salads. For example, there are the grilled chicken shawarma sandwich, lamb burger and roasted radish-and-snow pea tabbouleh. However, there are still fan favorites like the hamachi crudo and shawarma fried-chicken thighs (the latter served in a bucket).
Father's Day suggestions
BTW, in case you forgot, Father's Day is next Sunday, June 18. Here are a few restaurant suggestions:
Chicago Cut Steakhouse, 300 N. LaSalle St., has been known as a top-tier steakhouse for some time. Appetizers include lollipop lamb chops, prime-beef sliders, tuna tartare and even "lobsterscargot"Maine lobster-tail pieces in garlic butter with Havarti and crostinis. There are, of course, all types of delicious cuts of meat (including filet mignon) but you'll also find everything else from branding to foot-long Kobe beef hot dogs to free-range chicken to … seasonal vegetable risotto, proving that there's something for everyone. Visit www.chicagocutsteakhouse.com .
If your dad is into grilling and BBQ (and most are, it seems), think about taking him to Bell Heir's BBQ, 704 W. 47th St.
The food is based on the dishes of chef/owner Tyris Bell's own great-grandmother, Luella. Down-home items include the Rib Tip Dinner, served with fries; the Rib Tips and Chicken Combo; the smoked BBQ turkey leg ($17.99); and the buttermilk fried-chicken wings with fries. But addition to items like these, there are also a BBQ brisket cheeseburger, brisket or pulled-pork nachos, and even brisket/pepperoni/sausage pizza. Check out www.bellheirsbbq.com .
The Whale Chicago, 2427 N. Milwaukee Ave., is certainly a different spotone with a gambling theme. It's also a place where someone can purchase a 165-ounce mimosa tower (for $190).
Brunch options include a crab cake Benny, trout schnitzel, pork-and-shrimp grits, a smoked salmon board and a blueberry-muffin iron skillet, with side dishes called "side bets." (BTW, keep in mind that The Whale adds a 20% service charge "to pay employees a fair living wage," per its website.) Check out thewhalechicago.com .
Bistronomic, 840 N. Wabash Ave., has never failed to impress me. This year, it offers "Father's Day with a French Twist." The regular menus will be available on Father's Day and, for dinner, Chef Martial Noguier will put together a special three-course meal for $46/person.
Just a few of the items Bistronomic has on its dinner menu include duck-leg confit; tartare of the day; pasta dishes such as handmade ravioli du jour; Belgium endive salad; bacon-wrapped roasted pork chop; and ahi tuna salad Nicoise. Ohand dessert includes cheesecake, chocolate profiteroles, baked Alaska and more. See www.bistronomic.net/ .
The Dawson, 730 W. Grand Ave., has its own unique items. While chicken-fried lobster, Wisconsin cheese curds and brunch empanadas provide an intriguing start, the fun continues with breakfast poke bowls, shrimp and grits, Nutella-stuffed French toast, satyr scrambles (twice-fried potatoes, multigrain, seasonal jam and butter, along with your choice of ham, salmon or woodland mushroom) and even a bologna sandwich (with dijon, fried egg and American cheese). See the-dawson.com .
Big Jones, 5347 N. Clark St., is an Andersonville spot that specializes in Southern fareand is widely known for its fried chicken. Open seven days a week, Big Jones has weekend brunch offerings like steak and eggs; rhubarb-and-mango French toast; Gumbo Ya-Ya; popovers and buttermilk biscuits; catfish and grits; grilled salmon; creamy cheese grits; the hot-chicken sugar waffle; and even spicy cheese straws. You'll swear you're in Louisianawithout the controversial politics. Visit bigjoneschicago.com .
NOTE: For more restaurant news and opinions, visit future3733.substack.com .