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News Fri Mar 07 2008

Better Than Room Service

This week, a landmark Chicago hotel and a former Chicago hotel both get some time in the spotlight for their new dining options. Yesterday's Trib Tempo section trotted out a long Phil Vettel review of Lockwood, the new restaurant at the Palmer House Hilton (which had arguably been without fine dining even before Trader Vic's closed shop). While some have cited rocky service as a potential downfall at chef Phillip Voss's new establishment, the mid-century-style decadence and playful menu have others, particularly the other Phil, eating it up.

Just a bit further down Michigan Avenue, The Blackstone (Blackstone Hotel? Whatever it's called, it was a hotel, now it's condos. Let's move on) has also gotten a new kitchen crew with the opening of Mercat a la Planxa, a new tapas joint from Chicago-born, Philly-tried chef Jose Garces. The Mercat website (beware, annoying music) touts Garces style as "mod-Mediterranean" which sounds fun, and the grill-heavy menu sounds delicious. Tapas is something of a crowded market in Chicago, but the Southish Loop could benefit from a few more options, and some are already heralding Mercat's success. Mercat opens tomorrow, March 8.

Rob Potter / March 10, 2008 7:43 AM

You must check out Mercat a la Planxa! It is a world away from other Tapas restaurants in Chicago! The food amazing! The atmosphere is electrifying!

Just one correction; The Blackstone Hotel is actually a Marriott Rennaisance hotel, not condos.

morris huntley / March 10, 2008 2:18 PM

Had dinner last night. Mercat is the gold standard for tapas as well as service.Look out chicago

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Beer Tue Mar 25 2014

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By Brandy Gonsoulin

Jesse Valenciana knew what he wanted his mole-inspired stout to taste like, but he was a cook and home brewer, not a professional brewmaster. The co-founder of ManBQue, the local men's grilling and social club, and recent author needed a...
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Wed Apr 16 2014
Soup & Bread @ The Hideout

Wed Apr 16 2014
Baconfest Master Class @ Whole Foods - Lincoln Park

Thu Apr 17 2014
Culinary Fight Club @ Zella

Sat Apr 19 2014
The Greenhorns @ Beans & Bagels


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Drive-Thru is the food and drink section of Gapers Block, covering the city's vibrant dining, drinking and cooking scene. More...
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Editor: Robyn Nisi, rn@gapersblock.com
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