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Openings Tue Aug 21 2012
Following quickly after the July announcement that Logan Square's hidden spot turned Michelin-star Bonsoirée, owned by Chef Shin Thompson's, was going to be reopening under Chef Beverly Kim (Aria and Top Chef) and her husband, John Clark (C-House), Bonsoirée is formally announcing that it is opening its doors this Friday under the same name.
Unusual to most restaurant reopens, this one is rumored peaceful, with Thompson leaving as chef but still retaining ownership to seek out a new, modern Asian-American project with chef Jason Paskewitz and Ryan O'Donnell (Gemini Bistro, Rustic House) in the West Loop while Kim and Clark embarked on their dream of owning a restaurant.
The seasonal Korean influenced 12-course menu will focus on small plates and avant-garde techniques and features items such as ember roasted carrots "thai style", cultured coconut, chocolate mint (pictured), and "bone soup" omasum tripe, marrow, caramelized brisket, yellow chive.
The restaurant will have a new look as well from Chicago designer and artist Young Sun Han with a concept that is warm yet tranquil, accented by Shou-Sugi Ban (traditional Japanese Burnt Cedar). And for the nights where the weather permits, forget beer garden, Bonsoiree has a "Fire Zen Garden" - fireside included, of course. The once BYOB will be no longer with the arrival of sommelier, Rachel Lowe (The French Laundry, Sixteen), bringing a beverage program focusing on small batch produced wines and craft beers and cocktails. (However, current byob fans, don't fret, for a $35 corkage fee you can still bring your favorite bottle). Unique to the Logan Square scene, and calling upon the speakeasy craze that has happened upon us, however, Bonsoirée will be pre-sold reservations only. No reservation, no service. (You can, however, call the day of, if Bonsoirée has seats they will accommodate). Bonsoirée claims on its FAQ's page that:
"As a very small restaurant that aspires to the highest levels of service and culinary presentation, it is essential that we know how many guests to expect each night. Having this knowledge allows us to push our limits, both in terms of sourcing unique, premium products and crafting our raw materials into inspired food. We also believe that the ticket system is consistent with our model of hospitality. By purchasing a ticket, you have committed to spend an evening with us. In return, we commit to do our very best to make it unforgettable."
I love the business model as it allows them to plan their menu (and therefore, costs, which is the thorn in every executive chefs side) but this requirement means that the food will have to speak loud and clear. Any shortcomings will send the happy yelpers yelping; curious how this exclusivity pans out. A meal at Bonsoirée will run you $130 (tax and service included) on Sunday-Thursday and $160 Friday-Saturday. Wine and beverage pairings are available for purchase at the restaurant for $70 plus tax and 20% service charge. There are still tickets available for the weekend opening so get them while you can.
2728 W Armitage Ave