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Restaurant News: Tribute Closes, BLT American Brasserie Opens

By Anthony Todd in Food on Dec 6, 2011 5:40PM

We wonder what will happen to the fabulous chandeliers at Tribute, made of film cells from Disney movies.
- Well, Tribute didn't last long. The restaurant, troubled by chef departures since before its opening, has closed after only five months in operation. Initially helmed by Chef Brandon Baltzley (before he left due to drug problems) it was taken over by Chef Lawrence Letrero and then by Chef Jared Case. It veered from a complicated modern menu to a comfort food restaurant, and despite a decent review from Time Out, never really got off the ground. The space, newly refitted, may become another restaurant in the future, but the owners have announced that "Tribute as it stands now will not continue."

- One closes, another opens. One of the more well-publicized restaurant openings of 2011 happened last week, as BLT American Brasserie opened in River North. Helmed (at a distance) by Chef Laurent Tourondel (who was named Bon Appetit's Restauranteur of the Year in 2007), it will be managed locally by Chef de Cuisine Aksel Theilkuhl, a newcomer to the Chicago dining scene. The menu looks delicious and comfortable, if not particularly challenging - but we're happy for any new downtown dining options. 500 W. Superior Street.

- A bit further from the center of things, Yusho opened this week in Logan Square. Grubstreet reported that the restaurant, focused on yakitori-inspired Japanese cuisine, opened quietly last Saturday. The chef, Matthias Merges, spent 14 years as Chef de Cuisine for Charlie Trotter before striking out on his own. The menu, available on Grubstreet, looks absolutely amazing. Before you head out there - it's BYOB at the moment, so grab a bottle of wine. 2853 N. Kedzie.