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Restaurant News: Balena, Old Town Pour House Open

By Anthony Todd in Food on Mar 14, 2012 3:00PM

2012_1_23PandelPasta.jpg - Balena has finally opened. The new restaurant, open for business as of yesterday, is a collaboration between Chris Pandel's team from The Bristol and the Boka restaurant group. The opening had been pushed back several times, but Grubstreet promises us that it's really, really done this time. GS also has the full menu, which includes treats like Smoked Mackerel with Aioli, Pangrattato and Soft Cooked Egg and a huge variety of house-made pastas. We're already drooling over the Tagliolini Nero wth Crab, Sea Urchin and Chile. If you're a pastry fan, The Bristol's acclaimed pastry chef Amanda Rockman has been working her magic at Balena, whipping up some decadent gelato sundaes. Make reservations now - this one is going to fill up fast.

- Balena's not the only opening to be excited about: Urban Daddy clued us in to the launch of Old Town Pour House, which opened yesterday in the former 33 Club space. It's huge - over 10,000 square feet. In order to serve all of the drinkers who will cram into that warehouse of a bar, they have 120 taps serving 90 different beers on draft. Unfortunately (for some) they also boast monster 103-inch TVs. Maybe we can hide under the bar? Anyway, if you're into the bar scene but want a bit more selection, you should check it out.

- The owner of Franks 'n' Dawgs, Alexander Brunacci, told Chicago Magazine last week that he is opening a new place in May. Hot dog lovers, don't get excited yet - this isn't another outlet of his original spot, it's a whole new place. The Peasantry, opening on Clark Street in may, will serve "gyros made from ingredients like baby octopus, duck, or venison; duck wings prepared in buffalo-wing style; escargots; frog legs; grilled flatbreads; and house-made pastas." We're on board - keep an eye out for more info as it comes in.