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Restaurant News: Eataly Coming To Chicago, La Sirena Clandestina Opens

By Anthony Todd in Food on Oct 16, 2012 4:00PM

Eataly's ricotta and spinach cannelloni. (Photo Credit: Chuck Sudo/Chicagoist)

- The big news: Eataly, Mario Batali's food court extraordinaire, is really-for-real coming to Chicago. They've been teasing us for a long time, and Joseph Bastianich, one of the partners in the venture, told the New York Times yesterday that everything was set. A least will be signed today for the former ESPN Zone space - the cost of the build-out will be approximately $20 million. This provoked some entertaining reactions from foodies. Grubstreet's Mike Gebert commented on the total lack of media contact with anyone in Chicago: "Pro tip to Eataly because we love ya: maybe here on out you wanna tell stuff about Eataly Chicago to, you know, Chicago, not the NYT." Nick Kokonas, owner of Alinea, pointed out that the location might not be as ideal as they think. "I like Eataly in NYC. But how do I go to that location in Chicago?!?! Can't walk or park. Better in a neighborhood here." In any case, we're sure the opening, which is scheduled for September of 2013, will be quite a party.

- La Sirena Clandestina, John Manion's long-awaited new restaurant, opened to a packed house last night. The restaurant is focused on South American cuisine - but don't expect skewers of overcooked meat. Eater has the full menu, which includes dishes like "Moqueca," a fish, mussel and shrimp stew with hearts of palm, Coconut and cilantro risotto, charred baby octopus escabiche and a rotating daily ceviche selection. We'll be in to check it out as soon as possible.

- The Ryan Poli machine just keeps on chugging. Hot on the heels of the still-packed Tavernita, Mercadito Hospitality (the company behind Tavernita and Mercadito) announced that a new restaurant, with Poli at the helm, is coming in early winter. "Little Market Brasserie" will be located in the Talbott Hotel in the Gold Coast. Cocktails will once again be created by the Tippling Brothers. Little has been released about the food, except that it will showcase dishes from around the United States. Tip: Let's try to have at least one Ryan Poli restaurant in which we can have a quiet conversation?