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New Caviar Bar, Heritage, Is Coming To Humboldt Park

By Anthony Todd in Food on Jul 10, 2017 6:09PM

Caviar service at Heritage.

"My family is Czech, and I grew up on the South Side, 55th and Kedzie, so we grew up with all the good stuff: fresh bread, a butcher on the block, great ingredients," says Guy Meikle, executive chef at Heritage Restaurant & Caviar Bar, coming to the Ukrainian Village/Humboldt Park in August. He wants to bring some of his heritage (hence, the name) to this new project, which opens in the former Bar Marta space. Plus caviar. Lots and lots of caviar.

While raw bars have become almost a requirement for a new restaurant opening over the last few years, caviar is still a novelty for many diners. It's also a scary word, as it implies a product that's super expensive and super exclusive. Not at Heritage.

"Mississippi sturgeon, trout roe, salmon roe, whitefish roe; these are all more affordable and more native to the Midwest," Meikle told Chicagoist. "We will have good $10 options that come with fresh baked bread and pickles, and people can get caviar in different sizes too." The caviar bar will also serve a variety of smoked fishes and pickles. And yes, the super lux stuff will be available as well, though the restaurant won't stock a ton of it.

Caviar is only a part of this restaurant, which will eventually serve an all-day menu complete with fresh baked kolachki at breakfast, burgers and salads at lunch, and an Eastern European-inspired full menu at dinner.

"There’s also a full relish portion of the menu, with fresh vegetable platters, housemade cheese, bread - the good homey stuff," Meikle said.

Meikle is coming off a recent job as a consultant, but previously did stints at Nana and Bin36. Several Nana chefs will be joining him in the kitchen. He's got roots in the neighborhood, as do many of his staff, and when the space became available, it was "too good to pass up," he said.

If you ever dined at Bar Marta, you know it's a two level restaurant, with a large basement dining room that could feel a bit isolating from the bar bustle upstairs.

"How do you not get that deserted island feel by dining in the basement?" Meikle said. "Our goal is to make it sexy and attractive." Part of how they are doing that is by staffing a full, second bar in the basement space, to give the space some energy and action.

If you're serving caviar, you have to have vodka, right? Heritage will have a range of infused vodkas on tap, which they'll serve along with the caviar, on ice. In addition, beverage director Jan Henrichsen will emphasize grower champagne; unique vintages that pack a lot of flavor but without the high prices of some of the more common brand names.

"We don't want to be super high end—we want a $9 glass and a $15 glass," Meikle said. "What I’ve always found is that the best restaurants have something for everyone."

Heritage Restaurant & Caviar Bar is at 2700 W. Chicago Ave.