The Bronzeville neighborhood is buzzing with the arrival of a new restaurant unlike any other in the neighborhood. It’s a place for great wine, creative cocktails and a menu with something for everyone.
Food Guy Steve Dolinsky of NBC 5 says it’s no surprise the neighbors have adopted him.
While the excellent Honey One has its ribs, tips and links just up the street, South Cottage Grove now offers an option for wine lovers, food lovers and, most importantly, a gathering place and celebration for the community.
Is it the colorful and creative cocktails? Perhaps it’s the bowl of thinly sliced fried sweet potato ribbons that graces nearly every table.
“We really wanted to make sure there was a nice row of black businesses located on Cottage Grove Avenue,” co-owner Cecilia Cuff said.
So, to every wagyu beef burger with Comte cheese, onions and black truffle aioli, there’s also a vegetarian counterpoint, like fried Brussels sprouts in a sesame glaze, crowned with chili threads. This is a constant dilemma for owners.
“How can we have a mostly vegan menu that doesn’t look like a vegan menu or isn’t an afterthought?” said Cuff.
That’s why you’ll see thick watermelon steak on the menu. A block of fruit is seared hard, tossed with fresh garlic and thyme, plus mushrooms, then served over vegan feta with a little romesco sauce, surrounded by a honeydew vinaigrette.
The salmon is also pan-fried with garlic and thyme, but these Ora King fillets are topped with smoked trout roe and earthy royal trumpet mushrooms. A Japanese accent comes from the vaporous bonito flakes made with smoked and dried tuna, as well as dashi poured at the table.
There’s also a wine club, though you can just order a glass of something unique from their compact and thoughtful list.
“We really wanted to be able to celebrate a different kind of wine experience,” Cuff said. “Being able to get people to push their limits a little bit. We have great curation that will allow you to have a $200 bottle of wine but only try one glass.”
Here’s where you can go:
4420 S. Cottage Grove Ave.
“I wanted to make sure that diners in this neighborhood could have an experience that you would have in the West Loop or Michigan Avenue or anywhere in the world where you can dress up, come together, celebrate and really be able to use the possibility to eat something delicious, maybe something you’ve never tried before.”