Chicago foodies who regularly travel to New York for a dose of chef Laurent Tourondel’s upscale cuisine can put away the suitcase now that the highly anticipated Chicago outpost of BLT American Brasserie has opened in River North. For the eclectic menu, the French-born and-trained Tourondel, best known for helming the BLT Restaurant Group, delivers an unabashedly wide variety of world culinary influences, expertly reflecting America’s role as a melting pot. A Thai skirt steak salad, finished with mangos, glass noodles, and Thai basil, is listed next to classic steak frites, while veal and pork ricotta meatballs share menu space with a grilled Mediterranean branzino, complete with veggie couscous. A beet and goat cheese salad exemplifies lighter fare, and the menu is rounded out with a selection of fresh sushi and a raw bar, offering both traditional (dragon roll, shrimp cocktail) and innovative (coconut-macadamia shrimp roll) options.
Equally as inviting is the interior. Designed by famed local designer Jordan Mozer, the restaurant’s look derives inspiration from the artists, designers, and architecture of France between 1915 and 1933, with dark woods and pops of gold. But thankfully, unlike our ancestors, we don’t have to wander very far for international flavor. 500 W. Superior St., 312-948-8744