A Restaurateur Duo's Dream Home
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|French doors grace both ends of the open-plan kitchen: a reading nook at one end and an outdoor theater at the other|
Sleek, dark, walnut-stained cabinetry is built in throughout, nearly concealing the kitchen. Creamy Silestone marble countertops surround the work spaces and breakfast bar. A handsome dropped ceiling cleverly hides a professional-grade vent and hood above a Wolf indoor grill and range. The stainless Sub-Zero fridge and freezer, which stand on either side of a built-in wine chiller and Dacor coffee and espresso maker, hint at the restaurantgrade cooking that goes on here. The tabletops are neatly dotted with copies of Food & Wine magazine, which sit alongside a collection of coffee-table cookbooks by the best in the business. “I try to make it a place Rob can come home to that is fun and relaxing and filled with dishes that you can’t get at any of the restaurants; real home cooking,” says Kathleen.
So what’s next for the Boka Restaurant Group? Little Goat, a diner-esque “Girl” offshoot will open in the West Loop in early 2012, serving breakfast, lunch and dinner and offering a late-night lounge. Rob is also excited about Balena, a rustic Italian-inspired concept and first-time venture with The Bristol Group, which is slated to open in the redesigned Landmark space in late 2011. “Everyone always asks me if Rob is ever home,” says Kathleen. “Funnily enough, the busier they get, the more we see him.” It’s a well-oiled business model that runs on the same warm and inviting virtues as their comfortable home.
Michigan Avenue toasted December/January cover star William H. Macy with a 150-guest gathering at Hubbard Inn on December 9, 2014.