Michael Kornick (left) and David Morton have been friends since they were kids.
To say that Michael Kornick and David Morton have been friends since childhood is hardly an understatement. They grew up down the street from each other in Highland Park. Kornick was in the same class as Morton's sister Amy; became good family friends with the Mortons; and honed his culinary skills at two restaurants owned by Morton's legendary restaurateur father, Arnie.
As adults, both remained in the food world—Kornick taking his place in the kitchen, while Morton followed in his dad's entrepreneurial steps—and after separate awards and accolades, the duo became business partners in 2009, taking the classic burger to the next level with gourmet burger spot DMK. Two years later, in early 2011, they brought their same innovative approach to seafood with their second spot, Fish Bar. Now, Kornick and Morton add a third concept to their portfolio, a small-plates spot in East Bucktown dubbed Ada Street. The restaurant, located in an underpublicized area of Bucktown, offers upscale bar food, small plates, craft cocktails, and a well-curated wine list in a rustic "modern-tavern" atmosphere.
Kornick boasts credentials that make foodies swoon. He is the award-winning chef behind MK, has been nominated for five James Beard Awards, and is a partner in the N9NE restaurant group. But it's his partnership with Morton that has made them a restaurant-scene powerhouse.
"There's a tremendous amount of mutual respect," says Morton about his relationship with Kornick. "Michael and I have very similar values and our restaurants reflect that. We also have different skills that we bring to the table that are very complementary."
Kornick shares similar sentiments: "David's the hardest-working guy I've ever had the pleasure of [being associated] with. Over time, one of the things that is important to a partnership is that we have the empathy to make it work even when we disagree."
After Ada Street, Kornick and Morton will turn their attention to their multiple projects on deck, including a new Taylor Street spot. It's a collaboration on the fast track and with no end in sight. Boasts Morton, "Our partnership works so well because our favorite ideas are those that come from the other's mouth."Ada Street, 1664 Ada St., 773-697-7069