Food News in Andersonville

Clark Street has seen some restaurants close in 2013, but the end of the year brings us some new Andersonville eateries. Bull Horns Taco Bar has opened in the former Marigold space at 5413 N. Clark. Bull Horns will serve tacos (both classic and “specialty,” which is said to include a sloppy joe taco and tacos with fried chicken or meatballs), as well as margaritas. And replacing the high-end pizza at Great Lake, we have a gourmet hot dog hut: Hoppin’ Hots at 1477 W. Balmoral, brought to us from the team at Over Easy on Damen. The menu has a classic Chicago dog, of course, but also features dogs with more exotic ingredients, including duck confit, lavender-fennel aioli, and deep-fried sous vide pork belly. For the indulgent, most exciting might be the availability of poutine in the neighborhood, though if you have a sweet tooth, the roasted strawberry-Grand Marnier milkshake also catches the eye.

We’ve had a bit of a revolving door at 5420 N. Clark since In Fine Spirits closed its bar and restaurant (neither Premise nor Brassiere 54 lasted too long). Perhaps The Brixton will have better luck. This new spot opened this week and is serving upscale bar food (think popcorn with bacon powder and samba chiles, or a burger with shallot jam) and craft cocktails. The chef is Kevin McMullen, who formerly worked at Michelin-starred EL Ideas in Douglas Park, so we’ll take that as a good sign!

Speaking of the Michelin Guide, congratulations to Ceres’ Table (formerly of 4882 N. Clark) and the Hopleaf (5148 N. Clark)! Both of these local favorites were named on Michelin’s 2014 list of Bib Gourmands. Bib Gourmands are restaurants recommended by Michelin that are more affordable than those receiving a star. Ceres' Table has received this honor since 2011, the first year Michelin rated Chicago restaurants; Hopleaf joins the ranks for 2014. Unfortunately, just last week Ceres' Table closed its doors and announced it will relocate; no word on where and when yet. But it's great to see Andersonville's restaurant scene get noticed!

And it's slightly outside our area, but Mariano's has reportedly bought the Dominick's store at Foster and Sheridan. So West Andersonville will be strategically placed between two Mariano's (including the one being built at Lawrence and Ravenswood). Rumor also has it that Whole Foods is interested in purchasing the Dominick's at Broadway and Elmdale.

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