Avocado Salad, Snap Pea Palomas and Other Delights in River North

Avocado Salad, Snap Pea Palomas and Other Delights in River North

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Despite the impressive culinary bounty available to you in our fair Midwestern metropolis, you know how things sometimes go… Steak. Potatoes. Repeat as necessary. Well, things are a little different at Pacific Standard Time. The West Coast time zone is both the name and the inspiration behind River North’s newest restaurant that happens to be opening tonight looking just like this. It occupies the former Tavernita space, which, as you may recall, was massive. But now, Erling Wu-Bower of newly formed Underscore Hospitality and rather-well-established One Off Hospitality (Blackbird, the Publican…) welcomes you into a Santa Monica dream complete with exposed wood beams and a central bar surrounded by white walls, wooden tables and foliage galore. It’s airy and refreshing. And before too long, you’ll start craving avocado salad and curry chicken wings. Fortunately, they have those, as well as soft shell crab with peanut aioli and two stone hearths in the open kitchen. And, when in Rome—if Rome is a well-appointed restaurant with stone hearths—eat ramp and ham pizza followed by whole roasted duck. Then comes the wine. California reds, of course. Or maybe a cocktail like the snap pea Paloma or Clarified Rum Punch with pineapple and green almond tea. And since a West Coast feast is nothing without dessert, the ones here come courtesy of Grace’s former pastry chef, who will delight you with cotton cake and chartreuse ice cream covered in market strawberries. They say that about West Coast feasts, right?


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