The Next Big Thing
Although not yet a thriving dining and shopping hot spot, the face of Chicago’s historic Hyde Park is indubitably in the throes of dramatic change, with local efforts to rejuvenate main thoroughfare 53rd Street luring in the likes of celebrated chef Matthias Merges and his much-anticipated new restaurant A10. High praise for Hyde Park indeed, considering his mod Japanese restaurant Yusho
and cosy drinking parlour Billy Sunday
were listed among last year’s most happening hangouts by the likes of Bon Appetit, Details and Chicago Magazine.
Merges admits that the concept of A10, which will serve cuisine inspired by the Italian-French Alps and Riviera regions, was first hit upon when he chose turn-of-the-century Harper Court building for his new restaurant space (next to the beautifully revamped Art Deco movie theatre), occupying as it does a corner spot with the grand entrance, high ceilings and mosaic floors he believed to be so reminiscent of Franco-Italian style. Chef John Vermiglio is heading up the pass with rustic creations like wood-fired snails with roasted pearl onion, and rosemary-olive oil biscuit; octopus a la plancha with chickpeas, haricots vert, and smoked pepper; and braised rabbit served with winter turnips and potato pancakes alla Cacciatora. And in true continental style, you can enjoy a dining preamble of laid-back aperitif, classic cocktail (Manhattan, corpse reviver) or gin and housemade tonic on tap – chin chin!