Straight from The Godfrey Hotel Chicago (127 West Huron Street at La Salle) there’s a boutique hotel’s food and beverage concept, I|O Urban Roofscape, an approximately 15,000 square foot indoor and outdoor space with panoramic skyline views opening February 2014. To head up the concept they have tapped Chef Riley Huddleston. Most recently working as part of the culinary team at The Aviary, Chef Huddleston brings eight years of experience in acclaimed restaurants across the country to I|O Urban Roofscape.
Huddleston will not only implement a menu featuring tasteful preparations of Chicago’s favorite foods, but he will also oversee the execution of the concept’s math-produced cocktail program from the lounge and bar’s kitchen. “Our cocktail culture, especially here in Chicago, is becoming just as important as the food so we’re using scientific measurements to ensure consistency for each and every signature cocktail,” Huddleston says. “We’re weighing every aspect of the cocktail. From testing water ratios to using a refractometer to measure sugar levels in our flavored ice program, all of the signature cocktails will begin in the kitchen.”
After working at prestigious restaurants across the country including Gramercy Tavern and Tribeca Grill in New York as well as the former Mortimer’s in Idaho, which earned a James Beard nomination with Huddleston as chef, he most recently served as executive chef of Prasino Restaurants in Chicagoland and chef de partie of the Aviary in Chicago. Huddleston is also founder and owner of Boise Fry Company, a northwest fast casual concept that was named “America’s Best French Fries” by U.S. Travel News in 2013 and “Best French Fries in the U.S.” by Travel + Leisure in 2012.
With experience in all aspects of the restaurant business from beverage director to pastry chef, Chef Huddleston applies a four ‘S’ philosophy to I|O Urban Roofscape: sensible food with sustainable consistency coupled with a bit of scientific measurement to lead to customer satisfaction. “Our ultimate goal at I|O Urban Roofscape is to create quality, approachable food and cocktails with a chef’s palate in mind.”
I|O Urban Roofscape will offer an array of signature kitchen-crafted cocktails, including a selection of retro-inspired, blended concoctions available by the pitcher including the Brandy Alexander, with Remy Martin, crème de menthe, vanilla ice cream and nutmeg. The menu will feature Chicago favorites such as the Pastrami Sandwich with spicy pickles, garlic aioli and manchego cheese and the Seared Ahi Tuna with avocado and housemade spicy soy mustard.
I|O Urban Roofscape offers two full-service bars and lounge seating throughout the interior and exterior spaces. A state-of-the-art retractable roof allows the outdoor space to evoke a unique in-is-out and out-is-in vibe. In addition to a two-level fire pit which serve as a beacon to guests from bustling LaSalle Street below, design features of the 4th floor roofscape include a water wall feature, open-air seating, and modern stingray-inspired cabana canopies–all to evoke the hotel’s tagline to “Discover Your Element.” In addition to private events spaces including the VIP and Truss rooms as well as the outdoor Portico space, I|O Urban Roofscape features a customizable LED video wall, free WiFi, and superior sound and lighting system to make the latest bar and lounge the perfect venue for DJs, live music performances, and private events.
Via The Godfrey Hotel Chicago