In With the New: The Most Anticipated Restaurant Openings of 2011

2010 left us with some heavy hitters in the restaurant world. There was shock (L20), awe (Alinea), BBQ a plenty and the gastropub bonanza. And 2011 promises to set the bar even higher. In order to prepare for some of the most anticipated openings of the new year, we suggest starting the diet early so you don’t feel guilty indulging.

Next Restaurant

The Next concept from wildly acclaimed Grant Achatz (Alinea) was supposed to be completed last fall, but we’re still left wondering and waiting. A totally new idea of pre-selling dining tickets like sporting events instead of reservations, the entire show will be an around the world, time traveling prix fixe journey, serving four menus per year from great moments in culinary past and future- interpretations of different cultures, places and times.

Bite Cafe

The historic UK Village food spot in the Empty Bottle is getting a face-lift. Owned by the team behind much celebrated Longman and Eagle (one of GQ’s best new restaurants, solidifying Logan Square on the foodie map), sous chef Jared Wentworth is working on the revamp in January.

Todd English’s Food Hall

The European-inspired specialty market chalk full of rows of gourmet food is expanding from NYC to the Gold Coast. Featuring a wine bar, grill, sushi, bakery, pizza, and more, TEFH will be taking up residence in one of Chi’s luxury hotels.

Paris Club

The newest venture from the Melman sons (HUB 51) of Lettuce Entertain You, this modern French eatery will be opening in the former Brasserie Jo space in late January. And they mean modern- wine on tap.