Chef Suzy Singh hits the grand opening to talk to the minds behind the new concept at the Dana Hotel.
Since opening a few short years ago, Dana Hotel & Spa has seen its fair share of restaurant concepts come and go.
The latest, Argent Restaurant, is counting on an all-star culinary team to make a dent in the competitive River North restaurant and lounge scene.
Toni Motamen signs on as a managing partner and executive chef, but he also brought in Rodelio Aglibot (Sunda) as Culinary Director and Jackie Shen (Red Light, Chicago Cut) as a co-executive chef.
But before you start thinking its too many chefs in the kitchen, Sean M. Mulroney (Double Door) and PR veteran Julie Darling are also in the mix as co-owners, to help things run smoothly on the operational side.
So what makes Argent stand out?
Motamen, who's kind of the unofficial party host who never forgets anyone's name, points to the classic Americano dishes offered at reasonable prices combined with the elements of a chic late-night vibe in an unintimidating warm environment.
"We want everyone to come in and enjoy themselves, doesn't matter who they are, they can make this place their own home," Motamen says.
Chef Aglibot has is bringing in specialty meat from Pat Lafrieda on the East Coast to create the ultimate Argent Burger.
And two floors of space, including the Raw Bar on the second floor, means there's something there for everyone.
"We really want it to be a restaurant in a hotel, not a hotel restaurant," Darling says.