This is The Feast 14, in which we highlight the most anticipated projects of the new season. Here now, what to expect from Jean-Georges Vongerichten's return to the Chicago restaurant scene with Pump Room 2.0.
Both hotel restaurants and outsider chefs have had shaky past relationships with the Chicago restaurant scene. But the forthcoming PUBLIC hotel (née Ambassador East) will take a chance with both in one fell swoop when it debuts the second incarnation of the historic Pump Room under the direction of award-winning chef Jean-Georges Vongerichten on October 11.
Not only does the opening signify the return of the iconic hotel restaurant (a once star-studded destination turned dusty memory), but also a second shot for JGV who re-enters the scene after his first venture with LEYE—Vong's Thai Kitchen—closed in 2009.
The team has been fairly tight-lipped since holding a contest earlier this summer to name the new concept, which aims to be the ABC Kitchen of Chicago. Promises of a localized version of the NYC restaurant (which took home Best New Restaurant at the 2011 James Beard Awards) has already lured the talents of former LM Restaurant chef Bradford Phillips and rising pastry chef Kady Yon of Boka. And if the revamped version of the Pump Room gets the formula right, Chicago could very well take home the same glory next year. [The Feast]
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