It's been awhile for a new hotel property to open in the Loop proper, so we've had our eye on the corner of State and Lake streets, closely watching the progress at theWit (201 N. State St., 312-467-0200). The hotel itself will get its grand opening this weekend (more on that later), but two of the property's three dining destinations will debut today, Thursday, May 28.
Both ROOF and State and Lake (plus Cibo Matto, arriving later this summer) are operated by Concentrics Restaurants, an in-demand Atlanta-based development and management firm. State and Lake, located on the ground floor of theWit, is an artisanal American restaurant led by chef Bradley Manchester, while ROOF is a 7,000-square-foot rooftop restaurant offering Italian small plates by chef Todd Stein along with gourmet cocktails.
State and Lake will serve breakfast, lunch and dinner using locally sourced ingredients for upscale comfort food dishes, such as Guinness pancakes with caramelized bananas and housemade granola, short rib panini with caramelized red onions and Maytag blue cheese with truffle fries, and vanilla and lime-glazed sablefish with roasted fennel and Sweet 100 tomatoes. An American-focused beer and wine program will offer microbrews, many from the Midwest, along with smaller production wines with an emphasis on the Pacific Northwest. Creative takes on classic cocktails round out the bar offerings. The restaurant's welcoming interior features cork floors, leather walls and plush banquettes. Large windows overlook this historic corner of Chicago, while period photographs depict it as it was nearly 100 years ago.
ROOF is perched on the 27th floor of theWit and will offer a year 'round indoor/outdoor lounge with fire pits and a high-powered telescope for voyeuristic viewing. Most intriguing is ROOF's suspended table, which will seat eight brave souls at a glass-enclosed table extending past the confines of the building. (After you, we insist.) Indoors, you'll enjoy a 7-foot-tall, double-sided fireplace, a wood-burning oven, three bars and luxurious lounge seating. Outdoors, you'll find fire pits, cocktail tables and a circular corner booth (get there early!). The small plates menu features individual pizzas with seasonal ingredients, as well as dishes like wood-roasted artichokes with fonduta and cracked almonds, and wood-roasted lamb chops with minted yogurt. Handcrafted cocktails include seasonal selections such as the ROOF Sling, with aged rum, vermouth, house sour and bitters, along with an eclectic by-the-glass wine list, many of which are organic or biodynamic.