It was one of those perfect nights in Chicago that we wait all winter for. Everyone was dressed in their best with smiles from ear to ear. If you live here, you know what I'm talkin' about. And it was on this night, appropriately, that a new, chic soon-to-be hotspot opened on Navy Pier called City Porch.
I was proud to co-host the party with owner Manolis Alpogianis of America's Dog fame. He and his family have a long history of restaurant successes and this new spot will be yet another notch on their belts. For opening night, Chef Heather Terhune (Sable) featured some of her specialities. Every month, there will be a celebrity chef with Tony Mantuano (Spiaggia) designing the guest chef menu in July and in August, Jimmy Bannos (Heaven on Seven and Purple Pig fame) will be featuring his special menu.
The menu, under Executive Chef George Alpogianis (Manolis' cute brother) and Chef de Cuisine Anthony Riley, has a variety of delicious selections in place under "Big, Small and Sweet Plates." For small plates, mouth-watering dishes like Moroccan buffalo wings, Wagyu beef sliders, Havarti mac & cheese, chicken souvlaki, and hand-packed crab cakes are on the menu. Salad plates include a killer lobster avocado salad, heirloom tomato salad and chicken chopped salad. Big Plates offers some of the best margherita pizza I've tasted in a long, long time and the sandwich offerings are too extensive to mention! There is also a section for the little ones (whose menus I always covet) as well as fabulous sweets including Eli's Cheesecake, skillet cookies and chocolate peanut butter Napoleans!
Designed by Gretchen Dockendorff, with input from Manolis, this new restaurant offers a chic dining experience overlooking Lake Michigan and the skyline. It's charming yet upscale all at the same time.
Top Chef Art Smith had this to say, " “What I love about City Porch is the fact that it brings the best of Chicago to a very popular destination place, Navy Pier. Yes, there are funnel cakes, corn dogs etc. but now there are beautiful artisanal foods prepared by Chicago's very best. Our city has amazing chefs and thanks to Manolis Alpogianis and his family they will introduce this to thousands upon thousands of tourists at Navy Pier too.”
On opening night, bold-faced locals came out to play and party! Look at these great pics by Caitlin Saville Collins and, hopefully, I will see you on the City Porch soon! (The Adirondack chairs arranged for fireworks viewing are genius!)
Watch for Watch312.com's "Candid Candace Chicago" video coming soon!!!!
Filed under: Citylife/dining
Tags: Alexi Giannoulias, Amanda St. Augustine, America’s Dog, Andrea Schwartz, Anna Davlantes, Anthony Riley, Art Smith, Bill Natale, Bob Mills, Bonnie Spurlock, Caitlin Saville Collins, Candid Candace, Candid Candace Chicago, Charles Lord, Charley Jordan, Chef Art Smith, Chef George Alpogianis, Chef Heather Terhune, Cindy Burns, City Porch, Corri McFadden, Desiree Rogers, Dionne Williams, Dorothy Whealan, Ed Howlett, Fabrice Calmels, Gretchen Dockendorff, Hazel Barr, Helen Melchior, Illinois Center for Broadcasting, Jesus Salguiero, Jim Spurlock, Jimmy Bannos, Joan Colmar, Jocelyn Stoller, Kathy Stack, Katie Cahnmann, Laura Schwartz, Lauren Dobies, Lauren Rapisand, Manny Bencomo, Manolis Alpogianis, Maralyn Owen, Mary Kay DiMaio, Michael Kutza, Myki Romano, Natasha Sharma, Navy Pier, Neal Zucker, Ross Glickman, Stephanie Krol, Suzie Glickman, Tony Mantuano, Warren Barr, Watch312.com