Walton Street Kitchen + Bar: an exciting new hotspot on Chicago's Gold Coast

Walton Street Kitchen + Bar: an exciting new hotspot on Chicago's Gold Coast
The bar. Photo: Carole Kuhrt-Brewer

 “We wanted to build a place that felt comfortable and like home in a very stylish neighborhood”
...555’s James Geier 

Walton Street Kitchen + Bar opens today in Chicago's Gold Coast neighborhood. Walton Street showcases thoughtfully executed American cuisine, creative craft cocktails, an impressive wine selection and an inviting atmosphere with their happening bar area, spacious comfortable dining room and cozy Library Lounge.

The Design

The classical design by Chicago-based, award-winning design group 555 International consists of two-level space situated inside No. 9 Walton, an upscale condo tower.

First Impressions

Making a good first impression, is a refurbished antique revolving door one passes through upon entering the restaurant that leads to an elegant black-and-white polished marble floor laid out in a classic diamond pattern.

The Lounge

The lounge. Photo: Carole Kuhrt-Brewer

The lounge. Photo: Carole Kuhrt-Brewer

 

On the entry level, you'll find the 1,200-square-foot Lounge reminiscent of the elegant libraries found in European mansions.  Dark and inviting, the lounge features a reclaimed herringbone wood floor topped with vintage rugs, a fireplace, books lining the walls, and perfectly worn leather chairs, settees and ottomans.

The inviting lounge is nice anytime of the year, but definitely should be on your list for the perfect winter escape when you've had it with Chicago's ice and snow.

Step inside and bask in the soft glow that emanates from walls sconces, floor lamps and tabletop candles. Nestle in one of the comfortable leather chairs and enjoy the ambiance.

Custom-made wood cabinets on the walls, not only provide a spot for top-shelf Scotches and whiskeys but include a selection of artifacts while hiding the cocktail-making process going on behind them.

The Drinks

The Cosmo. Photo: Carole Kuhrt-Brewer

The Cosmo. Photo: Carole Kuhrt-Brewer

 

Beverage Director, John Douglass, who's held beverage manager positions at Table, Donkey & Stick, Fat Rice and Entente, brings his passion for crafting housemade ingredients for his craft cocktails.

Wine Director, Stephanie Brauer's experience as a wine consultant has taken her to vineyards all over the world. At Walton Street, she's featuring international wines from small producers that are focused on quality and integrity from bud to bottling.

The Food

Great app's. Photo: Carole Kuhrt-Brewer

Great app's. Photo: Carole Kuhrt-Brewer

 

Jon Keeley (Gemini) is executive chef, with Ji Yoon (Henri, The Gage) serving as pastry chef.

The menu showcases polished, straightforward dishes that tap into timeless classics--topped by a creative appetizer list followed by entrees including: roasted king crab legs, lamb belly bacon skewers with shishito piri piri along with spit-roasted entrees such as chicken and a Berkshire pork chop, served with farro tabouleh, fennel salad and fig-barbecue glaze.

The Dining Room

The Dining Room. Photo; Carole Kuhrt-Brewer

The Dining Room. Photo; Carole Kuhrt-Brewer

The main dining room is located on the 6,000-square-foot upper level of the space, adjacent to the bar. In the center of the 150-seat dining room is a large banquette island incorporating oversized clamshell booths offers space for up to six guests. There is additional booth seating along the walls and one long banquette seating as well. Armed dining chairs accompany wood tables, some with metal-edge banding. Cut-glass pendants, cove lighting and select wall sconces provide warmth to the space.

Who's Who and What's What

This is the third collaboration between 555 International and Ballyhoo Hospitality having previously worked together on Coda di Volpe and the redesign of Gemini. Ballyhoo’s Ryan O’Donnell and 555’s James Geier have known each other professionally and personally for more than 25 years, a relationship that is reflected in the work they do together. “We wanted to build a place that felt comfortable and like home in a very stylish neighborhood,” says Geier of the duo’s inspiration for Walton Street’s look and, more importantly, feel. Adds O’Donnell, “Walton Street will be affordable, approachable and accessible. To me, those are very important qualities for a neighborhood restaurant.”

Walton Street Kitchen + Bar is located at 912 N. State St., 773.570.3525, waltonstreetchicago.com

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