What do the legendary Rolling Stones and one of Chicago’s hottest chefs have in common? A grand opening of a restaurant paying homage to the band and its pilgrimage to a French Villa is about to show Chicago how rock stars (and true foodies) roll.
Music History Lesson: Nellcôte (often referred to as Villa Nellcôte) is a 19th century sixteen-room mansion on the waterfront of Villefranche-sur-Mer in the Côte d’Azur region of southern France. Nellcôte was leased during the summer of 1971 by Keith Richards, guitarist for The Rolling Stones, He and his fellow Rolling Stones drank, smoked, consumed copious amounts of drugs, and recorded much of what was to become their classic “Exile On Main Street” released in 1972, considered by many to be their best album. Photos from the time show an opulent mansion occupied by barefoot, bohemian musicians who found any corner and made it their own.
This week Chef Jared Van Camp and nightlife empresarios Chris Freeman and Chris Dexter are opening their own Nellcôte. The decor is also opulent, with crystal chandeliers, wrought iron gates, bleached herringbone wood floors and Italian marble stairs. But at $15 and less the prices are bohemian and the food is local. Van Camp is even milling his own flour, a first in Chicago and already in demand by other chefs.
The grand opening is Thursday, but there’s a special, invitation-only “Evening of Exile” on Tuesday.
Readers of Stop Look Listen email me at firstname.lastname@example.org for a chance to win tickets for two to the invitation only event.