Tuesday sees the opening of Schaumburg's first new restaurant of 2014 -- Big Chef Burgers.
The "Big Chef" is 6-foot 6-inch, Italian-born Cristiano Bassani, who became executive chef for Carlucci Restaurant in Downers Grove in 2004 and remains owner of the BaPi Italian Restaurant in Arlington Heights, which he opened in 2005.
Differing in approach from his earlier enterprises, the new eatery at 1602 E. Algonquin Road will offer gourmet burgers, Neapolitan pizza, homemade gelato milkshakes, artisan salads, desserts and full bar service in a casual atmosphere.
"I've been living in the Chicago area for many years, and I've always had the desire to open a great burger or pizza joint in the Northwest suburbs that raises the bar," Bassani wrote in a prepared statement. "Big Chef Burgers is going to be the best of both worlds and, clearly, a cut above the rest."
Like the chef himself, the burgers too will be big. They're made from a half pound of fresh, 75 percent lean and hormone-free Angus beef.
The restaurant's signature item will be the Big Chef Burger -- a $20, full-pound of Angus beef topped with American cheese, sauteed onion, wild mushrooms, bacon, lettuce and tomato.
The restaurant's bar will offer a selection of specialty cocktails, "adult" milkshakes, wines and craft beers.
Big Chef Burgers will be open for lunch and dinner every day, from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. Private dining for small to medium-sized groups as well as outside catering are also available.
For more information, visit bigchefburgers.com or call (847) 221-8539.
Among Bassani's other suburban restaurant ventures as owner and executive chef since settling permanently in the Chicago area in 1997 have been Carpaccio in Palatine, I Gemelli in Addison and Cristiano's in Palatine.