What restaurants are opening in the new year

The holiday feasting is over, and you have an appetite for something other than your usual weeknight dinner.

Here's a sampling of suburban restaurants opening in the new year.

Davanti Enoteca is known for the Davanti burger, with roasted tomatoes, arugula, bacon jam and garlic aioli on a brioche bun. Courtesy of Scott Harris Hospitality

Davanti Enoteca

Where: 47 E. Chicago Ave., Naperville

Concept: intimate wine bar with small, shareable plates and rustic Italian meals

Anticipated opening: early spring 2023

Owner: Scott Harris Hospitality is expanding the concept to downtown Naperville after launching Davanti in Western Springs and San Diego. Harris opened La Sorella di Francesca, a stalwart of the Naperville dining scene, nearly 30 years ago.

Menu: Fresh pastas will either be made in-house or at the company's commissary kitchen based out of Fiore Pizzeria & Bakery in Forest Park.

A peppery cacio e pepe is one of the menu mainstays at Davanti. For munching, Ligurian flatbread is topped with soft cow's cheese and honeycomb.

"Dishes might only have four or five ingredients," said Jaysen Euler, the restaurant group's executive culinary director. "But, really, it's all about the quality and freshness of the food."

As a prime example, Euler plans to put an old favorite back on the menu: pasta tossed with ricci di mare, or sea urchin, jumbo lump crab, lobster stock and just a touch of butter.

"It's really just a great pasta, just tastes like the ocean," Euler said. "It's beautiful. It's super simple."

In Western Springs, a top seller isn't what you would expect from a restaurant striving for down-to-earth Italian. The hefty Davanti burger piles on grilled cheese curds, bacon jam, roasted tomatoes and arugula with garlic aioli.

Wine list: An approachable selection of mostly Old World and some California labels.

Smokeshow, a new barbecue spot opening in downtown Naperville, will offer succulent brisket. Courtesy of Scott Harris Hospitality


Where: 22 E. Chicago Ave., Naperville

Anticipated opening: early spring 2023

Owner: Smokeshow is the first barbecue joint for Scott Harris Hospitality, formerly known as Francesca's Restaurant Group.

Menu: Chef Dan Moody will give his take on Texas-style barbecue.

"His brisket is unbelievable," Euler said. "I consider myself a Texas hot link connoisseur. I get it at every barbecue spot I go, and I think this is some of the best I've tasted."

Texas isn't the only regional influence. Barbecue hounds can try a mayonnaise-based Alabama white sauce. As for sides, you'll find the classics: braised collard greens, slaw and macaroni and cheese.

Vibe: Smokeshow also will serve up live country music. The restaurant will be booking bands at least once a week to start.

The new Chicago Ramen Lab in Wheeling is helmed by Japanese chef and restaurateur Kenta Ikehata. Courtesy of Chicago Ramen

Chicago Ramen Wheeling

Where: 743 N. Milwaukee Ave., in front of the Westin Chicago North Shore hotel

Anticipated opening: February

Owner: Japanese chef Kenta Ikehata, who also has Tokyo-style ramen shops in Des Plaines and Rolling Meadows strip malls.

Menu: Chicago Ramen's signature is tsukemen, a dish in which chilled noodles are served with a separate bowl of thick, umami-packed broth for dipping and slurping. Toppings include a wedge of lime, pork and a marinated egg. Chicago Ramen sources its strands from Sun Noodle.

  Tonality Brewing Co. will operate in this former fire station and public works maintenance garage on Seymour Avenue in Mundelein. The microbrewery has begun renovating the space and aims to open this year. Russell Lissau/

Tonality Brewing Co.

Where: 169 N. Seymour Ave., Mundelein

Anticipated opening: summer 2023

Vibe: Tonality's owners are turning a former village fire station into a microbrewery and restaurant. Built in the 1940s, the two-story, 7,200-square-foot structure most recently served as a public works garage.

The Tonality crew is documenting the project on social media. Demolition work started in November.

"At the end of the day, we're going to invest $1.4 million into improvements on the property," Tonality co-founder Don Phillips told Mundelein trustees in September. "And we anticipate having a staff where we hire from the community of 10 to 20 people over time. It's a total project cost of $3.4 million."

Tonality will help make Mundelein a craft beer epicenter of the suburbs. Tighthead Brewing Co. was the first to open in the area, and Bosacki's Brewery set up shop on Hawley Street.

The private dining area at Perry's Steakhouse & Grill in Oak Brook. Daily Herald file photo

Perry's Steakhouse & Grille

Where: Hawthorn Mall in Vernon Hills on a free-standing site at the southwest corner of Ring Drive and Milwaukee Avenue

Anticipated opening: late 2023

Owner: Texas-based Perry's Restaurants

Menu: Go big with the pork chop - cured, roasted, slow-smoked and carved tableside. It's a caramelized hunk of meat and a Perry's specialty. The seafood is also towering.

Vibe: The white-tablecloth, high-end steakhouse will seat up to up to 350 people and include a main dining area with kitchen views and four private dining rooms.

Napolita Pizzeria & Wine Bar

Where: 1349 Shermer Road, Northbrook

Anticipated opening: March. The Northbrook Chamber of Commerce & Industry first announced the arrival of the restaurant in December 2020. Pandemic-induced supply chain issues pushed back the opening time frame of what Village President Kathryn Ciesla calls "the most anticipated business in Northbrook."

Owner: Vandalay Brands, the restaurant group behind Casa Bonita in Libertyville and the original Napolita in Wilmette, where the pies have earned Vera Pizza Napoletana certification, a process meant to protect the traditions of Neapolitan Pizza.

Menu: Napolita uses wood-fired brick ovens imported from Italy.

The Lazy Dog restaurant chain out of Costa Mesa, California, made its first foray into Illinois with a Vernon Hills location at the Mellody Farm shopping center. A new Lazy Dog is coming to Oak Brook. Daily Herald file photo

Lazy Dog Restaurant & Bar

Where: 1775 22nd St., Oak Brook

Anticipated opening: early February. The California chain opened its first Illinois restaurant in Vernon Hills four years ago.

Menu: American casual. Hearty options this time of year include BBQ bison meatloaf, pot roast in red wine sauce and chicken potpie. You can also order frozen, take-home TV dinners served on "retro-style trays."

Vibe: Fireplaces, a log chandelier and cast-iron dishes are meant to transport diners to a Rocky Mountain lodge. A dog-friendly patio allows man's best friend to nosh on their own meal alongside their human companions. What's on the pup menu? Bowls of grilled chicken or hamburger and brown rice.

Guzman y Gomez

Where: 795 E. Golf Road, Schaumburg

Anticipated opening: Thursday, Jan. 19

Menu: Founded in Australia, the fast-casual chain brought its tacos, nachos, burritos and loaded fries to the first U.S. Guzman y Gomez location near Naperville's Ogden Avenue corridor in 2020.

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