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Brendan Sodikoff Chats, Robata Grilling is Explained, and the New Heatmap is Out

Au Cheval
Au Cheval
Barry Brecheisen

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WEST LOOP—Last week, acclaimed yet notorious restaurateur Brendan Sodikoff, recently named the most hated restaurateur in Chicago by Time Out, sat down for an interview with Eater. In a two-part story he spilled the beans on three new projects (Dillman's Jewish deli, a tiny ramen shop, and a southern barbecue joint) as well as chatted about the first year of his most successful restaurant, Au Cheval.

CHICAGO#8212;The latest Heatmap went up Thursday, the guide for the hottest restaurants in town right now. Three smaller spots made the list this month: Grace (Evanston), Oiistar (Wicker Park), and Milt's BBBQ for the Perplexed (Lakeview).

WEST LOOPWord of a big new project broke Tuesday—a collaboration between two of the biggest restaurant teams in town. Matt Eisler and Kevin Heisner (Trencherman, Bangers & Lace, Nightwood) are opening a bar and restaurant with The Barrelhouse Flat guys on Randolph Street in the summer. It'll be in the same building as Au Cheval and Oon, across the street from Girl & the Goat.

RIVER NORTH—In her weekly Tasting Trends column, contributor Catherine De Orio tackles Japanese robata-style grilling, with chef Gene Kato of Sumi Robata Bar guiding. Get your learn on before checking out the list of places to taste the trend at the bottom.