Who’s behind it: For years, chef and restaurateur Rick Tramonto impressed Chicagoans and visitors at Tru, which earned a Wine Spectator Grand Award in 2004. Tramonto left in 2010, and the restaurant’s owner, the Lettuce Entertain You hospitality group, closed Tru in 2017. Since 2022, Tramonto, the author of several books and cookbooks, including 2011’s Scars of a Chef, has been executive chef and director of food and beverage for Chicago’s Parker Hospitality, overseeing restaurants such as the Hampton Social and Costera.
When it opened: Nisos Prime opened in November 2023, with Tramonto and Parker Hospitality breathing new life into the location that formerly housed Nisos, a Mediterranean-influenced restaurant that closed earlier last year.[article-img-container][src=2024-01/restaurant-news-nisos-prime-seafood-tower-012425_1600.jpg] [credit= (Wade Hall for Parker Hospitality)] [alt= A tower of lobster, crab, oysters and shrimps at Nisos Prime][end: article-img-container]
The culinary approach: “What was exciting about the project was the fact that I could take all of this Mediterranean influence from Italy and France, Greece and Spain and drive it through a steak-house lens,” Tramonto told Wine Spectator via email. Nisos Prime offers choice cuts of beef, such as an 8-ounce hanger steak with frites, a 16-ounce bone-in strip, a 4-ounce Japanese A5 Wagyu and a 32-ounce dry-aged Porterhouse. Other menu items include an 8-ounce Campo Grande Ibérico tenderloin and prosciutto and other cured meats served from their own cart with optional Champagne pairings.
What’s on the wine list: Wine director Evie Olson assembled nearly 225 selections representing a 1,400-bottle inventory. The program primarily features France, Italy and California, along with Austria, Croatia, Germany, Greece, Oregon, Portugal and Spain. “We want to take our guests on a personalized journey where picking a bottle of wine is fun, never daunting, and hopefully elevates their dining experience to one that’s truly memorable” said Olson. There are well-known names like Burgundy’s Méo-Camuzet, Bordeaux’s Château Margaux, California’s Turley Wine Cellars and Tuscany’s Sassicia, from Tenuta San Guido. “It’s exciting to share wines I’ve come to love because I get to help our guests discover something new they’ll love too,” said Olson, noting selections from the Loire Valley’s Domaine Guiberteau, Oregon’s Kelley Fox and California’s Scherer Winery.[article-img-container][src=2024-01/restaurant-news-nisos-prime-prosciutto-cart-012425_900.jpg] [credit= (Wade Hall for Parker Hospitality)] [alt= A member of Nisos Prime staff using a slicing machine to cut prosciutto slices][end: article-img-container]
As a tribute to the restaurant’s predecessor, Mediterranean regions feature prominently on the list, particularly among by-the-glass options. But there are additions: “Re-concepting into a steak house meant that we were able to add more pronounced, powerful and full-bodied wines that stand up to a porterhouse or tomahawk on the table,” said Olson.
The Design: Located on the second floor, Nisos Prime retains some of the cane design elements of the original Nisos (as seen in the lighting fixtures); leather seats, stone accents and indoor plants feature throughout the space. Hidden behind a bookshelf on the same level is the music-filled Lounge. Below, on the first floor, is the cocktail-focused Prime Bar, with its own dining room.—C.D.
David Kinch and Ritual Revive Manresa with Chef Residencies
In August 2022, news broke that Manresa, one of the San Francisco Bay Area’s most celebrated fine restaurants (and a Wine Spectator Best of Award of Excellence winner), would be closing after 20 years of operation; its owner, acclaimed chef David Kinch, planned to sell the property in…
Source : https://www.winespectator.com/articles/restaurant-news-nisos-prime-debuts-in-chicago-with-rick-tramonto-at-the-helm