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Wednesday, August 10, 2016
The Team behind the popular Fork Restaurant in Chicago’s Lincoln Square to launch Knife, their new steakhouse (Illinois)
Team behind the popular Fork Restaurant in Chicago's Lincoln Square now
aims to cut it with its new Knife, steak & seafood restaurant,
have proven their restaurant acumen for more than ten years in
Chicago's Lincoln Square with their popular restaurant Fork, and now
owners David and Paula Byers and Executive Chef Timothy Cottini are
turning their passion to Knife, an eagerly awaited contemporary
steakhouse at 4343 N. Lincoln Avenue, with a planned opening
mid-September. Knife's cuisine will express the well-honed farm-to-table
philosophy that is the foundation of Fork's menu, but with in-house dry
aged beef as its distinctive culinary centerpiece.
"Our goal with Knife is to bring an intimate,
personalized and modern steakhouse experience to Lincoln Square," said
David Byers. "Our team will be engaged in giving our guests an exciting
overall dining experience that exceeds guest expectations."
Knife's interpretation of a modern steakhouse also will
be realized in its décor. The restaurant will be a comfortable,
sophisticated refuge for food lovers, featuring a rich color palette
with warm accents and soft lighting. Dark mahogany woods are set off by
red leather seating, and three dimensional Spanish tile walls add a
refined yet earthy touch.
Chef Cottini and his team are cutting into Chicago's
steakhouse scene with contemporary interpretations of traditional
steakhouse offerings. At first glance, the menu is understated and
traditional-sounding, but the element of surprise will be ever-present,
rendering each dish an exceptional experience, with Chef Cottini's
skillful juxtaposition of flavors and textures. "We want to take the
essence of a classic dish and re-create it in a unique way," says Chef
Cottini, who understands that, "We first eat with our eyes before we eat
with our mouths. The visual impact of the food will be almost as
important as the taste."
Throughout the menu, Chef Cottini maintains a high
standard using locally sourced, quality seasonal ingredients, as he
transforms the traditional into the unexpected. The Grilled Wedge Salad
served with Maine Lobster ($16) starts with iceberg lettuce raised
locally by Urban Till in Chicago specifically for Knife. The smaller
lettuce heads enhance the natural flavor, and are grilled to add a
charred smokiness. The traditional toppings, bacon, tomatoes, cucumbers,
and blue cheese are scattered around the plate, but Chef Cottini has
gone the extra mile, dehydrating the bacon for twelve hours to make it
Other appetizers, such as the Heirloom Tomato and Burrata salad,
are re-invented at Knife as well. The tomato is peeled, hollowed, and
filled with a locally produced burrata, infused with local basil-pesto
and roasted. The Oxtail Doughnut Holes are savory bites filled with
classically braised oxtail and served with an au poivre sauce ($10).
starters include the Foie Gras Terrine with seasonal jam and brioche
($19); Lobster Bisque with a house made made crème fraiche ($11); a
Tableside Caesar (prepared tableside for parties of three or more)
topped with white anchovies, focaccia croutons, raw egg and parmesan; Tuna
Tartare with avocado mousse and Fresno chili ($14); a Joe's Stone Crab
inspired Lobster Tail Tempura ($23); Shrimp De Jonghe ($17); Fritto
Misto Calamari ($13); and a "not your everyday" Shrimp Cocktail ($16).
Bread offerings are baked in-house with Parker House Rolls served fresh
from the oven ($6) and an artisan, potato based Focaccia for a dairy
free option ($5).
steaks are Certified Angus Beef from local Illinois and Iowa farmers,
served with house made steak sauce and frites or onion strings. "We'll
leave the steak uncut," emphasizes Cottini. "We wouldn't dare deprive
our customers of the joy of cutting into an exceptional, tender steak
with ease. It's an experience unlike any other." Knife offers a
selection of steak options: a 10 oz. Sirloin
($25), 6 oz. Beef Tenderloin ($30), 12 oz. Boneless Rib Eye ($34), 10
oz. 28-day Dry Aged Strip Steak ($40), and a Trio of Medallions with
blue cheese crust ($26). The showcase steak is a Dry Aged Rib Eye for
Two, carved and plated tableside ($89).
meat entrées are given equal attention. The Pork Chops ($25) have an
intense marbling and flavor, served with a side of candied sweet
potatoes seasoned with a spicy Saigon cinnamon, then topped with
marshmallows and a butter bourbon gastrique. The butterscotch flavor
from the potatoes' natural caramelization complements the rich pork.
Wellington is prepared with creamed kale, mushrooms,foie gras, and
Borolo sauce ($46); the Lamb T-Bones, sourced from Catalpa Grove, are
served with stuffed zucchini and hollandaise sauce ($26).
entrees include the Skuna Bay Salmon, a top quality fish from a
Vancouver Island, British Columbia vendor who exemplifies the sound
ecological raising of farm-raised salmon. Pacific wild salmon will be
offered when in season. The Green Circle Farm's Chicken from Indiana is
served with a macaroni gratin ($23); the Ahi Tuna is prepared with green
beans almondine and smoked tomato butter ($27). The Halibut comes with
pipperade, creamed spinach and lobster demi. There is a vegetarian
option of Pasta with papperdelle, market vegetables, basil pistou and
are thoughtfully designed to enhance each flavor profile. The River
Valley Ranch Mushroom en Pappiotte is a marinated portabella cap filled
with shitake & cremini mushrooms, rosemary and roasted garlic ($9).
The Macaroni Gratin is jazzed up with a blend of cheddar and jarlsberg
cheeses with lemon ($8).
Stuffed Zucchini is sourced from local farmers, hollowed out and
stuffed with a zucchini basil puree ($7). Knife's philosophy is best
exemplified in the Twice Baked Potato. The steakhouse standard takes a
contemporary turn, as it stands up on its end, filled with an Italian
fontina cheese, wrapped in bacon, and then roasted ($9). Other sides
include the Creamed Kale ($7), hand-cut Frites with lemon aioli ($5),
($5), Caramelized Cauliflower with sultanas, balsamic, and capers ($7),
and Whipped Potatoes locally farmed with cream and butter ($7).
steakhouse desserts such as Baked Alaska, Chocolate Cake, Key Lime Pie,
and Carrot Cake are to be expected on the dessert menu. However, Chef
Cottini won't let them out of the kitchen until each confection is his
is modernizing the old-school steakhouse mentality and ambiance. It
will raise expectations of what a steakhouse can be while paying homage
to menu classics. Promoting culinary creativity and cultural fusion is
what makes this restaurant "truly American." At Knife, expect the
Bar/Cocktail Program complements the food philosophy
David Byers, responsible for the Wine Spectator
award-winning program at Fork, believes wines by the glass will be an
important component at Knife. About a dozen wines by the glass will be
served from bottles, and there also will be four keg wine offerings.
Enhancing the program will be a Coravin program of luxury, by-the-glass
wines. "I am very excited to offer some really unique and higher end
wines to pair by the glass with Chef Tim's food," said Byers. "Utilizing
the Coravin, we can showcase some unique wines we otherwise wouldn't be
able to by the glass."
Anthony Munger, bar manager and mixologist at Knife, has
developed an inventive craft cocktail menu with several sources of
inspiration. Cocktails will use local ingredients and mostly be made
from scratch. This extends beyond the bar juicing its own citrus-for
instance, the skins from oranges will be steeped in brandy with vodka
and cloves for in-house Cointreau. Locally sourced mushrooms will add a
deep earthiness to sherry, and homegrown lavender will enhance Knife's
whiskey. Currently, Munger has 35 of these different from-scratch
"preparations" lined up. Knife is also growing its own herbs, including
four different kinds of mint, basil, lemon verbena, sage, thyme,
rosemary, and jasmine to use in its cocktails.
much as I shy away from phrases like "farm-to-glass," that's how I'm
approaching this drink program. We are involved with and have gained
knowledge of each ingredient's cultivation. We honor them as we prepare
them," says Munger.
as Knife reinvents traditional steakhouse menu items, Munger redesigns
standard cocktails. Aviations will be constructed at the table using
organic food coloring that takes dark purple gin and turns it into a
lighter pink before the guest's eyes. Traditional martinis will be
served with silver plates that showcase pipettes of vermouth and olive
brine so that guests can participate in having a martini exactly how
they like it.
"cocktail calculus" to determine alcohol content, acidity, and
sweetness, Munger has reworked several classic cocktail with completely
new ingredients. He has created a gin sour infused with chamomile and
snap peas that uses fresh aloe vera juice instead of egg whites for a
completely vegan version.
"I also draw inspiration for cocktails from obscure words
that define feelings that we all relate to," Munger says. The
"Liberosis," meaning "the desire to care less about things," features
Blanco vermouth, Benedictine, Chartreuse, and lemon juice. The
"Adronitis," meaning "the frustration with how long it takes to get to
know someone," is comprised of Apricot-infused scotch, brandy, Cynar,
Glenlivet, and Byrrh.
located at 4343 N. Lincoln Avenue in Chicago and opening mid-September,
2016, will be a new contemporary steakhouse from David Byers and Chef
Tim Cottini, the duo behind the popular Fork restaurant in Chicago's
Lincoln Square. Knife is inspired by traditional steakhouse food and
beverages and gives them a modern interpretation, using fresh, locally
will be open for dinner from 4:30 p.m. to 10 p.m. Tuesday through
Thursday; 4:30 p.m. to 11 p.m. Friday and Saturday, and 4:30 to 9 p.m.
on Sunday; closed Monday. All major cards will be accepted; ample street
parking is available. Knife also will be available for private events.
For more information, please contact Knife at (773) 799-8283. Visit the