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

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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—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.