Mark your calendars and get out the stretchy pants! Great new things are coming to the Chicago restaurant scene this year. From buzz worthy to braised pork belly, take a look at some of the best new restaurants in Chicago.

Grahamwich

615 N. State Street
Chicago, IL 60654
www.grahamwich.com

Opened: December 2010

Graham Elliot, chef and owner of the Michelin starred restaurant Graham Elliot, is at it again. The Chicago restaurant owner, culinary director for Lollapalooza and judge on Fox’s MasterChef, is having an all-star year in 2011 with the opening of Grahamwich. This culinary genius is bringing his knowledge and business savvy to the sandwich counter. At Grahamwich you’ll find sandwiches such as: Beef Shortrib, Pastrami Reuben, Turkey Confit and Smoked Whitefish. Since the opening in December, Grahamwich already has a loyal following of sandwich and Graham Elliot lovers. Sandwiches are priced at $10–and worth every penny.

Next-Aviary

(credit: Next-Aviary facebook.com)

Next/Aviary

953 W Fulton Market
Chicago, IL 60607
nextrestaurant.com

Opening: TBD Early 2011

Predicted to be the most anticipated opening of the year, Grant Achatz’s Next/Aviary is causing quite the buzz. The restaurant (Next) will be featuring 4 menus per year based on different eras or parts of the world. Paris 1912 and Hong Kong 2036, are two tasting menu examples. Even more unique than the menus, is the reservation method. Calling for reservations- so 2010! Next, takes reservations only through ticket purchases like at a box office. Much like a theater, ticket prices range by day and time. Saturday nights for example, will cost more than a Tuesday afternoon. Located next door, is Aviary– the neighboring cocktail lounge to Next. Here you’ll find one of a kind cocktails and a drink experience like no other. Watch the trailer to see what’s in store at Next/Aviary.

Boka Group

(credit: gtfishandoyster.wordpress.com)

GT Fish & Oyster

531 N. Wells St.
Chicago, IL 60654
gtfishandoyster.wordpress.com

Opening: TBD February 2011

Chef/partner Giuseppe Tentori is at the helm of this hip oyster bar. The Boka Group plans to have the restaurant open for business this February. To give you a taste of their other menu items, think fresh fish, clam chowder and lobster rolls. This highly anticipated opening is sure to draw a variety of Chicago locals, trendy foodies and fish lovers alike. Here are some fun facts taken from their website; The space is being designed by 555, the same firm that designed “Girl & The Goat.” There will be two “Kings Tables” in the main dining room that will seat up to 10 people. There is a killer “boomerang” table in the bar area made out of the same material as a surf board. —gtfishandoyster.wordpress.com

Togarashi Grill and Noodle Barn

116 W. Hubbard St.
Chicago, IL 60654

Opening: TBD Summer 2011

Takashi Yagihashi, the chef behind Michelin starred Takashi in Bucktown, brings you Togarashi Grill and Noodle Barn. Located in River North, this small plate, Asian noodle house will be packed with oysters, noodle dishes, sashimi and other Asian seafood and noodle favorites. Fresh seafood and unique noodle dishes, sounds like a great way to ring in warm weather.

The Trencherman

Location and opening TBD 2011

The Trencherman, is said to be featuring local, seasonal cuisine. The chef behind The Trencherman, is former Blackbird chef, Mike Sheerin. Sheerin is also a Food & Wine ‘Best New Chef of 2010’ winner. Menu items are said to be along the lines of braised pork belly, quail egg and cauliflower. With an award like that, whatever chef Sheerin cooks up, is sure to be unforgettable.

Will you be dining at any of the new restaurants this year? Tell us what you think below. —Lauren Wulf, CBS Local Chicago
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