A New Era for mk The Restaurant

mk The Restaurant is one of the godfathers of great restaurants in downtown Chicago, and every now and again even a godfather could use a makeover. The restaurant that put Michael Kornick on the map in a major way, and the place that helped shape Chicago's dining scene, recently closed to undergo an extensive revamp. At age 15, the restaurant has been rolling stronger than ever, but it never hurts to do a little nip and tuck, so to speak. Stop by tonight to check out mk 2.0.

To breathe new life into the space, Michael and Lisa Kornick brought back the original designers, Keith Olsen and Cynthia Vranas. The duo implemented new design elements throughout the space, adding a splashy new bar made from glass and wood, as well as new banquettes and bar tables. Pearwood paneling bolsters the dining room, while bold new fabrics jazz up the upholstery.

The new bar area in the lounge is brimming with new things. The spirits selection now stretches over 60, a ritzy new window banquette provides a bird's eye view of the Chicago skyline, and a new bar bites menu by Kornick and executive chef Erick Williams pairs perfectly with any of mk's wines or spirits. Bar bites include fried brandade fritters with basiol aïoli and smoked paprika; a B.L.T. made with boar bacon, arugula, Nichols Farm heirloom tomatoes, and aged balsamic croutons; Wagyu beef sliders on focaccia with bone marrow butter (!), hen of the woods mushrooms, pecorino, and Green Acres watercress; and fried chorizo-stuffed Gordal olives with hazelnut romesco sauce.

(Eat this B.L.T. at mk now)

In the dining room, mk is now all about the single-server protocol, designed to increase guests' interactions with the wait staff. There's also new china, flatware, bread offerings, and pour-over coffee service! A new seasonal tasting menu and a la carte menu round out the updates, with a six-course degustation dubbed "the journey continues" and bounteous new selections available a la carte.

It's a new era for one of Chicago's restaurant staples.