Matt Eversman leaves Saigon Sisters to open new restaurant
Wed May 18 2011
Photograph: Brendan Lekan
Chef Matthew Eversman has left [node:176465 link=Saigon Sisters;], the seven-month-old restaurant he has helmed since its opening. His plan is to open a new restaurant.
"Every chef is looking for an opportunity to kind of spread their wings and have a project of their own," Eversman told TOC. "It's not like I've been looking a long time for it, but when the opportunity came up, it was one of those things you just can't pass up. It's exciting."
Though he had worked at [node:148485 link=Charlie Trotter’s;] and May Street Market, Eversman was virtually unknown before joining Saigon Sisters. But as the restaurant received glowing reviews, he quickly became a name. Last month, he was awarded the [node:14353719 link=Breakout Chef of the Year;] Eat Out Award by TOC's readers.
The details of his new venture are extremely sketchy. Eversman says he and his partners (whom he would not name) are looking at spaces in River North, Lincoln Park and the West Loop (though they have ruled no neighborhood out), and that they hope to have 50–70 seats. As for the food, it will not be Vietnamese (a cuisine that Eversman admittedly did not specialize in before joining Saigon Sisters), but there may be influences here and there. Eversman says the hope is to have the restaurant open by the end of the year.
As for the sudden departure from Saigon Sisters, Eversman said that "breakups always hurt."
"I have the utmost respect for them," he added. "And I hope that they would say the same about me."
Mary Nguyen Aregoni, one of Saigon Sisters' owners, did not want to say too much about the subject. "[Matt] pursuing his own thing is his own business," she said. "I really don't want to say anything more than I wish him luck."
She added that "Matt did a great job—he showcased his skills and talent." But with his departure, Nguyen Aregoni will take over as interim executive chef, and she hinted that she plans to steer the menu in a more identifiably Vietnamese direction.
"Definitely there will be a change," she said.