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Fall preview: The best openings this season in Chicago

Balena 1633 N Halsted StCombine the forces of the The Bristol with the Boka Group and you get this: a sprawling Italian spot where Chris Pandel will put out...

Balena1633 N Halsted St
Combine the forces of the The Bristol with the Boka Group and you get this: a sprawling Italian spot where Chris Pandel will put out pizzas, pastas and spit-cooked meats, and where pastry chef Amanda Rockman will put out gelatos, Italian ices and affagatos. December

Bar Toma110 E Pearson St
Tony Mantuano moves into the former Bistro 110 space, where he’ll sling pizzas and offer a mozzarella bar. Expect a lot of fromage—the name is a play off Tony’s name (TOny MAntuano), but also refers to his favorite cheese. Mid-fall

Bavette’s Bar & Boeuf River North
Brendan Sodikoff presents what he’s calling a “European-style steakhouse.” In addition to the obvious, there’ll be lots of chilled seafood, terrines and a big Scotch list. Late October

BLT American Brasserie 500 W Superior St
Laurent Tourondel’s foray into Chicago is a broad-reaching restaurant offering pizza, sushi, burgers, steaks, a raw bar and bruch. Mid-October

Jam 3059 W Logan Blvd
The second location of Jeffrey Mauro’s breakfast-and-lunch spot will offer what the original location only teased us with: dinner. September

Publican Quality Meats 825 W Fulton Market
Paul Kahan’s little sister to the Publican combines a butcher shop, sandwich spot, bakery and grocery store. Late fall

The Pump Room 1301 N State Pkwy
Ian Schrager’s reinvented Pump Room has chef Bradford Phillips at the helm (that is, if you don’t count head chef Jean-Georges Vongerichten, which we don’t). Kady Yon, former pastry chef of the Boka Group, is on desserts. October 11

Uva 1023 W Lake St
Mark Mendez is going from Carnivale’s 600 seats to a cozy 68 at this Spanish wine bar, which he’s opening with his wife, Liz. Mid-October

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