Tribute to Open in South Loop

Opening on May 1 Spring 2011, Tribute will be a classic American restaurant with a modern culinary edge in the South Loop.  The Chow Crowd Restaurant Group has set out to offer contemporary American fare, to deliver excellence in food, service, ambiance and price, and provide a welcoming and comfortable atmosphere.  Tribute will be located in the Green Seal certified Chicago’s Essex Inn and will offer breakfast, lunch and dinner as well as “grab and go” options for on-the-go business people.  Breakfast and lunch will bring expertly prepared American classics for either those seeking a quick midday bite or a leisurely meal.  At dinner, guests will enjoy an intimate experience featuring an expansive menu of classic American dishes and sophisticated specials.  The lounge will entertain a lively after-work crowd and continue to be a social center through the remainder of the evening.

Tribute’s General Manager and Partner, Simon Lamb states that although casual and moderately priced, Tribute will offer five-star service at all times, exceeding the expectations of its guests.  “We want to instill a family-friendly attitude towards our staff and guests; we will welcome diners as if they are guests in our home.”  Tribute will have the familiar and welcoming feel of classic coffee shops or diners with an updated and more sophisticated approach.

The restaurant is 6800 square feet with 16 foot high ceilings and a clear view out of the 12 foot windows overlooking Grant Park.  Tribute will offer seating for approximately 100 people in the dining room, a private party room that will accommodate 45 people and a bar/lounge area that seats up to 50.  The bar/lounge area features a retro double sided bar and captain tables, along with comfortable, relaxing lounge chairs.  And for the warmer months, there will be an expansive outdoor patio right on Michigan Avenue.

The welcoming atmosphere has been designed by Steven Dandrea and Randy Houts using warm tones, soft fabrics and natural wood features.  Environmentally-friendly materials are being used whenever possible. 

Steve Dandrea and Randy Houts have been working together since 2009 and collectively they have more than 44 years of experience in architectural design.  Their style – clean and contemporary – provides a clear understanding of space, adorned with fine attention to detail and flow. 

Chef Brandon Baltzley joins new Chicago restaurant Tribute with 12 years of experience under his belt.  Baltzley was most recently Executive Chef at Mado in Chicago – one of Bon Appetit’s Top Ten New American Restaurants that received a Michelin Bib Gourmand.  He was Chef De Partie at Alinea which received three Michelin stars and was named San Pelligrino’s number one restaurant in the country.  Prior to his work in Chicago, Baltzley also served in the kitchens at 6th Street Kitchen, Allen and Delancey Restaurant and Winebar Restaurant at Vintage in New York. Prior to being in New York, Brandon honed his skills and received several awards while at Cha Bella Restaurant in Savannah.  Baltzley started his career at Bistro Aix in Jacksonville, Florida. 

Brandon Baltzley says, “I am excited to bring creative energy and extensively honed skills to forward Tribute’s vision for a classic American restaurant with a modern culinary edge.”

The menu at Tribute will be designed to appeal to both the casual diner as well as the sophisticated, discerning foodie.  Menu item prices will be balanced favoring low to moderate pricing, with daily specials that include some higher priced items.  The flavorful breakfast, lunch and dinner menus will use local and sustainable products that support Midwestern farms and suppliers for both food and beverages whenever possible.

The Chow Crowd is a restaurant group creating unique and beautiful restaurant concepts and locations. The Chow Crowd is committed to excellence in food, service and ambiance.  Founded in 2010, The Chow Crowd is located in Chicago, Illinois.

The Chow Crowd Restaurant
800 South Michigan Avenue
Chicago, IL 60605


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