CHICAGO BLT American Brasserie opened earlier this month on the first floor of the former Montgomery Ward headquarters in River North. Designed to channel Europe in the 1920s, the restaurant has low, smoky-glass-top tables in the lounge area, chocolate leather club chairs, and red mohair ottomans. A metallic mural crowns the dark granite bar, and the main dining room has crushed-velvet banquettes, pendant lights, and octagonal mirrors. Available for buyout, the richly appointed venue can hold 500.
A large private dining room can seat 120 or hold 200 for cocktail receptions, and the room can be divided into two smaller spaces. Along Chicago Avenue, a massive back patio can host alfresco functions for 500, and the venue can arrange for tent rentals.
Chef Laurent Tourondel, executive chef at Brasserie Ruhlmann in Rockefeller Center, oversees the menu. Items include coconut-macadamia-shrimp sushi rolls, oysters and little-neck clams from the raw bar, pizzas prepared in a brick oven, and steak frites. More than 30 wines are available by the glass, and the seasonal cocktail list includes drinks such as the Red Apple and Bourbon Fizz and a cranberry mojito.