Charcoal has been flying solo since Gary Sumihiro opened the restaurant in the Golden Triangle in 2011, but yesterday Sumihiro added a second restaurant, Charcoal Bistro, at 1028 South Gaylord Street. That's the space that was previously an outpost of John Holly's Asian Bistro, and held Japon before that.
Charcoal Bistro upholds its sibling restaurant's dedication to upscale dining and fresh-made ingredients as practiced by executive chef Patrik Landberg, a native of Sweden. But general manager Matt DeGennaro describes the menu at this Washington Park location as "contemporary American or New American," compared with the original's more European leanings.
The new kitchen is overseen by chef de cuisine Josh Leiby, who will be turning out dishes divided into "Previews" and "Features," in a nod to the building's history as a theater dating back to the 1890s. Seasonal produce — like rainbow chard, dinosaur kale, chanterelle mushrooms and heirloom beets on the opening menu — add early-fall warmth to proteins ranging from pan-roasted barramundi to smoked Boulder chicken to grilled Duroc pork chops. A small raw bar with a view into the kitchen will be stocked with shellfish and other fresh seafood Thursday through Saturday nights.
Charcoal Bistro will serve lunch from Monday to Friday and dinner from Tuesday to Sunday, with pre-dinner happy hour from 4 to 6 p.m. every day but Monday. And the neighborhood will get a new weekend brunch from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Saturdays and Sundays.
With the addition of a new restaurant to the family, the Charcoal at 43 West Ninth Avenue is also making a few changes. While Landberg will keep watch as executive over both restaurants. chef Dan Pope will take over daily duties at the original. And Sunday dinner there has been dropped from the lineup to give the crews of the two restaurants one night off each week.
Keep reading for more photos of the new Charcoal.