Michael Mina’s Chicago debut will be two French restaurants on the Gold Coast


Celebrity chef Michael Mina’s next restaurant in Chicago has a name. Margeaux Brewery will serve French cuisine inside the Waldorf Astoria hotel, 11 E. Walton Place. The Gold Coast restaurant is slated to open in early May on the hotel’s third floor. The Mina Group will also operate a French bakery and café in the hotel lobby, called Small Margeaux, which should open mid-April.

Mina Group has also appointed Brent Balika as executive chef, according to a spokesperson. A former Dawson’s chef in River West, Balika had moved to Washington, DC, where he worked at one of Mina’s restaurants, according to the Tribune. Mina described the 120-seat Brasserie Margeaux’s approach as fine French cuisine using locally sourced ingredients. As in most hotel restaurants, they will serve breakfast, lunch and dinner. It seems they don’t stick to traditional French cuisine. The “Heritage Chicken Roti” sounds like they’re adding a taste of Southeast Asia with the flatbread. Other examples of dishes include a dish with the influences of suckling pig cassoulet, Tarbais beans, Toulouse sausage and duck confit.

Mina, an acclaimed chef whose San Francisco flagship earned a Michelin star, has reportedly been looking to open a restaurant in Chicago for some time. Its Bay Area-based restaurant group now includes 30 concepts across the country. Will Mina cause a sensation in the Midwest? This spring’s openings should answer that question.