Getting Back to Normal

We get an exclusive sneak peek of new French eatery, discuss restaurants opening to full capacity, and more.

By mid-summer, everything should be back to normal, right? Restaurants will be at full capacity, and all those masks will be ancient history, huh?

Not so fast, says restaurateurs and chefs like Donald Young, partner and executive chef at Venteux, a French-inspired eatery opening on Chicago’s Magnificent Mile at the end of May.

His number-one priority is keeping his staff and customers safe, and he will continue enforcing social-distance and mask mandates until he feels completely comfortable that there is no threat of the Covid-19 virus.

“We are being very mindful about Covid and the safety of our guests,” says Young during a recent conversation on the LIVE! Culinary Series. “It’s definitely a top priority for me and my staff.”

During the episode, he gave mixologist Lynn House and me a virtual tour of the 4,000-square-foot space, which includes an oyster-and-Champagne bar, cafe, and picturesque dining room. There’s definitely enough room for customers to feel safe in, while getting an authentic restaurant experience.

Check out the full interview right here. We get exclusive details on the aging processes of the ducks and steaks, Young’s favorite dishes on the brunch and dinner menus, and what to expect of the Parisian-inspired sidewalk patio.

House also creates two new original cocktails using her signature “house” sour mix. Get your pens ready; you’ll want to jot down the recipes!