The James Beard-nominated chef declares “it’s all good” at his new family-friendly neighborhood bistro in Hinsdale.
On Saturday, August 30, lauded Chef Paul Virant opened the doors to his new restaurant, Vistro (112 S. Washington St., Hinsdale, IL). The neighborhood bistro boasts a farm-fresh menu filled with comfort food perfect for family-style dining.
Vistro -- like Chef Virant’s other concepts Vie and Perennial Virant -- focuses on Midwestern cuisine that emphasizes innovative canned and preserved ingredients. The menu features a variety of seasonal, shareable plates including classics like mac n’ cheese and fried chicken, to globally influenced dishes like ceviche and curry. Desserts imagined by Pastry Chef Elissa Narow, who also oversees the pastry programs at Vie and Perennial Virant, showcase childhood favorites including a soft serve machine churning out rotating flavors. Vistro’s opening menu features dishes like:
Snacks & Munchies
- Crispy Tuscan kale, honey, lemon, and brown butter
- Fried fermented pickles with dill and fresh garlic mayonnaise
- Surf & turf sliders
- Thai vegetable curry with crispy rice
- Griddled burger with bacon and pimento cheese, served with fries and pickles
- Pork Milanese with polenta, arugula, and grapes
- Panzanella with market vegetables, croutons, and fried chicken
- Valrhona chocolate s’mores with brown butter crumb and house marshmallow
- Sticky toffee pudding with Klug Farm plums and whipped cream
- Cream corn, ricotta, mascarpone, honey, and seasonal fruit
To complement the versatile menu, Bar Manager Bill Anderson curated an extensive beverage program with wine, craft beer, and a fanciful list of mocktails that can be spiked with a variety of spirits for adult imbibers. Drinks include the “Summer Smash” with fresh melon and lime, chamomile tea syrup, soda, and mint; “That’s My Jam” with housemade black raspberry jam, fresh lemon, thyme syrup, and tonic; and “It’s All Good” with muddled orange and lime, lemon oil syrup, and ginger beer.
“I designed Vistro with my own family in mind,” says Chef Virant. “I like to take them to the kind of restaurant where the food and environment is approachable enough that my kids feel comfortable, and we can all enjoy a great meal. Using high quality local ingredients, we are making comfort food that will please every member of the family.”
“I could not be prouder to be a part of such an exciting new concept,” says Vistro’s co-owner, Glen Gardner. “We are looking forward to becoming a staple in the community, and seeing new and familiar faces every night of service.”
Designed by Chef Virant’s wife, Jennifer, and Designer Jody Tate, the restaurant’s décor is relaxed and comfortable. A wood-burning oven serves as a focal point for the space, and the dining room boasts 80 seats as well as a large bar offering seasonal mocktails and cocktails.
Vistro, which celebrates its soft open today, officially opens on Saturday, August 30 at 5 p.m. and will be open Mondays through Thursdays from 5 – 10:30 p.m. and Fridays and Saturdays from 5 to 11:30 p.m. Reservations are available on Open Table and by calling 630.537.1459.
About Chef Paul Virant:
Since opening his flagship restaurant, Vie, in Western Springs, Illinois in 2004, Chef, Author, and Restaurateur Paul Virant has risen to nationwide acclaim for his contemporary Midwestern cuisine. His philosophy of local, seasonal eating stems from techniques he learned on his family’s farm in Missouri that continue to spark his creativity today. In 2005, before Vie had been open for a full year, Chicago magazine named Virant the city’s Best New Chef. In addition to Michelin-starred Vie, he brings his culinary prowess to the city’s Lincoln Park neighborhood as partner and executive chef of Boka Restaurant Group’s Perennial Virant, which he opened in 2011, followed by the J. Parker, a rooftop lounge and bar, both located at Hotel Lincoln. In the summer of 2014, Virant added Vistro, a neighborhood bistro in Hinsdale to his portfolio. Virant’s accolades include: a 2011, 2013 and 2014 nomination for James Beard Foundation’s Best Chef: Great Lakes; 2007 Best New Chef by Food & Wine; 2007 Jean Banchet Award for Culinary Excellence as Top Celebrity Chef; and 2005 Best New Chef by Chicago magazine in 2005. He has also competed on Food Network’s “Iron Chef America.” Vie earned its Michelin star in 2011.