The Press Room, a beloved Chicago wine bar located in the West Loop, announced four new additions to the team: Paúl Mena as the new managing partner, Christian Sia as chef de cuisine, Mike McCants as sous chef and Daniel Flores as the beverage director. The new team plans to build on the legacy established by The Press Room by offering diners seasonally inspired dishes, elevated classic cocktails, and one of the most robust wine catalogs from under-represented groups produced in unique, worldly locations.
Mena has joined The Press Room as a managing partner and will accompany Jeff Williams with day-to-day operations. Mena has been a part of the opening teams of two of the largest launches of the last decade in the West Loop — Momotaro and Proxi. He’s also worked for two James Beard-nominated restaurants with Nicks on Broadway and North and the largest restaurant group in Rhode Island, NRG, throughout his time in the hospitality industry.
“Hospitality is my passion. I’ve always dreamed of leaving my mark in the city with the best restaurant industry in America”, says Mena. “After knowing The Press Room team for years, it was an exciting opportunity to partner with Jeff and be a part of the restaurant’s future. The best is yet to come!”
A new culinary team now leads The Press Room, offering exciting from-scratch dishes to the West Loop’s favorite wine bar. Hailing from Singapore and a graduate of Kendall College, Chef Sia has worked in some of the country's top restaurants through stints in Atlanta, Charlotte, Chicago, and Palm Springs. Most recently, Chef Sia worked at Moto Restaurant, founded by highly acclaimed Chef Homaro Cantu, as well as L’Horizon Resort & Spa. Sia also helped with the reopening of The Delta Chicago. Chef Sia is joined by Chef Michael McCants, a Le Cordon Bleu trained chef coming from restaurants all around Chicago.
Unique new dishes from Chefs Sia and McCants include the Chinese Biang Biang Noodles, showcasing the freshest caught seasonal seafood, smoked Pomodoro, Calabrian chili, and basil with fresh-pulled noodles and the Rabbit Cacciatore, featuring mixed grains, Gaetano olives, chestnut mushrooms, and espuma de blanc, offering a a sharp yet fresh taste. Shareable appetizers have also been added to the menu including a Scallop Crudo with Marcona almonds, grapefruit gel, tarragon oil, and grapefruit segments and a Venison Tartare with orris root oil, hazelnuts, Calabrian chile, and yolk emulsion, served with sourdough bread. Artisanally-styled charcuterie boards will be offered, featuring house-selected cheeses, meats, and veggies like house-made pickles, aged gouda, wild boar saucisson, and manchego. Beginning in 2023, Chefs Sia and McCants will bring charcuterie board-making classes to the restaurant, educating diners on how to pair artisanal cheeses and meats with vintage glasses of wine.
On the beverage front, Flores will take over as beverage director and using his experience as the head bartender at The Promontory he will aim for the cocktail program to transport visitors back to the Prohibition era and lean into the space’s speakeasy vibes. Within the refreshed cocktail menu, Flores will have elevated classic cocktails by including bitters and other exciting ingredients along the way. Some of the new additions include Hell in Lake Michigan featuring rum, lime, grenadine, and luxardo as well as his Hanky Panky that is a stirred cocktail with gin, sweet vermouth, and fernet Branca, and The Ghostwriter featuring Mezcal, sweet vermouth, orange juice, crème de cassis and crème de violette.
The wine program will build on the restaurant’s robust legacy and will be led by Mena. Mena will showcase wines from underrepresented regions and groups such as Austria, Mexico, and more. His aim is to make The Press Room's wine lists one of the most diverse in Chicago.
The Press Room is located at 1134 W Washington Blvd on the lower level of a century-old building, originally the Free Methodist Publishing House, and is open Tuesday through Thursday 4-10 pm as well as Friday and Saturday 4-12 pm.
News and information presented in this release has not been corroborated by WTWH Media LLC.