This month, Berwyn’s Autre Monde Café and Spirits celebrates its five-year anniversary with a complete refresh, bringing new life throughout the restaurant with updated décor, a revamped menu design, new dishes, and a new and exciting cocktail, beer, and wine program.
In 2010, Autre Monde owners Christine and John Aranza purchased an old florist shop on Roosevelt Road and built the restaurant from the ground up. Together with partners and Executive Chefs Dan Pancake and Beth Partridge, Autre Monde was created with the goal to bring quality fine dining to the western suburbs with an emphasis on technique, green building, local sourcing, and a passion for the neighborhood. Hailed as a restaurant complete with “good looks, terrific value-driven food and a culinary pedigree that reaches deep into Chicago's fine-dining history” (Phil Vettel, Chicago Tribune), Autre Monde has received numerous accolades, a Green Certification, and continues to celebrate the strong lineage of females among the management team.
“When we first opened, our efforts were focused on creating a functioning space and establishing ourselves into the neighborhood,” says co-owner Christine Tully Aranza. “The best restaurants grow and continue to evolve, and after five years, we wanted to reflect and honor this evolution in every aspect of Autre Monde.”
The new menu by Executive Chefs Dan Pancake and Beth Partridge and Chef de Cuisine Andrew Kerns features time-tested crowd pleasers together with a variety of new dishes that highlight the Mediterranean region’s simultaneous simplicity and complexity. The re-designed menu layout by Nina D’Angier nods to a traditional neighborhood brasserie menu, modernizing the layout to apply to a pan-Mediterranean concept with featured sections such as pinxtos, housemade flatbreads and pasta, small plates, and large plates.
Wine director and Certified Sommelier John Aranza cultivated a wine list heavily influenced by varietals from the Mediterranean and Adriatic regions, now organized by the style of wine. Under house Mixologist Becci Visconti West, Autre Monde’s cocktail program has flourished, and the menu now features three seasonally changing categories of classics, riffs, and originals, complemented by an extensive list of amari and digestivi from the Mediterranean region.
Autre Monde’s dining room was designed by Alexis Nielsen Interiors, and is now complete with acoustic paneled sound-proofing, new chairs and refreshed artwork. The bar is highlighted as the focal point of the restaurant with updated wallpaper and shelving. Throughout the space, diners find authentic Moroccan light fixtures hand selected by Cassandra Karinsky, owner of Kulchi.com, an online store sourcing Moroccan carpets, textiles and furnishings. Karinsky and Tully Aranza are longtime friends, meeting over 20 years ago while working in the restaurant industry.
For this Fifth Anniversary refresh, the Autre Monde team worked to evolve and refresh the restaurant with their guests in mind, ushering in a new era of culinary excellence paired with its quintessential neighborhood charm.