Seven Lions, the contemporary American clubhouse restaurant from proprietor Alpana Singh, will open its doors on Michigan Avenue in Chicago on Thursday, Feb. 19, for lunch service at 11 a.m.
At 12,000 square feet and located in the landmark Peoples Gas building, across from the famed Art Institute of Chicago, Seven Lions promises to make a roaring entrance into downtown Chicago.
In the kitchen, Executive Chef Chris Curren and his talented team, including chef de cuisine Patrick Russ (previously of The Dawson and Next) and pastry chef Karianne Soulsby, offer a modern interpretation of American clubhouse fare.
Seven Lions presents refined, rustic cuisine with twists on classic dishes like Lobster Cobb Salad, Lamb Ribs, Chicken and Duck Club Sandwich, Citrus-Braised Pork Shank, a three-tiered Relish Tray, and more. For brunch, menu options include a Ham, Egg and Cheese Sandwich, Dutch Baby Pancakes, Duck Hash ,and other delightful daytime fare.
Soulsby, who owns DIVA Chocolates & Confections Inc. and has worked in the kitchens of Sweet Mandy B’s Bakery, TRU and Valley Lo Club in Glenview, developed a dessert menu that offers a contemporary approach to favorite American sweets. Guests can bite into a Caramel Bacon Éclair made with salted caramel and bacon bits at brunch or revisit their youth at dinnertime with a S’mores Bread Pudding and the decadent PB & C with malted milk and peanut butter mousse, peanut butter-chocolate crunch, and malted milkshake.
The beverage program includes a contemporary wine list curated by Master Sommelier Alpana Singh, with more than 250 American bottles at a range of price points. The craft beer program follows suit, with a variety of American beers available on draft and by the bottle. Seven Lions also serves creative takes on classic American cocktails, with ever-evolving options that reflect the season.
Guests can enjoy the clubhouse-inspired menu in the main dining room, which has 85 seats, and the bar area, which offers 30 seats, plus ample room for mingling.
The restaurant employs a strategic use of the extensive space with a sophisticated, modern design contrasting the neoclassical façade of the Daniel Burnham-designed building. An eclectic combination of refined and raw materials achieves the contemporary look of Seven Lions.
The space is defined by dark hardwood floors and bronze-tinted stucco walls, and filled with tufted brown leather and crushed velvet booths that invite diners to sit back, socialize, and people watch.
Gold-guilded crystal chandeliers are juxtaposed against beautifully aged, reclaimed lumber sourced from an entire barn in Indiana and installed throughout the space. Among antique mirrors hangs a huge photographic collage of Chicago images created specifically for the space by artist Gail Mancusco.
In the center of the restaurant, a light box canopy serves as a beacon to all bar goers. The large social hub is framed with reclaimed wood, has a mirrored backdrop and is topped with a white Carrara marble with walnut nosing. The bar is flanked by two private rooms on the first floor reflective of the raw versus opulence theme.
In the private dinning spaces, midnight blue and gray stucco walls give a soft velvet texture while bronze ball fixtures and operable windows provide the option of privacy or an open view to the bustling flow of the main space.
Seven Lions includes three distinct private dining rooms ideally suited for a variety of events. The Blue Room, located on the main floor, is the most intimate and seats 10. The Den is also located on the first floor and seats 20-35 guests.
The Symphony Room, located downstairs and aptly named after the previous tenant’s musical practice space, serves as a banquet hall for up to 50 seated guests and offers a separate bar. An expansive al fresco space along bustling Michigan Avenue will open during the warmer months and seat 70-80. An off-site catering program and a menu of items to go will also roll out later in 2015.