Chicago-based wine concept Enolo Wine Café, the sister restaurant to Roka Akor known for its focus on worldly, yet approachable small vineyard wine selections and seasonal cuisine, announced two major hires and launched a new menu to kick off 2016.

Chicago native Rich Phelps has taken on the executive chef role at Enolo after impressive runs in well-respected West Coast and Midwestern restaurants. Phelps’ background includes stints in highly regarded culinary institutions such as Michael Mina’s flagship restaurant and Nancy Oak’s Boulevard based in San Francisco, in addition to Carrie Nahabedian’s Naha, and Michael Kornick’s mk The Restaurant based in Chicago. Enolo Wine Café is chef’s first executive role, and he emphasizes “placing a keen focus on simplicity, letting the ingredients in each dish speak for themselves.” His culinary philosophy can be seen throughout the restaurant’s new menu, which launches on January 22 at the start of Chicago Restaurant Week.

In addition to embracing a new culinary program, Enolo Wine Café has expanded and upgraded its globally influenced wine list with the hire of general manager and certified sommelier, Anthony Rossi. Rossi brings experience and education from a pedigree of Michelin-starred restaurants including Sepia, where he worked under the 2015 Jean Banchet Best Sommelier, Arthur Hon; Sixteen at the Trump; Courtright’s; and C Chicago. Rossi is determined to raise the profile of the already talented team at the restaurant and make Enolo Wine Café a wine, food, and social experience unlike any other in the neighborhood.

As for what Enolo’s guests can expect come January 22, the chef and general manager duo state, “we have been crafting the menu for almost a month now, and are really looking forward to guests’ reaction to the more progressive food & beverage program. Both Anthony and I have worked closely together to ensure that each dish and wine have a perfect complement to one another.”

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