Intro welcomed its next chef-in-residence, Erik Anderson, on Thursday, May 14. Personally selected by Lettuce Entertain You Enterprises’ founder Rich Melman and chef/partner Matthew Kirkley, Anderson describes his cooking style as a “modern approach to French cooking with a deep respect for the classic technique.” Anderson will cook at Intro through July, collaborating with Rich Melman and the Intro team to create a concept reflective of his style.
Intro is a “school for entrepreneurs” that plays host to a new chef every two-to-three months. Each chef-in-residence will create a restaurant reflective of his or her own personal style, with full creative license to make Intro their own — from the menu concept to the music, vibe, and style of service — all with support from Rich Melman, chef Kirkley, and other senior partners at Lettuce Entertain You. Award-winning architect Dirk Denison designed the energetic, adaptable, and comfortable space. The 98-seat restaurant offers a variety of dining and seating options including intimate lounges on either side of the entry and high-back lounge chairs.
Erik Anderson is a born-and-bred Chicagoan, who has also earned a James Beard Foundation Award nomination. Anderson has worked in world-renowned kitchens under culinary superstars, including chef Thomas Keller at his three Michelin-starred restaurant, The French Laundry, as well as under chef Doug Flicker at Auriga. Anderson also co-helmed the kitchen at The Catbird Seat in Nashville. He has also appeared on Bizarre Foods with Andrew Zimmern, PBS’s The Mind of a Chef, and VICE’s Munchies. Anderson plans to take all he learns during his tenure at Intro and applying it to the opening of Brut, a modern French restaurant in Minneapolis he will open with partner, Jamie Malone, in fall 2015.
Highlights for Erik’s menu include Preserved Foie Gras Tart, Salted Strawberries, Hazelnut Milk, Radishes; Pike Boudin in Onion, Lettuce, Snap Peas, Ramps, Egg Yolk, Smoked Lamb’s Tongue; and Roasted Poularde, Lobster, Morcilla, Fava Beans, Madeira, Black Truffle Sauce.
The menu will evolve through the season.
The cocktail program is comprised of drinks created by Nicholas Kosevich and Ira Koplowitz of Bittercube, which, in addition to consulting with restaurants and bars around the country, also produces a line of bitters made with naturally sourced ingredients. A wine tasting is also available for $65 per person.
Intro is open Tuesday through Thursday, 5:30 p.m. to 10:00 p.m. and Friday through Saturday, 5:00 p.m. to 11:00 p.m.