Cookies & Carnitas, the sweets and meats vendor that’s earned legions of followers for mant than a decade at Chicago’s Green City Market, is charging forward with its pre-pandemic plan to open its hybrid bakery/coffeeshop and upscale restaurant in Edgewater. Associate and chef Brad Newman (Charlie Trotter’s, Tru) plans opening Cookies & Carnitas/Cafe by Ruca for carryout in about three weeks at 5939 N. Broadway. He hopes to launch the undertaking’s subsequent section, Brasserie by C&C, a French restaurant with Mexican influences, in Could.
Prospects can look forward to finding all their Cookies & Carnitas favorites on the cafe menu together with fluffy cinnamon rolls, PB&J cookies, pizzas, sandwiches, and skirt steak tacos. Newman and his group have saved the enterprise open all through the pandemic, cooking out of an unmarked ghost kitchen they’ve occupied for years. “It’ll be the identical factor, however somewhat extra polished,” he says. “It’ll have nicer services — extra mature.”
The coffeeshop element, Cafe by Ruca, will supply a sturdy beverage choice together with espresso, espresso drinks, Mexican scorching chocolate, and juices. There may even be a set of grab-and-go objects comparable to salads, bagels (baked on-site), and quiche. The cafe’s identify comes from Ruca Foods, the varsity meals service firm Newman and companions additionally personal and function.
The menu at Brasserie by C&C will function upscale variations of French dishes that pay homage to Chicago’s Mexican-American communities and their culinary influences on Newman: “I’m a Jewish child from the suburbs and my whole grownup life has been in kitchens,” he says. “I grew up in kitchens with Mexicans.”
The menu contains King Crab tamale soup (drawn butter); charred octopus rubbed with piquillo, guajillo, and lime; and a cassoulet with black and pinto beans, dried chorizo, and duck confit. Newman has been identified to swiftly change up his menus. He anticipates that sooner or later, different space ethnic teams together with Pakistanis, Vietnamese, and Ethiopians may even affect the menu.
The restaurant might be dine-in solely with a particular emphasis on service — one thing Newman feels is missing within the metropolis. If indoor eating stays banned by the point the restaurant debuts, he’ll make the 40-seat house accessible to non-public events, once more topic to governmental guidelines.
Newman announced Brasserie by C&C in March simply earlier than the coronavirus pandemic upended the nation and hospitality business. He’s made certain to distinguish his method to French-Mexican delicacies from that of chef Carlos Gaytán at Mexique or Tzuco. Newman says he’s targeted on serving lengthy, languid dinners to the encompassing neighborhood, with little curiosity in Michelin inspectors.
He’s additionally a staunch advocate of sourcing elements from native producers and fellow market distributors, eschewing massive distributors like Sysco and U.S. Meals. Newman says merchandise can lead to increased costs, however he goals to provide diners cope with massive parts that come as a set or equipment — a taco dinner with an entire duck, for instance. “So far as bang for the buck, we’re going to be the antithesis of the small-plate motion,” Newman says.
Cookies & Carnitas’ earlier stand-alone location closed after 4 years on the nook of Ardmore and Broadway. The enterprise operated as an solely to-go operation since 2017, with rumors of a reopening circulating for a while. The pandemic almost ended Newman’s brasserie goals, however between to-go gross sales and earnings from markets, he expects to remain solvent “by the pores and skin of our enamel.” Carryout and supply are presently accessible via Tock. Keep tuned for information of a gap date at Brasserie by C&C.
Brasserie by C&C, 5939 N. Broadway Avenue, scheduled for a Could opening.