Since leaving his post at the Michelin-rated restaurant Avenues (which subsequently closed immediately after his departure), we've been anxious to see what's next for Curtis Duffy's forthcoming concept Grace. The answer: "micro-seasonal cuisine" and some crazy bathrooms.
Recent interviews with Chicago Mag and Chicago Tribune shed light on the cuisine, which will have rapid turnover with one dish for every day that month. Duffy expands upon the concept of his dish “The Life Cycle of Fennel” in an interview with Chicagoist: "Let's say peas are in season is spring, and the peak could be a couple of weeks long. I'd like to capture it at the height of the season."
In addition to creating a hyper-experimental menu, we learn that the chef has been hard at work sitting in "over 100 chairs so that people are comfortable when they sit down for a 2-hour dining experience." Not one to compromise small details, other highlights include a glass-enclosed kitchen to allow customers a view into the behind-the-scenes action and "four different bathrooms with themes based on seasonality and color." Half-answering the very obvious question of why, Duffy says, "We want each bathroom will have a different experience." Hopefully restroom nirvana won't distract diners from letting their food get cold.
Though, all of these things are subject to change—Duffy is still in the empty concrete floor stage as shown by this stunning preview image from the Trib, with hopes of opening in another six months. And if Duffy goes the route of most every new opening these days, chances are there will be a series of trailers to inspire us along the way.
Curtis Duffy Dishes Some More About Grace [Chicagoist]
Curtis Duffy's New Restaurant Will Be Called "Grace" [Trib]
Curtis Duffy Answers Our Questions About His Upcoming New Restaurant, Grace [Chicago Mag]