During the past year or two it seemed like every restaurant had to have an English-sounding name with an ampersand in the middle. Next year, Dale Levitski seems to be betting on French food with an “n” in the middle, to judge by the name (deliberately uncapitalized) of his next venture, frog n snail, which will open near his apartment in a former Asian joint on Broadway south of Belmont. According to Kevin Pang in the Tribune, the intention is a fairly casual bistro with food like steak au poivre, bouillabaisse, and the occasional nod to his Eastern European heritage, such as pierogi. And, needless to say, frogs and snails.
There’s also mention of a coffee bar (in the same space or another is not entirely clear), though in some way the piece arguably buries the lede: Levitski plans to spend most of his time at the new place and cede operation of Sprout to his chef de cuisine, Jeff Fills. Presumably he’ll own more of the new one than he does of Sprout, where he was hired well after its original opening, which is undoubtedly an attraction. Still, Sprout put Levitski back on the map after a highly public post-Top Chef flameout, and he’ll have to work hard to juggle two spots and maintain the more reliable and creatively successful reputation that Sprout enabled him to rebuild. He compares his expansion into multiple restaurants to that of Paul Kahan; we suggest reading Mark Mendez’s story about Kahan here.