Ever since Rob and Allie Levitt unexpectedly left Mado to open up that new butcher shop, we’ve been wondering what would happen to the popular Bucktown restaurant that was left behind. It had been voted as one of the best new restaurants in the country in 2009, but much of that adoration seemed due to the Levitt’s intense focus on local vegetables and in-house butchering. We weren’t sure how the restaurant would work without them. But Mado hasn’t wasted any time, and actually plans to open today with a brand new chef, new focus, and completely new menu.
Last night we received a tip that Brandon Baltzley, who has done stints at Alinea and most recently at Schwa, would be taking over the kitchen. Eater confirmed the news with Baltzley, and got a scoop on the new direction. Instead of the mix of Midwest and Mediterranean that made Mado famous, the new menu will feature more global flavors.
It’s kind of an astonishing new direction, but we’ll have to wait until 5 p.m. before we’ll know for sure how dramatic this transformation will be.