On Saturday, Boka Restaurant Group’s co-owner, Kevin Boehm, unceremoniously announced the immediate end of Landmark in Lincon Park: “Landmark’s last night is tonight,” he wrote on Twitter. But that’s where things got really interesting. Boehm also linked to a YouTube video, which he called the “next chapter.” It shows some Italian feast without any mention of a chef or concept. Finally, nearly three minutes in, Chris Pandel of The Bristol reveals himself to the camera. Turns out the acclaimed Bucktown restaurant is teaming up with Boka for a new restaurant called Balena, which is set to open in the fall.
Thanks to the protracted footage of the dinner table, we already have a good idea about what dishes will be available. Boehm described Balena as an “Italian concept,” and the food featured definitely backs that up. You can check out the full list of dishes below, but kale panzanella, fire roasted duck brushetta, and a rather pretty pizza margherita, all make an appearance. According to Pandel, the restaurant will also feature a large wood-burning oven with four spits, where they’ll be able to cook whole pigs. We are excited.
Though obviously big news for both parties, it does also mean that Landmark is no more. It never enjoyed the same level of adoration as, well, every single other restaurant in the group (Girl & The Goat, GT Fish & Oyster, Perennial Virant, Boka), but it was never for want of diners. Sounds like Balena hopes to maintain the same approachable vibe, but with a well respected chef and a more concrete theme behind it.
We’ll definitely have more about this later in the week, but for now, check out all the dishes mentioned, along with the full video below.
Belana’s Preview Menu
- Tuna Conserva, Heirloom Tomatoes, Roasted Artichokes, Tomato Vinaigrette,
- Kale Panzanella, Imported Sardines, Pecorino
- Fire Roasted Duck Bruschetta, Vinegar Cherries
- Trofie Pasta, Snap Peas
- Whole Roasted Bass, Roasted Potatoes, Salsa Verde,
- Pizza Margherita