By: Arman Razavi, MOA

It gives me pride and pleasure to announce a new project working with the newly opened Celeste restaurant and cocktail lounge in Chicago. Located at 111 W. Hubbard Street in the heart of Chicago’s bustling River North neighborhood, Celeste is a modern, refined interpretation of the classic American drinking establishment. Launched on February 3rd, 2014, Celeste is reminiscent of a glamorous, turn-of-the-century Chicago — a time of the World’s Fair, spirited architectural innovation, and a sense of new cultural pinnacles. Laid on 4 distinctively original floors and with a rooftop garden, late night license and the impressive team behind the bar of Fred Sarkis (Sable) and Sterling Field (Carriage House); and a menu by Chef Aaron Lirette (Acadia) and TJ Harville (Sofitel), this is going to be one of my most exciting projects yet!

The early reviews are in and are overwhelmingly positive. Zagat has voted Celeste as one of “Chicago’s 10 Hottest Bars,” Time Out writes, “Lirette’s menu of elegant dishes is filled with hits,” and Chicago magazine notes, “the multi-level space has a seductive craft-cocktail list (we liked the Golden Filigree, a milk punch with bourbon, cognac, and dark rum.) It’s got plenty of comfy nooks for settling in, an approachable yet high-end menu of noshes (baby octopus cooked sous-vide, anyone?), and music tuned to a conversational volume. It’s by far the sexiest-feeling bar open until 5 a.m. on Saturdays.”

A unique venue favored by the hospitality industry insiders, Celeste offers a well-versed beverage program that is thought-provoking, and invites the guests to enjoy deep, modular drinks alongside its versatile wine list. Feast on sophisticated, seasonal American cuisine — smart and multi-layered — yet straightforward. I am delighted to be part of this project and look forward to a great year ahead.

 Celeste, 111 W. Hubbard St.; 312-828-9000

Follow me here or on Twitter @RazaviArman.