Friday, April 30, 2010

Act One Café brings New American cuisine to Chicago’s North Side

Act One Café (1330 W. Morse Avenue, Chicago, 773.381.4550) opens its doors on May 21, 2010 and looks forward to becoming a favorite place for casual dining in the neighborhood. The highly anticipated opening of the restaurant and adjoining Mayne Stage is an energizing addition to this north side community.

Executive Chef Jimmy Madla plans a unique menu of comfort foods and innovative items at the 100-seat Act One Café. Madla has been a prominent figure on Chicago’s culinary scene for nearly two decades working in various kitchens before opening his own highly successful restaurant, Coobah, in 2002.

Act One Café provides him a second outlet to create an entirely different menu with the assistance of his culinary team.

“The New American cuisine at Act One Café honors the melting pot of flavors that make eating and cooking so much fun,” says Madla, who has combined traditional techniques with creative twists in developing the menu.

Madla's dishes, which include regional specialties featuring sustainable ingredients wherever possible, are the perfect complement to the intimate, casual, welcoming atmosphere created by the management and service team at Act One Café.

The restaurant is open for dinner nightly except Monday and features an elaborate brunch buffet on weekends. Entrees range from $7- $20.

Appetizer selections include Seared Scallops, with garlic-brown butter sauce and herbed brioche crumble; Veggie Tater Tots, made with zucchini, red pepper and olive with whipped goat cheese; and Crispy Spring Rolls, filled with spicy jerked chicken, caramelized plantain and cabbage.

Entrée options include Berkshire Pork French Dip, slow roasted for seven hours, sliced thin and served on a Highland Bakery French roll with natural jus and very hot house-made mustard; Bistro Steak, Dietzler Farm 10 oz. hangar steak with Act One steak sauce and classic mashed potatoes; and Seafood “Booyah,” with shrimp, scallops, calamari, Fresno chili and black beans in a saffron-tomato broth.

Desserts are a welcome finale, with selections like Malted Chocolate Pot au Crème, Turbinado sugar brulée, brandied Chantilly and vanilla tuile; and Bread Pudding, white chocolate and pistachios with “Manhattan” hard sauce.

“Act One Café is the perfect place to join friends for a relaxing evening with great food and drinks any night of the week and for brunch on weekends,” says Madla. “It’s also ideal for cocktails and dining before or after performances at Mayne Stage.”

Act One Café is located at 1330 W. Morse Ave. in Chicago’s Rogers Park neighborhood. Act One Café is open for dinner Tuesday through Sunday from 5 p.m. until 10 p.m. The bar is open weekdays until 10 p.m. and until midnight on Friday and Saturday. Brunch is served on Saturday and Sunday from 10 a.m. until 3 p.m. For more information, or to make a reservation, call (773) 381-4550 or visit

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