The name of coming-soon River North restaurant Baume & Brix combines two culinary terms lesser known to most diners: Baume is the scale that gauges the gravity of liquid, while a a brix scale is used to measure sugar.
Scheduled to open in August at 351 W. Hubbard St. (which used to house Rumba) Baume & Brix will serve dishes will be prepared using molecular gastronomy techniques, locally sourced ingredients and international influences ranging from Greek to Japanese.
One thing you won’t find: white tablecloths. Chef/partner Thomas Elliott Bowman feels they can make the dining experience “somewhat stuffy," and stuffy is the exact opposite of what Bowman, former executive chef at iNG, and partners Steve Tavoso and Jeff Krogh are aiming for.
According to Bowman, Baume & Brix will serve “modern cuisine that’s approachable for everyone," with an atmosphere relaxed enough for diners to wear jeans.
“We’re trying to keep the price point in the $19 range, if possible, with nothing above $26,” Bowman said.
Baume & Brix’s menu will range from a sizeable portion of milk-braised veal cheeks to an avocado cheesecake dessert.
A separate menu for the six-person chef’s table, nestled into an old elevator shaft space in the kitchen, will feature desserts such as a freeze-dried astronaut peach cobbler made with freeze-dried peaches rehydrated tableside, then topped with crumble.
Although the menu includes global touches, the eatery’s brick-and-wood interior will be decorated with a locally themed piece of art: A large ironwork map of Chicago streets. Dining room tables and booths hold 106 and a bar/lounge area seats 60.
The drink menu will include creative takes on classic cocktails, along with traditional versions. A manhattan, for example, can be prepared traditionally with whiskey, sweet vermouth and bitters in addition to a tweaked version made with Japanese whiskey, homemade vermouth and sassafras bitters. “There are so many classics out there that we can change them out and play around with them,” Bowman said.
Baume & Brix will be open Monday-Friday, from 11 a.m. to 2 a.m., and Saturdays from 5 p.m. to 3 a.m.
Erin Brereton is a RedEye special contributor.