Photo by Bill Hogan
Rob Katz and Kevin Boehm
Working with star-caliber chefs can be a challenge, but this dining dynamic duo has done it three times over, creating restaurants that express each chef's personality while maintaining tight, expertly trained front-room operations. Boehm and Katz made their first splash with Boka (the word derived from their respective last names), the Lincoln Park restaurant that made a star of ex-Trotter's chef Giuseppe Tentori.
But in the last 18 months, they have partnered with Stephanie Izard to create Girl & the Goat (opened in July 2010 and still hotter than a supernova), created a second Tentori vehicle in GT Fish & Oyster (one of 2011's best new restaurants) and lured the esteemed Paul Virant from his Western Springs home to refashion Perennial into Perennial Virant.
"There was a moment before that all happened," Boehm says about the last year and a half, "when we thought, 'God, this could go really well or really badly.' Fortunately, we were able to pull it off." Still to come: Balena, a Lincoln Park Italian restaurant developed in concert with The Bristol's Chris Pandel and pastry chef Amanda Rockman, which should open next month.
-- Phil Vettel