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Fine Dining, Cafe, Wine Bar
This fall, James Beard award-winning Chef Johnny Clark will
open Anelya in Chicago’s Avondale neighborhood. Set to open in October, the new restaurant from Chef Clark aims to preserve Ukrainian culinary traditions, as well as provide an
introduction of the cuisine to a larger national audience. The restaurant’s name and background is derived from Clark’s grandmother, Anelya, and serves as her 100th birthday gift from hergrandson. The restaurant marks a major move for Chef Clark as he steps out beyond the critically acclaimed, Michelin-starred and award-winning restaurant Parachute , of which he co-
owns and operates with his wife and partner, Chef Beverly Kim.
The restaurant, which was first conceived through a series of dinners hosted at wherewithall after the outbreak of the war in Ukraine, is the most personal project Clark has launched. “I have
such a strong desire to share a unique culture that I feel has been underrepresented throughout the world,” said Chef Clark and added, “I’ll be cooking traditionally inspired Ukrainian dishes
with a modern approach. I want to tap into all the new and exciting things happening in the Ukrainian culinary scene.” According to Clark, Ukraine has been in the process of a culinary
renaissance since becoming independent in 1991.
A major focus on the culinary program from Clark will be fermentation and preservation of a season’s bounty, with surprises along the way ranging from tomatoes to even whole
watermelons. For starters, Anelya will roll out a custom made Zakusky tower directly to the diner’s table, which will carry various Ukrainian-style small plates like sliced and cured meats,
pickled vegetables, fish and other hors d-oeuvres. Zakusky, or table offerings, are one of the most recognizable aspects of Ukrainian dining. Diners will select starters from the tower to begin their meal before heading on to other á la carte offerings.
Chef Clark’s main menu will feature creative takes on staple dishes like Varenyky, which are similar to pierogis or ravioli, with fillings like pumpkin and farmers cheese, or even seasonal
fruits like cherries as a sweet and savory application . Anelya will also offer modern takes on dishes like Holubtsi, or stuffed cabbage with sturgeon and buckwheat with caviar and sherry
The wine program at Anelya will feature many styles and varietals imported from strictly Eastern European states. Clark’s cocktail program will feature takes on traditional favorites named for Ukrainian folk heroes like Taras Shevchenko, like a shaken horseradish martin. There will be non-alcoholic drinks like a homemade kvass, which is a naturally fermented beverage
resembling kombucha, made from beets or other ingredients like grains and rye bread.