Located in Chicago’s white-hot Randolph Street Corridor, Nellcote is designed to deliver all the hallmarks of ornate luxury—white Italian marble stairs, art nouveau wrought iron gates, extravagant woodwork, cartouche crown molding, crystal chandeliers and bleached herringbone wood floors. Although the destination will offer a defiant return to glamour as a sexy, high-energy nightspot—it will also be devoid of velvet rope exclusivity and the exorbitant price points that traditionally accompany such highbrow pretense.
The name “Nellcôte” was inspired by Villa Nellcôte, an ornate 16-room mansion on the waterfront of Villefranche-sur-Mer in the Côte d'Azur region of southern France. This villa was the setting for one of the most infamous house parties of all time, as well as where the Rolling Stones recorded “Exile on Main Street” during the summer of 1971. The concept is meant to capture this particular cultural moment in time, where the young Rolling Stones partied and dined in Villa Nellcôte with the who’s who of early 70s Bohemia—a veritable checklist of rock ‘n’ royalty including artists, style icons, deviants, socialites and creative misfits.
Bucking the ubiquitous dining trend of stripped down classic comfort food in rustic, contrived and predictably lowbrow environs, Nellcôte will instead offer our take on classic luxury. Despite the opulent design, the concept will decidedly celebrate the best components of the current handcrafted era—affordable prices, local product and artisanal quality.
Chef Jared Van Camp will craft an “obsessively house made” and locally focused bill of fare—it’s his impertinent take on refined dining. Taking influence from France, Italy and Spain, ingredients and products will be sourced exclusively from the Midwest.
Guests will be treated to an authentic locavore experience; humble dishes that are simple and approachable, both in concept and price point (everything is $15 or less), yet executed at the highest level, artfully composed on the plate, and striving to hold their own against the city’s finest white linen dining destinations. With a custom made stone mill, a fresh pasta extruder and a wood burning oven imported from Italy, the menu is comprised of Neapolitan-style pies crisped to perfection, over a dozen fresh-from-scratch-daily pastas made using strictly local heritage wheat, and an abundance of meat and seafood dishes.
The culinary curriculum will implement forward thinking innovations that have yet to be executed by even the most prestigious dining programs in the country. Despite being surrounded by wheat fields, up until now, Chicago has been unable to use locally sourced wheat and flour. Van Camp is going to extreme lengths to fill this singular void in the Chicago food scene by milling his own superfine double zero flour with local heritage wheat sourced from regional farmers. Being the first restaurant in the US to mill its own flour in house daily, Nellcôte has already generated a great deal of buzz among neighboring gastronomes in the city. Nellcôte’s flour will also be made available for retail sale and several of the Midwest’s premier chefs have already made bids to get their hands on this product for use in their own restaurant kitchens.