RAVENSWOOD — If chef Cleetus Friedman doesn't get the coveted "Check, Please!" host gig, he won't exactly be wallowing in his pajamas all day.
Friedman is already in the kitchen at his new job as executive chef of Fountainhead, 1970 W. Montrose Ave., a familiar place to him.
"It's on my way home," said Friedman, who started there Wednesday. "I've wound up here for whiskey late many times."
Friedman's new gig, which was first reported by TimeOut Chicago, at the Ravenswood gastropub is near City Provisions, Friedman's now-shuttered deli at 1818 W. Wilson Ave. that championed small local producers. Its devoted but small following wasn't enough to sustain it, and Friedman closed it in late January.
What he did at City Provisions is what Fountainhead wants, to a certain extent.
"I learned what I need to know about making compromises," Friedman said. "I get to loosen up a little bit here."
He is revamping the menus, starting with what he calls the "evening menu," to emphasize more local, sustainable ingredients. He plans to offer different sizes of dishes to encourage sharing and pairings that will highlight the restaurant's extensive selection of beer, whiskey and spirits.
"Cleetus is everything that Fountainhead stands for. We couldn't be happier to be working with someone who shares our manic passion for the world of food and drinks," said Aaron Zacharias, managing partner of Fountainhead.