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California-Inspired Restaurant Opens in Former Tilli's Space

By Paul Biasco | November 2, 2013 8:49am
 Summer House Santa Monica opened on Halsted just south of Armitage Friday.
Summer House Santa Monica opened on Halsted just south of Armitage Friday.
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DNAinfo/Paul Biasco

LINCOLN PARK — California-inspired Summer House Santa Monica opened Friday on Halsted Street in the space formerly held by Tilli's just south of Armitage.

The restaurant is a partnership between Lettuce Entertain You and chef Jeff Mahin of Do-Rite Donuts and M Street Kitchen in Santa Monica.

"To me, California-inspired fare is less of a cuisine itself and more of a philosophy - an idea I am excited to introduce to Chicago," Mahin said. "The food is very simple, but executed with a chef's touch."

Summer House Santa Monica's varied menu will feature a wood-fire grill and entrees such as flat iron steak frites, handmade pastas and fish tacos.

The restaurant will also include a separate bakery space serving grab-and-go baked goods, cookies, Mahin's signature breads and coffees from Dark Matter.

Later this fall the same group has plans to open an artisanal pizza restaurant called Stella Barra Pizzeria in the adjacent space.

The 120-seat pizzeria will be a replica of Mahin's other two joints of the same name located in Santa Monica and Hollywood.

Both restaurants, located at 1954 N. Halsted St., will be open seven nights a week and will eventually serve breakfast and lunch.

The upcoming pizzeria's menu includes pies such as a housemade organic pork sausage pizza and a shaved fennel with crispy rosemary, burrata and preserved lemon.

Stella Barra will also feature a hidden back patio with a fireplace, hanging lights and a tree as the centerpiece.