Tuesday, May 21, 2013
John des Rosiers discusses why two concepts he had for restaurants in Highland Park failed, and wonders why restaurants in town keep closing.
John des Rosiers thought he had two good ideas for Highland Park. The first was a chef-driven Italian restaurant. That second was a customer-driven, American place. Neither worked out. "I thought we had two good ideas that turned out to be two not good ideas," des Rosiers said. Des Rosiers, who owns Inovasi and Wisma in Lake Bluff, opened Moderno in Highland Park last year, in the Renaissance Place location that was formerly Rosebud. When the ambitious menu didn't attract the high volume necessary to make the large space profitable, des Rosiers closed it and went back to the drawing board. A month later, he reopened it as Royce. The idea was to make the new restaurant more customer-friendly and affordable, with build your own burger …
Monday, May 13, 2013
First it was Moderno. Then it was Royce. Now, it's gone. The John des Rosiers' restaurant in Renaissance Place has closed.
Only a few months after opening, Royce Restaurant in Highland Park has closed, according to an email from chef John des Rosiers sent on Monday. Want Highland Park news in your inbox every morning? Subscribe to Patch's newsletter. Rosiers helmed the restaurant, which began as a chef-driven Italian restaurant called Moderno last year. The space closed at the end of 2012 and reopened in January of this year as a classic American restaurant that focused on locally grown organic and sustainable ingredients . "We built a really good restaurant with Moderno, and we were really proud of it," des Rosiers said, "but it wasn't the right thing for Highland Park." It seems like Royce wasn't right, either. The restaurant got solid praise during it's…
Tuesday, January 22, 2013
John Des Rosiers' Royce isn't just a new menu, it's a new vibe. Read Ed Brill's review of the clubby, more 1930s restaurant that replaced the Italian restaurant Moderno.
There are a lot of good burgers on the North Shore. The Claim Company reclaimed my tastebuds when they reopened in Northbrook Court two years ago. Five Guys has crept closer and closer, with outposts in Wilmette, Glenview, and Vernon Hills. And the granddaddy of them all, Charlie Beinlich's, continues to grind them out every day, as they have for fifty years. Into this crowded meat patty market steps Royce, now in the former Rosebud and Moderno space in Highland Park's Renaissance Place. While I was a Moderno fan, they weren't doing enough business to pay the rent. Chef and Proprietor John Des Rosiers knew it was time to reboot, and out the other end -- after a quick three-week renovation -- has come his new concept. Royce isn't just a new…
Friday, January 4, 2013
John des Rosiers took a break from overseeing the transformation of Highland Park's Moderno into the American-styled Royce to explain what he envisions for the restaurant.
Over the sounds of drilling, moving wood and shuffling feet, John des Rosiers is explaining what's next for his Highland Park restaurant. The owner of Inovasi in Lake Bluff and Moderno in Renaissance Place in downtown Highland Park decided recently to close Moderno, an upscale Italian restaurant, and reopen it as a more approachable, family-friendly spot serving American cuisine. "We built a really good restaurant with Moderno, and we were really proud of it," Rosiers said, "but it wasn't the right thing for Highland Park." Moderno, the modern Italian restaurant that opened in Renaissance Place in April, closed on Dec. 22. It will reopen Jan. 10 as Royce, a chef-driven casual restaurant, with a reasonably priced menu that will include …
Thursday, December 20, 2012
The Italian restaurant led by John des Rosiers that opened in April will close on Dec. 22 and serve reasonably priced American cuisine when it reopens in early January.
Moderno, the modern Italian restaurant that opened in Renaissance Place in April, will close on Dec. 22 and reopen in January as a more casual restaurant serving American cuisine. The chef-driven restaurant led by John des Rosiers received across the board critical acclaim earlier this year, getting rave reviews from Time Out Chicago, Chicago Magazine, The Sun-Times and here on Patch. In his glowing review of Moderno, however, Patch columnist Ed Brill predicted what may have been an insurmountable obstacle for the restaurant: its limitations on the guests control over their order. "The success or failure of [Moderno] will depend on whether or not Highland Park diners will accept a place without a Caesar salad or fried calamari, or if they …
Friday, May 18, 2012
Why is the city seeing a spike in its restaurants and dessert spots? Can it sustain them all?
Earlier this week, Time Out Chicago asked if Highland Park was becoming the next Restaurant Row. Listing off new, upscale restaurants like Moderno and Benjamin and increasingly popular dessert places like Frost and Menchie's, the article made a compelling case for Highland Park's place as "the next big eating destination." (Of course, the article also mentioned Real Urban Barbecue and the city's dueling cupcake stores, but we covered both of those a while back.) So as someone who is always curious, especially when it comes to food, I wondered: Is this a trend? If so, why now? And how long can it last? Want Highland Park news in your inbox every morning? Subscribe to Patch's newsletter. According to Business Economic and Development …
Monday, April 30, 2012
Here's the inside scoop on Highland Park's newest Italian restaurant. Our advice: Go there with an open mind.
Four months ago, I wondered aloud whether Highland Park was ready for Moderno. Today, we begin to find out, as Chef John des Rosiers and his crew officially open their doors at 1850 Second Street. Want Highland Park news in your inbox every morning? Subscribe to Patch's newsletter. Des Rosiers boasts that Moderno is part of a "revolution" in North Shore restaurants, one he is personally leading. The word "revolution" even appears in neon, backwards, on the south wall of the new restaurant as well as the staff uniforms. His goal is to raise expectations among area diners, where -- if they leave themselves in the hands of the chefs -- our expectations of a nice meal out will be transformed and elevated to expect fresh, flavorful and …
Wednesday, April 18, 2012
The 44th anniversary of Stashs brings back memories of old dining favorites in Highland Park.
- Ed Brill
Wednesday, April 18, 2012
On Tuesday, Stashs celebrated its 44th birthday, and boastfully claimed to be the "oldest restaurant in Highland Park." See more photos from the event on Patch's Facebook page. I'm not 100 percent sure if that is true - Country Kitchen has also been around a long time (as have a few of the fast food outlets) - but Stashs surely has one of the most colorful stories for any Highland Park institution. Certainly, Stashs has come a long way in 44 years. I still remember regular visits to the small storefront further south on Second Street - about where the truck dock for Port Clinton Square is today. The space was distinctive, with grease-covered walls, a few stools along the window, and a limited menu -- hot dogs, Polish sausage, hamburgers …
Wednesday, January 11, 2012
Inovasi owner talks about his new Italian restaurant, opening in May in Highland Park.
- Ed Brill
Wednesday, January 11, 2012
John des Rosiers is a man with a mission. The chef and proprietor of Lake Bluff's Inovasi has announced plans to open Moderno, a "modern Italian" restaurant, in the former Rosebud space in downtown Highland Park. His goal? "We are going to change restaurants in the suburbs forever, even if I have to build every single place myself." I recently sat down with Chef des Rosiers exclusively to talk about the plan for Moderno. As a regular diner and fan of his work at Inovasi, I wanted to know more about his plan for Highland Park, and what exactly he means by "modern Italian." I was not surprised that des Rosiers has a grand vision for Moderno, though it (thankfully) doesn't include Caesar salad. Des Rosiers grew up in Waukegan, and has cooked…
Tuesday, January 10, 2012
Moderno will bring authentic Italian food to old Rosebud location.
It's a busy time for foodies in Highland Park, and it's about to get even busier. After 2011 saw new restaurants like M, Benjamin and 2nd Street Bistro open their doors, as well as new gelato and cupcake places, the city is about to get another new restaurant in a familiar spot (and from a familiar face). Chicago Eater reports that John des Rosiers, the owner of Lake Bluff's Inovasi restaurant, will open a modern Italian restaurant at the old Rosebud in Renaissance Place in May. "We are going to change restaurants in the suburbs forever," des Rosiers said about his new restaurant, "Even if I have to build every single place myself." Highland and Ravines columnist Ed Brill will bring Patch readers an inside look at what des Rosiers has …