ANDERSONVILLE — A local couple has brought a version of their Downtown eatery to the neighborhood, opening Land & Lake Andersonville in a Clark Street spot where the restaurateurs have quite the history.
Land & Lake Andersonville comes from Nicole Quaisser and Stephan Outrequin, the wife-and-husband duo who own six local restaurants under the LM Restaurant Group banner. That includes the original Land & Lake Kitchen, which opened in the LondonHouse Hotel in 2017.
Before branching into Downtown restaurants, Quaisser and Outrequin opened several spots near their home on the border of Uptown and Edgewater. That includes a few eateries at 5420 N. Clark St., where the couple has held the lease for nearly a decade.
Their most recent venture at that location was the celebrated Passerotto, which closed in September. In considering what was next for the location, they decided the Land & Lake concept would work well in a neighborhood setting, Quaisser said.
Land & Lake Andersonville opened April 15 at 5420 N. Clark St.
“With Land & Lake Kitchen, we had so many regulars from the offices,” Quaisser said. “It has a comfortable, warm feeling. We felt if we find the right spots, it’s replicable.”
After meeting at the Drake Hotel, where they worked, the couple in 2009 opened LM Restaurant in Lincoln Square. In 2012, they debuted Brasserie 54 By LM where Outrequin served his take on his native French cuisine.
That business was closed to make way for The Brixton, which was a less-formal setting of the French bistro, Quaisser said. Then the space hosted Taverna 750, which moved to Andersonville from Boystown but only lasted one month, according to Eater Chicago.
In 2018, LM Restaurant Group helped launch chef Jennifer Kim’s Passerotto, an award-winning fusion of Korean and Italian cuisine. Kim closed Passerotto in the fall in part due to the coronavirus pandemic, according to reports.
After spending years partnering with other chefs on concepts for the Andersonville space, Quaisser said she and her husband decided to take a more hands-on approach to finding a successor to Passerotto.
“We’ve been here for awhile, and we always believed in it,” Quaisser said of the Clark Street space. “I think we have the right concept.”
Quaisser describes Land & Lake Andersonville as “upscale yet approachable.”
Its menu includes modern takes on classic American dishes, including a Chicago-style rib sampler appetizer, sandwiches and entrees including pot roast and pasta dishes. It also has a kid’s menu and a happy hour special 4-5:30 p.m. during the week and 3-5 p.m. weekends.
The space has gotten a renovation from the Passerotto days. Land & Lake Andersonville has similar design elements to its Downtown sister location, but it contains local flourishes, including an Andersonville-themed mural from artist Jason Brammer.
“We want it to be clear that we’re a neighborhood place,” Quaisser said.
Since they opened on Clark Street, LM Restaurant Group has expanded into Downtown eateries. Beyond Land & Lake Kitchen, the group also owns Grant Park Bistro in the Essex Hotel, Troquet River North, Mi Tocaya Antojeria in Logan Square and Bistronomic in Gold Coast.
The last year has been difficult on LM Restaurant Group, especially with its Downtown and hotel restaurants. Land & Lake Kitchen and Grant Park Bistro were buoyed by city contracts that allowed first responders to stay in the LondonHouse and Essex Hotel, with meals provided by the restaurants.
Despite expanding into Downtown and other neighborhoods, Quaisser said she and her husband are glad to be again running full-time a restaurant close to their home. The couple’s longstanding experience in the community has helped Land & Lake hit the ground running, she said.
“We’re part of this community, and it’s nice to hear people talking about it,” Quaisser said of the restaurant. “This neighborhood has really taken us in. It’s really exciting.”
Land & Lake Andersonville is open 4-9 p.m. Tuesday-Thursday, 4-10 p.m. Fridays, 11 a.m.-10 p.m. Saturdays and 11 a.m.-9 p.m. Sundays. For more information, click here.
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