Jason McLeod is transitioning out of his corporate chef role for all of CH Projects' holdings (Soda & Swine, UnderBelly, Craft & Commerce, etc.) and getting back on the line. McLeod has been named a partner and the executive chef for the hospitality group's new Ironside Oyster, the seafood restaurant that's being built from the ground up in a 70-year-old Little Italy warehouse.
CH Projects' Arsalun Tafazoli told Eater that they had entertained bringing in a out of town chef to helm the restaurant, which is their most ambitious, food-wise, concept thus far before choosing to partner up with McLeod and take advantage of his considerable culinary experience. The chef trained with British legend Marco Pierre White and earned two Michelin stars at RIA, a seafood-focused restaurant he helped to launch in Chicago.
McLeod says the ever-changing menu will be 97% seafood focused; on the right side of the Ironside space, a raw bar with seating will extend into a cocktail bar serving fortified wine drinks and champagne cocktails designed to complement the seafood on ice.
Beyond the bar, McLeod will preside over an open kitchen, outfitted with a "fish file" refrigerator to help keep the seafood pristinely fresh. Look also for a lobster tank that'll be a source for dishes from grilled lobster with butter to classic lobster Thermidor.
The restaurant, designed by frequent collaborator Basile Studio, will also hold a open bakery where they'll bake signature bread, pastries and desserts, and a a coffee bar with a program from North Park's Coffee & Tea Collective.