TWO Restaurant and Bar
1132 West Grand Avenue
Chicago, IL 60642
Tuesday – Thursday: 5:00 p.m. – 10:00 p.m.
Friday – Saturday: 5:00 p.m. – 11:00 p.m.
Sunday – Brunch: 10:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m.
Sunday – Dinner: 5:00 p.m. – 10:00 p.m.
TWO Restaurant and Bar
Committed to Midwest farm-to-fork cuisine and décor, we are a new near West Side neighborhood gathering place. Our TWO partners place emphasis on seasonal, rural dishes and are inspired by the quality and tradition of family run butcher shops and fishmongers.
Chefs Tom Van Lente and Kevin Cuddihee use rural inspiration and infuse it with urban finesse. Our “medium plates” menu frequently changes to reflect ingredients that you may find on a Midwest farm table on any given day.
We offer a rotating selection of Midwest micro brews, excellent whiskies, wines from around the world, a full cocktail menu and of course, friendly bartenders.
Every inch of our interior detail is on life number TWO. From the massive barn doors, the wall panel made from old Chicago porches to the barnyard water spigots used as faucets. The decor was brought to life by Joline Rivera of idesign and Larry Vodak of Scout.
Tom Van Lente - Executive Chef
As the executive chef of the Jean Banchet Award-nominated best new restaurant TWO, Tom Van Lente showcases Midwestern ingredients at their prime. For him, it’s all about seasonality, sustainability, and making everything from scratch—no walk-in cooler, can-opener, or shortcuts in his kitchen. The chef sources the best products available from local farms, allowing them to shine on the plate by cooking them with respect and not overpowering their flavors, a mantra held true by his entire restaurant team. “Anyone who comes into the restaurant that I speak with, I tell them the same thing: This isn’t about me, this is about us,” says Van Lente, who also earned a nomination for the Jean Banchet Award rising chef. “It’s truly a team effort at TWO, and I could not be more proud of what we have accomplished by being true to ourselves and having fun at the same time.”
Born into a family passionate about both food and business, Van Lente was reared from a young age to appreciate cooking and hospitality. While growing up in suburban Burr Ridge, IL, he was inspired by the fervor his aunt displayed when she would cook for everyone during the holidays. His grandparents were also a steady influence: As the owners of legendary Drury Lane Theatre in Oakbrook, IL, they regularly hosted banquets requiring extensive food preparation and showed Van Lente what true hospitality is all about. The most inspiring person in Van Lente’s life, though, was his mom. Before she passed away in 2007, she always told him that he had the ability to do anything he wanted, but that nothing would be handed to him. He says she pushed him to work harder, not to worry about the small stuff, and to be a good person—philosophies he shares to his cooks today.
Van Lente pursued his love of cooking after graduating from Chicago’s DePaul University with a B.A. in public communications. He went on to attain his culinary arts degree Kendall College in Chicago. His rise up the culinary ladder in the Windy City began at Landmark, a Boka Restaurant Group institution at which he started as prep cook before becoming sous chef. There, he worked closely with Landmark’s Chef Benjamin Browning. “He showed me that there is so much more to it than just the food you put on a plate every night,” he says. “He not only taught me how to cook, but how to maintain your sanity in this difficult and highly stressful business.” Van Lente also worked as chef de cuisine at Flatwater, followed by executive chef at Westend Bar and Grill, at which he worked for two memorable years before opening TWO. Van Lente lives in Chicago with his wife, Shannon. In his spare time, the diehard Blackhawks fan enjoys juggling and eating Skittles.
For more information, or to schedule an interview, please contact Collis Hancock at Wagstaff Worldwide: email@example.com
At Baconfest Chicago 2014:
Homemade bacon, parsnip puree, tart cherry, crispy kale