It’s about shared experiences & delicious, unpretentious Mediterranean food, plates driven by the freshest ingredients… its about warm and informed service… and showcasing the finest artisan producers of Wine & Spirits. In short its about giving our diners the best experience a neighborhood restaurant can deliver ~ Christine Tully Aranza, Owner
A three season patio & greenhouse provide a hidden oasis for dining and provide a constant source of fresh herbs and veggies for the restaurant Serving dinner 6 nights a week and brunch on Sundays as well as offering a number of classes & special dinners we aim to keep things fresh in all aspects of the restaurant.
The clean lines of the dining room are highlighted by beautiful tables, hand crafted by Mennonites out of fallen ash trees from Cakeridge Farms (our chef’s Ohio home) mixed with vibrant vintage French subway posters and the warm glow of repurposed blown glass lights, all designed to transport the diner heart & soul to another world.
Christine has spent her career learning all facets of the restaurant business. Working her way up from hostess & server to Maitre d’ and manager eventually helming all operations for Spiaggia & Café Spiaggia. While at Spiaggia she also shaped the marketing program and acted as the project manager for both the production and promotional phases of the award winning Spiaggia Cookbook. She has also worked as a marketing consultant to a variety of hospitality clients in the city. In 2010 she and her husband John purchased a small storefront with the idea of collaborating with some old restaurant friends to bring a vibrant neighborhood café to an underserved area.
Autre Monde was launched in mid 2011 and Christine has been responsible for setting the mission of the restaurant and over see the blog, green initiatives and special events as well as helming operations for the restaurant. She is passionate about the art of hospitality and shares her husband’s love of film. She holds a B.S. in Business from Dominican University and an MLA in Film & Culture from the University of Chicago.
John Aranza began his career in the hospitality business, rising to the top of his field as bar manager and assistant sommelier at Spiaggia Restaurant in Chicago to the legendary Henry Bishop III. John studied his craft both at home and abroad in Croatia and Italy. His career took a turn in 2006 and led him to another business he was also passionate about: Film, specifically the Horror & Sci-Fi genres. He had a vision for a one stop experience of all things horror and sci-fi dating back to the earliest movies of the 1930’s all the way through today’s films. With this idea, Horrorbles was born: a niche-specific, retail concept focusing on those genres which has come to be a Chicago destination.
The store became the catalyst to finding the location for his next venture Autre Monde, which is next door and focuses his attention once again on his passion for discovering unique vinefera and artisan old-world producers to compliment the Mediterranean influenced dishes. A focus is also placed on Organic, Biodynamic and otherwise socially responsible producers. The wine & spirits program brings attention to these small producers. His list also represents attention to his Croatian roots featuring an in-depth exploration of some of the finest Croatian, Slovenian and other Balkan wines this side of the Adriatic! In 2012 Time Out Chicago selected John as one of the five new guard sommeliers in Chicago and he was nominated for a Jean Banchet Award for Sommelier of the Year. His list has also been recognized for its originality and approachability by Wine & Spirits and The Chicago Tribune. He travels to Italy and Croatia regularly in search of great emerging wines.
quite literally live farm to table. As Chefs who have a deep culinary history with Mediterranean and Italian cuisines, the duo also owns and operates Cakeridge Farms in the Ohio River Valley and supplies Autre Monde restaurant with some of their produce from the farm.
Both chefs have rich experience that includes helming the kitchens at Café Spiaggia & Spiaggia respectively under James Beard Award winner Tony Mantuano, as well as living and cooking as a couple together on the Costa Brava in Spain as well as numerous cooking centered trips to Italy & the South of France. Their combined passion for fresh ingredients treated with respect and restraint is matched only by their insistence on exacting execution. Pancake is an alum of Chicago’s Kendall College and Partridge is graduate of CIA in Hyde Park.
They have collected a wealth of combined experience in other kitchens such as Mantuano Mediterranean Table, Ambria and Tuttaposto. Pancake has also studied with the Iowa State Meat Science Extension Program, experience he happily brings along to Autre Monde.