Michael Gebert goes behind the scenes to profile the opening of Leopold, the new West Town Belgian gastropub from chef Jeffrey Hedin, formerly of Spring and Green Zebra, and owners Christy and Don Agee, who also own the Lakeview tavern Witts. You can watch Gebert’s excellent nine-minute accompanying video here.

Kate Schmidt braves the suburbs for the sake of Inovasi, John des Rosiers’ destination restaurant in Lake Bluff, where the inviting bar and eclectic, inventive menu showcase house-made and artisanal ingredients and sustainably produced meat, seafood, and vegetables—something of a cliche these days, but not here. Des Rosiers, a past participant in our Key Ingredient chef challenge, is also behind the Lake Bluff take-out store Wisma, which has a second location in Libertyville coming in March.

In this week’s Key Ingredient Topolobampo chef de cuisine Brian Enyart puts a Mexican spin on the mucilaginous Japanese breakfast staple natto, fermented soybeans. The result: Horchata Rice, Natto, and Flavors of Cauliflower, which features smoked cauliflower fluid gel, pickled pasilla chiles, and a raw egg. Next up is Mike Sheerin, the Blackbird chef who’s currently consulting at Indiana’s Three Floyds Brewpub and plans to open a new restaurant, the Trencherman, later this year. He’ll cook with dried guaje seeds, the fruit of the leucaena tree.