Lidia Bastianich, Joe Bastianich, and Mario Batali laugh it up at Eataly's New York opening. [Photos: Christine Tsai]

Anyone else feel like it's fall already? Sure, it's not officially here until September 22nd, but thanks to a run of moderate weather and the gaggle of school kids crowding the sidewalks when I'm walking my dog in the morning, it sure does seem close. Not that I'm complaining. Fall brings with it a renewed sense of purpose, plus it's as good a time as any to take a look at the numerous new restaurants planning to open up in Chicago soon.

Personally, I can't wait to see how Eataly turns out. The massive grocery store, spearheaded by Mario Battali and Joe Bastianich, is wonderland of Italian ingredients in New York, and I'm fascinated to see how it will perform in River North. But I'm also looking forward to Honey Butter Fried Chicken in Avondale and Parts & Labor, which promises to bring thin, griddled burgers to Logan Square.

But that's just a small fraction of the upcoming projects. Fortunately, a few local sites have created some handy guides to help you sort through them all. In particular, check out these posts by Eater Chicago and Tasting Table.

After you've perused those lists, let us know what you're most excited about. Can't wait to try Paul Kahan's seafood restaurant in the Gold Coast? Or are you just looking forward to the next Brendan Sodikoff joint (whatever that may be)?


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