Inspired by the famous Missourian, Twain is the shared vision of Restaurateur Branko Palikuca, and husband and wife team, Chef Tim and Sommelier Rebekah Graham. This new Logan Square restaurant shares Tim’s unique take on Midwestern cuisine inspired by the couple’s extensive collection of spiral-bound women’s club cookbooks from the 40s through the 60s and his central Missouri upbringing.
The overall concept focuses on contemporary interpretations of comfort, family and craft, executed in food and beverage, decor, and warm, welcoming service. The airy, colorful space, designed by internationally renowned team Jordan Mozer and Assoc. offers a full spectrum of thoughtful details welcoming guests into the abstracted aesthetics of the Mississippi river, in all its romance and abundance.
After graduating with a food science degree from MU in his home town of Columbia, Missouri, Tim Graham attended the New England Culinary Institute. Graham, presented with his first internship opportunity travelled to Chicago and spent 6 months at the fine dining restaurant, Tru.
Following school, and having cooked in numerous establishments, Tim was unable to find an experience that matched the professionalism and reputation of Tru. He then returned to Chicago and began working once more in the prestigious kitchen.
Over the next nine years, Tim climbed the ranks from Garde Manger to Executive Chef, eventually going on to re-concept and open other establishments within the LEYE family of restaurants. Graham then joined Langham hotel group, as he concepted and opened Travelle, exploring the breadth of Mediterranean cuisine.
Twain is Tim’s first restaurant that he will own and operate under his own company. Partnering with his wife, Rebekah, and Branko Palikuca, they look to open a restaurant which pays homage to his upbringing in Missouri. Focusing on comfort and hospitality and turning to his extensive collection of spiral bound women’s league cookbooks, Tim looks forward to joining in and adding to the Logan Square Neighborhood.
In 1997 Rebekah Graham was offered a taste of one of the world’s great wines. In a single mesmerizing sip, a new direction had been set in her life. Since then she has spent decades pursuing a continually broadening passion in wine, beer, spirits and service.
“While the science of the wine and beer are continually fascinating, it’s the stories of people coming together that make me love what I do. For as long as we have had communities we have passed a cup in welcome or in celebration. It is an experience that links us to our friends and families but also to our ancestors. To me hospitality has always been the passing of a cup.”
In 2016 Rebekah joined her husband in their first venture as business owners. More than anything else she hopes Twain will be a place where people find comfort, feel welcome, and can make another story to add to their lives.
Local restaurateur and owner, Branko, is a Serbian native who moved to Chicago in 1988 and began to steadily gain experience in the hospitality industry, from hotels to restaurants. He accepted the position of director of service at the University Club of Chicago in 1999, further developing his fine dining skills. In 2004, Branko combined the best of all his experiences to open his first restaurant, Amber, in Westmont, a nearby Chicago suburb. Four years later, Palikuca opened Topaz in neighboring Burr Ridge. Under his direction, Topaz was Michelin recommended in 2012 and 2013, and earned admiring reviews from the Chicago Tribune and Chicago Sun-Times. He has continued his innovation and restaurant expertise with opening the Dawson in Chicago and Citrine in Oak Park. He looks forward to stepping into next venture in the thriving neighborhood of Logan Square.