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Blog Profile / The Food Chain

Filed Under:United States / Chicago
Posts on Regator:1392
Posts / Week:5.5
Archived Since:June 16, 2009

Blog Post Archive

Chicago magazine's best, and the rest

If there were a Chicago food "establishment," its debutantes' ball would be the list of the best restaurants published by Chicago magazine around this time each year, trotting out the latest all-dressed-up progeny from distinguished families such as the Mergeses and the Nahabedians, the One Off Hospitalitys and the Element Collectives. Show More Summary

By the moon's horn: Biodynamic wines and Sixteen's new menu

Yesterday I spoke with Thomas Lents, executive chef of Sixteen in the Trump Tower, about his latest seasonal menu. Actually there are two menus—one called "Day" and one called "Night," each built around foods associated with those times of day.… [ Read more ] [ Subscribe to the comments on this story ]

Plating the night: Sixteen chef Thomas Lents on his "Night and Day" conceptual menu

Once restaurants had floor shows full of dancers and strolling Gypsy violinists and waitstaff dressed like they were in the Habsburg army. Then suddenly such things were gauche, and dining was straight faced and serious for a couple of generations.… [ Read more ] [ Subscribe to the comments on this story ]

From burgundy at L2O to deviants at Punch House

Dining with a few bottles of first-growth burgundy on your table is one of those things that doesn't seem to happen much on our scene anymore, so if you recently sold a Bitcoin or two, check out an upcoming dinner at L2O (where chef Matt Kirkley was recently nominated for a Best Chef Great Lakes James Beard award). Show More Summary

The return of Gyros on the Spit

Even in my most impaired moments I've never been able to stomach the gray, mulched meatstuff whittled away from the ubiquitous rotating gyros cone. I know that's borderline heresy given that Chicago is pretty much the capital of mass-production gyros, tzatziki-drenched sop to an infinity of hangovers.… [ Read more ] [ Subscribe to the comments on this story ]

The Vienna Beef Store: Now that's a Reuben

Last week while I was fulminating about the overpriced sloppy reproduction of a Reuben at Bergstein's NY Deli, all I could think about was the Reuben served at the Vienna Beef Factory Store, the cafe and retail operation at the footShow More Summary

Boka chef Lee Wolen: 'I'm a simple eater'

"I'm a boring man," Lee Wolen, chef of Boka, said at the end of our interview. He isn't really—reports are that he has quite the fascinated fan base of women of a certain age at the Lincoln Park restaurant, as he did at the Lobby atShow More Summary

The Brixton: Third time's a charm

The space that used to house In Fine Spirits has seemed slightly doomed since the neighborhood favorite closed two years ago (the lounge, that is; the liquor store next door is still going strong). It was replaced by Premise, a pricey...Show More Summary

Pho now, L.D. Pho has Lincoln Square's only proper pho

In terms of its commercial offerings Lawrence Avenue west of Western in Lincoln Square looks kinda Balkan, its smoky bars and dingy coffee shops crowded with an older population of domino-slapping Greeks, supplanted by more recent arrivals from the former Yugoslavia. Show More Summary

Support sustainability in beermaking, and other food news

You make beer. From grain.… [ Read more ] [ Subscribe to the comments on this story ]

A sad day for sandwiches at Bergstein's NY Deli

These are dark days for the American delicatessen, or so goes the conventional wisdom. In truth, they've never been particularly good in Chicago in the first place, where even a Brendan Sodikoff "deli" can't thrive, as the recent downsizing of Dillman's shows.… [ Read more ] [ Subscribe to the comments on this story ]

Add the scent of wild water-bug love to your dips and sauces

I never pass up a chance to make insect sauce, so I was thrilled when friend of the Food Chain Leela Punyaratabandhu offered to send me some water bug essence she brought back from Thailand. Maeng da na essence, or cà cu?ng essence as...Show More Summary

Stella Barra's Jeff Mahin on your right to pizza party

If you want to rile up the natives of Foodlandia, there's no better way than starting the deep-dish pizza argument (Is it a pizza? A casserole?… [ Read more ] [ Subscribe to the comments on this story ]

First look at dishes from Randolph Street's Tete Charcuterie

Many of the restaurants that have popped up in the Randolph Street meatpacking district seek to create a little oasis of glamour in the midst of food-industry grittiness. Tete Charcuterie wants you to remember where you are and what they do for a living here.… [ Read more ] [ Subscribe to the comments on this story ]

One bite: Ajida's curry age mono ramen

I'm tempted to launch a parallel rant to Monday's barbecue tirade, this one about our troubling ramen situation. Just like the glut of unexceptional barbecue dilettantes that's swamped the city, the tide of new ramen joints is mostly unimpressive too.… [ Read more ] [ Subscribe to the comments on this story ]

Restaurants in running for Beards, media not so much

"New York usually hosts the stars of the culinary industry, but here in Chicago we produce them," said Mayor Rahm Emanuel, with perhaps a bit too much Second City aggressive defensiveness. As was demonstrated by his tribute to Charlie...Show More Summary

Phillip Foss's Meatyballs rides again

Once they were the future—food trucks, bringing innovative new tastes to the hungry masses of the Loop and other places where drab fast food dominated. It was Phillip Foss with Meatyballs Mobile and Matt Maroni with Gaztro-Wagon whoShow More Summary

Lone Wolf, your local source for sgroppino and Three Floyds beer

Lone Wolf has capitalized on the West Loop's popularity as a dining destination, positioning itself as a place to get pre- or post-meal drinks and snacks—or to have a drink while waiting for a table at a nearby restaurant. It may beShow More Summary

Q-BBQ: Please make it stop

I may be forgetting a few, but over the past 14 months or so I've written about at least ten new barbecue restaurants within the city limits. In the cases of all but two or three I can neatly sum up their problems by invoking America's...Show More Summary

Ferran Adrià and the devil

The room was a classroom at Eataly. The attendees were journalists from the blogosphere to the Tribune.… [ Read more ] [ Subscribe to the comments on this story ]

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