Who doesn’t want to be sitting outside this patio season eating these! The dec at Ritz-Carlton Chicago will officially open this Thursday. Things are looking up, as you gaze up at the cityscape and enjoy the cocktail menu and light bites.
Bloody Oyster Pop. Horseradish and tomato sauce with delicious raw oysters.
Kabocha, Chicago’s first Japanese Brasserie, is at the TOP of my restaurant HIT LIST. Since I have not made it in yet – at least my adventurous team members have. Our newest XA gal Maissah Amin snuck in last night in style – and snapped a few gorgeous pictures too. Michelin starred chef Shin Thompson is not messing around. My favorite dish is the Scallop & Crab Motoyaki – of which one can eat ten in one sitting. Crave-able! Can’t wait to see you guys soon!
Rabbit and Thai Basil Dumplings with Shiitakes and Negi Yaki Butter
Warm Baby Octopus Salad with Red Watercress, Fried Yolk, Plum Wine Sauce, Crispy Ginger and Pickled Garlic
Duck Confit Potstickers with Shaved Fennel, Duck Prosciutto, Sour Orange Glaze
Japanese BBQ Steak with Green Garlic, Maitake Mushrooms, Pommes Frites and “Death Mustard”
Photo Credit – Maissah Amin #XOXA
Hennessy VS knows how to celebrate Bacon Week – with great cocktails, served with suggested menu pairings from State and Lake Chicago Tavern at theWit.
Some bacon facts from the experts at Hennessy VS:
1. The average American eats 17.9 LBS of bacon per year
2. In 1924, Oscar Mayer Patented the first packed, sliced bacon
3. There is a bust of Kevin Bacon made of bacon
4. A formula for bacon cologne was created in 1920
5. National Bacon Day is held on the Saturday before Labor Day
6. When Julius Caeser landed in Britain in 55 BC, he brought his own bacon with him
Bacon Fried Crawfish
Fig and Peppered Bacon Jam
Spicy Candied Bacon
The mix master recipes (with other suggested pairings):
The bacon week menu runs at State and Lake through April 27 – so go hog wild!
All food photos courtesy of theWit. The piggy bank snapshot is mine!
Sometimes I really luck out. One of my friends was in town for the day, and asked me to join him at a dinner. I said I would – but only if it was somewhere good. And it was GREAT!
Industry fave Steelite International hosted an amazing private dinner at Publican Quality Meats. The service was astounding – cocktails were being mixed such as the South Side, and great wines were being poured. We missed taking a picture of the Fluke Crudo with Clemetines and Pine Nuts because we all devoured it. We also were entertained by and got to chat with Foodie-lebrity Farmer Lee Jones.
The rest of the amazing menu:
Little Gem Salad with Crispy Pig Ears, Radishes and Buttermilk Vinaigrette. The pig ears were so crispy, spicy and addicting. Note: I also ate the pig ears off the plate of the guy sitting next to me. He didn’t want to finish them, and I just couldn’t handle that.
Whole roasted Red Grouper with Melted Leeks Vinaigrette. This dish was a show stopper.
Farm Chicken with Summer Sausage and Fries. The best dish at Publican – and reminds me of Paris.
Grilled Country Ribs with Mojo Verde, Swiss chard and Fried Shallots. No angst, just Mojo.
Special thanks to John from Steelite for including me in the fun!
On Friday, April 5th one of my dreams finally came true. Cru Kitchen & Wine Bar served Sequins At Breakfast, a group of Chicago’s Glitterati raising money for Bright Pink. What also shined was the menu – a tasting of crispy and fluffy beignets, fresh fruit and my selection – house smoked salmon with a toasted poppy bagel, cream cheese, capers, hard cooked egg, sliced tomato and red onions. If I had to choose one decadent breakfast – it would be exactly this plate of perfection. And thankfully it will shine on the menu at Cru Kitchen & Bar every brunch.
There are still so many amazing things to post about a most recent trip to Paris. My friend and I decided it would be a great idea to get in line at Ladurée on rue Royale, not try anything, and just check out what the fuss is all about. Luckily the line was not out the door and it moved swiftly. And we were like kids in a candy store. Of course we reconsidered our “just looking” policy. Some croissants and a few Marie Antoinette macarons later – we were off to the Eiffel Tower and had a little pastry picnic – it was almost Spring in Paris after all. And for the record the palmier was the best I have ever had. Millions of crunchy flaky layers or perfection. It was my last breakfast before we all had to board the plane and return back to America. The eclairs were precision – tender pâté a choux filled with the appropriate amount of chocolate cream. There is a Ladurée in NYC – I wonder if the magic will still be the same?
When in Paris, one of the must-stops for lunch is L’Avenue. Although they often get a bad rap in the food department, they never disappoint – whether is it with the menu, or the SCENE! And it always is quite the scene. Brimming with Birkins, Paris’ it-crowd dines to the nines on Avenue Montaigne, one of the chic-est streets around. Just make sure you are dressed to impress. And make a reservation requesting to sit downstairs, as the second level will make you feel like you missed out on the soiree.
Clockwise from top left:
Spicy Lobster Pasta, Macaroni Pasta with Morels and Fresh Cream, Omelette with Goat Cheese and Spinach.
White as a food trend? White HOT.
Clockwise from top left:
The Creamy Burrata with roasted vine-ripened tomatoes at Morandi in NYC is almost as good as the scene. Almost.
Crab Toast with lemon aioli at ABC Kitchen in NYC. You might get a quick glance of Jean-Georges too.
White Cosmopolitan at Daniel in NYC. If anyone can bring back a cosmo, it’s Daniel. And their lounge scene is fun thanks to the bar team. More on that in a post soon to come!
Eggs Royale with smoked salmon and caviar at Cru in Chicago. Livin’ the life.
Hey Upper East Siders, the roasted cauliflower with almonds will make you love Salumeria Rossi on Madison for a lavish lunch. Just don’t forget to check your coat.
This pie will change your life. Lush banana and vanilla goodness topped with shavings of creamy white chocolate from Hoosier Mama. It might also make you cry, just a little bit.
Oui, I am in Paris. And we have been to Frenchie Wine Bar and other amazing restaurants – so stay tuned! But one trip highlight was this snack on the Champs-élysées. A Haute Dog. In a very crispy baguette.
Lunch meeting at Bar Toma on a cold winter day in Chicago. The Kale Salad was a standout – beautiful colors and flavors.
Follow along from left to right.
The Spaniard Pizza – with chorizo, cilantro and Toma Cheese; Crispy Veal Breast with Chimichurri; Fried Cheese for Grown-Ups
Pork Belly; Kale Salad with Garlic Breadcrumbs and Anchovy Vinaigrette; Effy’s Mortdella Sandwich with Pistachios, Ricotta and Arugula
Eggplant Parmigiana with with Smoked Mozzarella and Spicy Tomato Sauce; Gelati; My Favorite – Amaretto Gelato, with a shot of Basil Sorbetto.