Oyster Obsession #1 – GT Fish & Fun

Taping dish IT! with Amanda Puck for watch312.com has its perks.  Like hanging out with some of the city’s best chefs, as in Chef Giuseppe Tentori from GT Fish & Oyster.  He gave us a behind the scenes tour behind his oyster bar – where they shuck away like madmen.  Giuseppe’s favorite one to slurp is the Naked Cowboy – wild and fresh from Long Island Sound.

From Kusshi and Kumamoto from the West Coast and Beau Soleil and Naked Cowboys from the East Coast – GT Fish & Oyster has you covered.  The selection varies, as they are all so fresh and served ice cold.  And they are all delicious.

A Naked Cowboy – up close and personal.

Their signature mignonette and cocktail sauces are delightful, but really unnecessary since the freshness and flavors of the oysters really stand out on their own.

And they even make Fried Oyster Po’Boy Sliders with kimchi and peanuts.

While we were waiting to get the cameras rolling – Giuseppe recommended “The Waitlist” with Grey Goose, St. Germain, Grapefruit, Lime and Peychaud’s Bitters.

Wrapping it up with the watch312.com crew in GT swag – we are the newest members of the GT Fish & Oyster fan club!

And the good news is after 10 pm at GT Fish & Oyster – all the oysters are half off!  See you there at the bar …

You can see the episode here on watch312.com.

Bongiorno’s – a slice of NYC

My man is from Staten Island just like me, and we love our NYC pizza slices.  There are a few favorites in town like Cafe Luigi up on Clark, but hold the phone!  Bongiorno’s Italian Deli & Pizzeria just opened up off Michigan Avenue, and the slices are so close to NYC living.

Pepperoni, cheese and other gourmet toppings are on the list.  And they slice is just right!  After all, the owner is Italian, from Brooklyn, and had a stint on Staten Island.  And it’s a family run joint too.

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LOOKIN’ GOOD! at @DBprimehouse

Presentation is everything, and at David Burke’s Primehouse, Chef Rick Gresh and team not only make everything look so good, but taste oh so good too.

Sticks are big at DBPH, and these Jerk Pork Dumplings are nestled in a mango ailoi with chili threads, which add a great chewy texture.

Sous Chef @BreannaBeikesent over these perfectly seared scallops, with toasted quinoa and winter squash.  You should follow her on Pinterest too – she is pretty RAD.

Huge fan of wedge salads, theirs is the best.  Baby iceberg (its very tender and does not have a bitter flavor), creamy blue cheese dressing as well as a tomato vinaigrette.  Also please note the fun hotel guests we met with the rockin’ cowboy hat and bottle of Bud.  They were fun to chat with at the bar.

28 day dry aged ribeye, bone in.  Always the perfect char working on the steak.

You can catch Chef Rick Gresh at the following events around the country – this guy sure does get around …

South Beach Food & Wine Festival Burger Bash - we are going to cheer him onto victory on February 24, 2012.

Food Fight! for Scleroderma on April 15, 2012 at Kendall College in Chicago.

Passions of The Palate - April 30, 2012 in Hattiesburg, MI.  We are heading down SOUTH!

CigarBQue on June 21, 2012 in Chicago.

Until then, it’s better to look good, but also taste good!

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Girls Gone Grand

It’s always amazing when the universe puts us all in sync and we can manage a grand girl’s night out!  This one was hosted by Grand Marnier at the Angels and Kings Suite at the Hard Rock Hotel Chicago, and beautifully catered by Rachel Schwanz (I like to call her the Schwanz-a-razzi) and Entertaining Company.  Chef James De Marte got deliciously creative with these dishes.

Fried Chicken and Waffles – Grand Marnier Fried Chicken Bite, Smoked Bacon Shard and Waffle Finger with Grand Marnier Syrup.  The bacon shard was super-crisped.

Croquettes – Sweet Plantains, Manchego, Grand Marnier and Roasted Garlic Aïoli.

Braised Short Rib with Grand Marnier Roasted Red Pepper Compote and Wonton Crisp.

Yellow Fin Tuna Ceviche – Grand Marnier, Lime, Serrano Chile and Avocado and Handmade Tortilla Cup

Grand Marnier Braised Pork Flatiron – Honey Reduction, Celery Root Puree and Rosemary Potato Crisp.

The suite was decadent and gorgeous, with sweeping views of the Chicago Skyline.  I especially love their gun artwork collection/installation, these were skinned in designer labels such as Louis Vuitton and Gucci.  The Grand Marnier French Margaritas battled my favorite ones from Big Star.  They were just the right amount of sour and the Grand Marnier flavor was perfect, served in a cool red Grand Marnier ball.  All the food was made with Grand Marnier as an ingredient.  We did a shot-ski to that!  And we may have crashed a party afterwards – but what happens during girl’s night ….

The girls in this photo will remain nameless …

Recipe for a great Margarita – The French Margarita with Grand Marnier

1.5 oz. Grand Marnier

.75 oz. Tequila

1.5 oz. Fresh Squeezed Lime Juice

1.5 oz. Simple Syrup