Sunny Side Up

Gjelina is a the name that jumps off everyone’s tongue when you ask about restaurants in Los Angeles.  On hip Abbot Kinney in Venice, they are a little too cool for school, but the food is warm and inviting.  Either way, this Sunny Duck Egg will brighten up your brunch.


Sunny Duck Egg with Duck Confit-Potato Hash & Grainy Mustard.


Brunch at Grass Fed

Chai infused bourbon, chicken and waffles, with a buttersotch dessert! Fall is in the air at Grass Fed in Bucktown and Godfather Stacy Johnson, founder of Food Mafia, has the pics to prove it.

“Casual, warm space that offers dinner and now brunch. And they have 9 parking spots available!!”

“Everything we had was great – biscuit, fried chicken and waffles, waffle minis, green eggs and ham, and the butterscotch for dessert. ”

“The drinks were all great but the bourbon infused with chai served on ice is a must!! Even for those that don’t usually order bourbon. Service was great.”

Every Monday TheFoodarazzi features some of their favorite food shots and reviews from FoodMafia.

Goat Neck

Who hasn’t been to the Goat 100 times. But if you haven’t, this dish is reason number one to rush on over there. Braised goat neck. In an earthy succulent sauce, perfect for fall. It is very similar to short ribs in texture, but richer in flavor and an outstanding item on the already drool worthy menu.


Girl & The Goat

Photo Credit: Vinnie Analone [aka Vincent Anzalone, Genuine Entertainment Chicago]

Tail Feather

When Chef David Burke is in town it is always a party.  Yesterday he and Chef Rick Gresh gave us all some tailgating tips on  Windy City Live for your next sporting match from David Burke’s Primehouse. Whether you are into sports or not, these recipes are sure to be a fan favorite. GAME ON!


Beautiful quail eggs that will go on top of the brie grilled cheese sandwiches.  Rick has a special egg cutter at the restaurant that can delicately get through the shells.


The finished appetizer – grilled cheese with brie and spicy pear.  David wants brie to make a comeback.  I also put in a vote for goat cheese.  So 90s.


One of David’s new favorite menu additions – Rooster.  Also known as capon, it has a heartier and slightly rich gamier flavor.  This one was roasted in the oven, flavored with jalapeno under the skin.


The mis en place for the spicy rooster chili.  The recipe is listed below and I will be making this at my next party, since David gave me some secret tips on how to make this batch a sure winner.


The chili – served in ostrich shell bowls and garnished with capon cracklins.  Cracklins are the new bacon, you may have heard this here first.  They are less greasy than pork rinds and an alternative to bacon when you still want that fatty crunch.


A little surf & turf.  Giant ribs with cilantro pesto shrimp.  Now I cant wait until the next game day!

Chef David Burke on Windy City Live

Rooster Chili…cheddar cheese and sour cream

2 ea              Capon, remove all meat from bones, medium dice meat, skin saved.

2 tbsp            Veg oil

2 ea               Onion, small diced

8 ea               Garlic cloves, minced

2 ea               Red bell pepper, small dice

2 ea               Green bell pepper, small dice

2 ea               Celery ribs, small diced

2 ea               Jalepeno, minced

1 tbsp            Cumin, ground

¼ cup            Chili powder

2 tbsp            Cayenne pepper

2 tbsp             Oregano

½ can             Beer

6 oz                Tomato paste

2 tbsp             Worcestershire sauce

2 tsp               Hot sauce

¼ cup             Golden raisins

¼ cup            Soy sauce

2 qts              Diced canned tomatoes

to taste          Salt and pepper



2 cups             Sour cream

2 tbsp              Ancho pepper in adobo sauce puree (optional)

2 cups             aged cheddar cheese minimum of 2 years

2 cup               Capon cracklins made from the reserved capon skin

2 tsp                fennel seed, ground

3 ea                 Green onions, cut on a bias


  1. In a hot pan coated with veg oil brown the capon meat.
  2. Add the onions and garlic and cook until translucent.
  3. Add jalepeno, bell peppers, celery and spices and cook for 4 minutes.
  4. Add beer and tomato paste and cook until reduced by half.
  5. Add remaining ingredients and bring to a boil, reduce to a simmer and cook for 2-3 hours until the liquid has thickened and the meat is tender.
  6. Mix the ancho puree and the sour cream, set aside.
  7. On a sheet pan lined with parchement or a silpat lay out the chicken skin flat.  Season with salt, pepper and ground fennel.  Top with another piece of parchement or silpat and another pan and bake in a 300°F oven until crispy, approx. 30 minutes.  Remove from oven and crumble when cooled

To serve: ladle chili into a bowl, top with  ancho crema, cheddar cheese, green onions and capon cracklings.

Roll With It

Time to roll with it at Jellyfish with The Food Mafia’s Godfella, CaviarCookies! She takes us through the sultry eatery one roll, and sake shot, at a time….

“Everyone can uncross their fingers now! There’s somewhere new and exciting to eat in Gold Coast. That’s right! There’s a hot, new, trendy restaurant that screams sexy. It’s time to welcome Jellyfish to the neighborhood.”

“Just off of Rush Street, an elevator leads you upstairs to the second floor where all the magic happens. The slick and sexy interior reminds me of Miami or maybe I feel like I’m underwater. Either way, I love it. Rocco Laudizio, Slick + Design, is the mastermind behind this masterpiece. White washed wood plays off the white leather booths while blue LED lights line the ceiling and create a mystical yet energetic ambiance. A rectangular blue stone is situated against a white textured wall and serves as the centerpiece for the bar. It immediately captures my attention as I make my way through the cocktail menu.”

“The cocktail menu is playful and inviting. The signature drinks use unique flavors like bbq bitters, lychee or coriander. Since this is a pan-Asian restaurant, I look for something with sake. To my liking, there’s a signature cocktail with sparkling sake. I already feel like I’m winning. The Tea-Chee Spritzer Zipang combines sparkling sake, lychee, fresh lemonade, organic tropical tea and lemon bitters. The drink itself is beautiful and refreshing.”

“Once finished with our cocktails, we make our way to a booth in the atrium. A soft breeze flows through the open windows. Our server greets us and is extremely attentive throughout our entire dining experience. He suggests a great bottle of sake for us to enjoy. Fortunately, we were able to snag the last bottle that evening. It’s light, crisp and exactly what I had wanted. His recommendation was superb for what we were asking. It’s always nice to have a knowledgable staff.”

“To start, we ordered the Rocco Taco. Three mini (and crunchy) wontons were filled with hamachi, radish, red onion, citrus and ponzu. What a great introduction to our meal! They were beautifully presented on a white plate with minimal garnishes. The tacos themselves had so much color and flavor.”

“Next came the sushi rolls. Between the two of us, we ordered four rolls. The rolls were big so lets start with the Big Chicago Roll: fresh mizuna, tuna, salmon, tamago, yellowtail, Japanese pickled cucumbers. Wow! This roll lived up to its name. The different fish were so fresh. It was my favorite roll of the night! Unless you want to embarrass yourself, I wouldn’t attempt to eat this in one bite.”

“If you like sushi rolls with a little bit of a kick I suggest the Kiss of Fire. It’s appropriately named and has spicy tuna, jalapeno, white tuna, salmon and wasabi sauce. This was a treat for me! It was the perfect amount of kick or should I say fire? The Black Diamond included shrimp tempura, Alaskan crab mix and black caviar. Lastly, we tried the Lobster Mango Roll. It was rolled with lobster and sea salted crab. On top were mangoes and flying fish roe. The mango was such a nice treat, and kept me reminiscing of summer. Again, the flavors were simple, clean and fresh. Too often, sushi restaurants try to do too much and lose the essence of sushi. Jellyfish captures the natural flavors of the fish and accents them with fresh ingredients. They’re creative and true. It’s sushi done right.”

“I cannot recommend this place enough! Whether you’re looking for a fun cocktail, quick bite or an exceptional dinner, this is the place. If you’re not a huge sushi fan, Jellyfish also offers main entrees. The service is exceptional. The drinks are carefully prepared, and the food is made with passion. I am so happy Jellyfish has found its way into my neighborhood.”

Every Monday TheFoodarazzi features some of their favorite food shots and reviews from FoodMafia.

Paris Dreams

It’s fun to live vicariously through my friend’s food and travel adventures. Meringues are one of my favorite treats. Especially when they are as cloud-like and dreamy as these, spotted at a simple patisserie in St. Germaine in Paris, and swiped from my friend’s iPhone.


A Happy Belly at BellyQ

Goodfella Elizabeth of, The Food Mafia, invaded BellyQ and I am thrilled to report, she left with a happy belly…phew!

“I’m an Urban Belly regular so when I heard of this new venture by Bill Kim, I anxiously awaited its opening. As I expected, I was not disappointed. The service and wait times could be improved (we waited until 9 PM for an 8 PM reservation for 3 people) but the food is definitely on point.”


“BEST dish in my opinion was the BellyQ beef. You must try this! We had 4 or 5 other dishes, including one of the pancake dishes – I believe these change daily/weekly. Looking forward to going back and trying more of the menu!”

“I would strongly advise making a reservation – this is def. a hot spot!”

Every Monday TheFoodarazzi features some of their favorite food shots and reviews from FoodMafia.

The ‘Immaculate’ Fried Chicken and Waffles

Goodfella, CaviarCookies, from FoodMafia has an adventurous palate.  So when she called Table Fifty-Two‘s Fried Chicken and Waffles ‘immaculate’ I had to share her tastebud journey!

“I’ve heard rumors about this cozy spot, and I had to put them to rest. Turns out, the rumors are true. Table Fifty-Two has the best brunch inChicago.”

“Brunch is only served on Sundays from 10:30am-1:30pm which was a huge dilemma since I normally work on Sundays. I am so happy I finally have Sundays off. My mouth is still drooling over our delicious, Southern breakfast.”

“This rustic restaurant is full of charm, and we easily find ourselves sitting outside. A few benches are nestled on the sidewalk. It’s perfect. Our server was witty and played along with our crazy antics. To continue our festivities, we order up a couple of mimosas. A delicious loaf of sweet potato bread is brought to our table. We enjoy the bread and butter while we try to get our minds together. What to order? The menu is tantalizing, and I want to try a bite of everything … maybe even two.”

“I already knew I was going to order the Fried Chicken & Waffles. Most of the rumors stem from this sweet and savory menu item. The dish, as anticipated, was immaculate. The golden waffle was topped with a mound of deep fried chicken. On the side was a fun sized jar of real maple syrup. The syrup alone was quite the treat! It took my a few minutes to figure out how to attack this dish. I pulled the chicken from the bone and drizzled maple syrup all over the combo. What happened next was love. I took my first bite and fell in love, and with each bite I fell more and more in love.”

“The second dish we ordered was the Crab Cake Benedict. A flaky biscuit was served with a giant crab cake on top. There was a perfectly poached egg resting on that and hollandaise poured over it. The hollandaise was the right balance of butter and lemon. A refreshing green salad accompanied the benedict. You could taste the passion between each bite.”

“Table Fifty-Two is a destination for any local or visitor. Chef Art presents a delectable menu. The service is attentive and friendly, and the ambiance is enough to bring a quirky smile to your face. So go ahead, order another mimosa and indulge in the best brunch in town.”

Every Monday TheFoodarazzi features some of their favorite food shots and reviews from FoodMafia.