AVEC Friends

Most people have favorite dishes at avec in Chicago, and most people would say they are the chorizo stuffed dates and/or the the crispy yet delicate “foccaccia.”  Well, there is a new fave in town, a whole new go-to item that was enjoyed among nine friends yesterday. This dish is reminiscent of a baked pasta my grandmother used to make, but the added element of calamari and aioli gives this dish such a depth of flavor.  It is served steaming hot and you will need some extra bread to sop up any leftover sauce.

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Wood-fired squid amatriciana: san marzano tomatoes, guanciale, fideo and fennel aioli.  I might try to wing this one at home.

Baked Potato Old School

Jake Melnick’s Corner Tap may be know for their wings, BBQ and craft beer selection, but recently I came up on this baked potato side dish.  While holiday shopping, you need a little comfort food.  This Loaded Baked Potato did the trick with crispy bacon, cheddar cheese, sour cream & green onion, and you have the option to add slow smoked beef brisket or BBQ pulled pork.

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Holiday Antipasto

Assembling a holiday antipasto plate is an art, especially in my family.  The key is to pick everyone’s favorite item to snack on, and then make it look as best as you can.  Our go-to choices are Genoa salami, mortadella with pistachios, a sharp aged provolone, assortment of olives, marinated artichoke hearts, roasted red peppers, hot soppressata, spicy salume, capers and hearts of palm.  You have to have the perfect combo of variety, color and flavor. The Italian meats should be sliced super thin. Have the deli counter show you a sample, so you are certain it will be easy to roll, and eat.  Just hope there will be some left over. Mangia!

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This post is dedicated to my newly born cousin!  Born just today – he will be promised a life-long feast of antipastos.  Love you Lauren, Mike, Luca, Matteo and The Newbie!

Tasty Adventure at Yusho

Mafia Monday’s are back! This time Food Mafia Founder, Stacey Johnson, took a tasty and tantalizing trip to Yusho

“We had a great meal at Yusho, we ordered a number of plates and all of them were delicious.”

“The 2x fried chicken was great, I loved the oyster. The tuna poke was a very small dish but good. One of my favorite dishes was the tofu doughnuts. Even the people at our table that don’t like tofu really enjoyed them. It seemed like the tofu was pretty minimal.”
“For drinks – their gin and tonic is absolutely great.”

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