DOLCE ITALIAN

Dolce in one word. Delicious. We tried the new hot spot with friends on a Friday night, and each dish we had was better than the next. They have the Neapolitan style pizza down. And we ended the meal with a meringue cake that could battle Cipriani’s in NY. 

   
Caprese with house made mozzarella and heirloom tomatoes. 

  

Grilled Octopus with a pistachio vinaigrette 

  
  

We all loved the Tartufata Pizza with speck, spicy salami and truffle oil. 

  
A side dish of eggplant Parmesan broiled and gooey to perfection. 

  

Pan seared Halibut with a flavorful and aromatic seafood brodetto. 

 
This light, fluffy and sugary Italian meringue layer cake is cravable. 

Dolce Italian is located in the Godfrey Hotel at 127 W Huron St. 

(312) 754-0700

#NoMIChocolate

NoMI | Boutique Chocolate has “popped up” in the Park Hyatt Chicago Library. Walking into this temporary pastry shop, the sweet aroma alone will make you go crazy. It’s award-winning Pastry Chef Meg Galus’ dream come true. She and her team have been sourcing rare and unique varieties to create an array of offerings, ranging from handcrafted bonbons to French and American style pastries, as well as personalized gift packages. There is even a rich Chocolate Chai tea collaboration with Rare Tea Cellar - to sip while you peruse the boutique.

Here is what you can find:

Confections - Bonbons, bars, lollipops, caramels, enrobed nuts

Pâtisseries - Éclairs, tarts, petits gâteaux

Snacks - Macarons, cookies, brownies

Gifts - Spreads, hot chocolate mix, customizable gift box

These works of art will be crafted using only the finest chocolate from makers around the globe including Valrhona, Cacao Barry, Felchlin, Guittard, Amedei and TCHO.

When: Runs through Sunday, May 11 (Mother’s Day) from 12pm-8pm

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Chef Meg Galus putting the icing on the Sensation Cake. A Devil’s Food Cake with luxurious DeZaan 72% ganache.

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You have never had rich and flaky chocolate croissants like these – trust me.

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Meg’s delectable macarons. You can even buy just one, but why stop there.

Ladurée Love

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 of 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?

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Cookie Madness

After baking dozens of cookies last weekend – there were still a few more to make.  Tis the season after all.  Esquire Magazine posted this Bourbon Ball recipe on their Eat Like a Man Blog (hint ladies – food that men really like) last week.  Since I had a bottle of Maker’s Mark lying around I couldn’t resist giving it a try.  Delicious, festive and best of all – boozy.

Pierrot Gourmet at The Peninsula Hotel in Chicago spruces up the chocolate chip cookie with hints of peppermint in their baking mix.  Just whip some butter, add the magical bag of ingredients and an egg – and voila!  A stack of minty chocolately cookies Santa will love on Christmas Night! 

Pav-LOVE-a

While all my friends decided to go to the gym on a recent trip to Manhattan, I decided to have lunch at The National, mostly becase it was conveniently located in our hotel.  I got to spend a few hours with the fun bartender as he was setting up for the day, while enjoying a bloody mary and a chorizo omelette.

Meringue desserts are wonderful.  And this pavlova was a delicious combination of toasted almond gelato, toasted almonds as garnish, fresh peaches and Campari caramel.  It could not be passed up.  It tasted even better than it looked.

http://www.thenationalnyc.com/

Italian Cookie Plate

Being that I practically live at the 900 North Michigan Shops, I am proud to be a regular at Frankie’s.  I even have a signed plate on their wall of fame, and love to chat with Chris Favero about cooking, old Italian recipes and what my mom is up too.

Last night I had the Fra Diavolo, a recipe Chris developed with some of his cronies back in NY, and on the way out, realized that I wished I had devoured this cookie plate.