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Favorite Meals, Bites and Sips of 2013

Favorite Meals, Bites and Sips of 2013
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  • Favorite Meals, Bites and Sips of 2013

    Post #1 - January 2nd, 2014, 1:03 pm
    Post #1 - January 2nd, 2014, 1:03 pm Post #1 - January 2nd, 2014, 1:03 pm
    I'm really curious to know what people's Chicago-area favorites were from last year. I always enjoy the round-up and find the recommendations immensely useful.

    I'm sorting through my notes now and hope to be back with my list shortly.

    =R=
    Why don't you take these profiteroles and put them up your shi'-ta-holes? --Jemaine & Bret

    There's a horse loose in a hospital --JM

    That don't impress me much --Shania Twain
  • Post #2 - January 2nd, 2014, 1:43 pm
    Post #2 - January 2nd, 2014, 1:43 pm Post #2 - January 2nd, 2014, 1:43 pm
    For me it's the Deer Menu at Elizabeth. In May I discovered their facebook page was offering discounted same day tickets and on a lark my wife and I decided to go. Best decision ever. For the past few years the majority of my fine dining budget as been devoted to the what has been become a comparatively soulless exercise: Next. In contrast my visit at Elizabeth was warm, personal, distinctive, and yes, delicious. It was a meal that reminded me why I love true chef driven restaurants.


    Best Drink: The Barrel-Aged Continuous Negroni at The Berkshire Room. If you don't think this is the greatest Negroni in the known universe there's something wrong with you.

    Best Drink Runner-Up: Few Barrel-Aged Martinez at Sepia. It's not on the menu and as far as I'm aware it's only made by Griffin. It's a wonderful spin on the classic cocktail.
  • Post #3 - January 2nd, 2014, 2:30 pm
    Post #3 - January 2nd, 2014, 2:30 pm Post #3 - January 2nd, 2014, 2:30 pm
    Best dish of 2013:
    The amazing Roasted Local Wild Mushrooms, goat cheddar & hazelnuts at Autre Monde. The perfect example of knowing what textures and flavors juxtapose and compliment one another, and simply letting the ingredients shine!

    Best drink of 2013:
    Rye #2 - templeton rye, averna, black walnut bitters & ginger beer at Nellcote

    Best meal of 2013:
    1st dining visit at Mott St. More than the food, it was the atmosphere that won my wife and I over. The lighting, the buzz, the soundtrack, the open kitchen, the smell, the food - everything seemed to jive so well, and create an aura that felt like we had been transported somewhere else!
    Meal: Everything Wings glazed w/ soy, jaggery & dried chilies tossed w/ sesame, poppy seed, fried shallots // Pan Seared Oyster Mushrooms w/ miso butter & thyme // General Tso's Sweetbreads w/ orange, Thai chili // Calamari Bokum, wok fried w/ Korean chili, breakfast potatoes // Kimchi & Oaxaca Spring Rolls w/ chimichurri creme fraiche

    A few other highlights of 2013 local dining, for me, included finally trying some of Chicago's soon to be "classics":
    Best Pizza: Coalfire Pizza - Nduja
    Best Burger: Owen & Engine - 1/2 order caramelized onions, with cheese & rasher (runner-up: Vie - 21-day dry aged wood grilled cheeseburger w/ Prarie Breeze Butterkase cheese, housemade bacon, pickles and a pickled tomato & dill aioli)
    Best Dessert: Ruxbin - Rocky Road - brownies, smoked cherries, whiskey ice cream, brulee'd marshmallow fluff, cotton candy, caramel cake
    duthow
    Chip Review
    We really know our Chip!
  • Post #4 - January 2nd, 2014, 4:02 pm
    Post #4 - January 2nd, 2014, 4:02 pm Post #4 - January 2nd, 2014, 4:02 pm
    The cheeseburger at Smallbar on Division Street is to die for. Also had a couple of great meals at Piccolo Sogno this year.
  • Post #5 - January 2nd, 2014, 4:37 pm
    Post #5 - January 2nd, 2014, 4:37 pm Post #5 - January 2nd, 2014, 4:37 pm
    Food: a couple great brunches at the Publican this year...the shashouka with a side of 1/2 dozen great oysters was a standout. Rainbow Thai, every single time. In Seattle, an awesome happy hr at Seatown, dinner at Etta's, and long lunch at Le Pichet. NYC->Carbone!

    Drinks: Ward 8 provided a few very fun beverage sessions, yielding many upcoming repeated visits. They're damn good.

    RIP - Great Lake, City Provisions, Ginza
  • Post #6 - January 2nd, 2014, 5:16 pm
    Post #6 - January 2nd, 2014, 5:16 pm Post #6 - January 2nd, 2014, 5:16 pm
    Best overall dining experience: The LTH Holiday party at Katy's. I only wish I'd had more room for the Dan Dan noodles at the end.

    Best thing I cooked: Chopped liver made with schmaltz... although the "dead parrot" wings (blueberry and ghost chile hot sauce) come close, and the avgolemono soup I made with rabbit stock was pretty darn amazing.

    Best meal in another country where I can speak the language: My bangers and mash and SueF's beef and Guinness pie at The Hairy Lemon, Dublin.

    Best meal in another country where I can't speak the language: The tasting menu at Eleven, Lisbon. Honorable Mention (and I sorta speak the language): Razor Clams in Barcelona.

    Best bought foodstuffs: Benton's Bacon -- if you're driving through Eastern Tennessee, and you don't stop, you'll miss one of the world's great smells. Honorable Mention to the fatty corned beef at Once Upon a Deli (Northbrook) - smooth, soft, perfectly spiced. And how can I forget the Pastel de Belém in Belém, Portugal?

    Favorite new spot: Rand Red Hots, mostly for location and price.
    What is patriotism, but the love of good things we ate in our childhood?
    -- Lin Yutang
  • Post #7 - January 2nd, 2014, 10:02 pm
    Post #7 - January 2nd, 2014, 10:02 pm Post #7 - January 2nd, 2014, 10:02 pm
    So many amazing meals in 2013, hard to narrow it down to my favorites, but will try:

    Best Beverage: Ben Schiller's Weston; didn't matter if it was at Boka, Homestead or most recently The Berkshire Room. Do also love Berkshire's Continuous Negroni that PopcornMegaphone mentioned as well as Boka's fairly recent barrel aged Negroni (not sure if it will still be around when they reopen in February, but fingers crossed). Also honorable mention to the 1605 Green Chartreuse at Aviary's Chartreuse tasting event. Best non alcoholic beverage was the Carrot tea at Elizabeth.

    Best Meal: While my very favorite meal of the year was out of state (kitchen table experience at Blue Hill at Stone Barns in New York - not just best meal of 2013, but my best meal ever), Grace would take first place for best meal in Chicago in 2013. Other really outstanding meals of 2013 (in no particular order) include Boka, Lobby (especially the collaborative dinner with Chef Mantuano of Spiaggia), Feast & Imbibe, Sunday Goat Supper at Little Goat, Embeya, Sous Rising, El Ideas, Moto, iNG, Goosefoot, Elizabeth, Senza and El Ideas.

    Best Bite: Very tough decision, but would have to give the nod to a special version of Chef Wolen's whole roasted chicken at the Lobby he made one night that was similar to the version he created at the NoMad (truffles stuffed underneath the skin before roasting and shaved atop after cooking). Honorable mention would go to Grace for Chef Duffy's carrot dish (definitely the best vegetarian course I have ever had anywhere), to Chef Regan for her lobster and tarragon Fruit Loop dish, Chef Farina for his mole dish at Moto, Chef Dang for the whole fried Lemon Sole at Embeya, the Maple Bacon Egg at El Ideas served by the Catbird Seat (Nashville, TN) chef during a collaboration and Chef Nugent's soups at Goosefoot. My best cheap eats of the year were Sun Wah's duck (but am a bit spooked to go back there for the time being because of their recent issues) and Chef Thompson's ramen at Kabocha.

    Best Dessert: The Yuzu Coconut Custard at the Lobby. Honorable mention to Alinea for the Corn dessert, Chef Jordan (formerly of Boka) for the Grapefruit dessert, Chef Crenshaw of Moto for Baking 101 and Paradise and Chef Carter of Feast & Imbibe for the white truffle ice cream sundae.
    Twitter: @Goof_2
  • Post #8 - January 2nd, 2014, 11:16 pm
    Post #8 - January 2nd, 2014, 11:16 pm Post #8 - January 2nd, 2014, 11:16 pm
    Best Beverage: Jason Cevallos's wheated bourbon drink. Wheated bourbon, meyer lemon, pomegranate, allspice, cigar. Runners up include Ben Schiller's Barrel Aged Negroni, The Aviary's "In The Rocks", Simon's Glogg.

    Best Meal: Toss up between The French Laundry & Alinea. Runners up: Elizabeth, Alinea (subsequent visit), Grace, Eleven Madison Park, El Ideas

    Best Bite: Oysters and Pearls. To date this remains the best thing I have ever eaten in any restaurant. Period. Runners up: Black Truffle Explosion, Chef Brochu's Foie Snickers at The Aviary, Cheeseburger at Au Cheval, and the Pork Belly Taco at Big Star
    "People are too busy in these times to care about good food. We used to spend months working over a bonne-femme sauce, trying to determine just the right proportions of paprika and fresh forest mushrooms to use." -Karoly Gundel, Blue Trout and Black Truffles: The Peregrinations of an Epicure, Joseph Wechsberg, 1954.
  • Post #9 - January 3rd, 2014, 12:23 am
    Post #9 - January 3rd, 2014, 12:23 am Post #9 - January 3rd, 2014, 12:23 am
    Mine would include, with apologies for my hazy memory:

    Restaurants, etc, in no particular order and, likely, leaving out a hundred equally spectacular dishes/meals:

    So many meals at Rainbow Thai but, in particular, eating the Naem Khao Thawt that I made myself in their kitchen following Wanpen's graceful instruction.

    El Ideas Spring, 2013.

    Bad Wolf Kouign Amann and Canele. I'm not a pastry gal. Until now. And the caffeinated cider.

    Gogi pork belly and short steak.

    First (and, so far, only, unfortunately) group meal at Homestyle Taste.

    Girl's dinner at Sze Chuan last fall--mmmmm...dumplings, fish soup, oysters, mushrooms, aged tofu.

    Cocktails--lots of delicious things at Billy Sunday, including a spectacular off-menu Negroni on 12/30 (right under the wire!!), Weston and Negroni at Berkshire Room, everything I ordered at the Violet Hour but can't remember :roll:

    Home cookin'--Every single dish that turkob made for our GNR voting dinner in the fall. WOW. Runner up, Bo Ssam dinner #2 at mbh's. And, not sure what category this would fit into but the beef cooked by the meat men (Johnny Van, Phil Wingo, Gary Wiviott, Alan Lake and crew) for last week's Salvation Army dinner was spectacular!!
    "Knowledge is knowing a tomato is a fruit; wisdom is not putting it in a fruit salad." Miles Kington
  • Post #10 - January 3rd, 2014, 12:32 am
    Post #10 - January 3rd, 2014, 12:32 am Post #10 - January 3rd, 2014, 12:32 am
    Best Bite of Meat: Wagyu at Grace
    Best Platter of Meat: Confit Pig Head at Yusho
    Best Poultry: Chicken and Waffles at Feast & Imbibe
    Best Dessert/Best New Ingredient: Candy Cap Mushroom Cookies and Milk at Baume & Brix
    Favorite Drink: Negroni Slushy at Parson's Chicken & Fish (A somewhat embarrassing admission, and I changed the category from "Best Drink" as a nod to Popcorn Megaphone, since I also enjoyed the Continuous Negroni. In comparing the two, I think they are both excellent reflections of their makers and environs--Parson's was well-balanced, summer fun, which didn't taste as gimmicky as it sounded, and Berkshire's is a serious, cool-weather, complex sipper.)
    Best Picnic Theme our Group Held at Millennium Park: "Beatles Night". Runner-up: "Game Night".
    Best Meal at a Gas Station: Hummos and Homemade Pita at a stand, attached to a gas station, in Latrun, Israel, across from the Yad-Lashiryon Tank Museum. Our first meal on arrival, and it quickly taught me I'd enjoy the food in Israel much more than expected.

    Thanks for asking and sharing. Best wishes to everyone for a happy, healthy, and tasty 2014!
    -Shari
  • Post #11 - January 3rd, 2014, 12:43 am
    Post #11 - January 3rd, 2014, 12:43 am Post #11 - January 3rd, 2014, 12:43 am
    Also, MUST add the home made pastor that Laikom made at the LTH picnic and practically everything I ate at the lake picnics all summer. So much deliciousness this year. In both food and company. Thanks all of you!!!
    "Knowledge is knowing a tomato is a fruit; wisdom is not putting it in a fruit salad." Miles Kington
  • Post #12 - January 3rd, 2014, 10:13 am
    Post #12 - January 3rd, 2014, 10:13 am Post #12 - January 3rd, 2014, 10:13 am
    Best restaurant meal, dry aged rib eye at David Burke's. Perfect crust, perfect tastes, I can't make a steak that good.
    Best sandwich, no particular order, Al's Beef(Taylor and Elston locations), Cermitas Pueblo, Jibarito at Borinquen.
    Best street food, little queso enchiladas made on a homemade comal at Chicago's Cinco de Mayo Festival.
    Best Lengua Taco's, Rosarita's on Algonquin Rd in Arlington Heights. Very busy at lunch time.
    Best drink, ice cold Horchata from a little stand on Maxwell street on a warm Sunday morning. -Dick
  • Post #13 - January 3rd, 2014, 10:18 am
    Post #13 - January 3rd, 2014, 10:18 am Post #13 - January 3rd, 2014, 10:18 am
    A few from Chicagoland - back to the basics this past year:

    best bites and craves:

    - crabs at Mariscos El Veneno - Ashland Ave.
    - Lake perch and fried chicken at Lee's - Cal City
    - cheeseburger and fried bologna sandwich - Au Cheval
    - "Freddy" from Stefanelli's - Lockport
    - deep fried tacos - Loncars(Chicago), Taco Trader(Dyer, IN),Adrians(East Chicago)



    Others:

    - fish and chips - Scotty Simpsons - Detroit
    - coney - Hamtramck Coney Island - Hamtramck, MI.
    - cheesesteak - Lefty's - Livonia, MI.
    - Pierogis and corned beef - Pejzas - South Bend, IN.
    - fried chicken - Bon Ton Mini Mart - Henderson, KY.
    - "Batali" sandwich - Goose the Market - Indy
    - Corned beef sandwich - Jakes - Milwaukee
    - smoked brisket and corned beef - Hanks Smoked Brisket & BBQ - Indy.

    probably forgetting some, I ate alot of good stuff this past year.
    R.I.P. jimswside - 5/2/16



    @GrubSeeker
  • Post #14 - January 3rd, 2014, 12:47 pm
    Post #14 - January 3rd, 2014, 12:47 pm Post #14 - January 3rd, 2014, 12:47 pm
    Salsa sampler at Empellon Cocina.
    Kouign Amann and Canales at Bad Wolf Coffee.
  • Post #15 - January 3rd, 2014, 2:48 pm
    Post #15 - January 3rd, 2014, 2:48 pm Post #15 - January 3rd, 2014, 2:48 pm
    Piri piri chicken at Fat rice. It was the sourness from the olives and pickles that put it over the top.
  • Post #16 - January 3rd, 2014, 8:54 pm
    Post #16 - January 3rd, 2014, 8:54 pm Post #16 - January 3rd, 2014, 8:54 pm
    I can only remember what I've eaten in the last month or two, but with that constraint:

    Takashi: Soy-Ginger Caramel Pork Belly, Pickled Daikon Salad, Steamed Buns (almost as good as the pork buns as Momofuku)
    Sautéed Maine Scallops and Soba Gnocchi, Trumpet Royale, Celery Root-Parmesan Foam

    Nellcote: butternut squash agnolotti (the squash was runny, so the filling exploded in your mouth)

    GT Fish and Oyster: kaBocha squash Gnocchi crab, chanterelle, mushroom, burrata (had this this before, still just as good)

    Nightwood: Butterscotch and bacon donut (you need a fork to eat this); honorable mention to the hash brown balls.
  • Post #17 - January 4th, 2014, 2:26 am
    Post #17 - January 4th, 2014, 2:26 am Post #17 - January 4th, 2014, 2:26 am
    Meal: Smoque brisket naem khao thawt over Al Bawadi hummus, GNR Award Dinner
    Date meal: Sephardic menu at Autre Monde; oysters, Telegraph
    ---
    Plate: Croque Madame at La France
    Sandwich: Lobster Roll at Acadia
    Salad: spicy lemongrass beef at Cafe Hoang, Nam Tok at ATK (tie)
    Pizza: prosciutto e rucola at Da Nella
    Truck: La Adelita, Brown Bag (now Small's)
    ---
    Would starve without: Taste of Brazil, Johnnie's, Yum Thai, The Nile, Big Guys, LSC
    Hallelujah: Katy's in Oak Park, Boston Fish Market, Rainbow Thai
    RIP: crescentine and cookies at Panozzo's, katsu and mackerel at Ginza
    ---
    Home: Russian Korean carrot salad; eggs in purgatory; garden pesto
    Away: hummus at Abu Kamel, Jerusalem; Portuguese sausage, fried banana, and pastries, Somerville; fish and flan, The Skipper, Ventry; fat rice at Lurcat, Minneapolis; smoked lake trout at Russ Kendall's, Knife River.
  • Post #18 - January 4th, 2014, 1:36 pm
    Post #18 - January 4th, 2014, 1:36 pm Post #18 - January 4th, 2014, 1:36 pm
    My favorite dishes from 2013 were kind of all over the place. All restaurants Chicagoland unless otherwise noted.

    Dukbokki w Bulgogi - Dak
    Brisket - Smoque (no idea how it took me til 2013 to try this)
    Chocolate Scallops - Gaetanos
    Amish Wings - Owen & Engine
    Slow roasted lamb, chive biscuit and gravy benedict - Frog N Snail
    PB&J Cinnamon Roll - Bang Bang Pie
    Chestnut gnocci, bone marrow, dehydrated proscuitto, shaved brussel sprouts, black truffles - Schwa (WINNER)
    Naem Khao Thawt - Rainbow Thai
    Ribs - Oklahoma Joe's (Kansas City, MO)
    Dry rubbed wings - The Happy Gnome (St Paul, MN)
    Pork Belly Biscuit Sandwich (Endgrain)
    Morning Bun - Standard Bakery (Portland, ME)
    Porchetta Sandwich - Publican Quality Meats stand at the Logan Sq Farmers Market
    Brisket Platter - Smalls
    Canelle - Bad Wolf
    Pastrami Sandwich - Fumare Meats
    Gen Janes Chicken - Au Cheval
  • Post #19 - January 4th, 2014, 3:18 pm
    Post #19 - January 4th, 2014, 3:18 pm Post #19 - January 4th, 2014, 3:18 pm
    raw tuna – Cal Pep, Barcelona

    pea and leek soup (with mint, almonds, and parmigiano) – Franceschetta 58, Modena, Emilia-Romagna

    veal cheek (braised in white wine with vegetables and thyme mashed potatoes) – Franceschetta 58, Modena, Emilia-Romagna

    house cured pancetta and salami – Cucina del Museo, Modena, Emilia-Romagna

    house made tagliatelle with culatello – Trattoria La Buca, Zibello, Emilia-Romagna

    rabbit salad - Le Case Della Saracca, Monforte d'Alba, Piemonte

    house made tajarin with venison ragu - Le Case Della Saracca, Monforte d'Alba, Piemonte

    stinco di maiale - Le Case Della Saracca, Monforte d'Alba, Piemonte

    lemon rosemary cookies – Café Selmarie

    corn chowder – Bite Café

    goat cheese, cashew, caramel gelato – Black Dog Gelato

    lobster bisque – MH Fish House, Lake Forest

    mussel and chorizo stuffed quail with sweet corn gnocchi, glazed chanterelles, and turnips – Lula Café

    duck confit over carrots, green beans, and roasted baby potatoes – Bistro Dre

    red wine braised lamb shank atop borlotti beans, Market House, Lake Forest

    braised pork belly over creamed corn and green bean giardiniera – Bite Cafe

    braised short ribs over ramen-flavored risotto, with roasted brussels sprouts and blistered cherry tomatoes - Ruxbin

    Happ’s bacon, hangar steak, and fabulous thick lamb chops (marinated in fresh lemon juice, EVOO, garlic, thyme/rosemary, and Dijon mustard and grilled) – P. & E. Mullins Local Foods, New Buffalo

    fresh pastas (especially the mushroom, roasted squash, and fresh herb of the day) – Pasta Puttana

    barramundi – Dirk’s Fish Shop

    fresh raspberries, green beans, and other local produce - Amidei Mercantino, Lake Forest

    local Marcona almonds – Boqueria Market, Barcelona

    local hazelnuts – from a friend of our innkeeper in Monforte d’Alba
  • Post #20 - January 6th, 2014, 8:17 pm
    Post #20 - January 6th, 2014, 8:17 pm Post #20 - January 6th, 2014, 8:17 pm
    Santander wrote:Hallelujah: Katy's in Oak Park...


    Bingo.

    I'm prolly forgetting a thing or two, but I gotta say, my favorite new food discovery of 2013 has got to be Dry Chili Tofu - first trial was at Katy's OP. Wound up at Lao Beijing a few days ago, and ordered up a round there, as well. Fantastic. The illusion of healthy food never tasted so good.
    We cannot be friends if you do not know the difference between Mayo and Miracle Whip.
  • Post #21 - January 7th, 2014, 12:18 am
    Post #21 - January 7th, 2014, 12:18 am Post #21 - January 7th, 2014, 12:18 am
    In no particular order, here's my 2013 list of Chicago-area dining-out highlights. For places where multiple dishes are listed, that usually means multiple trips were made (but not always) . . .

    Food:
    Liver, Onions & Fried Potatoes, Ezme, Eggplant Salad, Lentil Fingers - Cafe Orchid
    Spicy Tendon, Dry Chili Chicken, Mapo Tofu - Sze Chuan Cuisine
    Guapichosa, Fries, Migas, Chopped Salad - Scofflaw
    Fregola Sarda with cured, bacon-wrapped rabbit loin, Farfalle with north Italian ragu, spaghetti all chitarra with house ricotta-stuffed veal meatballs, Chicken-fried Sweetbreads - Nightwood
    Fried Belly Clams, Black Sea Bass, Greek Salad - Boston Fish Market
    Naem Khao Thawt, Mushroom Salad, Raw Shrimp, Pad Kra Prow, Jungle Curry, Green Curry with Fish Balls - Rainbow Thai
    White Truffle Risotto, Tarte Flambe - Guildhall
    Tips/Links Combo, Spare Ribs, Beef Ribs - Ben's BBQ
    Nduja, Mortadella Pizzas - Coalfire
    Lentil Soup, Spanakopitakia, Meatball Sandwich, Sliced Leg of Lamb Sandwich - Psistaria
    Reno, Kenny Bell, Southern - Reno
    Arancini - Forno Rosso
    Soondubu - Cho Jung
    Taco de Tripas, Longanisa - La Chaparrita
    Roasted Eggplant Salad with Raw Shrimp, Grilled Pork Neck Salad, Chou Chi Ground Pork, Wings - Aroy Thai
    Fried Chicken, Heart, Gizzards, Jowl, Tongue - Sumi Robata Bar
    Salmon, Pork Belly & Sausage, Potted Pork, Foie Gras - Monarch
    Fried Chicken, Fried Fish, little gem salad, shaved vegetable salad - Parson's
    Fish Taco, Lomo Taco, Guacamole & Chips - L Patron
    Mackerel, Porchetta, Short Ribs, Beef Heart Tartare, Plums, Romano Beans, Smoked Arctic Char, Fried Clams, Mussels, Scallops, Broccoli & Burrata, Hashbrowns - Publican
    Linguisa, Octopus, Arroz Gordo, Potstickers, Chilli Clams, Piri Piri Chicken, Sichuan Asparagus, Serradura, Macau Shrimp & Okra, Sesame Jellyfish, Smoked Seafood Escabeche, Chilli Clam, Crazy Squid, Chacuti, Bacon-Egg-Ramp stir-fry, Goan Pomfret Curry - Fat Rice
    Caneles - Bad Wolf Coffee
    Avocado Pine Nut, Puree, Trio of Salsas, Yucatan Chicken Soup, Crispy Redfish Tacos, Lamb Chorizo Tacos - Takito
    Jeuk Suk Yum So Bok Um (Goat Stew) - Chun Ju/Golden Chopstick
    Cheesey Corn Fritters - Big Jones
    Oysters, Frites, Lentils - Maude's Liquor Bar
    Badou Soul Food Delight, Spicy Salmon Boulette - Badou Senegalese Cuisine
    Big Fries, Udon Noodles & Crispy Pork, Handmade Shells, Wild foraged Mushrooms, Slow Cooked Pork & Grits, Roasted Duck and Pistachios - Inovasi
    Uni Risotto, Squid Ink Fettucine - Abigail's
    Aged Ribeye, Hash Browns, Elote - Bavette's
    Seafood Stew - Prairie Grass Cafe
    Truffle-Foie Gras Royal-Celery Root, Butternut Squash Soup-White Truffle Cream, Kobe Beef in Two Forms, Vanilla Parfait-Orange Confit - Tru
    Cheddar Burger and Fries - Wiener & Still Champion
    Crispy Black Eyed Peas, Lamb Ribs, Chocolate Ganache/red hen baguette - Ada Street
    Mushroom Broth, Smoked Fish Platter (Catch of the Great Lakes), Cellar Aged Carrots and Onions, Duck Tongue/Cider Vinegar, Fallen Leaves & Kidney, Sturgeon & Caviar, Pressed Squab, Potato (Purple Majesty), Hunter's Stew, Marrow Brulee - Next/The Hunt
    Special Duck Course, 60 garnishes, Black Truffle Explosion, Hot Potato - Alinea
    Liver Dumpling Soup - Mirabell
    Lobster Chawanmushi - Yusho

    Beverages:
    Half-Sweet OGD 114 Old Fashioned, Griffin Elliott's Hot Buttered Rum, Four Roses’ 2013 Limited Edition 125th Anniversary Small Batch Bourbon - Scofflaw
    Ti Punch - 3 Dots & A Dash
    Michelada - Parson's
    Willett 21-year, 101 proof "Eagle" Bourbon Whiskey - Longman & Eagle
    House-Barrel Elijah Craig 12-year Old Fashioned - Barrelhouse Flat
    Barrel-Aged Old Money - Berkshire Room

    =R=
    Why don't you take these profiteroles and put them up your shi'-ta-holes? --Jemaine & Bret

    There's a horse loose in a hospital --JM

    That don't impress me much --Shania Twain
  • Post #22 - January 7th, 2014, 9:31 am
    Post #22 - January 7th, 2014, 9:31 am Post #22 - January 7th, 2014, 9:31 am
    seebee wrote:
    Santander wrote:Hallelujah: Katy's in Oak Park...


    Bingo.

    I'm prolly forgetting a thing or two, but I gotta say, my favorite new food discovery of 2013 has got to be Dry Chili Tofu - first trial was at Katy's OP. Wound up at Lao Beijing a few days ago, and ordered up a round there, as well. Fantastic. The illusion of healthy food never tasted so good.

    We had it on xmas eve at LSC Uptown, and I agree, fantastic.
    What is patriotism, but the love of good things we ate in our childhood?
    -- Lin Yutang
  • Post #23 - January 7th, 2014, 12:55 pm
    Post #23 - January 7th, 2014, 12:55 pm Post #23 - January 7th, 2014, 12:55 pm
    Off the top of my head:

    Bad Wolf- Kouign Amann and Paris Brest with hazelnut pastry cream
    LTH Picnic- Thai sliders
    Cai- braised beef tendon
    La Chapparita- sweetbread tacos
    Del Seoul- kimchee fries
    Nha Hang Vietnam- lotus root salad
    ATK- fried papaya salad
    Rainbow Thai- Issan sausage and mushroom salad
    Fried Chicken- Smalls smoque shack

    After reading everybody else's posts, I realize i have a lot of eating to do in 2014.
  • Post #24 - January 7th, 2014, 2:48 pm
    Post #24 - January 7th, 2014, 2:48 pm Post #24 - January 7th, 2014, 2:48 pm
    New to me, in town, chronologically:
    Beef Ren­dang– Rick­shaw Repub­lic
    Chili Clam– Fat Rice
    Carne Seca Soup– Placita de Durango
    Fire Chicken– Dan­cen
    Carne Deshe­brada Bur­rito– Pollo Vagabundo
    Haleem- Ghareeb Nawaz
    Squid Amatriciana- Avec
    Kai Tod & Naem Khao That– Rain­bow Cui­sine
    Chicken Karaage, Lamb Chop, Wagyu Rib­eye– Sumi Robata Bar
    "Hog" Pizza– Reno
    Grilled Octo­pus & Fried Perch– Boston Fish Mar­ket
    Mis­sis­sippi Delta Tamales– Yoland’s
    Ital­ian Sub– Pub­li­can Qual­ity Meats
    Yuk Gae Jang, Bibim­bop, Bul­gogi & Kim­chi Omelet– Noon Hour Grill

    Rediscovered:
    Tips & Links– Lem’s
    Pulpo Espe­cial– Mariscos El Veneno
    Jerk Chicken– Mr. Brown’s

    Most eaten/classics:
    Cheeseburger- Schoop's
    Sole Fish Soup with Sour Pickle- Lao Sze Chuan
    Sausage Pizza- Louisa’s
    Chicken Boti- Khan
    Cabbage Pierogies- Podhalanka
    Beef Noodle Soup- Katy’s
    Ground Pork with Preserved Bean & Famous Hunan Chile- Lao Hunan
    Manila Clams in XO- Go 4 Food
    Soppressata with Mushroom Pizza- Coalfire

    Out of Town:
    Dou­ble Cheese­burger– Town Topic, KC
    Burnt Ends– Okla­homa Joe’s, KC
    Cockle Salad & Fer­mented Bam­boo Shoot Salad– Isaan Sta­tion, LA
    Pork Belly Con­fit– Salt of the Earth, Fen­nville, MI
    Ham and Cheese with Jalapeño Pin­wheels– Mar­quette Bak­ing Com­pany, Mar­quette, MI
    Beef Momo– Flirty Momo, Mil­wau­kee
    Old Fash­ioned, Prime Rib– Hes­ton Sup­per Club, LaPorte, IN
    Camarones- Santa Barbara, Madrid
    Txakoli- Basque Country
    Igueldo Pinxto– Bar Anto­nio, San Sebastián
    Rab­bit Shank Pinxto– La Cucaracha San Telmo, San Sebastián
    Veal Cheek Pinxto– Borda Berri, San Sebastián
    Cider Mill Din­ner (Fried Mer­luza, T-bone, etc.) — Petretegi Sagar­dote­gia, Asti­gar­raga, ES
    Gemüse Doner Kebap– Mustafa’s, Berlin
    Haxe– Brauerei Mar­cus Brau, Berlin
    Speck on Bread– Char­lot­ten­burg Christ­mas Mar­ket– Berlin
    Kofte Sand­wich– Gel Gor, Berlin

    Since I get paid for a lot of my cooking, I will refrain from tooting my own horn. An off-the-clock standout: wild gadwall breasts with molé poblano, foraged hen-of-the-woods-mushrooms, and Minnesota wild rice. Got into Spam this year, particularly Spam Musubi. Cooked my first lengua. Upped my gumbo game.
    A Burmese pot luck throw down hosted by trixie-pea is for sure worth noting, though there were so many amazing bites, its hard to keep straight six months later.
    Also, gotta brag about the food at my wedding: Zaragoza birria in Royal Pies for the rehearsal. Whole hog roasted by noneother than Greg Gunthorp and a just-lovely slew of Southern inspired sides, pickles, sauces, and apps by Western Michigan's finest caterer, Christine Ferris.
  • Post #25 - January 8th, 2014, 9:04 am
    Post #25 - January 8th, 2014, 9:04 am Post #25 - January 8th, 2014, 9:04 am
    Jefe wrote:Zaragoza birria in Royal Pies for the rehearsal.
    Was this a collaboration between Pleasant House and Zaragoza or did you do the Royal Pies yourself? Either way, wow, yes sir senator, great idea, sounds terrific.
    One minute to Wapner.
    Raymond Babbitt

    Low & Slow
  • Post #26 - January 8th, 2014, 9:30 am
    Post #26 - January 8th, 2014, 9:30 am Post #26 - January 8th, 2014, 9:30 am
    Can't speak for what Jefe served at his reception but there was a special collaboration pie created by PHB and Jonathan Z. back when he was still with Zaragoza's--can't remember when it came out exactly but it was absolutely delicious!!
    "Knowledge is knowing a tomato is a fruit; wisdom is not putting it in a fruit salad." Miles Kington
  • Post #27 - January 8th, 2014, 11:15 am
    Post #27 - January 8th, 2014, 11:15 am Post #27 - January 8th, 2014, 11:15 am
    G Wiv wrote:
    Jefe wrote:Zaragoza birria in Royal Pies for the rehearsal.
    Was this a collaboration between Pleasant House and Zaragoza or did you do the Royal Pies yourself? Either way, wow, yes sir senator, great idea, sounds terrific.

    boudreaulicious wrote:Can't speak for what Jefe served at his reception but there was a special collaboration pie created by PHB and Jonathan Z. back when he was still with Zaragoza's--can't remember when it came out exactly but it was absolutely delicious!!


    Wish I could take credit for this novel idea but Jen's right, @goatboyintl hooked up with PHB for the original version of this a ways back. I arranged for a redux– I ordered Zaragoza's birria by the lb. with the consommé and then left it in the hands of Art and Co., who fortified the consommé into a gravy to suspend the meat in and then encased it all in their gorgeous pastry.
    I guess I'm lucky I know the owners!
  • Post #28 - January 9th, 2014, 11:09 am
    Post #28 - January 9th, 2014, 11:09 am Post #28 - January 9th, 2014, 11:09 am
    At the end of every year, Mr. Pie and I exchange best-of-the-year movie lists. I also do a chow list, because I'm a nerd like that. The year before was more extensive, since I didn't have a new job and a move getting in the way of more important stuff like this. These lists will only get bigger and badder.

    Standouts
    The freshly made pita and fish-roe spread and sweetbreads at The Parthenon. I violated Homer Simpson’s golden rule: Don’t fill up on bread, but I didn't care.
    After missing out on Culver’s on Easter Sunday, we headed to The Village Creamery instead. The Berry Chocolate Merlot may be my new favorite: chocolate merlot ice cream flavored with raspberry, stuffed with real, whole cranberries.
    Soup dumplings and Mongolian Lamb at Ed’s Potsticker House for my birthday. As usual, the leftover lamb was even better the next day.
    Mushroom and Kale Pie at Pleasant House.
    Is it pudding? Is it cake? Is it bread? Yes. The corn muffin at The Texan Bar-B-Q, which is really a giant, square slab, has a hole cut out of it to place a tiny tub of butter. The butter is unnecessary, since the center is underbaked puddingy goo, surrounded by a sweetish, tender cake-bread hybrid, served warm just before the meal comes.
    Irish Stew on Thanksgiving with my parents at Chief O’Neill’s (don't judge me), followed by late Christmas with my brother and sister-in-law: grilled salmon and crusty potatoes and Brussels sprout slaw, clam chowder and whiskey shots.

    Honorable Mentions
    Gyros at Central Gyros. Could have used more meat, but it was a delicious way to satisfy a craving during the Sci-Fi Spectacular.
    Brisket, baked beans, slaw, and tater salad at The Texan Bar-B-Q.
    Hot Buttered Rum and a Hot Toddy at Scofflaw, a great place that has plenty of stretching room at about 1am on a Wednesday morning when it's in the 'teens. Remember that. The fries were good but could have been great had they not had enough salt on them to attract every deer in the state. But I can't really complain since I got them for free: I had to "wait", thus they were comped. Score!

    Disappointments
    The Pasta Fresca at Noodles & Company. I could count the number of tomatoes and spinach leaves on one hand. Decent dinner, but nothing I couldn’t have made myself, and it was a small portion considering the $5.35 price and the fact that it was vegetarian.
    I’ve said it once and I’ll say it again—restaurant gyros just doesn’t cut it. Psistaria’s was tasty but dry, and it was wrapped up with the onions and tomatoes with one lonely pita and the tzatziki on the side. What you need is the gyros sandwich—the meat is kept moist wrapped in it’s pita blanket, the sauce coats everything just right, the pita gets soggy with meat steam in the middle and crunchy on the edges, and the whole thing is a greasy, comforting mess.

    Bombs
    Eggs Benedict at Beat Kitchen. The hollandaise was so thick it was quite literally draped over hard-cooked, not poached, eggs. The black beans were flavorless and sprinkled with cheese from a can. The home fries, with minced peppers, onions, garlic and other stuff, were also somehow completely tasteless.
    Everything at Ing’s Chinese Buffet. How is this place still in business?

    Events
    Rum & Cokes and Chihuahua petting at The Lighthouse, followed by Red Beans & Rice and Alligator Sausage at St. Andrews.
    Winter Staycation Highlights: meaty Polish Assortment at Smakosz; Chicken Pear Salad at Cavanaugh’s; pub crawl starting at The Berghoff (white wine), Beef ‘n’ Brandy (some Chicago-inspired drink with champagne and brandy), Bar Novo (Basil Blood Orange Gimlet), and Three Counties (Screaming Orgasm); Blue Bayou's Mac ‘n’ Cheese; a tilapia/shrimp/herb rice/steamed veggie thing at Perkins in Rockford, followed by Neapolitan Pie; ribs from Uncle John’s BBQ.
    My very first Reuben at Jason’s Deli in Park Ridge.
    Another great meal (the name of which I forgot, breaded fried steak) at Mom’s Old Recipe Mexican to celebrate getting a new job.
    National Mustard Museum and Hubbard Street Diner in Middleton, WI.
    LTH Holiday Dinner at Katy’s Dumpling House .

    R.I.P. – alphabetical order
    Ada’s
    Birrieria Zaragoza (Melrose Park location ONLY)*
    Christopher’s Off The Bone
    Depot American Diner
    Elate
    Finnegan’s
    Fox & Obel
    Glunz Bavarian Haus
    Graham Elliot
    Jury’s—kinda
    Krakus Homemade Sausage
    Norwood Restaurant (temporarily. Now re-opened)*
    West Town Tavern

    *Edited by Moderator for accuracy
    I want to have a good body, but not as much as I want dessert. ~ Jason Love
    There is no pie in Nighthawks, which is why it's such a desolate image. ~ Happy Stomach
    Read "Cooking for One" at Literary Orphans via my author page.

    Late-Nite Eats Database
  • Post #29 - January 9th, 2014, 11:32 am
    Post #29 - January 9th, 2014, 11:32 am Post #29 - January 9th, 2014, 11:32 am
    Pie Lady wrote:
    R.I.P. – alphabetical order

    Birrieria Zaragoza



    when did Birreria Zaragoza close?
    R.I.P. jimswside - 5/2/16



    @GrubSeeker
  • Post #30 - January 9th, 2014, 11:36 am
    Post #30 - January 9th, 2014, 11:36 am Post #30 - January 9th, 2014, 11:36 am
    jimswside wrote:
    Pie Lady wrote:
    R.I.P. – alphabetical order

    Birrieria Zaragoza



    when did Birreria Zaragoza close?

    The Melrose Park location only.
    "Knowledge is knowing a tomato is a fruit; wisdom is not putting it in a fruit salad." Miles Kington

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