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2016 Chicagoland Restaurant & Bar highlights?

2016 Chicagoland Restaurant & Bar highlights?
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  • 2016 Chicagoland Restaurant & Bar highlights?

    Post #1 - January 4th, 2017, 11:37 pm
    Post #1 - January 4th, 2017, 11:37 pm Post #1 - January 4th, 2017, 11:37 pm
    Ok, who's got a list? :)

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

    I am not interested in how I would evaluate the Springbank in a blind tasting. Every spirit has its story, and I include it in my evaluation, just as I do with human beings. --Thad Vogler

    I'll be the tastiest pork cutlet bowl ever --Yuri Katsuki

    That don't impress me much --Shania Twain
  • Post #2 - January 5th, 2017, 9:44 am
    Post #2 - January 5th, 2017, 9:44 am Post #2 - January 5th, 2017, 9:44 am
    Finally made it to Will's Northwoods Inn (3030 N. Racine Ave.) for a Packer game this year. Huge place and totally packed. Indoor and Outdoor TV's and a outdoor grill going full boar. Raffle ticket as you walk in for halftime raffle of Packer stuff. Great story. We ended up standing in a corner just under a TV. At halftime, started chatting with some of those standing near. Most were transplanted Wisco-ites. One was a south side guy with a good accent. I asked why he was a Packer fan. He told us that when we was about 9, his Dad had a service station on the south side and was a big Chicago Cardinals fan. His Dad was using a big lug nut wrench, when the radio blurted out that the Cardinals were moving to St. Louis. His Dad stopped what he was doing, got up and pounded the lug nut wrench into the pavement cursing Halas for pushing them out. He then looked at him and loudly yelled that "you kid" will be a Packer fan forever. Hence, he is a Packer fan and has been one since that day.
  • Post #3 - January 5th, 2017, 10:42 am
    Post #3 - January 5th, 2017, 10:42 am Post #3 - January 5th, 2017, 10:42 am
    Puckjam wrote:Finally made it to Will's Northwoods Inn (3030 N. Racine Ave.) for a Packer game this year. Huge place and totally packed. Indoor and Outdoor TV's and a outdoor grill going full boar. Raffle ticket as you walk in for halftime raffle of Packer stuff. Great story. We ended up standing in a corner just under a TV. At halftime, started chatting with some of those standing near. Most were transplanted Wisco-ites. One was a south side guy with a good accent. I asked why he was a Packer fan. He told us that when we was about 9, his Dad had a service station on the south side and was a big Chicago Cardinals fan. His Dad was using a big lug nut wrench, when the radio blurted out that the Cardinals were moving to St. Louis. His Dad stopped what he was doing, got up and pounded the lug nut wrench into the pavement cursing Halas for pushing them out. He then looked at him and loudly yelled that "you kid" will be a Packer fan forever. Hence, he is a Packer fan and has been one since that day.

    Haha, was thinking more about food and bev but that's a great story.

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

    I am not interested in how I would evaluate the Springbank in a blind tasting. Every spirit has its story, and I include it in my evaluation, just as I do with human beings. --Thad Vogler

    I'll be the tastiest pork cutlet bowl ever --Yuri Katsuki

    That don't impress me much --Shania Twain
  • Post #4 - January 5th, 2017, 5:59 pm
    Post #4 - January 5th, 2017, 5:59 pm Post #4 - January 5th, 2017, 5:59 pm
    ronnie_suburban wrote:Ok, who's got a list? :)

    Elsewhere, I made a list of the 25 best restaurant meals I had in 2016. A lot of them were out of town - not a reflection on Chicago's dining scene, but rather, of my tendency to splurge when traveling. Here are the ones in the Chicago area:

    Alinea (#1 overall)
    Oriole (#9)
    The Barn
    El Che Bar
    Dos Urban Cantina
    Mexique
    George Trois

    If Milwaukee is close enough to include as local, add:

    Ardent
    Odd Duck
    Mitchell's Fish Market
  • Post #5 - January 6th, 2017, 7:52 am
    Post #5 - January 6th, 2017, 7:52 am Post #5 - January 6th, 2017, 7:52 am
    I've been enjoying occasional after work drinks at The Victor, just north of Irving Park on Damen. They have a nice cocktail list which changes regularly. Last time I visited, I had their spin on a 20th Century. It was delicious. Friendly bartenders, and I really like the atmosphere - dark with velvet curtains over the windows and a banquette stretching the length of the room. I chatted briefly with Amanda who has been a contestant on the current season of Top Chef.

    I was also very happy that Bang Bang Pie & Biscuits opened in Ravenswood.
  • Post #6 - January 6th, 2017, 9:27 am
    Post #6 - January 6th, 2017, 9:27 am Post #6 - January 6th, 2017, 9:27 am
    Most memorable: Harvest at Elizabeth. Never have I been so pleased by a vegetarian meal... and not a tofu or other legume to be found. The smoked buttermilk sorbet will last a long time in my memory.

    Most of my other great meals have been elsewhere -- I've been privileged to do more traveling than usual, and had fantastic feasts in New Orleans, Jackson MI, London, and Amsterdam.
    What is patriotism, but the love of good things we ate in our childhood?
    -- Lin Yutang
  • Post #7 - January 6th, 2017, 3:58 pm
    Post #7 - January 6th, 2017, 3:58 pm Post #7 - January 6th, 2017, 3:58 pm
    JoelF wrote:Most of my other great meals have been elsewhere -- I've been privileged to do more traveling than usual, and had fantastic feasts in New Orleans, Jackson MI, London, and Amsterdam.

    In case anyone's interested, my top ten of 2016 were in seven different states:

    1. Alinea, Chicago IL
    2. Addison Restaurant, San Diego CA
    3. Orchids at Palm Court, Cincinnati OH
    4. Gabriel Kreuther, New York NY
    5. Salt, Fernandina Beach FL
    6. Georgian Room, Sea Island GA
    7. Melisse Restaurant, Santa Monica CA
    8. Victoria & Albert's, Lake Buena Vista FL
    9. Oriole, Chicago IL
    10. 610 Magnolia, Louisville KY
  • Post #8 - January 6th, 2017, 5:03 pm
    Post #8 - January 6th, 2017, 5:03 pm Post #8 - January 6th, 2017, 5:03 pm
    nsxtasy wrote:8. Victoria & Albert's, Lake Buena Vista FL

    Don't you mean Del Boca Vista?
  • Post #9 - January 7th, 2017, 11:16 am
    Post #9 - January 7th, 2017, 11:16 am Post #9 - January 7th, 2017, 11:16 am
    I was most excited about the smart vegetable-forward cooking I had in NYC (Semila, El Rey, Superiority Burger) and LA (Baroo, Sqirl); this all-day bread-focused thing happening in NYC (Paowalla, Pondicheri) is also really really great. Bad Saint in DC: the most fun I had at a restaurant in ages. Alas, none of this is happening in Chicago.

    But! That bernaise at Boefhous. Lamb barbacoa at Pulqueria Chicago. Finally ordering the fried chicken at Khan's. Being modestly impressed by Lena Brava. Ending up at Dancen more than any other restaurant in Chicago this year.

    RIP In-On. Loved that place. Are they coming back?
  • Post #10 - January 9th, 2017, 1:51 pm
    Post #10 - January 9th, 2017, 1:51 pm Post #10 - January 9th, 2017, 1:51 pm
    Despite having our second kid this year, I managed to do quite a bit of eating out. However, my 2016 list likely reflects a lot more lunches/places i didnt need to get a babysitter for:

    Gobi Manchurian, Doughnut - Pub Royale
    MSG Wings - Oak & Char (RIP)
    Chou Chi Prawns - Chada Thai (Las Vegas)
    Pork Rinds, Fried Chicken - Revival (Minneapolis)
    Short Rib and Bone Marrow Dumplings - Duck Duck Goat
    Duck Fat Fried Chicken - Slurping Turtle
    Two piece, biscuit, collards - The Budlong
    Shrimp & Oyster Po Boy - Boston Fish Market
    Grilled Ham & Cheese - Same Day Cafe
    Egg Custard Tart - Bakery @ Fat Rice
    Pastrami Sandwich - Boefhaus
    Shrimp Po Boy - Hagans Fish Market
    Haloumi & Dates - Ema
    Goat Cheese Curds, 2x2 Burger - Tipsy Cow (Madison)
    Goat Albondigas - Dos Urban Cantina
    Swordfish Sausage - Publican Ankor

    ETA: Nothing stands out in particular, but I had a frigging outstanding birthday dinner at Arbor
  • Post #11 - January 9th, 2017, 5:14 pm
    Post #11 - January 9th, 2017, 5:14 pm Post #11 - January 9th, 2017, 5:14 pm
    2016 is going to stick in my memory for a lot of reasons.

    I obviously won't forget my amazing wedding dinner at Blackbird, especially since our photographer had experience shooting food and the kitchen made sure to set plates down for him to shoot before serving.

    The pit to plate at Rub's was also one of the best dining experiences I've ever had.

    Oh, and the Bacchanal at Caesar's in Vegas is heaven on earth (but not in Chicago).
  • Post #12 - February 10th, 2017, 3:56 pm
    Post #12 - February 10th, 2017, 3:56 pm Post #12 - February 10th, 2017, 3:56 pm
    A little late but I finally got around to finishing up my list. These are in reverse chronological order. Duplicates are items I had and enjoyed on more than one occasion . . .

    Slaw, Charred Broccoli, Tuna Melt - Sink|Swim
    Italian Sub (extra meat, hot giardeniera) - Al & Joe's
    Double Dog & Fries - Gene & Jude's
    Sunchoke/uni Custard with Sunchoke Chips, Sweetbreads with Cauliflower, Chestnuts & Whey, Roasted Butternut Squash with Nduja - Lula Cafe
    Egg Salad - Andorka's Sandwich Shop
    Black Garlic & Bone Marrow Quiche, Biscuit with Creamed Spinach & Preserved Onion, Torta Espanola with potato and chard - Cellar Door Provisions
    Anolini in Brodo, Grilled Octopus & Potato, Bollito Misto, Chocolate Tart - Anteprima (LTH Holiday dinner)
    Parker House Rolls, Biscuit, Kale Salad, Wedge Salad - Entente
    Steak Burrito, Chicken Enchiladas in Green Mole, Guacamole - Taco Madre
    Steak Burrito - Los Azares
    Pork Belly with Skin, Pork Belly Special Cut, Bean Paste Soup - Pro Samgyubsal
    Double Dog & Fries - Gene & Jude's
    Shrimp Toast - Hong Huah
    St Louis Spare Ribs, Sausage - RUB's Backcountry Smokehouse
    Potstickers - China Chef
    Sesame Bagel, Chilaquiles with Carnitas and Avocado - Reno
    Bockwurst - Radler
    Charred Broccoli, Brussels Sprouts - Sink | Swim
    Wings, Cubano, Tortilla Soup - Toons
    Umami Ramen - Oiistar
    Chilequiles with Green Sauce and Skirt Steak - Brothers Restaurant
    Pappardelle w/Ragu di Carne, Trippa - Animale
    Black Beans, Ceviche - Bien Me Sabe
    Chicken, Green Salsa - D'Candela
    Furious Ramen - Furious Spoon (was drunk)
    Wood Oven Experience (brussels sprouts, shore lunch, ribeye/osso bucco/sausage - Vistro
    Spicy Fried Chicken Biscuit Sandwich, Biscuits, House Chips - Roost
    Umami Ramen - Oiistar
    Lunch Buffet - Tava
    Atomic Hot Doug's Pizza - Piece
    Frites & Aioli - Violet Hour
    Parsons Hot - Parsons
    Double Ranch Burger, Fries - Redhot Ranch (Ashland)
    Ham Sandwich, Ceviche - Ward 8
    Atomica - Cemitas Puebla
    Pork Neck Salad, Thai Wings - Aroy
    Cold Tomato Soup, Calamari - Inovasi
    Lamb Dumplings - Pub Royale
    Logan Square Carnivore - Paulie G's
    Nashville Hot Chicken, Biscuit - Budlong
    Dry Fried Green Beans, Potsticker, Soft Shell Crab, Green Curry Mussels - Fat Rice
    Little Biscuits, Onion Rings, Pici with Chew, Fresh & Fried Garbanzo Beans, Garlic Buttermilk Potatoes - Giant
    Little Gem Salad, Clam Fry - Publican
    Game Of Thrones dinner, Carrots & Seeds, Salmon Skins & Clams, Castle Black blackbread, Meal for Catelyn Stark, Smoked Salted Fish - Elizabeth
    Guacamole & Chips - L. Patron
    Biscuits, Dirty Rice, Cochon du Lait Po Boy, Fried Chicken Sandwich, Boucherie Plate - Analogue
    Roman Vegetable Stufato, Grilled Artichoke Crostini, Prosciutto Butter Toast, Nduja Arancini, Cacio Whey Pepe, Arrabbiatta-wok fried strangozze/shrimp, Gnocchetti Sardi, Lasagnette Amatriciana, Tortelli verde, Oxtail Ragu, Ragu alla Napoletana- Monteverde
    Tasting Menu - Oriole
    Sausage & Peppers, Grilled Calamari - EJ's Place
    Stuffed Chicken Wing, Crispy Pork Belly, Szechuan XLB, Seared Turnip, Sea Bass, Char Siu Lamian, Beef Brisket Lamian - Imperial Lamian
    Roti Pratha, Nasi Lemak/Beef Rendang, Char Koay Teow, Serai Curry Laksa - Serai
    Chicken Shawarma, Hummus, Lentil Soup - Shawarma Inn
    Cous Cous - Aviva (when Jazzfood was cooking there)
    Slagel Bone-In Ribeye w/Pommes Puree and Bone Marrow Gravy - Green River
    Premium Omakase - Kaizan
    Deviled Eggs, Roasted Nuts - The Violet Hour
    Winter Viking Menu - Elizabeth
    Skirt Steak, Wedge Salad, Onion Loaf - Wildwood Tavern
    Takoyaki, Pork Belly Okonomiyaki, Chicken Skin Skewer, Duck Breast Skewer - Izakaya Mita
    BBQ Dry Rub Smo-Fried Wings - Barn & Co.
    Double Burger, Chicken Sandwich, Brussels Sprouts, Fries - Scofflaw
    Goy Vey w/cheese, Morning Bender w/Bacon - Cracked Truck (Champaign, IL)
    Charcuterie Plate - Analogue (Mangalitsa Dinner)
    Assorted dishes - Immm Thai
    Karahi Gosht, Mirchi Salan - Tandoori

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

    I am not interested in how I would evaluate the Springbank in a blind tasting. Every spirit has its story, and I include it in my evaluation, just as I do with human beings. --Thad Vogler

    I'll be the tastiest pork cutlet bowl ever --Yuri Katsuki

    That don't impress me much --Shania Twain

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