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Favorite Meals, Bites and Sips of 2014

Favorite Meals, Bites and Sips of 2014
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  • Favorite Meals, Bites and Sips of 2014

    Post #1 - December 27th, 2014, 3:55 pm
    Post #1 - December 27th, 2014, 3:55 pm Post #1 - December 27th, 2014, 3:55 pm
    I think it's that time of year to start this convo again. Top of mind for me: The pork chop at Doves Luncheonette, brunch at Dusek's, fried chicken sandwich from The Roost, brisket bibimbap at Smalls and double cheese at Red Hot Ranch.
  • Post #2 - December 27th, 2014, 4:44 pm
    Post #2 - December 27th, 2014, 4:44 pm Post #2 - December 27th, 2014, 4:44 pm
    Chiles en Nogada at Salpicon! on Xmas eve. Flawless execution, beautiful presentation.
  • Post #3 - December 28th, 2014, 5:22 am
    Post #3 - December 28th, 2014, 5:22 am Post #3 - December 28th, 2014, 5:22 am
    Sorry to interrupt the ads, which I do appreciate, but for me it was all home made.
    Aside from that, the lth picnic was awesome, as usual--there were so many good bites you folks should check out that thread for the details.
    I'll never forget Gary Wiv's family meal of 'leftover' prime rib ribs (yep!)(+yip!) @ the SA dinner. Does that guy ever slack? Certainly not.
    There are some secrets which do not permit themselves to be told. (Poe)
  • Post #4 - December 28th, 2014, 9:34 am
    Post #4 - December 28th, 2014, 9:34 am Post #4 - December 28th, 2014, 9:34 am
    Chicago-area division:
    Best meal of 2014: North Pond, described in this post
    Honorable mention: North Suburban Bouillabaisse Dinner (thanks again, Cynthia!); Salero, described in this post; Boka

    Out of town division:
    Best meal of 2014: Story, near Kansas City, winner of the 2014 award for Best New Chef from Food & Wine magazine
    Honorable mention: Marea, New York City; Odd Duck, Milwaukee; Musso & Frank Grill, Hollywood
  • Post #5 - December 31st, 2014, 11:10 am
    Post #5 - December 31st, 2014, 11:10 am Post #5 - December 31st, 2014, 11:10 am
    Happy December 31st, y'all. Here's what I liked this year:

    New to me, in town, chronologically:

    Dirty rice & gumbo- Analogue
    Eggrolls & beef pad tamin- Spicy Lao Thai
    Panades- Garifuna Flava
    Kimchi wang mandoo- Joong Boo
    Lamb skewers & chicken wing skewer- Lao Pi
    Goi ga, Beef with pickled mustard greens- New Asia Cuisine
    Pad kanoon- Aroy
    Quesadilla de huitlacoche- Authentaco
    Tacos de Pescadilla- Bien Trucha, Geneva, IL
    Eggroll- Kow Kow
    Dog & fries- Gene & Jude's (yup, my first)
    Combo- Johnnie's (this too)
    Pozole- Zaragoza (private dinner cooked by Lil John)
    Hunter beef sandwich- Spinzer
    Italian beef- Bari
    Tacos al pastor al trompo- La Chaparrita (Day of the Dead party)
    Lamb with cumin flat bread & Tofu skin & celery in white vinegar sauce- Xi'an Cuisine
    Pepper & potato hash & Smoked brisket taco norteño- Dove's

    Outta town:

    Rock shrimp sausage/toast- Milkwood, Louisville
    OG Hot Brown- Brown Hotel, Louisville
    Niu rou mien & dumplings- Super Taste, NYC
    Double Cheeseburger- The Spot Drive In, Kenosha, WI
    Jerk chicken & pork ribs, ox-tails- Jamaican Jerk, Indianapolis
    Mutton biryani, lamb chops- Bombay Bazaar, Indianapolis
    Nihari, reshmi & bihari kababs- Bar BQ Tonite, Mississauga, ON

    Local brews:

    Ledbury, Lapinette- Virtue Cider
    Berliner Weiss, Gose- Brewery Zatkoff
    Mosaic Promise- Founder's
    Heyoka- Half Acre
    Bubbly Creek- Marz Brewing
    Makgeolli- Slow City

    (Edited to add a couple of great sips that I forgot about first time around)
    Last edited by Jefe on January 1st, 2015, 8:15 pm, edited 1 time in total.
  • Post #6 - December 31st, 2014, 12:44 pm
    Post #6 - December 31st, 2014, 12:44 pm Post #6 - December 31st, 2014, 12:44 pm
    No particular ranking or order to these, but the bites that truly stand out from my year are:

    - Smoked duck breast at Blackbird
    - Piri-piri chicken at Fat Rice
    - Txuri ta Beliza at Salero
    - Heirloom carrots at Boka
    - Honorable mention: tacos al pastor at Tierra Caliente #2

    Out of Town:
    - Fried chicken at Willie Mae's Scotch House (New Orleans)
    - Kung pao pastrami at Mission Chinese Food (San Francisco)

    Looking at my list, it was a damn good year.
  • Post #7 - December 31st, 2014, 8:03 pm
    Post #7 - December 31st, 2014, 8:03 pm Post #7 - December 31st, 2014, 8:03 pm
    Favorite meal this year was definitely Nasi Lemak at Village Park Restaurant in Kuala Lumpur. So amazingly great.

    I haven't actually been in Chicago in months. That being said, there are a few dishes from earlier this year that still come to mind:

    Double Cheeseburger & Fries - Red Hot Ranch
    Naem Khao Thawt - ATK
    Twice-cooked Fish Filet - Asian Bistro
  • Post #8 - January 1st, 2015, 6:43 am
    Post #8 - January 1st, 2015, 6:43 am Post #8 - January 1st, 2015, 6:43 am
    Let's do this:

    Double cheeseburger and fries - Red Hot Ranch
    Honey Buffalo Chicken Sandwich - HBFC
    Prosciutto stuffed squid - Purple Pig
    Nashville Hot Chicken & Biscuit - The Roost
    Fat Elvis Biscuit - Bang Bang Pie
    Huitlacoche Quesidilla - Authentaco
    Potato Bacon Bing Bread - Parachute
    Roasted Chicken - Maude's Liquor Bar
    Potatoes w Garlic Schmaltz - Boltwood

    Out of town:
    Crudo plate - Bar Crudo (SF)
    Seafood Chowder - Bar Crudo (SF)
    Baked Creamed Eggs - Sardine (Madison)
  • Post #9 - January 1st, 2015, 9:29 am
    Post #9 - January 1st, 2015, 9:29 am Post #9 - January 1st, 2015, 9:29 am
    Bookends for me:

    January 6, in the throes of the polar vortex, after being grateful my dad survived a touch-and-go night after valve replacement surgery, decompressing with an absolutely killer char-Polish with perfectly grilled onions & easy mustard at Poochie's, accompanied by their homemade fries. I have had many char-Polishes at da Pooch over the years, but none tasted as good as that day. Knee-buckling.

    This last Monday, with my youngest daughter, at the bar at Hopleaf in Andersonville. Tuscan kale salad with roasted winter squash, French fried onions, pepitas & Mandarin orange, followed by their mussels for two in a chicken & porcini mushroom broth, with fennel fronds. Oh, their frites & garlic aioli were a perfect counterpart. Just sublime. Washed it down with a Revolution Anti-Hero IPA on tap. Great vibe at Hopleaf, even at 3 in the afternoon.
  • Post #10 - January 1st, 2015, 3:49 pm
    Post #10 - January 1st, 2015, 3:49 pm Post #10 - January 1st, 2015, 3:49 pm
    2014 got off to a fantastic start with my first visit to Red Hot Ranch's new location on Ashland - great In-N-Out style burgers and fries, but much better than In-N-Out and also better than Shake Shack. I'm stunned that this place always has plenty of tables available and is a great spot for a good, quick and fantastic burger and fries.

    In February, I visited El Ideas and had another terrific meal, but the one item from the menu that I will not forget was the dense, almost biscuit-like bread, with fonduta, bellota ham and black truffle. This would make any year's top 10 list.

    March featured a visit to the Big Island in Hawaii where I had a fantastic dinner at Merriman's in Waimea. Everything was grown/raised locally and food and service were stunning. The prawns and opakapaka in coconut-green curry were probably the highlight of the meal.

    Also in March, I visited Analogue for the first time after finding a ridiculously long wait at Fat Rice. I've since returned several times. It's not so easy to pick my favorite dish at Analogue, but it would be hard to argue with smoked fish dip, the Tuesday fried chicken special and my favorite of their cocktails, the Pressure Drop. I'll be as bold to say that Analogue's fried chicken is my favorite version in town.

    In April, I visited Vegas and ate extraordinarily well. Yes, did Raku, but a newer spot getting far less attention and serving outstanding soba is I-Naba. I-Naba served a ten zaru soba with the most perfect tempura and soba, and even the soba-yu. This is a beautifully uncomplicated, yet delicious dish that just cannot be found in Chicago. Well, you can find it . . . but it will pale terribly to what is being served at I-Naba. I know -- I've been repeatedly disappointed no matter where I go here.

    Also in Vegas, dinner at Bartolotta di Mare, at which I was reminded what a fantastic chef Paul Bartolotta is. Exquisite housemade breads, amazing fresh seafood and perhaps the best gelato I've ever had, and in a stunningly beautiful dining room. Vegas strip eating should all be this good.

    Then, there was the amazing sushi at Kabuto in Vegas, far better than any sushi in Chicago (though Katsu matches on some items). Unfortunately, sushi chef Gen Mizoguchi has since left and I anxiously await where he ends of next. I haven't heard anything yet.

    In April, I made my first of two 2014 visits to 42 Grams and I couldn't be happier. My first meal was highlighted by the fingerling potato soup and the salmon dashi. The second meal, in November, was even better. There was so many stunning courses, but my favorites were the triple-seared A5 Miyazaki Wagyu (the best wagyu I've ever had), sweet pea gelato with mojama de atun, and my very favorite course of the year: tea-smoked Skuna Bay Salmon with fallen pine, matsutake mushrooms, spent grain and a matsutake dashi. My most recent meal at 42 Grams was among the very best meals I've ever enjoyed - I can't wait to return in 2015.

    There's a bread renaissance going on in Chicago, which is a great thing for a carb lover like myself. Even better, the emphasis on French breads and pastries. Cellar Door vaulted to the very top of my list with their stunning croissants and rustic sourdough bread (and now laminated brioche). Of course, there's also Bad Door with their canelés and kouign-amann. And don't forget Beurrage in Pilsen and Craft Pizza in Wicker Park. Finally, better bread in Chicago. Let's hope 2015 keeps this trend going.

    I could list Pleasant House Bakery on my list every year, and I will. I just love this place.

    I Parachute(d) down in June, though their Baked Potato Bing Bread made me feel like I died and went to heaven. Killer stuff, and I even made my own recently (though it needs just a bit of work):


    As usual, I ate a lot of Thai food in 2014, but little better than what I've had at ATK. Special shout outs though to In-On Thai for their amazing green curry (best version in Chicago) and Jin Thai for their delectable roast chicken (gai yang) which is served with som tum and sticky rice.

    Celebrated my parents' anniversary in June with another fantastic dinner at Sepia. Though the entire dinner was fantastic, it was the sea bass with swiss chard, chickpeas, rice craker and a rasam broth that really stood out. Chef Zimmerman's Asian-inspired dishes have always stood out and this was no exception.

    July was the Green City Market BBQ and I don't think I've ever enjoyed it more than this year - great weather, diverse food offerings, a great LTH dining companion/sous . . . eater? . . . the food highlight of the evening though was probably the smoked lamb belly reuben from Old Town Social.

    The summer came to an end with the fantastic LTH picnic -- always one of my favorite annual meals.

    The fall really got off to a bang with the huitlacoche taco from Authentaco - sensational.

    I'm always on the lookout for great pasta, and the egg yolk raviolo and linguine with clams from Cocello (old Dillman's space) were two at the top of my list this past year. They'll have me returning to this space often.

    Sea urchin carbonara at Japonais by Morimoto. The whole meal was solid, better than I had expected, but the aforementioned pasta was almost everything I hoped it would be.

    My first return to Boka under Chef Wolen was a winning dinner all around. I consider Boka and Sepia to be perhaps the top two Chicago non-tasting menu, finer dining, spots. If I had to pick a favorite item from the night, I'd probably side with the heirloom carrots with pistachios, amaranth and smoked goat cheese, though the whole meal was excellent.

    December got off to a great start with a dinner at Birrieria Zaragoza with delicious birria tamales and a perfect pozole rojo. These were two of the very best Mexican food items I've ever tasted. Just amazing.

    And the year largely concluded with a holiday dinner at Barn & Company with the year's final pitmaster dinner. New Orleans BBQ shrimp, goose breast pastrami and hickory smoked goose breast - all excellent and the perfect way to cap another great year of eating.
  • Post #11 - January 1st, 2015, 3:58 pm
    Post #11 - January 1st, 2015, 3:58 pm Post #11 - January 1st, 2015, 3:58 pm
    Not much I can add to Brad's list, mostly because other than his out of town and family meals, I think I was there for most of his highlight reel. Funny thing is that we don't eat that many meals together in total--just a huge percentage of the best ones* I guess! Here's to more great eating (with BR) in 2015 :)

    *AND you can't steal my Green City Market BBQ spot, though I'm happy to share it next year :mrgreen:
    "Knowledge is knowing a tomato is a fruit; wisdom is not putting it in a fruit salad." Miles Kington
  • Post #12 - January 1st, 2015, 8:06 pm
    Post #12 - January 1st, 2015, 8:06 pm Post #12 - January 1st, 2015, 8:06 pm
    Oh the nostalgia! Here are my favs for 2014:

    1) Pork chop sandwich at Fat Rice. Amazingly great sandwich.
    2) Dinner at the Publican in September. We had family in from Spain and this was their last meal before flying out. The entire meal and experience from start to finish was unbelievable. This place never disappoints but the clams on the half shell were amazing. The Spaniards were impressed!
    3) Birthday dinner at Laughing Bird in July. This place was so great, I was so sad to se it go. We really need more Filipino food in Chicago.
    4) Dinner at A10 in January. AMAZING.
    5) All the many dinners I've had at Anteprima this year. This place has been a fav of mine since they opened.
    6) Nico Osteria. What an amazing addition to the neighborhood.
    7) The Bristol. I've always had a love affair with this place. Brunch in October was amaze.
    8) Regular takeout from Lao's Szechuan. This place has been hit or miss for delivery lately but I gave them another shot for dine in Lunch the other day and it was as awesome as I remember it being, the dry chili chicken that is.
    9) Fried chicken kimchee ramen at Ramen-san. Holy hell this was amazing.
    10) Ti Punches at the Berkshire room. It's my favourite 4pm happy hour bar.
    11) Ti Punches at La Sirena Clandestina. Foods amazing, but love love love their bar.
    12) Mike Ryan @ Sable Kitchen and Bar. Great Spanish gin tonics, gonna miss the guy. Hopefully he pops up somewhere soon.

    Out of Chicago

    1) Brix Wine Bar in Flagstaff, AZ. We were driving all over the place touring deserts and Grand Canyons and I was running dry. I was becoming really fed up with how I couldn't find a craft cocktail ANYWHERE in Sedona where we were staying. Then we stumbled upon this place after a late night of hangry bickering in the car and I was delivert! It was such a surprise hit, great cocktails, food and service.
  • Post #13 - January 2nd, 2015, 2:33 pm
    Post #13 - January 2nd, 2015, 2:33 pm Post #13 - January 2nd, 2015, 2:33 pm
    Things that ring a bell in my muddled memory...

    1. Smoked mashed potatoes at Endgrain (may it rest in peace). That whole meal was truly lovely -- the dessert, which was a deconstructed version of an apple pie -- was simply amazing. I was in heaven. I remember the small quenelle of marshmallow ice cream the most. Fried Chicken, stewed kale as greens -- it was all just yummy.

    2. Amazing and delightful Sazerac from Big Jones. The booziest drink I have ever had. Should have stuck with just one and then I wouldn't have walked crooked all the way home.

    3. Shrimp po boy from Million Union in Atlanta. The shrimp were fried but with the lightest of rice flour coatings. They were flavorful and juicy and easy to eat on scrumptious bread that bent to the tooth but still had some resistance. A wonderful aioli with spice in it coated the bread with plump juicy tomatoes and crisp micro greens. Best sandwich I had all year. I heartily recommend it.

    4. Everything I put in my mouth at the Loveless Cafe in Nashville. The lightest, most delicious little biscuits. Hearty fried chicken with juicy meat. Yummy blueberry jam and savory sausage gravy. My beau had a brisket special that made his eyes roll back in his head. Smokey, juicy -- big thick wedges. All for $12. The place gets a lot of hype and I was skeptical before we went but now I'm a believer. Put it on your itinerary.

    5. The kouign amman from Bad Wolf Coffee. The canele from Bad Wolf Coffee. The coffee from Bad Wolf Coffee. Bad Wolf Coffee. Yes.
  • Post #14 - January 3rd, 2015, 9:38 am
    Post #14 - January 3rd, 2015, 9:38 am Post #14 - January 3rd, 2015, 9:38 am
    Can I update my list of thing I am grateful for this year?

    Bad Wolf Coffee for anything and everything (yep, coffe, pastries, conversation, inspiration and not the least of all the art on the walls)

    Matt (laikom) for discovering Rainbow Thai for us & organizing his amazing series of feasts by the lake

    Biscuits from Endgrain, after they were closed for the day and kind enough to open the kitchen door and engage in conversation and commerce. May you all go on to continued success.

    Red Hot Ranch's double cheeseburger and extra crispy fries--when I'm in the mood for this kind of food it doesn't get any better than this

    darc joan for her incredibly unexpectedly wonderful purple basil jelly @ the lth potluck picnic & in all it's test batches (I'm lucky. She's my wife! Luck several times over for that).
    There are some secrets which do not permit themselves to be told. (Poe)
  • Post #15 - January 4th, 2015, 6:58 am
    Post #15 - January 4th, 2015, 6:58 am Post #15 - January 4th, 2015, 6:58 am
    Best new (to me at least) of 2014::

    < Chicago area >
    Katy's Dumpling House - Dan Dan (far and away the single best thing I tried this year - Westmont loc.)
    Big & Little's - Spicy Ahi Tuna Taco
    Mott St - Stuffed Cabbage, kimchi stuffed with pork butt and surrounded with pan seared sticky rice in a kimchi broth
    Parachute - Pork 'Secreto', grilled cabbage, chewy plantains & nam prik
    Athenian Room - Greek Fries
    Trenchermen - Pickle Tots
    Rubi's (Maxwell St. Market) - Cheese "Quesadilla" Taco
    Reno - Toasted Poppyseed Bagel w/ Plain Cream Cheese
    Naf Naf Grill - Chicken Schwarma & Pita w/ hot sauce
    Longman & Eagle - Black Sesame Doughnut, Coconut Tapioca, Black Sesame Puree, Powdered Coconut, Lime, Coriander, Lime & Palm Sugar Granita, Coconut Sorbet
    Dell Rhea's Chicken Basket - Chicken Fried Chicken Sandwich w/ pickles & honey

    Reno < Deer Hunter > Senor Lustau Brandy / Cold Brew Coffee / Fig-Vanilla-Black Pepper Syrup
    La Sirena Clandestina < To Be Bitter & Twisted > Barrel Aged Cachaca / Artichoke Amaro / Mint / Cucumber / Lemon
    Frontera Grill < To Alleviate Apparent Death > Herradura anejo tequila, cocoa nib-infused Carpano Antica, Nux Alpina walnut liqueur, guajilla chile
    Trenchermen < I, Ancho, Friend > cold pressed coffee, Reyes, scotch
    Bien Trucha < Ahuacatl > avocado, agave nectar, lime, exotico, orange liquor, mezcal mist

    < outside of Chicago >

    Casper & Runyons Nook (St. Paul, MN) - Firehouse -Burger - pepperjack, bacon, raw onions & hot mustard
    The Clinic (Santiago, Chile) - Patatas Bravas
    Panda Cuisine (Lexington, KY) - Hot Chicken w/ Pickles, and the Ma-la beef jerky
    Buddy's Pizza (Detroit, MI) - Lake Superior Pizza (Motor City cheese blend - brick, fontinella & parmesan, fresh basil, pine nuts, pepperoni, tomato basil sauce and Buddy's Sicilian spice blend)
    Chip Review
    We really know our Chip!
  • Post #16 - January 5th, 2015, 11:07 pm
    Post #16 - January 5th, 2015, 11:07 pm Post #16 - January 5th, 2015, 11:07 pm
    Here's my favorite-food raw data from 2014, effectively in reverse chronological order, which is why some places get more than one mention. Only Chicago-area restaurants are included . . .

    Spinach Rugelah, Reuben Strudel - Kaufman's Bagel Bakery - 14.1225
    Soondubu, Tiny Shrimp & Garlic Cloves Panchan - Cho Jung - 14.1218
    My Friend's Birthday Meal - Birrieria Zaragoza - 14.1201
    Smoked Chicken, Fried Chicken, House Pickles - Small's Smoke Shack - 14.1129
    Egg Tarts, Minchi Hash - Fat Rice - 14.1129
    Ham & Cheese Croissant - Floriole - 14.1129
    Kouign Amann, Canele - Bad Wolf Coffee - 14.1129
    Reggie Deluxe - Scofflaw - 14.1123
    Pickle Brined Thigh on a Bun - Leghorn - 14.1123
    Ribollita Soup - Publican Quality Meats - 14.1121
    Mr. G - JP Graziano Grocery & Sub Shop - 14.1121
    Chicken Fried Chicken, Smoked Brisket Taco Norteno, Pepper & Potato Hash, Roasted Romanesco - Dove's Luncheonette - 14.1112
    Fried Shrimp Heads, Monk Liver Mousse, Ribeye Cap, Boquerones - MFK - 14.1011
    Crepinette, Tongue & Octopus - Scofflaw - 14.1006
    Kimchi/Celery/Radish pickles (3 separate dishes), Pork Ribs, Cold buckwheat noodles, Chicken with chicken liver sauce, Bibimbop - Parachute - 14.0703
    Steak Tartare, Boudin Noir, Pork Belly/Mung Bean Pancake, Hand Torn Noodle w/spicy lamb sofrito - Parachute - 14.0701
    Dirty Rice, Gumbo, Fries, Chaurice Dog, Chicken Sandwich, Cochon Du Lait Po'Boy - Analogue - 14.0628
    Goan Manila Clams - Fat Rice - 14.0625
    Burnt Ends, Spare Ribs - Barn & Co. - 14.0618
    Margherita, Pepperoni/Ricotta/Garlic pizzas - Coalfire - 14.0501
    Otoro Tuna, Chutoro Tuna, Uni - Japonais by Morimoto - 14.0415
    Mustard Grilled Burger, Frites - Scofflaw - 14.0405
    Rare Burger with caramelized onion, cheese, egg, bacon - Owen & Engine - 14.0313
    Crab Legs, Sushi, Lamb Shank, Sashimi Terrine, Hamachi Bop - Japonais by Morimoto - 14.0312
    Monkfish Liver torchon carpaccio, Crispy pig ears, Mixed lettuces, Corzetti, Scrambled egg with runny yolk, ricotta, MI trout roe, guanciale, Veal Shortrib Casoncelli, Ricotta Ravioli Bolgnese, Wood Grilled Chicken w/nduja vinaigrette, braised garbanzo beans, 60 day-aged wood grilled Top Sirloin w/Anson Mills farro, Spit Roasted Duck, Striped Bass, Valrhona Dulecy Mousse, Mascarpone Cheesecake - Nightwood - 14.0308
    Ranch-Style Double Cheeseburger (w/grilled onions) - Redhot Ranch (Ashland) - 14.0307
    Biscuits, Gumbo, Dirty Rice, Stuffed Mirliton, Fried Chicken Sandwich, Mushroom Debris Po Boy - Analogue - 14.0227
    Little Gem Salad with pig ears, Beef Heart Tartare, Duck Hearts (curds, whey, onion, treviso, pepper jelly) Brussels Sprouts (gochujang, bacon) - Publican - 14.0221
    Lao Style Wings, Som Tum - Spicy Thai Lao - 14.0216
    Crab, Salmon, Shrimp & Tomato, Karaage, Abalone, Jowl, Tongue, Potstickers - Sumi Robata Bar - 14.0208
    Biscuits, Gumbo, Scott, LA egg, Cochon de Lait Po Boy, Chaurice Dog - Analogue - 14.0205
    Krudite, Cheesey Breadsticks, Lobster Thermador, Oyster IL Bronzino, Onion Gratin, Rib Eye, Cheesecake Creme Brulee - Next-Steak - 14.0131
    Hanger Steak Carpaccio, Charred Baby Squid w/Polenta, Aged Provolone-Pancetta-Pickled Red Onion Pizza, House-cured Sardines, Tuna Conserva Bruschetta, Shaved Root Vegetable Salad - Cicchetti - 14.0123
    Zuppa di Pesce - Boston Fish Market - 14.0120
    Pretzel, Weisswurst - Radler - 14.0103

    Same planet, different world
  • Post #17 - January 6th, 2015, 9:44 am
    Post #17 - January 6th, 2015, 9:44 am Post #17 - January 6th, 2015, 9:44 am
    Had so many fantastic bites in 2014; I am sure I am forgetting several but here is what comes to mind (am sticking with Chicago):

    Balena: Hen Egg Pasta with Brown Butter & White Alba Truffles, "Adult Fireball" (cocktail)
    Bavette's: Aged Prime Ribeye
    Berkshire Room: Weston and Continuous Negronis (Cocktails)
    Boka: Roasted Venison Loin, Grilled Spanish Octopus, "Tomcat" (cocktail)
    Cellar Door Provision: Sourdough Bread, Scones
    Ceres' Table: Nduja Pizza, Brussel Sprouts, Romeo on Broadway (cocktail)
    El Ideas: Frosty & Fries
    Elizabeth: "Fruit Loops" course
    Embeya: Whole Fried Fish - Lemon Sole
    Feast & Imbibe: Smoked Pulled Pork Slider
    Girl & the Goat: Fried Duck Tongue, Chickpea Fritters
    Goosefoot: Corn Soup, Steak Course
    Grace: Miyakzaki Beef, Carrot Course, Crab Course
    Jam: Vegetable Waffle with Fried Quail
    Juno: King Juno (sushi)
    Kabocha: Ramen
    Momotaro: Momotaro Tartare
    Moto: Sus Scrofa (boar with mole sauce dish), Paradise (dessert)
    Next: Crab with "10" Garnishes
    Owen & Engine: Burger with Aged Cheddar, Rack of Rabbit, Creme Brulee
    Parachute: Pork Rib
    Roost: Hot Fried Chicken, Biscuit
    Schwa: Some Game Course Near End - Don't quite remember details ;)
    Senza: A5 Steak
    Vera: Octopus, Cheese Plate with Chorizo
    Twitter: @Goof_2
  • Post #18 - January 8th, 2015, 1:57 pm
    Post #18 - January 8th, 2015, 1:57 pm Post #18 - January 8th, 2015, 1:57 pm
    I did a Top 11 list of my favorite posts over on da site. Many of them were shared here and if not they eventually will be. But for now here are ten specific bites I really liked and remember off the top of my head thus they must of stuck for a reason. Though truth be told there's so many more I could list as I'm only including one dish from certain trips. One top ten for Chicagoland and the other for out of town. No particular order. Cheers to good eats in 2015.


    Coniglio (braised rabbit & bell peppers, pork belly, roasted potatoes) at Osteria Langhe
    Dirty Rice at Analogue
    Smoked Brisket Reuben at The Radler
    Crunchy Prawn Heads and Razor Clams at MFK
    Double Cheeseburger at Redhot Ranch
    Charcoal Grilled Skirt Steak at Mezquite Pollo Express
    Apple Fritter at D&D's Tastee Freeze
    Milk Maid at The Whistler
    Chicken Milanese Sandwich at Indy Cafe
    Spicy Lao Egg Rolls and Beef Pad Tamin at Spicy Thai Lao

    Out of Town

    Too many to name from trip thru Spain
    Brisket at La Barbecue (Austin, TX)
    Salbutes at Mayan Cafe (Louisville, KY)
    Short Rib Cappellacci at Sotto (Cincinnati, OH)
    Hot Chicken at Rocky's Hot Chicken Shack (Asheville, NC)
    Strawberry Shortcake from Earl's Farm Market (Fennville, MI)
    Smoked Italian Sausage Sandwich from McGonigle's Market (Kansas City, MO)
    Crawfish Etouffee + Shrimp and Crab Stew Combo at Glenda's Creole Kitchen (Breaux Bridge, LA)
    Sheep Cheese Pirog - pork cheek, shiitake & choucroute at Le Petite Grocery (New Orleans, LA)
    Milk Braised Pork Belly - lone duck mizuna, easter egg radish, fennel, lavender salt at Wolf Peach (Milwaukee, WI)
  • Post #19 - January 9th, 2015, 11:02 am
    Post #19 - January 9th, 2015, 11:02 am Post #19 - January 9th, 2015, 11:02 am
    I got out and covered more ground and ate at more new places than ever in 2014. From Indy, to Savannah, Florida, Nashville, Kansas City, Denver, Springfield,Peoria, Madison and even Dubuque a couple times....

    add to that 30+ different chinese carryout joints in Nothern Illinois in the past 3 months and yeah...its been another fun year and a crap load of miles on my cars.

    Heres a few bites and sips that are on my mind.

    Freddy Sandwich - Stefanellis - Lockport, IL.
    Cheesesteak - Mojo's - Downers Grove
    Sazerac - Tin Roof - Joliet
    Manhattan - Duck Inn - Chicago
    Thai Lao eggrolls, Beef pad tamin - Spicy Thai Lao - Burbank, IL.
    Double RHR cheeseburger - RHR - Chicago
    gumbo, crawfish etoufffe, and red beans and rice - Cajun Connection - Utica, IL.

    Out of town:
    steamed Blue Crabs - LA Boiling Seafood - Orlando
    Shrimp Dip / Fried Georgia Shrimp - Skippers - Darien, GA.
    garlic Blue Crabs - Brigadoon Fish Camp - Port Orange, FL.
    Corned Beef - Hanks Brisket - Indy
    Gumbo - Asian Cajun - Denver
    Deep Fried Tacos - In-a-Tub - Kansas City
    Pel'meni - Pauls Pel'meni - Madison, WI.
    Hot Chicken - Princes - Nashvilles
    ribs and pulled pork - Peg Leg Porker and Martin's BBQ - Nashville
    Fried Bologna Sandwich - Roberts Western World - Nashville
    Spam Fried Rice - K & S Hawaiian BBQ - Springfield, IL.
    Tenderloin sandwich - Kitty's Cafe - Kansas City

    Big plans for 2015: NOLA, Gulf Coast, Denver, etc. Hope I can hit them all.
  • Post #20 - January 9th, 2015, 3:27 pm
    Post #20 - January 9th, 2015, 3:27 pm Post #20 - January 9th, 2015, 3:27 pm
    Venison Tartare open-faced sandwich, and Mushroom Tea at Elizabeth
    Pork Belly and the banchan smorgasbord at San Soo Gap San, Morton Grove
    Spicy Sconnie at Edzo's
    Rainbow Thai's crispy rice salad that someone brought to the LTH Picnic (if it's that good lukewarm, I can only imagine it fresh and hot)

    Dan Dan at Joe's Noodle, Rockville MD (just a hair less fantastic than Katy's)
    Lamb Belly, Gail's Kitchen, London
    Kisir at Haz, London

    Home Cookin'
    Maple mustard slow cookier pulled pork tartlets (mine)
    Silver dollar pancheon with sriracha mayo. Brilliant idea. (friend's party)
    What is patriotism, but the love of good things we ate in our childhood?
    -- Lin Yutang
  • Post #21 - January 10th, 2015, 8:20 am
    Post #21 - January 10th, 2015, 8:20 am Post #21 - January 10th, 2015, 8:20 am
    I limited myself to things that were new to me in 2014, 10 here and 10 elsewhere.


    Ribs at the new Uncle John’s
    Foie Gras peanut, nougal, satisfaction at Aviary
    Pate with Cranberry Mostarda at Publican
    Lamb/Greens/Ground Cherry at Elizabeth
    Crispy Duck Liver with American Chestnut Grits, Stewed Gizzards, and Huckleberry Bounce at Big Jones
    Bone Marrow Pudding and Cranberry Pie at Big Jones
    Jack Daniels and Fennel Smoked Pork Sausage with Caramelized Onion Whipped Mustard and Espresso Bellavitano Cheese
    Chocolate Chess Pie with Raspberries at Hoosier Mama
    Caramelized Bacon with Clams Casino Broth, Calabrian Chiles and Bacon Fat Bread Crumbs from Michael Jordan’s Steakhouse (Baconfest)
    Chocolate Mesquite Cake with Piloncillo Date Bacon Caramel and Meringue from Frontera Grill (Baconfest)

    Out of Town

    Chicken Wings at Husk, Nashville
    Hot Chicken at Hattie B’s, Nashville
    Hibiscus Paleta at Las Paletas, Nashville
    Ramen at Milkwood, Louisville
    Burger at 4505 Meats, San Francisco
    Lamb Casonsei with Whey, Rhubarb, and Lemon Thyme at Flour + Water, San Francisco
    Secret Breakfast at Humphrey Slocombe, San Francisco
    Bread at Tartine, San Francisco
    Muffaleo at Zingerman's, Ann Arbor
    Sugarplum Fairy custard at Kopp’s, Milwaukee