And You Think It's Hard Getting Into NEXT...

April 29 2011 - 1:45 PM

It’s funny how I’ve had conversations about the mad dash for Next tickets but it’s still no comparison to El Bulli. I have made commitments bounce house with slide to fly my ass to Spain at the drop of a hat for last minute tickets… that was years ago. Considering this is the swan song of the restaurant as it’s closing in a few months, it’s a good example of something completely fleeting. Bourdain writes up his experience. I’ve seen him get ookey but this, and justifiably so, is him singing something higher than his highest praise.

Reportedly, there are about 4 million requests for reservations per year at EL BULLI,  inarguably, the world’s most innovative and exciting restaurant. Only a few thousand are accommodated.  There have been about as many words written on the subject, most of them focusing, understandably, on Ferran Adria, the chef,  and on the wildly creative and forward thinking techniques and presentations he has introduced each year to the world.

Evil Twin Beer Tasting at Local Option

April 29 2011 - 12:37 PM

Local Option pub in Lincoln Park, one of Chicago’s preeminent beer bars known for carrying unique craft brews on tap (and general awesomeness), is featuring the beers of Evil Twin Brewing this coming Monday, May 2, at 6 p.m., as part of the brewer’s premiere in the Midwest.  According to Local Option:

Evil Twin Brewing is the brainchild of Jeppe Jarnit-Bjergsø. An avid beer geek since 1997, Jeppe began home-brewing in Copenhagen, Denmark in June ‘03. His first foray into the commercial craft beer scene commenced in September ‘05, when he opened the now world-famous bottle shop Ølbutikken in Copenhagen. The reputation of Jeppe & his shop inflatable obstacle course grew quickly, and myriad side projects began (including his collaboration with Cantillon on the Blåbær Lambik – one of this most highly regarded, highly sought-after lambics in the world). Evil Twin Brewing is Jeppe’s latest venture, and is the culmination of the vast knowledge, experiences, and relationships he’s built over the years.


What's Literally On-Tap at Dark Lord Day

April 28 2011 - 3:06 PM

Here’s an abbreviated list of what’s on tap in addition to Three Floyd’s taps at Dark Lord Day, emphasis is Mark Sheppard’s, some have not been inflatable tent for sale tried so feel free to add in comment’s what must be tasted!

Founders Breakfast Stout, Founders NemesisFounders Kentucky Breakfast Stout, Founders Backwoods Bastard, Founders Newaygo County Cherry, Founders Devil Dancer, Founders Double Trouble, Victory Smoked & Oats,Victory Headwaters Pale, Victory Braumeister Pils,

From St. Louis – Schlafly Kolsch, Schlafly Imperial Stout, Van Steenberg Monk’s Ale, Brewdog paradox smokehead, Bells Batch 10,000, Bells Oatmeal Stout, Left Hand TNT weizen doppelbock, Dogfish Head My Antonia, Dogfish Head Worldwide Stout, Dogfish Head Old School Barleywine, Dogfish Head Burton Baton, Ommegang Gnomegang, Bruery Saison De Lente, Bruery Loakal Red, Bruery Old Richland, Goose Island Bourbon County Stout Rare, Schlenkerla Fasten Beer, Schlenkerla Oat Smoke, Schlenkerla Maerzen, Futhermore Knot Stock, Futhermore Oscura, La Rulles Estivale, Aventinus Eisbock, Sierra NevadaOliva Dubbel, Oakshire Heart Shaped Box, Oakshire Imperial Overcast Espresso Stout.

Plus a couple more on the way…

From their updates page.

Giuseppe Tentori's GT – Oyster-Briefing

April 28 2011 - 11:45 AM

The secret’s getting out about oysters… here are some awesome bounce house for sale clues, hints, tasting notes and pairing suggestions. Always respect the knowledge! (Could also call this the Blair Oyster Project)

Siam Café – Chicago's Oldest Thai Restaurant

April 28 2011 - 10:02 AM

Chicago’s Oldest Thai Restaurant Offers a Tasty Lunch Buffet. Siam Cafe (Uptown) is one of the many low-key Thai restaurants in the city. Its claim to fame is that it’s the oldest. What really helps it stand apart is that it has one of the best deals for lunch – a $6.50 buffet. Green curry, pad thai, papaya salad, tom yum soup and a dozen cheap inflatable water slide other choices.



Have Ratings Trivialized Buying Wine?

April 28 2011 - 8:40 AM

I cringe when I go inside a wine shop and I’m looking around for a certain type of wine.   The owner or clerk then picks a bottle off the shelf and says something like, “Robert Parker gave this a 91″ or “It was a 93 in Wine Spectator“.     The 100-point scales have dominated wine reviews in numerous wine publications, even in consumer-driven Web sites.


News & Features

Pastoral Artisan Producer Festival @ French Market Saturday

April 27 2011 - 7:00 PM

On Saturday, April 30, between 11 and 3 at the French Market on Clinton Street (and under the Chicago & Northwestern railroad tracks by what is now called Ogilvie Station), there will be over thirty-five artisanal producers showcasing their wares, from preserves to honey, cheese, beer, and confectioneries. Some of my favorites include Half Acre Beer Company from the North Center neighborhood; L. Mawby, which makes an excellent blanc de blanc sparkling wine from Michigan; Brunkow Cheese, maker of the lovely brun-uusto baked cheese; and Bennison’s Bakery, the baker of what is probably my favorite bread in the city (well, okay, if you include Evanston).

The event is organized by Pastoral Artisan Cheese, Bread, and Wine, where I go to buy about eighty percent of my cheese. Check out their video:


Dining Out for Life

April 27 2011 - 12:15 PM

On Thursday, April 28th, the country will be participating in an annual fundraising event to help fight HIV/AIDS with Dining Out for Life. Established in 1991, Dining Out for Life now occurs in 55 cities with over 3500 participating tente gonflable restaurants, including Chicago.

Dine at one of the many participating restaurants tomorrow and a portion of your check will automatically go towards Edge Alliance to help provide housing and support to people living with HIV/AIDS, the disabled, and veterans. It’s that simple!

Dine Out. Fight AIDS!

–Betty Chen

Brooklyn Local One Ale

April 26 2011 - 4:00 PM

I’m not sure why I’ve never written about this beer before; but Brooklyn Local One Ale, brewed by the craft brewing stalwart, NYC’s Brooklyn Brewing, has been a favorite of mine for years.  I finally had a chance to revisit it recently.  Named for a Brooklyn train line in New York’s subway system, this beer has much more to do with Brussels than the Big Apple.


Orange: Contemporary Brunch, with a Peel

April 26 2011 - 3:41 PM

With much anticipation, I finally got over to one of the Orange locations and tried out a bit of their menu. I went to the location in Roscoe Village. Orange is known for putting a modern spin on classic breakfast dishes.

They have a nice, diverse menu with many healthy options. I opted to go with their special for the week which was a grilled chicken sandwich topped with provolone, avocados, and pesto mayo. Mixed greens with balsamic vinaigrette came on the side.