News & Features

Food Trucks, Safe As Restaurants?

June 25 2014 - 11:07 AM

Well, to spoil the surprise, on a national level they are. They don’t specifically call out Chicago… just an FYI. There’s a link to the full report as well.
Hat tip to ij.org!

Restaurants

Tava Indian Cuisine

June 17 2014 - 5:02 PM

Tava Plate

 

I decided to take a mini-trek to the small suburb of Morton Grove to enjoy some authentic Indian food, and I’m glad I did. Tava Restaurant and Bar is an unexpected surprise.

It all starts right when you walk in. The dark-wood accents and fireplace create a warm and welcoming atmosphere that is quite (pleasantly!) surprising for a strip-mall restaurant.

I went for the lunch buffet ($11.99 daily). For those unfamiliar with Indian cuisine it may be a good place to start because they offer plenty of choices, both vegetarian and non-vegetarian. My favorite dishes are the Dal Makhani and Navratan Korma… but the very best by far was the Parsi Bhaji. It is a green bean, coconut sauce dish seasoned with exotic mustard, curry leaves, spices, and a tiny bit of cream. Its unique blend of flavors makes it stand out above the rest. Also, I must not forget the sizzling Tandoori Chicken and caramelized onions brought out to each table (for dinner you can upgrade to organic chicken). Another nice thing about the buffet menu is that it changes daily so there’s always something new.

One thing I quickly recognized was how fresh everything tasted. I then learned that Tava prides itself on not using any canned or frozen ingredients and everything is made-from-scratch… which this foodie appreciates.

Tava is a REAL hidden gem and definitely worth the drive to the near North Suburbs.

7172 W Dempster St,
Morton Grove, IL 60053
(847) 966-8282
www.tavadining.com

 

Tava Buffet 01

 

News & Features

Enolo Wine Bar Opens in River North

June 16 2014 - 1:00 AM

One of River North’s newest restaurants in Enolo Wine Bar, an intimate spot in the former Bombay Spice location. Enolo is next to Roka Akor (they even share bathrooms) and is a concept from JNK Restaurant Group (also the group behind Roka Akor). The wine bar opened last week and is serving a variety of small bites, salads, paninis, and housemade pastas.

The food menu is rather well-priced for the area; bruschettas are 4 for $14, and the most expensive item is an $18 seafood pasta. The portions are larger than one might expect from a wine bar. Some menu items stand out better than others, including a braised artichoke and leek dip with pancetta, and the green salad with kale, avocado, poached egg, and a balsamic and herb dressing.

The wine list offers about 30 wines by the glass, wine flights, cocktails, and domestic and imported craft beers.

Enolo may not be a foodie destination, but it’s worth a stop in for a glass of wine, especially when waiting for a table at that famous Mexican place across the street.

Check out some photos of the food and space below!

News & Features

Summer Brunch for Any Taste

June 12 2014 - 9:00 AM

Now that it seems summer is finally in full swing, we’re offering five suggestions for the perfect brunch, no matter what you’re looking for. Some are old favorites, others are offering brunch for the first time. Check out our picks below and let us know where you’re headed for brunch!

For those with a sophisticated palate:

Sophie’s at Saks Fifth Avenue

www.sophies.com

Sophie's Chicago

Sophie’s at Saks Fifth Avenue, the new signature restaurant located on the seventh floor, launched a weekly Sunday brunch menu, complete with new cocktails, on Mother’s Day. Menu highlights include creative takes on classic brunch fare including Crab Cake Benedict (Sophie’s signature jumbo lump crabcakes topped with baby spinach, poached eggs, and Nordic Creamery hollandaise), Steak and Eggs (pan seared flat iron steak, two eggs any style topped with poblano chimichurri) and the Farmer’s Market Vegetable Omelet (ramps, wild mushrooms, spring asparagus, tomato confit and goat cheese) in addition to lighter fare such as Grilled Egg Whites & Cheese (Roasted tomato aioli, Wisconsin Cheddar, baby spinach, served with whole wheat toast and a side of roasted potato hash).

For those who love to be entertained:

Carnivale

www.carnivalechicago.com

Carnivale Dining Room

Carnivale launched weekly Sunday brunch in March, and offers a wide selection of Latin-infused entrees and cocktails. The colorful dining room is the perfect setting for weekend brunch and a string quartet plays a variety of songs during brunch (definitely a nice touch!). Entree options include Skirt ‘n Eggs with wood-grilled skirt steak, and house chimichurri, carnitas chilaquiles, and a churro-style waffle. Brunch cocktails include a Pisco Punch with pisco, pomegranate, pineapple, and lime juice, and The Dove with tequila, grapefruit juice, soda, and mint.

For those who love to to taste the world:

Tanta

www.tantachicago.com

Tanta Chicago

Tanta also launched brunch Mother’s Day weekend and offers traditional, Peruvian daytime dishes like a variety of ceviches,  and the El Vegetariano (Peruvian corn cake, sautéed Japanese mushrooms, poached egg and huacatay sauce) to Peruvian takes on classic American brunch items like the Chicharron Waffle (Belgium waffle, crispy pork belly glazed with panca chili honey and seasonal berry compote).

Brunch cocktails will include American standards with a Peruvian twist, such as the Bloody Mary made with Pisco and spiked with Leche de Tigre (the juice that comes in cebiche dishes, known to be a hangover cure) and Mimosas with Maracuya (or Peruvian passion fruit) used to sweeten up a glass of bubbly.

Tanta also has a rooftop patio where you can enjoy Pisco cocktails and Peruvian small bites menu, including ceviche, empanadas, and seafood dishes.

For those who prefer surf over turf:

Shaw’s Crab House

www.shawscrabhouse.com

Shaw's Crab House

Shaw’s offers a Sunday brunch buffet ($55 per person) featuring brunch specialties such as baked apple French toast, eggs benedict, create-your-own omelets, and malted Belgian waffles. Additionally, cold seafood bar options include oysters, assorted maki, seafood ceviche, and king crab.

and finally…for those who’d rather be at a kegs and eggs brunch:

DryHop Brewers

www.dryhopchicago.com

The Captain's French Toast

Photo Credit: DryHop Brewers

Lakeview brewpub DryHop offers several brunch items  on both Saturday and Sunday from 11am-3pm. The brunch menu includes The Captain’s French Toast, aka challah dipped in rum-spiked egg batter topped with Cap ‘n Crunch cereal, and the Angry Toddler omelette with bacon, apples, cheddar, and country sausage gravy. Enjoy these items with a brew (and great people watching) on DryHop’s sidewalk patio!

Restaurants

The 666 Friday the 13th Burger

June 11 2014 - 9:18 PM

Go to Wiener and Still Champion to make a deal with the devil this Friday. The risk is simple, eat a hot mess of a burger and pray your arteries don’t freeze over. This gut buster of a double cheeseburger has 6 strips of bacon, 6 slices of cheese and 6 cheese sticks. I’m not sure why cheese only plays into two of the three levels of hell here but I’m not complaining! If anyone has the guts to give this a shot and has an opinion, leave us a note! If anyone wants to guess the calorie count on this one, winner gets a surprise. Tie breaker is the grams of fat!

Wiener and Still Champion
802 Dempster
Evanston, IL 60202

Libations

DryHop's 1st Anniversary

June 09 2014 - 9:00 AM

It feels like yesterday we were previewing the opening of Lakeview’s DryHop Brewers and chatting with Proprietor, Greg Shuff. Flash forward to this month when DryHop celebrates its 1st anniversary.

To celebrate the first year of the brewery, DryHop has released a week-long schedule of activities from June 8th-13th. Events will include a special brunch menu, the launch of the DHB Beer League, a Lakeview neighbors appreciation party, a mystery beer comeback release, $4 Shark Meets Hipsters, and the release of DryHop’s summer 2014 food menu.

Check out our recommended events as well as the full list of events on DryHop’s website and cheers to DryHop on its first of what is sure to be many years of success!

Photo Credit: DryHop Brewers

Photo Credit: DryHop Brewers

Libations

Wine Enthusiast Red and White Bash

June 08 2014 - 7:01 PM

Wine Enthusiast Magazine is sponsoring what appears to be a terrific event, the Red and White Bash, which will be occurring on June 19th at Architectural Artifacts, Inc.’s location on Ravenswood Avenue.  A pre-Prohibition-style party in celebration of the magazine’s 25th anniversary, the event will mirror the New York iteration of the soiree and will feature nearly one hundred wines which have received a 90-plus rating from the popular wine journal.  Featured vintners include Geyser Peak, Tres Ojos, Alamos, Black Stallion, William Hill Estate, plus dozens more.  Guests are encouraged to wear red and white attire, so dig deep in your closet or make way to the thrift store. All proceeds from the event will be donated to Wine to Water, an organization dedicated to bringing clean water to impoverished nations worldwide.  If you are a wine fan or simply love a terrific party, you will not want to miss this.

Wine Enthusiast Magazine

Red and White Bash

Thursday, June 19 at 7:00 p.m. until 10:00

Location: Architectural Artifacts, Inc.

4325 Ravenswood Avenue

Chicago, IL

Libations

DryHop Brewers Anniversary Week Events

June 08 2014 - 6:25 PM

DryHop Brewers, whom we at Foodies love and cannot laud enough, is celebrating the first-year anniversary of their public opening.  Other events that you will be able to attend includes the DHB Beer League launch, the Barman’s Banquet which will feature their must-have burger, and the Lakeview Neighbors Appreciation Party.   On Thursday, DHB’s signature beer, Shark Meets Hipster, will be on special for $4.  Capping off the week will be the release of their summer menu as presented by Executive Chef Joel Pillar.  You can find the full schedule here.   Please stop by DryHop this week to tell them happy anniversary and to try some delicious beer and food.

DryHop Brewers
3155 N. Broadway St.
Chicago, IL

Libations

Salton Vinicola – Brazilian Pinot Noir

June 03 2014 - 10:40 PM

COUNTRY: BRAZIL
REGION: RIO GRANDE DO SUL
PRODUCER: VINÍCOLA SALTON S.A
DENOMINATION: DISTRITO DE TUIUTY
YEAR: 2012
VARIETAL: Pinot Noir
ABV:  14.5%
NOSE : Lightly fresh herbaceous, fresh wet soil at noon, very approachable rasberries, vanilla and a hint of fresh blueberries, also some tartness of dried black tea.
TASTE: Elegant medium body with balanced acidity, refreshing (especially when slightly chilled), cranberries and unripened raspberries, pomegranate, slightly tart (mate tea), hint of leather at the end, short finish
ACIDITY: Mediun
TANNIC: Light +
FINISH: Cranberries, blueberries, mate tea, leather
DESCRIPTION: A good pinot noir from Brazil that’s best when slightly chilled. Balanced (acidity, alcohol, residual sugar),  A value wine to enjoy anytime, will probably improve after 1 year due to a great acidity that will it develop more. Excellent value from $14 to $19