Lunch at Blackbird.
Here are some pics from Next’s Sicily menu. Beautiful stuff, but honestly, it didn’t compare to Sicilian food in Sicily. Sorry.
The truth is hard sometimes.
Trenchermen… man, those guys are wacky!
Just a few teaser pics from a fabulous meal at Goosefoot. More to come…
Here are a few pasta pics from Balena. This one was the “Carbonara” with pickled ramps. The black pepper was rolled into the pasta. Nice color yolk, huh?
This is the Tajarin with pork ragu. Quite tasty and nice texture.
I really enjoyed what they were calling ‘radiatori’ (in reference to the shape of pasta). They’re actually called ‘campanile’ or ‘bell towers,’ for the bell shape. Radiatori look like, well, radiators… you know, the old ones that stand up against the wall? Anyway, the greens were delicious. My only gripe, and this is true for the carbonara, too, is that the guanciale wasn’t rendered. I hate chewing on gummy fat.
Here’s a fab dish from our brunch at Purple Pig yesterday. It’s charred ciabatta with asparagus and oyster mushrooms, then seared pork jowl and a fried duck egg. Yes… it was that good.
A tasty and quick dinner: Stir-fry of veggies & ground chicken with noodles. Make sure you use lots of ginger, garlic and scallions to start, and finish with soy sauce or ponzu and a drizzle of toasted sesame oil. Yum!
I only order chicken in a restaurant when I know it’s going to be a chicken like this. Half a roasted chicken, juicy and moist, with simple accompaniments like fresh herbs and sliced onions. Good work, Maude’s!
Here’s dinner a couple nights ago. Not bad for opening the fridge/freezer and concocting something. It was warm so we wanted something light and I wanted to fire up the grill. I grilled the lobster tails, red bell pepper and scallions and put it on a base of greens with a clementine/lemon/cilantro vinaigrette and some slice avocado. It was flavorful and just enough. Look out summer! Here we come!
We made gnocchi in school this week. They’re pretty and fun. Just a simply browned butter (that’s beurre noisette to you Frenchies) and fresh sage leaves with some crumbled parm cheese. See….
Comment if you’re interested in the detail (aka a “recipe”).
Here are a couple pics from our dinner at EL Ideas last night (it was 13 courses… I have lots more pics). Who knew you could get food like this on some shady side street in the near South side of Chi.
First course: Gin & Juice. An oyster, a tiny cucumber, sliced beet, violet, cucumber water, ‘botanicals’. That’s all I can remember. Beautiful, isn’t it?
This one was fun. It was coconut tapioca with some kind of fish roe, pickled radish and some sort of Asian smoky, fermented, pressed fish flake. Strange and delicious.
Oh yeah… and they didn’t give you a utensil with which to eat it. That’s right… you had to lick the plate. And that was stated permission to lick the plate for the rest of the courses, too. Yup… a very fun, funny, playful, dinner party-esc environment.
Since there were only a total of 16 people for one seating of this ‘dinner party’, the guys just go ahead and roast a whole lobe of foie gras and dish it out. That is to say, it was a very hearty portion. Check out all the components on this plate: braised black beluga lentils, mustard seed, verjus gelee, celery root 2 ways (fried and fresh) plus a celery leaf, and a slice of candied buddha’s hand. Again, strange and delicious.
Here’s a little peak at dinner last night in Chinatown. We had the Peking Duck dinner for four. It was pretty awesome. They take the super crispy skin off of the duck and layer it with these delicious, lightly sweet steamed buns that you then drizzle with hoisin sauce and top with scallions. Yum! It was my favorite part. I think. Well… maybe the duck bone soup was my favorite. A light but flavorful broth with wilted fresh greens. Simple and delicious! And the non-duck item was none to shabby either. Those crispy-fried whole prawns were so flavorful on their own they hardly needed the freshness of the scallions and jalepenos. But we enjoyed them together anyway.
Speaking of breakfast… these are the best eggs on the planet. They came from my mother’s chickens in the backyard at the “Franch” (that’s what they call their place… not a farm, not a ranch). I made a batch for the gang before we headed out to ski. My trick is to add a splash of water to the sautee pan about halfway through the cooking and throw the lid back on so that the eggs finish cooking by steaming. That way I get a nice, gooey yolk with firmly set whites (and I don’t have to use much oil… skinny eggs!). We sopped it up with some toast made from the fresh loaf of ciabatta I got from my family’s resto, Nani’s. Sometimes simple is best.
This is my new go-to for breakfast: cottage cheese with sliced banana & a little jam (this one is lemon-pear but mixed berry is really good too!). It’s low cal, high in protein, filling and it sticks with me until afternoon. It’s also makes a great snack! Give it a try!
Ok… This might not be NOW but it’s so pretty that I thought I’d include it anyway. It’s a fantastic Duck Confit at Beast in Portland. Honestly, these women do some of the most beautifully plated food I’ve ever seen. Gaaaawd, that was a good dinner!
Baked Cauliflower at Ripasso in Bucktown. Small menu but tasty, handmade stuff!
Bison tartare with a 62degree (that’s celcius, sous vide), potato gaufrette (that’s ‘waffle cut’) and beer mustard. Yup.
Smoked turkey neck soup with carrot & turnip macedoine (that’s diced) and greens. An amazingly flavorful broth totally made it…