Based on my visit, I think Nellcôte may be the most underrated restaurant on Randolph Street.
'Jared Van Camp' on Serious Eats
For the second year in a row, the Green City Market Junior Board held a Halloween charity event. While all for a good cause, it was also an exceptional excuse to see some of Chicago's best chefs all dressed up.
In case you hid in the shadows for the past week trying to avoid the scorching 100 degree heat, there were some serious developments on the fried chicken front. Two of Chicago's most prominent chefs, Stephanie Izard and Jared Van Camp, both announced separate plans for fried chicken joints.
No matter what happens, Nellcôte, the newest hot spot in Chicago's West Loop, is going to be known as the only restaurant that makes pizza from flour ground in-house. From the looks of things, Chef Jared Van Camp is already making some very good pizza and could be on the way to having something truly special.
Nellcôte officially opens today in the West Loop. Though named after the French villa were The Rolling Stones recorded their 1972 masterpiece, Exile on Main Street, Van Camp is adamant that the idea is not to cook literally like the band. Instead, he hopes that Nellcôte serves the kind of food that the band could have actually eaten while staying there. He talked with us about a few of the dishes you'll be able to find.
The response to our ticket giveaway for Nellcôte's "Evening of Exile" Pre-Opening Party was truly impressive. In the end, 93 people entered and five people were randomly chosen.
Though officially set to open to the public in early March, Nellcôte is hosting a "Evening of Exile" party on Tuesday, February 28 from 6 to 8 p.m. The event is private, but we're giving away tickets to five randomly selected winners here. All you have to do is leave a comment below letting us know your favorite Rolling Stone's song, and you'll be automatically entered.
With seating for over 250 and a truly ornate design, Nellcôte is not a place that can be easily ignored. But it is easy to get confused about the concept, which aims to mix fine dining with an irreverent attitude. Luckily, I was given a quick tour by and came away with a much better sense of the plans.
Last weekend marked the first annual Los Angeles Food & Wine (yes, that's the full name), an occasion where, according to the posters that popped up around town "Celebrity Meets Celebrity Chef." Many stars of the kitchen made an appearance at the Lexus Grand Tasting, a two-day affair at L.A. Live downtown, which paired 30 chefs each day with some 200 wineries. It was a race with the clock and the stomach to make it around the room, gobbling up as much pork jowl and Pinot before time was up or extreme satiety set in. Here are some of our favorite bites.