Between the richness of the egg, the smokiness of the bacon (in both the hash and dashi), and the savory influence of the Japanese ingredients, this dish is concentrated, comforting, and surely deserving of praise from even the most discerning bacon enthusiast
Lambic. Gueuze. Wild Ale. Oud Bruin. Flanders Red. Berliner Weisse. Lately, when I belly up to new and familiar bars alike and begin dissecting the beer offerings, I hunt for these terms like X's on a treasure map. Thankfully, there's a cohort of ambitious, beer-focused bars in Chicago that not only stock their cellars with obscure and intriguing large-format sours, but also reliably devote one or two tap lines to the tart stuff.
Since the debut of its Original Label Gin, Letherbee has unveiled a limited-release gin for autumn; a unique "absinthe brun," which aged in a charred oak barrel; and R. Franklin's Original Recipe Malört, an ode to the (in)famous Chicago-centric and wormwood-driven bitter liqueur developed in collaboration with Robby F. Haynes, bar manager at Chicago's first modern craft-cocktail destination, The Violet Hour.
Chef Lee Wolen graciously welcomed me into his bustling kitchen on a recent afternoon to show me how he and his team prepare this perennial crowd favorite.
While weaving through the capacity crowd to window-shop the various food menus in search of dinner, I quickly realized that not one but two vendors had really went for it and chose to serve up freshly cooked noodles at their stations—no small undertaking considering the throngs of hungry attendees.
Tona Palomino, who goes by the ambassadorial, tongue-in-cheek title of Minister of Libations at Trenchermen, is doing his part to embrace the ascendant season; he's in the midst of a creative swing that, once settled in about a week or so, will result in an almost entirely new cocktail menu.
while Macau may be known now as a mecca for gamblers, Fat Rice is not playing games of chance when it comes to pairing and building flavors. And therein lies the fun of eating this food: there are so many unfamiliar tastes to discovery anew, and the chefs have done the hard work of refining their dishes, that diners can freely submit to the strongest pull of their curiosities.
I scoured the city for superlative examples. And without any strong expectations, I came away very impressed by the variety and quality of muffins Chicago's bakeries, diners, and cafés are turning out.
The team at Slurping Turtle spent a long time perfecting a new ramen recipe, one that captured the right balance of lightness, gluten-driven elasticity, and bite. To make it in-house, the restaurant uses a Yamato LM10062IUS, a sophisticated, Japanese-made ramen noodle-making machine.
Siena Tavern may be a sprawling collaboration between the Dine|Amic Group and chef Fabio Viviani (Top Chef season five), but in all cases, the noodles rightly felt like the highlights of each dish.
With the proliferation of cocktail bars and cocktail-conscious restaurants in Chicago, there are dozens of rye cocktails to be had here, especially during this time of year, when meager temperatures demand that restorative sensation of heat rye drinks so generously provide. But around town, many rye drinks are darn good, while others are just ok. As a service to ourselves, I say, let's not waste a drop of precious rye on anything short of great.
When Logan Square's Ciao Napoli Pizzeria closed last year, the restaurant group behind the neighboring Telegraph Wine Bar quickly snatched up the space. Since opening last November, their new restaurant and bar, Reno, has taken Chicago by storm (most recently landing on Eater's Pizzeria Heatmap). The osteria launched with morning, midday, and nighttime menus, offering up wood-fired bagels and pastries in the a.m., sandwiches at lunch, and an impressive array of pastas and wood-fired pizzas come dinner.
For the first time in its history, Spiaggia is serving a tasting menu where each course would include some form of pasta. The first of these menus, offered now through the end of March, highlights filled pastas, a theme that the kitchen staff explored broadly and with a great deal of creativity that led to some very novel interpretations.
Much like at Yusho, Alex Bachman's deep commitment to crafting drinks is evident simply by reading the ingredients in Billy Sunday's cocktails. He's known to develop his own bitters, syrups and tinctures, and the highest cabinets of the back bar are loaded with jars of exotic botanicals. But for all the custom housemade potions he concocts, "Tradition is the core of it all," Bachman said.
On a recent chilly morning, I was engaged in that telltale pastime of the food-obsessed: skimming restaurant menus online. As I scanned the offerings of Little Market American Brasserie, something caught my eye that I'd normally breeze past: chicken noodle soup.
Still sparkling from its makeover, Lula is pulling off the impressive: it's the neighborhood veteran that also feels brand new.
Chef Andy Aroonrasameruang left his old post at TAC Quick to launch his own spot, which opened last September, in part so he could cook the kind of (spicy, pungent, traditional) Thai food he wanted to without having anyone else to answer to.
At this new Nashville-inspired BBQ joint, whiskey bar, and live country-music venue, there's a strong emphasis on approachable, food-friendly classic cocktails with no fussy flourishes, and bold, resonant flavors. Beverage director Paul McGee has also stocked the bar with more than 100 varieties of whiskey.
When I was looking back on the year of eating noodles I had had in 2012, I couldn't help but peek a bit forward, as well, at the noodles 2013 had in store for me. And none excited me more than Oiistar, the now month-old ramen joint on Milwaukee Avenue helmed by Korean-born chef Sunny Yim.
Boy, my Atkins diet has not been going well. Yes sir, I've been hitting the carbs pretty hard this past year in search of Chicago's best noodles. And looking back on 12 months' worth of Knockout Noodles columns, I feel confident when I say this is an exciting time to be a noodle lover in this town.
It's that time of year again, when we all develop that natural inclination to reach for something bubbly. Here are five sparkling cocktail recipes from two of our favorite places to toast in Chicago: Sepia, where Josh Pearson presides over the handsome marble bar, and Pops for Champagne, a longtime fixture of the city's bubbly scene. We promise you'll have no trouble replicating these drinks in all their fizzy finery.
Since the Kyoto menu took over at neighboring Next in mid-September, The Aviary has taken part in the occasion by presenting select styles of housemade ramen to supplement its regular menu of small bites. It was with fluctuating levels of wonderment, eager anticipation, and suspicion that I sat down to try them all.
Sable in River North is a spot where you can come for either the food or the drinks and happily stay for the other. It also happens to do right by vegetarians.
Chef Gene Kato has tapped Matthew Lipsky, former bar manager at The Southern, Morso, and, most recently, Untitled, to take over operations at Charcoal Bar, a new cocktail bar concept tentatively slated to open December 1.
The Sheerin brothers have adopted a style (one that perhaps harkens back to Michael's days at Blackbird) at Trenchermen in which the complementary and contrasting components of a dish aren't incorporated together so much as they are gathered into coexistence. It lends their food a surprising clarity. It also makes it really fun to eat.
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