Tuesday, September 2

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Openings Fri Aug 29 2014

Vice District Brewing Opens in the South Loop

Today at 4pm, Vice District Brewing opens to the public for the first time. Located at 1454 S. Michigan Ave., just south of Roosevelt Road, the taproom's initial draft lineup will feature Vice District's black IPA, extra special bitter, IPA, blonde and molasses porter, as well as a collaboration with Finch's Brewing. Eventually there will be 14 beers on tap at all times.

Like many involved in the craft beer renaissance in Chicago, Vice District cofounders Quintin Cole and Curtis Tarver II started out as home brewers.

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Andrew Huff / Comments (0)

Foodporn Fri Aug 29 2014

Friday Foodpic: Lettuce

14882400900_dab2e16843_z.jpgPhoto by swanksalot from the Drive-Thru Flickr Pool.

Robyn Nisi / Comments (0)

Event Wed Aug 27 2014

Summer is Over, Having Fun is Not

over-2.jpgIf you're looking for good weekend plans, here are two great ideas: Saturday's Heritage BBQ at Goose Island's New Barrel Warehouse (605 N. Sacramento, 4pm) isn't cheap (tickets start at $125; early access VIP available), but it'll be worth it: five chefs (among them Chrissy Camba of Laughing Bird and Cary Taylor of Big Star) will compete for the heralded title of "BBQ King/Queen of Chicago" using heritage pigs. You vote while enjoying all the food and drink you can stomach.

Longman and Eagle's Block Party (Sunday, 1-10pm) is an experience to behold; incredible music from Windy City Soul Club, kids activities, buttons from Busy Beaver, and great food--elotes, ceviche, and meatballs!--for your end of summer fete-ing. Event takes place alongside L&E (2657 N. Kedzie) on Schubert from Kedzie to Troy.

Robyn Nisi / Comments (0)

Foodporn Fri Aug 22 2014

Friday Foodpic: Hops!

14812666097_061821e800_z.jpgPic by garyegary from the Drive-Thru Flickr Pool.

Robyn Nisi / Comments (0)

Drink Thu Aug 21 2014

Market-Fresh Mixology Puts Seasonality Behind the Bar

Market Fresh MixologyBridget Albert and Mary Barranco's Market-Fresh Mixology: Cocktails for Every Season, published by Agate's Surrey Books imprint, was revised and expanded earlier this summer. The Albert and Barranco show you how to use fresh, seasonal ingredients from your garden, the farmers market or produce department to make delicious cocktails year-round.

Summer, of course, offers the broadest options for cocktail ingredients -- fresh fruit, tomatoes, herbs. Unfortunately, the weather's been as suitable for hot drinks as cool cocktails, but this week we might actually see some 90-degree weather. Here's one of the new recipes book to help you beat the heat.

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Andrew Huff / Comments (0)

Random Thu Aug 21 2014

You, on the Phone.

4833223036_8067f2caa6_o.jpgI was chatting with a food blogger in her late 40s when she asked me for my Instagram account handle. I shrugged. "Nope, I don't have one," I replied. She stared at me for a good (and awkward) ten seconds before she shook her head in confusion, and returned her gaze to her smartphone.

In fact, her question was the first time our gaze actually met. Before that, I wasn't sure if her head was physically and irrevocably aligned with her Blackberry's magnetic axis. She never looked up from that thing. She missed waiters explaining dishes, she missed my (and anyone's) feeble attempts at conversation, and I'm certain she wouldn't have noticed if the entire restaurant burned to the ground.

Many food bloggers act similarly, and perhaps that's due to the demands of an online profession. They take food pictures, Instagram that shit, and caption their collage with "YUM lobster roll with truffle fries #mylifeisperfect" They don't eat the food, and if they do, it's a small bite before they're back on Twitter or whispering quietly to their guest, who is probably tweeting the person right next to them. Taking pictures used to capture a memory, to crystallize an experience for future reminiscence. Now pictures demonstrate to others how happy, exciting, social, and/or privileged you are. It's about taking multiple pictures of mundane crap, trying to find that perfect professional angle that is ruined the minute they apply sepia filters all over them.

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Judy Wu / Comments (0)

Event Wed Aug 20 2014

Bacon Takedown Returns Sept. 14th

4997408325_9f1b997883.jpgYou could do a lot with 15 pounds of Hormel bacon, right? The Bacon Takedown will gladly give you the pork for you to compete Sept. 14 at Lincoln Hall for the top award. Make anything you want with the bacon -- savory or sweet, even jam -- and serve up your creation to attendees (tickets are $20) who will vote for the "People's Choice" at the end of the day, with a separate group of judges awarding a winner. If you are interested in throwing your toque in the ring and competing for the glory (plus a year's supply of bacon from Hormel and cookware), email Bacon Takedown to register.

Robyn Nisi / Comments (0)

Foodporn Fri Aug 15 2014

Friday Foodpic: Red Haven Peaches

14690591067_92efd28966_z.jpgPicture by Renee Rendler Kaplan from the Drive-Thru Flickr Pool.

Robyn Nisi / Comments (0)

Brunch Fri Aug 15 2014

The Vibe Hits the Spot at Cafe Creme

A free Monday morning doesn't often come along, so I leapt at Cafe Creme's invitation to breakfast at their recently opened Bucktown location. I suspected this French cafe would have good juju the moment my friend and I took a seat in the bright, naturally lit front room.

The decor was spare but the contrasting color scheme made it eye-catching: white paneling around the counter, white tables, and white bookshelves displaying bottles of beer, wine and cider; bench cushions that were bright chartreuse; and slate-gray walls and matching board with a list 20 deep of different macaron flavors.

Our server announced she made a mean latte, so my friend and I each ordered one along with a plate of macarons. I've had limited experience with macarons; the ones I've eaten have been more like colorful, bland cookies than what a macaron-enthusiast friend calls the "little crispy pillows of joy and sugar that crumble so delicately when you bite into them."

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Christina Brandon / Comments (0)

Event Thu Aug 14 2014

Wine Dinner at Geja's Cafe

rsz_gejacafe.jpgChicago can seem like a craft beer kind of town, but with diligent searching, you can find some excellent wine purveyors throughout the city. Occasionally I'll attend multiple-course wine dinners, where I'll smell and sip the wine and pretend that I can actually discern the subtle hints of oak or raspberry. In any case, I've learned that appreciation for wine takes time and experience, and I cannot reasonably decline attempts to improve my proficiency.

Last week, I attended the Bodega Piedra Negra winemaker dinner at Geja's Café, a popular fondue restaurant near Lincoln Park. Guests tasted four wines procured from the Andes mountains, beginning with a Rosado, then a Pinot Gris and Cabernet Sauvignon, ending with a Malbec. Each was paired with an individual course, beginning with a light salad and bread and ending with a flaming chocolate fondue.

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Judy Wu / Comments (0)

Event Tue Aug 12 2014

New Farmer's Market Small, but Packs a Punch

14700851477_e02d86bf53_z.jpgIf you're tired of elbowing through the crowds at your local farmer's market, I have a very good recommendation for you: the newly opened Horner Park Farmer's Market is a wonderful addition, and located in one of the city's finest (and largest) parks. I stumbled upon it this past weekend and was impressed by the variety of vendors in attendance, among them Mint Creek Farms, M's Organic Farm, Katherine Anne confections, and Albany Park's Global Gardens, a refugee training program. The market is open Saturdays at the corner of Montrose and California (9am-1pm); you won't be disappointed.

Robyn Nisi / Comments (1)

Business Fri Aug 08 2014

Provenance Fights to Stay in Logan Square

The Logan Square location of the wonderful Provenance Food and Wine is in a rough situation; their landlord has sold the building, and the new owner is booting Provenance next month with plans to install--in this neighborhood that is oversaturated with nightlife--a bar. Provenance is enlisting the help of their customers to contact alderman Joe Moreno to help them work with the building's current owner to stay in the California Avenue space throughout the end of year so that they can relocate to another space in the area; fingers crossed that it works. UPDATE, 8/14: Provenance has announced that the current owner of the building is unwilling to postpone the building's sale, and that their last day of business will still be Sept. 27th.

Robyn Nisi / Comments (2)

Foodporn Fri Aug 08 2014

Friday Foodpic: It's a Revolution!

14776435804_47a887acf8_z.jpgPicture by Dan Gaken from the Drive-Thru Flickr Pool.

Robyn Nisi / Comments (0)

Event Thu Aug 07 2014

Chicago Chefs Hall of Fame Announces Inductees of 2014

ChicagoCulinaryMuseumLogo.pngThe Chicago Culinary Museum and Chef Hall of Fame has announced their picks for the top players in the 2014 Chicago culinary scene, to be honored at a gala on Thursday, October 16 in downtown Chicago.

Chef Stephanie Izard of Girl & the Goat and Little Goat fame takes away the title of Chef of the Year, proclaiming, "The culinary scene in Chicago is amazing right now and I am happy just to be part of it." Other winners include Chef Gale Gand for Pastry Chef of the Year, Chef Michael Kornick for Legendary Chef, Phil Stefani as Industry Leader, and Larry Levy as Industry Legend.

The event, now in its 9th year, aims to honor Chicago's preeminent culinary talents as well as promote Chicago as top dining destination. Past inductees to the Chefs Hall of Fame range from the late Chef Charlie Trotter in 2006, Chef Rick Bayless in 2008, Chef Art Smith in 2010, and Chef Graham Elliot in 2012, among multiple others.

Tickets to the event, held on October 16 from 5:00 - 9:30 pm at the Castle on 632 North Dearborn, can be purchased in advance for $99 through August 31 (after which the price will increase) at Brown Paper Tickets. Look forward to an open bar, silent auction and raffle, awards ceremony, and--last but not least--food prepared by around 25 different local restaurants, including cuisine from past inductees.

Danielle Snow / Comments (0)

Review Wed Aug 06 2014

Rustic Meets Sophisticated at the New mfk


I have a restaurant fantasy that looks like what would happen if Cirque du Soleil, Vegas and Miami got together in a River North hotel lobby, with guests hand-picked out of a contemporary Great Gatsby movie -- shows on the hour, shadowbox dancers, passed champagne, perfect small bites of things on lollipop sticks and silver spoons -- what Untitled might be if it wore designer clothing, kept a clean shave and liked electronica music.

Which brings me to the newly opened mfk, which is nothing of the above, and yet everything similar in sensory appeal and experience -- a place that comes along so quietly and unassuming that reminds us what dining and gastronomy is really about.

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Brandy Gonsoulin / Comments (0)

Event Mon Jul 21 2014

A Garden Party at Rick Bayless' House

By Judy Wu

I was using Rick Bayless' restroom, I mused, staring up at the ceiling window that was projecting a heavenly beacon of light upon my less-than-angelic duties. I could barely distinguish Rick's faint murmurs through the orange walls, something about how...
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Sun Sep 7 2014
Dill Pickle Block Party @ Comfort Station

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