Gapers Block has ceased publication.

Gapers Block published from April 22, 2003 to Jan. 1, 2016. The site will remain up in archive form. Please visit Third Coast Review, a new site by several GB alumni.
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Friday, April 12

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Restaurant Sun Jul 22 2007

A Curious Orso's Inspires and plays Piano

Making a Veg Picnic Snack-3.jpg
Orso's-inspired picnic makings

A good quaint Italian restaurant reminds me of the places my grandpa would take me to. They were fine, humble, had great service, and usually a pianist through the night. Orso's takes me back there. The piano plays most nights, the lighting is romantically dim, the ceilings of Old World tin, and they take care of me changing up the menu to meet my vegan whim. Their amazingly succulent portobello lying in a juicy red wine balsamic reduction needed no change. Hearty with plenty of rosemary, its deep flavor suggested molasses. After that starter, I asked for penne in olive oil with peas and mushrooms. Again, the mushrooms were fabulous, and they were in plenty. Penne came perfectly al-dente, in plenty of well-salted olive oil. Multiple wines are available by the half carafe, and they check in on you quite well. Leaving on my most recent visit, my sweetie and I had a fine time walking around the quaint streets of Old Town Triangle a few blocks up, feeling like I was in Old World Europe.

Two days later, inspired by the oil and salt, and having food making for a picnic at Ravinia on my mind, I ravaged my kitchen. I treated three cloves of garlic to a mincing and then to hot, well-salted olive oil. After just a minute when they became tender, in went a chopped broccoli stalk. After five minutes on medium heat, when the pieces of stalk started to soften, it was time for a can of small fava beans. Last, a delicately chopped broccoli crown went in with its leaves and cooked until steamy.

Orso's, 1401 N. Wells, (312) 787-6604

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Feature Thu Dec 31 2015

The State of Food Writing

By Brandy Gonsoulin

In 2009, food blogging, social media and Yelp were gaining popularity, and America's revered gastronomic magazine Gourmet shuttered after 68 years in business. Former Cook's Illustrated editor-in-chief Chris Kimball followed with an editorial, stating that "The shuttering of Gourmet reminds...
Read this feature »

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