Posts Tagged “restaurants”
Clearly Restaurant Week seems to be good for restaurants, especially in filling the post-Holiday/pre-spring restaurant doldrums. The question, then, is what is it that restaurants are out to accomplish during Restaurant Week? And what impression do they want to leave with their diners?
Everyone and their cousin who is stupid enough to be out at restaurants at those times is likely to encounter crowds, limited menus, staff who would rather be elsewhere, and food that is not the best the kitchen puts out. It’s not a rule, but without question both you and I have encountered the good, the bad and the ugly. This year turned out to be pretty darn good.
I couldn’t wait to try Bleeding Heart Bakery’s perfectly named Death of John Waters: The Divine Donut. It’s a huge doughnut that is deep fried then soaked in syrup made of Jim Beam and maple syrup. Then it is dipped into chopped bits of Nueske’s bacon that has been cooked and then glazed with more maple syrup. If you don’t know who John Waters is, well, google it.
A group of culinary alums from Chef Mantuano’s Spiaggia and Tuttaposto found themselves a tiny spot on Roosevelt Rd. in the newly claimed Berwyn and created Autre Monde, a tiny restaurant specializing in first-rate pan-Mediterranean fare. There’s real gold out there.
One of the reasons we moved into the city and out of the suburbs was that we came out of an 8:00 movie one evening, wanted something to eat and there was nothing open but The Cheesecake Factory. And while I will eat – and yes, totally enjoy an occasional meal – at Applebee’s or Chili’s or The Cheesecake Factory, the predictable vanillaness of those options are what took me to the city.
Jam Chef Jeffrey Mauro is an alum of two illustrious Chicago restaurants: Charlie Trotter and North Pond and it shows. He taken the techniques of those award-winning, iconic Chicago restaurants and brought them to brilliantly master the art of brunch at Jam. Chef Jeff (bless his heart) loves to play with his food, regardless of the meal.
Fresh figs show up only for a short time during the summer growing season and they are not cheap. But grilled or caramelized or fresh or wrapped with salty prosciutto, they are a revelation. Figs make gorgeous desserts, sides to grilled meats and even appetizers.
I know you had expectations about food for the holiday. For you, Fellow FoodBeest, it wouldn’t be the Fourth of July without grilled hot dogs and hamburgers, potato salad and coleslaw. Or maybe you have an annual neighborhood potluck where someone is bound to bring a red, white and blue Jell-o mold. This might be the day that your family cooks up those ribeye steaks or the homemade sausages. For some people, it’s got to be a lobster boil or clam bake (the FoodBeest is sooo jealous of you). Or you know someone who is doing a pig roast.
Top Chef winner Stephanie Izard is a celebrity. She’s a local girl. She’s young and attractive. She’s a brilliant chef. Her food is great. She’s got a great smile. She was on my TV. Let’s face it, Fellow FoodBeest, I am totally star-struck.