Posts for February 17, 2012

L. Woods Revives Era of Wisconsin Supper Club

You get the idea.

Okay, if you've been to L. Woods in Lincolnwood you may think the headline above calls for the response "Yeah, for about 15 years now they have." But just because you're a Lettuce Entertain You restaurant designed to look like a backwoods Wisconsin supper club, doesn't mean you've totally committed to the concept, Next-style ("Manitowoc 1956"). But after reading Kevin Pang's Wisconsin supper club piece in the Tribune some months back, manager Terry Lawler decided to try to replicate the tradition as closely as possible, from relish tray to brandy-driven drinks. Beginning next week, every Friday night they'll serve a Wisconsin Old Fashioned (Korbel brandy, orange and maraschino cherry) or Schlitz drafts, fried cheese curds, a relish tray and smorgasbord with everything from Merkt's cheese to kidney bean salad, a smoked sausage platter, and fried haddock or lake perch as a main course, concluding with a Wisconsin state fair tradition, the cream puff. It's like if the cheddar curtain started at Touhy!

Taco Bell Will Unleash Their Doritos Tacos on America Next Month


Everyone who follows such things probably already knew that Taco Bell's latest gimmick (besides trying to get everyone to call breakfast "first meal") was a taco that came in an oversize Doritos shell. It's either an abomination or a stroke of genius, depending on how you look at it, but whatever your opinion, you should know that it will be available to stoners around the country when the chain begins selling it nationwide on March 8.

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How René Redzepi Throws a Dinner Party

How does the chef and owner of the world's best restaurant relax on his day off? Oh, you know, he invites Dave Chang over to his very attractive flat in Copenhagen, whips up some oyster-and-chanterelle toasts, steams some mussels that he plucked from a fjord — the usual. And not a single middle finger in sight! [Bon Appétit, Related]

Yelp About to Go Public

Having put that pesky pay-to-play lawsuit behind them, Yelp began their IPO process late last year, and they're getting close. As Forbes reports, the S.F.-based citizen-review aggregator is set to go public shortly, and just yesterday they disclosed for the first time what they think they're worth: $840 million, or between $12 and $14 per share.

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Get All Your Favorite Natural-Artisanal Stuff Delivered From Artizone

We've done it— missed a farmer's market or artisan food event, and then a few hours later, wished there was somewhere we could get exactly the sort of thing we were too busy to go get earlier that day. Now there's a service that takes away any excuse. Artizone launched in Dallas last year, delivering natural, chef-driven and artisanal food products from well-known stores and suppliers. And as of Wednesday it's now in Chicago, delivering from an eclectic initial list that includes Green Grocer Chicago, Great American Cheese Collection, Katharine Anne Confections and Pasta Putanna. One thing we especially like is that the list respects Chicago's old-fashioned heritage producers— so as well as chichi Gold Coast bakery Hendrickx Belgian Breadcrafter, there's also old school Little Italy baker Italian Superior Bakery, not to mention the northwest side's old Scandinavian fish market Hagen's and traditional butcher Gepperth's Meat Market. We're sure the list will grow, too, but it's off to a good start; check it out here.

Next El Bulli Auction Raises Over $200,000 ... So Far

Next's Dutch Auction page has raised $215,000 as of this morning.Photo: courtesy Next

The revolutionary nature of Next's business model and ticketing-reservations system (well analyzed here) continues to unfold. Now that it's succeeded in its first objective (the reasonably orderly upfront collection of thousands of dollars in return for hundreds of seats at Next all through 2012), it's moved on to what seemed, initially, a fairly minor side aspect of the latest iteration of the system — raising money for charity. Well, we're pretty sure that raising six figures in about a day never counts as minor in the world of charity.

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SoBe’s ‘Burger Bash 2012’ Menu Revealed!

Turn up the heat!

Around this time next week, a slew of sun-kissed chefs, burger-lovers, and food fanatics will be heading down to Miami for the South Beach Wine & Food Festival. At the heart of the long weekend sizzles the 6th Annual Burger Bash Hosted by Rachael Ray, with tickets at $225. The high-intensity cook-off gives a juicy platform to almost every chef on the map, from Guy Fieri and Andrew Carmellini to Husk's Sean Brock. This year's massive menu looks fierce, featuring the dominating Bash Burger (with which Chris Santos just posed), a steak-frites burger, a "porky burger," a Hangover 2 burger, and a whole mess more. Good luck, grillers!!

SoBe Burger Bash 2012 Menu [PDF]

Butcher & Larder Plans Events With Sunday Dinner, Floriole

If this makes you hungry, this is the dinner for you.

It's almost like they used to run a restaurant or something... Rob and Allie Levitt of The Butcher & Larder have announced dinner events with two different collaborators coming up. First, Rob will join Sunday Dinner Club for two whole pig roasts March 3rd and 4th; each night they will obtain a Slagel Farm pig, roasting half while Rob kicks off dinner with a butchering demo of the other half. (Obviously, this requires you being the sort of person who can eat right after a butchering demo.) Of the meal, they say "the menu will be pork-heavy, but delightfully so. We will balance the meal with bright flavors and some of the preserved foodstuffs we put up last summer." It's $120 for both demo and feast; go here to find out more about it.

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Nagrant Craves Choices at Butcher & The Burger; Sula Piles On BLT

Your choices at Butcher & The BurgerPhoto: Courtesy Butcher & The Burger

Michael Nagrant is overwhelmed by choice at Butcher & The Burger— just the fact that he has one: "When’s the last time you ordered a Whopper, medium-rare? Despite what Burger King says, there are some things you can’t have your way... With this in mind, when the woman behind the counter at Butcher & The Burger asks me how I’d like my burger cooked, I stare at her for about 10 seconds? When I regain my senses, even though I really want medium-rare, some conditioned reflex has me stammering 'medium.'" As exotic as some of the choices seem, he has high praise for inventions like the pork burger with curry, coconut and honey spice topped with wasabi mayo: "Though it sounds like a bad 1980s fusion dish — the kind of thing for which Don Johnson would have rolled up his linen sleeves before eating on an episode of “Miami Vice” — I take [owner Josh] Woodward’s advice. The slightly gamey funk of the meat tempered by the sweet and hot notes of the curry and honey, makes this the best burger at B&B yet." [Sun-Times]

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Seger Goes To Oscars; Obama Visits Shark-Fin Soup Spot

• Local mixologist Adam Seger will be serving his Hum-based cocktail "Red Carpet Fizz" at the Governors Ball after the Academy Awards. [312DiningDiva]

• Oops! Barack Obama apparently stopped by a San Francisco Chinese restaurant that is among the handful of places in the U.S. still serving shark-fin soup. (For the record, the President ordered dumplings and steamed buns.) [SF Chron]

• Gordon Ramsay is "disappointed" that the owner of Laurier Gordon Ramsay restaurant in Montreal is going to remove Gordo's name from the restaurant. Ramsay had served as a consultant. [Daily Mail UK]

• Quelle fromage! Bruce Palling heads to London and buys cheese with Alain Ducasse. [WSJ]

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