Posts for March 23, 2012

Guys Drinking Beer Drink Allium's Beer

Chef Hickey hard at work at Goose Island.

A month or so back you may recall that we dropped in Goose Island brewmaster Jared Rouben (and we mean master as more than a formality) and Allium chef Kevin Hickey (no slouch himself) as they made a special beer for Allium's opening, Allium Roseus, a Belgian red ale with citrus fruit flavors. Karl Klockars at Guys Drinking Beer has a review of it, which you can now go have with Hickey's upscale-south side comfort food at Allium:

“Allium” refers to the family of plant that the onion belongs to, “Roseus” or “rose” presumably for the pinkish-red hue of the beer … and boy, does this beer reflect both of those. In fact, the first thing that came to mind on the initial tasting of this beer is the sharp bite and clean flavors of a nice slice of fresh red onion... as GI beers go, it’s not accessible to take the place of Sofie or Fleur - and nor is it intended to - but between the bite of the “onion,” the perfumed softness of the follow through and the nice pinkish-red color, it’s quite unique.

Review: Goose Island Allium Roseus and the 1% [Guys Drinking Beer]

Get Custom Sausage While-U-Wait From Markethouse

Chef Scott Walton, clearly a man who knows sausage.

This is so cool we don't know why it took till now for someone to think of it, but it's just in time for grilling season. Beginning April 1— always a problematic day for announcements, but this is legit— Chef Scott Walton of Markethouse, a farm to table restaurant in Streeterville, will offer made-to-order sausages for your backyard barbecue, made from the sustainable meats from Slagel and other local farms that they get in house. You pick the ingredients you want from their menu and give them 48 hours' notice, and Markethouse will make you a batch of sausages that meet your specs for grilling. (You can also choose from several standard recipes they serve in the restaurant.) While you're picking yours up, you can also lay in other supplies like pork or lamb belly bacon, country pates, a variety of housemade mustards in interesting flavors such as apple cider and violet, and more. Watch for the menu April 1 at the Markethouse site.

Sandra Lee Says Bourdain’s ‘Shtick’ Is ‘Ridiculous’

Sharp as a (Cool) whip.

She's a tough nut to crack, but Andrew Goldman extracted a little bit of juice from the impermeable Sandra Lee, including bits about her drug-addicted mother whom she's estranged from, the backlash she's constantly facing from food "snobs," her thoughts on Anthony Bourdain's big mouth, and the universe's general Kwanzaa Cake bashing. Also, Cool Whip and boyfriends. [NYT]

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At Least Ghostwriter-gate Helped Rachael Ray Bond With Gwyneth Paltrow

The Rachael Ray show had a hyped-up segment today where Gwyneth Paltrow and Ray Ray — who both took serious offense to Julia Moskin's ghostwriter "allegations" — pretty much just said "It's mine, mine, mine, mine, mine!" to each other via Skype. We get it!! Your hard-working "assistants" don't do shit. Noted!

Earlier: Times Responds To Ghostwriter Story Backlash

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Slideshow: Go Inside an Urban Fish Farm of the Future on Chicago's South Side

Once cattle were slaughtered by the thousands in Chicago's stockyards. Today one of the meat processing plants that handled that beef is finding a new life as an incubator for a way of raising food that uses little or no energy or water from outside and produces almost no waste to take away. The Plant, located in the former Peer Foods building on 46th street, was conceived by entrepreneur John Edel as a self-contained system in which each part would feed another and the building would consume everything it produced. One of the new businesses in the building, 312 Aquaponics, is a tilapia fish farm and herb and vegetable grower which hopes eventually to sell to local restaurants. (They were selling herbs for a while, but the city stopped them.) We were given a tour of The Plant by 312 co-founder Andrew Fernitz; our report and slideshow continue below.

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What To Eat at Forza Restaurante, Open Now

A chance meeting in Chicago between Italian chef Mario Giuseppe Mentesana and a vacationing Australian named Paul Ieraci led to Lincoln Park's new Italian restaurant and wine bar in the former The Spread space, Forza. Ieraci liked what he heard and decided to back Mentesana, who had worked at Florence's highly rated Acqua al Due and Cavolo Nero before coming to Chicago to attend Loyola. The result is now a chic, "Audrey Hepburn-glamorous" straight-out-of-Italy restaurant and bar serving classical southern Italian food and housemade pastas from Mentesana's family recipes. Alongside Mentesana's food is an extensive Italian-focused bar program under mixologist Tony Selna (formerly of Mastro's in Beverly Hills and Chicago), and a champagne lounge will open soon next door. The restaurant and bar are open now; here's what's on the menu.

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Chicago Cocktails: Unique Midwestern Style or Strictly From Hicksville?

We grew up in a midwest where artfully-crafted cocktails were something you only saw in old movies; kids drank beer, our dads drank scotch and water, and sensitive dipwicks liked Pina Coladas and taking walks in the rain. If there was a cocktail renaissance, we were at its exact antipode in our formative drinking years. But we also weren't in Chicago yet, and we suspect there were places— The Cape Cod Room? Riccardo's? Horwath's? Bucket o' Suds?— where the art of mixology had continued undisturbed, if not yet enlightened and hipsterized, from its Nick and Nora Charles heyday. So the first question we have about Lauren Viera's broadside in this week's Reader is, does her picture of a cocktail-deprived Chicago a few years ago, in which only the Matchbox knew what the hell it was doing making a drink, match reality, or is it only hipster tunnelvision that doesn't know what the grownups have been drinking all along? The answer to that question would affect a lot of her argument that Chicago is basically purveying a borrowed, compromised version of New York and California's cocktail renaissance purity, in which we wouldn't dare do something like open a gin-only bar, because our friendly bartenders lack the east coast snottiness to tell patrons to screw off and enforce an uncompromisingly Calvinist vision of cocktail making.

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in Russia, Kraft's New Name Sucks; Hop on Pop-Ups

• Kraft's new global brand name Mondelez could be a problem given that it sounds like a slang term for oral sex in Russia. That's as opposed to in the rest of the world, where it merely brings to mind a hot Russian babe named Ivana Mondelay. [Crain's]

• Pop-ups are still popping: The WSJ breaks down the economics of temporary restaurants. [WSJ]

• Who knew the company that makes those red Solo cups found at keggers was worth $1 billion? [USAT]

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