Posts for April 30, 2012

What to Eat at Moderno, Opening Today

Moderno in Highland Park.Photo: Sky Full of Bacon

Last week we showed you the interior, the kitchen and a little of the food at John des Rosiers' new Italian spot in Highland Park; tonight it opens to the public and you can just go eat there your own self (Metra stops just a couple of blocks away). What will you find on the menu being served by des Rosiers and executive chef Phil Rubino? Housemade pastas, crispy pizzas, housecured Becker Lane turned into pancetta... and above all, lots of fresh stuff straight from farmers. Check out the menus below.

Read more »

World’s 50 Best Restaurants List Announced: Noma Still Tops

Another year, another set of restaurants jockeying for the top spot.

What's interesting about The World's 50 Best Restaurants list, put out each year by Restaurant Magazine in the U.K., is how quickly it's become shorthand for referring to great restaurants. Witness Noma, which almost everyone calls the best restaurant in the world, as if it were an objective fact, not the result of this particular list's rankings. Well, good news for Noma: Today it upheld that ranking for the third year in a row, and is still the best restaurant in the world. (Which means it'll probably still keep cranking out stagiaires.)

Here are the rest of the 2012 picks. »

Alinea #7 on S. Pellegrino World's 50 Best Restaurants List

In 2010, Alinea was #7 on the S. Pellegrino World's 50 Best Restaurants List. Last year, it surged to #6. This year, it drops back down, dramatically, to #7. What exactly does this mean? Nothing, really; Per Se jumped from 10 to 6, replacing Alinea as the top restaurant in north America, which just happened to happen the same year as Thomas Keller won the life achievement award and The French Laundry, which fell off the list entirely last year, got back on at #47. Achatz, who gave Keller a warm embrace as he went up for his life achievement award, is surely being philosophical right now about a tiny bounce around the top 10. As far as Chicago is concerned, that's the only news from the top 50; we'll have to wait for the second 50 to see if Next or anywhere else is starting to nudge its way onto the list.

Marijuana Restaurant Opens in Oregon, May Get to Stay

Logo designed by that stoner who used to sit and doodle next to you in high school

It's probably just a matter of time before restaurants serving marijuana-infused dishes spread across the increasingly toke-tolerant U.S.: After a joint (heh) called Ganja Gourmet opened in Denver in late 2009, the only question remaining was whether the next big debut would be for those stoners in California or the great ganja fiends of Oregon. While L.A. recently held a series of weed-infused pop-up dinners and Northern California is famous for clandestine marijuana wine, it looks like Ashland, Oregon, is the newest city to claim its very own marijuana restaurant, as Earth Dragon Edibles opened its doors this weekend to serve THC-infused tea, dessert, and Mongolian barbecue to patients with a doctor's medical-marijuana recommendation.

Read more »

Guy Fieri’s Stolen Lamborghini Found!

Over a year after it was stolen, Guy Fieri's bright yellow Lamborghini Gallardo Spyder was found Saturday night in a storage container in Point Richmond. Marin County officers raided the container with a search warrant and arrested a 17-year-old suspect there who was wanted for an April 13 shooting incident in Mill Valley, in which he allegedly fired a handgun from a motorcycle into a parked vehicle. Is this kid the same person who rappelled into the Van Ness showroom in March 2011 where Fieri's prized car was being stored and took off with it across the Golden Gate Bridge?

Read more »

BLT American Brasserie Closes; Critics Explain Why

Bye, Laurent Tourondel's American Brasserie.Photo: Galdones Photography

For the second time, a hugely ambitious restaurant from New York in the same space has shuttered in a matter of months, reports Eater. BLT American Brasserie follows the previous Brasserie Ruhlmann in having been developed by BLT's Laurent Tourondel, but bombing in the location at 500 W. Superior. But where Brasserie Ruhlmann may have simply suffered from being too posh a spot for an economic downturn, BLT American Brasserie was perhaps done in by cruelly accurate reviews which skewered its pizza-to-sushi lack of focus, mediocre execution, and an undercurrent of unwitting condescension to the Chicago dining scene.

Read more »

50 State Dinners, 2012: Food Pilgrimages You Must Make This Summer

Every year around this time, everyone starts itching for summer (it's so close), and that means it's time to start thinking about where we'll all be going once the weather warms up, which in turn means thinking about what to eat. With that in mind, Grub Street's editors have once again scoured the country looking for fantastic, one-of-a-kind restaurants, no matter which part of the country you wind up in.

Read more »

Slideshow: The Mad Porkfest That Is Cochon 555 Chicago

Somewhere around the time the cooks from Mexique were doing shots from the spout in an ice sculpture pig, the incongruity between the poshness of The Four Seasons and the raucous lovefest for pork and other associated things like beer and rye called Cochon 555 hit us. But then we remembered all the porky goodness that Allium chef Kevin Hickey had served the night before at a dinner for the purveyors, and it seemed the right setting after all. Five chefs dished up hundreds of portions of imaginative food made in a competition which required them to use an entire heritage pig, and then just when their food was starting to run out, Hickey and his staff rolled out the gleaming stainless serving carts and started to dish up their own take on working class pork— barbecue on a biscuit, carnitas on a taco and the like. We were there to judge (and were duly impressed by the cleverness and skill displayed by all the chefs), while our man Huge Galdones was on the scene with camera. Check out his slideshow of memorably porky moments below.

Cochon 555, Dark Lord Day, And Other Reports From a Busy Weekend

Mike Sheerin congratulates Cochon 555 winner Jason Vincent.Photo: Galdones Photography

Jason Vincent, chef of Nightwood, bested four other top Chicago chefs at the Chicago edition of Cochon 555 to win a slot at the finals at the Aspen Food & Wine Classic in June. A capacity crowd at The Four Seasons stood in lines to sample the imaginative dishes made by the chefs, who were challenged to use a whole heritage pig and then judged on presentation, utilization (how well they used the entire pig), and overall tastiness. (The highest score is a 5-5-5 across all three.) Vincent won out over Stephanie Izard (Girl & the Goat), Mike Sheerin (Three Floyds), Carlos Gaytan (Mexique) and Danny Grant (RIA) for his wildly imaginative yet deeply porky set of dishes which included a puffy "chicharron" made out of whipped pork liver and a ginger blood pudding creme brulee set in a marrow bone. He was up last in the tastings for the judges (including ourselves), and he worried that we'd be too full by the time we got to him to appreciate his food, but in the end there was no danger of that as he was a clear favorite among our fellow judges and, apparently, among the crowd as well (who counted for about half of the voting, as did the judges). We'll have a slideshow of the entire event from our man Huge Galdones later in the day, but in fact Cochon 555 was only one of multiple exciting food events which drew hundreds or even thousands all around the area. Here's more about them.

Read more »

Grubstreet Sweeps

Recent reader reviews on MenuPages


NY Mag