Posts for December 13, 2012

What Happens at 3 A.M. at Glazed and Infused

Photo: courtesy Anthony Todd/Chicagoist

It's been a stressful day even if you're not Susan Rice, let's end it with some doughnut porn. Anthony Todd went to Glazed and Infused early in the morning. How early do you have to get up to make a doughnut? This early:

Doughnut-making on this scale has to start the night before. Every night, while you are eating dinner, the team of doughnut producers is starting their work. "We start the night before, fairly early," explained General Manager James Gray. "We may be in here at 6 in the evening. Everything happens really quickly over the course of about midnight to 4 a.m. Then everything gets packed up and shipped out." So my 3 a.m. wakeup? That's normal for Gray.

Repay that commitment by checking out his story at Chicagoist now as he takes you inside the process and shows you how it's done in almost two dozen photos— including our favorite, above, the reverse side of doughnut-making they never show you. [Chicagoist]

The Case of the Mysterious $250 Beverly Kim Dinner That Never Was

About a week ago we received a release on an upcoming pop-up dinner from TableHost, a service we've written about before which aims to help you with hard-to-get reservations. The chef was Beverly Kim, of Aria/Top Chef/Bonsoirée 2.0 fame; the location was a private home in Lincoln Park; and the price was a jawdropping $250. Now, people charge $250 for fancy meals for charitable events, but the menus are usually much more elaborate than the relatively simple three-course menu we were sent, and it is a fact that you can attend quite spectacular one-off dinners for half or less of that at top restaurants all the time in this town. (Like this one, for instance, which was $75 for dinner.) The price was so high for what you were offered, in fact, that we didn't run anything on it, feeling pretty certain that it would never happen. And we were right about that; it was canceled a couple of days later. The official response was that that was due to logistical problems that came up, but we soon heard a different story from an unrelated party— that the event that was advertised wasn't at all the event that Kim signed up for... which she had priced at $45, not five times that. And, in fact, that it was an event that shouldn't have been advertised at all.

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Top Chef Seattle Recap: David Rees on Marilyn Hagerty and Missing the 12/12/12 Benefit Concert

Anna Faris and Chris Pratt showed up, too.Photo: Bravo

Last night, while everyone in America watched the 12/12/12/ Sandy benefit, I watched Top Chef. Our episode opens with the aftermath of last week’s CJ-dectomy. The chefs believe he’ll be back — he’s simply too talented not to rise from the grave and take his revenge. Nobody seems to miss Tyler.

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What To Eat and Drink at Bub City, Opening Today

The bar at the new Bub City.Photo: courtesy Bub City via Facebook

Our memory of the original Bub City is not that it was exactly the most inspired Lettuce Entertain You place ever, but if the new place at 435 N. Clark bearing that name has anything, it's ambition— from the menu to the live music program to the bar menu to, ultimately, the presence of its downstairs neighbor, the Tiki lounge Three Dots and a Dash. Starting with food, there's the barbecue-focused menu devised by Doug Psaltis (RPM Italian) with dishes like baby back ribs, burnt ends, Carolina style pulled pork and house smoked pastrami, along with a shellfish bar and southern-style sides such as "electric tater tots," mac and cheese and collard greens. Also being served as of tonight is Paul McGee's cocktail menu; though the much-loved mixologist from The Whistler has dabbled at other Melman restaurants since joining the company, this Bub City menu, which draws on a carefully curated whiskey selection, is his real debut for the company and shows a range that roams from takes on classic cocktails (a Horse's Neck with ginger beer) to the appealingly crowd-pleasing (the signature slushy "Mexican Firing Squad"). While if you want a preview of Three Dots and a Dash (which is set for spring), visit another old Melman name, R.J. Grunt's, where their burger of the month is Tiki-style with Kahlua barbecue pork, pineapple chipotle sauce and other Tiki touches that will make you think, in the words of Samuel L. Jackson on the fictitious Big Kahuna Burger... "Damn, that is a tasty burger!" In any case, check out the food and drink menu from Bub City below.

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Hijinks Ensue at Trotter Auction

Reports are coming in piecemeal from the Charlie Trotter auction yesterday, but it appears that the legendary chef did not exactly go gentle into that good night. In fact, he was apparently as in charge of the space and the guest list as ever, not only regulating who was allowed in (the Sun-Times reports that a Sun-Times photographer was ejected at one point, making it even for the local dailies) and berating the audience when things that Trotter considered valuable failed to draw their minimums. (One attendee we spoke to felt that minimums were set uniformly too high, but conceded that nonetheless, some of them, and Trotter's hectoring of the attendees, worked to draw high bids.) Did you go? If you weren't thrown out, how was it? [Sun-Times]

Is The Local's Really a Local Menu? Or Just a Greenwashed One?

Seared ahi with mango— local dining in Chicago in December?Photo: courtesy The Local via Facebook.

A few months back we noted the announcement of a restaurant in the Hilton Suites in the Gold Coast called Local, from the team behind the acclaimed Chicago Cut Steakhouse, and questioned the appropriateness of the name for a place touting "Dr. Pepper BBQ Baby Back Ribs." The word "local" has a specific meaning in the restaurant world of 2012, and calling yourself that if you're not is not merely confusing (like if you called your restaurant "Italian Grill" and only offered burgers and hot dogs), but genuinely deceptive— it's claiming a virtue, to at least some customers, which you do not in fact possess. Now the menu and more details about the restaurant have appeared at Eater— and the question becomes, are this restaurant's claims of localness for real, or just a quick greenwashing of its image in response to the realization that media like us might start asking, what's so local about The Local?

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Why Yes, Guy Fieri Did Have a Rock of Ages Cameo This Week

Guy Fieri's Times Square restaurant still isn't getting much love (unless you count customers who go there ironically), but the kewl one continues to make his mark on Times Square. The producers of Rock of Ages invited him to be in the show on Tuesday night because apparently they lost a bet. Of course there's video, which you can see straight ahead. At first, Fieri plays it off like he's reluctant to do this, but you can tell he's just loving it — the costume doesn't even look much different from Fieri's normal clothes. The walk-on probably won't help convince people he's really trying to improve the food and neon-blue drinks at Guy's American Kitchen & Bar, but the tourists in the audience look like they're way into it.

To the footage. »

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