Posts for January 8, 2013

Stout Barrel House To Host Deschutes Brewery Launch Dinner Tomorrow Night

More beer news is always good news, and the latest good news is the arrival on our shores of Deschutes Brewery, an Oregon-based brewery entering the Chicago market through a partnership with Wirtz Beverage IL, who are making a new push into the craft beer market through the formation of a dedicated Craft Beer team. There are a number of launch events this month all over the area, which you can see here, but the most interesting one to us is a four-course dinner with pairings tomorrow night at Stout Barrel House & Galley, which is going for the crazily reasonable price of $35 per person (plus tax & tip). Chef Chris Curren will whip up the menu, each paired with a different one of Deschutes' new-to-Chicago brews. See the menu below; for reservations call 312-475-1390 or go to OpenTable.

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There’s a New Electronic Fork That Will Supposedly Help You Not Get Fat

Not the classiest-looking flatware we've ever seen.Photo: David Becker/Getty Images

A new electronic, Internet-connected fork (yes, you read that right) that vibrates to tell you you're eating too fast or too much just debuted at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas. The HAPIfork and HAPIspoon use sensors and a Wi-Fi-enabled app to tell people they're raising the utensil to their mouths too fast or that their meal has gone on too long, and it vibrates like a game of Operation when you mess up. Now, we've heard the arguments about how eating slower lets you know you're full sooner, but if you really need an eating utensil to tell you you're binge-eating, you're probably beyond hope. Some problems that are immediately apparent: This isn't going to help if you're stuffing your face with handheld foods like Doritos and hot dogs, and we can also see how this could cause problems for an easily embarrassed dieter who brings one of these things along for a tyrannic, four-hour tasting menu meal at Alinea or Per Se. You'll want to turn the fork's sensor off after the meal's first hour passes by. [All Tech Considered/NPR]

You Just Can't Get a Good '59 Petrus In This Town Any More

As an occasional interloper in the world of nosebleed-high end dining, we find ourselves wondering about certain things unique to that world, like, who could actually drink a bottle of wine that costs as much as a car? How much better can it get than, say, a really nice $60 bottle? But of course that's not about the taste alone, but the rarity... which is to say the bragging rights for those in the supercharged worlds of high finance where being the dork with the biggest cork is part of the show. Crain's has an article today which notes that, as the financial sector reigns in excess (a little), the era of the cellar whose value is more than the land it occupies may have come to an end marked by the auction of Charlie Trotter's cellar. Writer H. Lee Murphy notes that many of the best-known lists in town have pared down and gotten rid of most of their highest-end bottles, or the restaurants playing in that world have closed entirely; William Courtright of Courtright's in Willow Springs reflects the current reality of the game when he notes that he's only sold one bottle priced above $1000 in the last five years— and got rid of much of his high-end list to pay for his daughter's wedding.

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Man Hallucinates After Eating World’s Spiciest Curry

Another day, another case of dangerous eating. Ian Rothwell, who is a 55-year-old doctor (!), decided that it was a good idea to eat a curry dish comprised of twenty Naga Infinity chilies at a restaurant in Grantham, England. To give you an idea: One Infinity is 200 times hotter than a jalapeƱo, and can cause mouth burns and blisters. The dish, which is ominously named "the Widower," is so spicy that chefs have to wear goggles and face masks to prepare it. Three hundred masochistic customers prior to Rothwell have attempted to eat it and were unable to finish, and one time, the restaurant even had to call an ambulance. But of course the item remained on the menu because there's no such thing as bad publicity (ugh). Rothwell took an hour to finish the plate, cried a bit, went for a walk, and then started hallucinating. But no biggie: He says he felt fine the next day. The restaurant's owner thinks the doctor is a "legend." We say they're both insane. Is this grounds for Dr. Rothwell losing his license to give health advice? Should be. [This Is Lincolnshire via HuffPo]

South Carolina Restaurant Makes Employees Wear ‘How to Catch an Illegal Immigrant’ T-Shirt

The employee dress code: HatePhoto: CoreyHutchins/Twitter

On Sunday, a South Carolina journalist tweeted a photo of a worker at a local restaurant called Taco Cid that had been taken earlier by a local high-school teacher. The worker is wearing a T-shirt emblazoned with an illustrated, cartoonish "trap" baited with two hard shell tacos. "How to Catch an Illegal Immigrant" is printed at the top in the colors of the Mexican flag, and the restaurant's name and contact information appears below the illustration.

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Slideshow: A Night at Curtis Duffy’s Grace, the Country’s Most Ambitious New Restaurant

In our video series Finding Grace, we showed you the creation of former Alinea chef de cuisine Curtis Duffy's new restaurant, Grace, in Chicago, and the intense dedication of Duffy and his team to creating a truly graceful experience for guests. The irony, of course, is that all that was taking place in the midst of construction — far from an atmosphere of grace in practice. Now the restaurant is open, and our man Huge Galdones followed service one night last week to capture it in full swing as the realization of Duffy and GM Michael Muser's aspirations. We'll show you how Duffy's light, vegetable-flavor-driven dishes come together on the plate, but you'll also see the intensity and precision that goes into creating the total guest experience at perhaps the most exacting and inspiring restaurant opening of the past year. Here is Curtis Duffy's vision — in practice five nights a week, at 652 West Randolph in Chicago.

Delicious Minds: Honor the King With Elvis Special at Rockit Today

We hear this sandwich was actually invented for Big Mama Thornton, but whatever. Elvis would have been 78 today— in an alternative universe, he's known as Old Gray Fat Elvis now— and Rockit Bar & Grill is celebrating with a sandwich honoring three of the King's favorite things: bananas, peanut butter and frying. It's on grilled bread with peanut butter, bananas, bacon and honey and a side of sweet potato fries, it's $11, and it's today only for lunch and dinner. It's like a gold lame suit with bellbottoms for your tummy.

Waitress at Roberta’s Forgets to Wear Clothes, Serves Food

It happened in Bushwick.

Transgressive: A waitress may have commemorated her last shift at Roberta's on Friday night by taking off her clothes and having a friend write "PEACE OUT" with a Sharpie on her back. Gawker writer Max Read, who was there, notes that no one cared a naked lady was waiting on tables in the packed dining room. (Assless fishnet stockings don't count, by the way.) Anyway, there's some documentation of the night, and because health code states "employees who prepare or serve food products, or wash and sanitize equipment and utensils must wear clean outer garments," Suzie Nudie could cost the Bushwick restaurant fines and/or temporary closure. So, is this hot, ho-hum, or just a health hazard? [Gawker via Eater NY]

Great Lake Closing... Moving... Not Talking

Nick Lessins at Great Lake.

Following the breaking story by Ari Bendersky at Crain's Sunday that Andersonville's tiny, artisanal pizza place Great Lake would close later this month, Phil Vettel proves to be the first one to get hold of Nick Lessins or Lydia Esparza to ask them what their plans are. And it turns out... "We're not ready to release that yet," says Esparza. Which would seem to make it clear that Great Lake will be coming back somewhere else... but won't be opening in a new space shortly after closing in the old space, and may be closed for some months before anything happens. Vettel also speculates that they may close before the very end of the month due to the need to move their large pizza oven. So if you gotta have it one more time, now's the time to go. [Tribune]

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