Posts for February 7, 2013

You'll Never Guess Which Chef Has the Best Smile

Even out of focus, one smile rules them all.

Want proof that everybody wants in on a little chef glamour? Here it is. As part of the Chicago Dental Society's Midwinter Meeting, which is in its 148th year and will draw a remarkable 30,000 dentists to McCormack Place this weekend, the Society surveyed members as to which chef they thought had the best set of choppers and smile. Not surprisingly, chefs on TV had an advantage, but even so, one set of pearlies absolutely dominated the others... Stephanie Izard and her 1000-watt smile took 60% of the vote, leaving Grant Achatz, Rick Bayless, Graham Elliot and Art Smith to munch on the leftovers. [Dining Chicago]

One Nation Under Fermentation: FLOTUS Tweets Kimchee Recipe

"Last week, we picked Napa cabbage in the garden," Michelle Obama tweeted last night. "Now, we're using it to make kimchi in the kitchen." The first lady even provided a recipe, which, with five Thai chili peppers per two heads of Napa cabbage, is pretty spicy. And awesome. [FLOTUS/Twitter]

Get Your Paczki Today and Support the Polish American Association

Paczki are not doughnuts, okay? Okay, they're made exactly like doughnuts, but they're filled with things not even today's hipster doughnut joints use— like rosehip jam or prune filling— and more to the point, they come with a load of Polish tradition, namely, that you're entitled to something as rich and sugary and fried-y as a paczki right before Lent. There are many places you can find them around town, of course, but today's an especially good day to pick a few up because the Polish American Association, which provides aid to Polish immigrants, families and seniors in the Chicago area, will be fundraising by selling paczkis from Oak Mill Bakery (who are pretty much paczki kings) at various locations on the northwest side and in the suburbs today. Check out the details here. [h/t WBEZ]

Previously: Let Us Now Praise Paczki

Top Chef Seattle Recap: David Rees on Sourdough Starters and Tom’s Mean Girl Tendencies

Slightly less intense than Deadliest Catch.Photo: David Moir/Bravo

According to my calculations, there are only four chefs left: Josh, Sheldon, Brooke, and Lizzie. And they all miss Stephan. That means he’s captured the hearts of 100 percent of the chefs on the Alaskan cruise ship as it pushes deeper into American’s last frontier, and his smiling face will be the last image in their minds before being torn apart by wolves.

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Valentine's Blowout at Aviary; Judge BBQ With Gapers Block; Bubbly Class at Vera

It is time for much stuff! We will give you some Valentine's Day listings tomorrow, but we wanted to call attention first to what we guess will be a hot ticket— The Aviary's blowout, which for $200 per person includes a seven-course menu of food and cocktails, accompanied by "live music in the form of crooners, chanteuses and cabaret singers to swoon with your love to," and has two seating (between 6 and 7 and between 9 and 10). It went out to the Next/Aviary email list last night, watch for a public announcement at the Aviary Facebook page sometime today.

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Applebee’s Scandal Inspires Good Tipping

And that's how it's done.

Remember the pastor who wrote, "I give God 10 percent, why do you get 18?" on a receipt and left no tip at Applebee's? She's unintentionally inspiring acts of actual goodwill. A server (at an unidentified restaurant) posted on Reddit that a customer wrote, "We don't give the imaginary man in the sky shit! So enjoy!" and left a 20 percent tip. Nice. People are still pretty pissed about Appleebee's decision to fire Chelsea Welch, the waitress who posted the pastor's receipt online, but they're taking out their anger by overtipping random servers.

Best kind of therapy. »

Argent Partners May Be Headed To Court

When Argent, the new restaurant in the Dana Hotel (replacing Aja) opened last spring, it was the first venture of a restaurant development company called COAL, which stood for "Chicago, Original, Authentic, Legitimate." The restaurant had some bumpy times when Rodelio Aglibot (Sunda), who consulted on the concept with COAL under a contract with them, clashed with Jackie Shen, briefly the on-site chef, but the kitchen side seemed to be calmed with the arrival of Nathan Huntington from L2O. But now it's the management team that's having agitas; one COAL investor, Sean Mulroney, who also owns Debonair Social Club and Double Door, is being sued by another, Toni Motamen, who owns Raw Bar and was brought in to run Argent.

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Beyond Cocktail: The History, and Future, of Flair Bartending

There's more to flair than Cocktail.Photo-illustration: Jed Egan

Chris Cardone launches an empty beer bottle into the air in front of me at the Beatrice Inn and catches it behind his back in one fluid motion. The ceiling of the below-ground room is a piddling seven feet high — not much space to flip bottles, but enough for Cardone to twirl the tins of a Boston shaker, windmill barspoons between his fingers, and toss 750s of gin and Campari from palm to palm behind his back as he prepares a negroni.

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Sexy Mixology TV Show Is Ready for Prime Time

We'll watch, but you have to give this guy a part.Photo: H. Armstrong Roberts/Corbis

The writers of The Hangover teamed up with Ryan Seacrest's production company and are making a show for ABC called Mixology, Deadline Hollywood reports, that is incredibly likely to feature at least one gravely serious, eccentric, and apron-wearing Brooklyn hipster-type bartender who steadfastly refuses to make appletinis but falls in love with a girl who only drinks Bacardi Razz and Tab on ice, which is actually a great drink.

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Video Feed: Henri Sets The Scene for Mardi Gras With Bar DeVille's Brad Bolt

Getting ready for Fat Tuesday which is on, let's check the date... next Tuesday? Henri is; downtown Michigan Avenue's snazziest fine dining spot has invited one of Chicago's top mixologists, Bradley Bolt of Bar DeVille, over to help make the evening special. The plan is, Bolt devises a cocktail, then chef Chris Gawronski devises the Cajun-inspired dish to match it. That's the back story behind this video, which is a little more oblique on the details but sets the mood for the evening. For reservations, try 312-578-0763. Video by Jimi Filipovski and Sam Probst.

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