Two Interesting Cookbooks From America's Test Kitchen

Etiquette says you shouldn’t serve anything to guests that you haven’t made before. It’s a good idea, but it’s not always possible in today’s hurry-up world. With that in mind, I’m updating the recommendation: Don’t serve anything to guests that doesn’t come from a reliable source, a source like America’s Test Kitchen. In the introduction... Read more »

Slurp the Noodles

Asian noodles may have Chinese roots, but ramen, the beautifully balanced bowls of broth, noodles, and toppings that are one of the decade’s hottest trends, are unmistakably Japanese. They are comfort food imbued with a mix of craftsmanship and culture, the broths carefully constructed, the noodles and toppings chosen with an emphasis on creating a... Read more »

What Do the Irish Eat on St. Patrick's Day ?

If you go to Ireland for St. Patrick’s Day expecting an over-the-top celebration coupled with a dinner of corned beef and cabbage, you’re likely to be disappointed. St. Patrick, Ireland’s patron saint, died on March 17th, and the anniversary of his death typically includes a religious observance and a traditional Irish dinner, a category that-for... Read more »
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Come for the Champagne, Stay for the Uni

Chicago has a lot of steakhouses, but the opening of the Esquire Champagne Room at Del Frisco’s Double Eagle Steakhouse on Oak Street makes it the only steakhouse in the city with a separate, Champagne and caviar-focused lounge. And in contrast to most spots specializing in sips and nibbles, the Esquire Champagne Room is secluded... Read more »

What Pairs Well With Roquefort?

What pairs well with Roquefort? The question nagged at Amy Morton, owner of Found Kitchen and Social House in Evanston, as she worked on the menu for the restaurant’s innovative, 8-course, cheese degustation on March 1. When the announcement of the event was sent via e-blast to the people on the restaurant’s mailing list, Morton... Read more »

Fresher Than Fresh

Matt Mixter was ahead of the curve when he opened Wixter Market in Wicker Park. With many consumers convinced nothing could be “fresher than fresh,” he limited his inventory to top quality frozen fish and premium conservas (canned seafood). Three years later, that same inventory is fueling his recently launched wholesale and online businesses. Mixter... Read more »

Nova Scotia Cookery: Heritage Recipes Updated

For many Americans, Canada is all about Toronto, Montreal, hockey, and snow. Mention the Maritimes, a region east of Quebec that includes the provinces of Nova Scotia, Prince Edward Island, and New Brunswick, and they really draw a blank. “Nova Scotia Cookery, Then & Now: Modern Interpretations of Heritage Recipes” explores the province’s culinary tradition,... Read more »

Have Camera, Will Shoot #1

After complaining time and again about people taking pictures of their food, I realized I’m guilty of the same offense. And while I write about food all the time, I post pictures only when they’re part of a story. A good photo of a good dish deserves a better fate. So, with a thank you... Read more »

Burgers to Banana Splits

Check out the burgers-to-banana splits menu at Maillard Tavern, Tony Priolo and and Ciro Longobardo’s new restaurant, and odds are, you’ll find a lot of your favorite dishes on it. According to chef Tony Priolo, that’s not an accident. “Nothing beats a burger,” Priolo observes. “It’s been a favorite ever since a creative cook sandwiched... Read more »

Airline Food: An Update

Remember airline food? You know, the stuff airlines used to routinely feed you when you were cruising at 35,000 feet and didn’t have a lot of options. Well, if you’re bothered by change, I have some good news. Airline food has neither disappeared nor changed. It has been updated, however. The “Hot Wrap” served on... Read more »