Category: food and wine

Anatomy Lessons

Anatomy of a Wine Dinner Italy produces and exports more wine than any other country. There are more vintages (a year or period of origin) in Italy than there are in any other country. Terroir (climate, elevation, terrain) varies, and the wines from one area won’t be the same as the wines from another region,... Read more »

Beef: The Comeback Kid

It wasn’t that people stopped eating beef. All you had to do was look at the line-up for burgers and the growing number of steakhouses to know that wasn’t the case. It was just that health conscious diners began to think twice about the amount of beef they ate. After all, the health diet gurus were... Read more »

A Pilgrimage for a Food Lover

Like the travelers in Chaucer’s 14th-century classic, “The Canterbury Tales,” I ventured far from home to go on pilgrimage. Their journey was to Canterbury, to the place where St. Thomas a Becket was martyred. I, on the other hand, journeyed to New York City, where I managed to sample more food in a short amount of... Read more »

North Pond: Great Food, Beautiful Setting

North Pond North Pond in Lincoln Park is a one-of-a-kind restaurant, complete with excellent food and a setting that pairs the Chicago skyline with the bucolic beauty of the city’s largest park. The structure was originally built as a warming house for ice skaters in 1912. Renovated and then reopened as a restaurant in 1998,... Read more »

Independents Navigate a Crowded Scene

Bistronomic Restaurant Bistronomic Restaurant is a charming French bistro with a well-priced menu and a white tablecloth ambiance. It’s also one of the only independently owned restaurants in its immediate neighborhood. Martial Noguier, the eight-year- old restaurant’s very French chef/owner says it’s hard for an independent restaurant to compete with the national chains  and local... Read more »

Buenos Aires Chicago-Style

Let’s cut to the chase. When the subject is Argentina,  the conversation typically focuses on beef, Malbec, seafood and tango. And yes, the beef in Argentina is good, and so is the beef at Artango Bar & Steakhouse, an Argentine restaurant in Lincoln Square. In fact, Artango does a good job with virtually everything I... Read more »

Sight-seeing While Upside Down

Ten days in South America was a trip to an upside down part of the world, at least for people who live north of the Equator. It was June, which is the beginning of winter in Santiago (Chile) and Buenos Aires (Argentina), yet the temperature was mostly in the 50s, 60s and high 40s (at... Read more »

Pasta Perfect

Torchio Pasta Bar in River North serves an excellent semolina gnocchi baked in marinara sauce and an equally memorable tagliatelle Bolognese. Like everything else in the restaurant, the dishes are the result of owner Bill Varley’s passion for Italian food in general and pasta in particular. A retired engineer from Long Island, Varley says he... Read more »

Wine Speak for Everyone

En route to a tasting of Trentodoc wines at Spiaggia Restaurant on Michigan Avenue, I gave myself a pep talk. To be honest, even after decades of writing about food and wine, I still get nervous when I’m hanging out with the pros. Wine is complex, and the terminology can be intimidating. But-and it’s an... Read more »