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Hungry Magazine - All Things Tasty
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Archive for October, 2007

10.31.07

Czech Please!

Restaurant Reviews


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You can tell the authenticity of a Czech restaurant by the appearance of Kung Pao chicken on its menu. If you don’t believe that, the fact that the Bohemian restaurant Operetta (5653 West Fullerton), which seats about fifty but has only three English-language menus, might validate things. More »

10.31.07

My Son, the Chicago Dog

Bites: News and Miscellany


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Happy Halloween!

10.29.07

Top Brasserie

Podcasts, Profiles in Food: Interviews


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Old Town Brasserie Chief Bob Djahanguiri

Like a baby boomer Justin Timberlake, Old Town Brasserie owner Bob Djahanguiri is on a quest to bring sexy back, or in his parlance, “romance.” In the ’80s and early ’90s, Djahanguiri—who opened hot spots like Toulouse and Yvette—was the grand master of the Chicago night circus, hosting visiting celebrities like Liza Minnelli and Harry Connick Jr. Once, Mikhail Baryshnikov and his posse danced on Djahanguiri’s pianos way past the 4 a.m. closing time.

In this month’s podcast, we talk about his new venture, his culinary partner, Chef Roland Liccioni and the offal selection at Old Town Brasserie. If you have Adobe Flash installed, you can play the file right on this site, below, by pressing the play button. If not, download the file and play it on your PC or on an MP3 player here: Bob D. Interview

10.24.07

It Takes a Village

Restaurant Reviews


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Despite the fact that condos are popping up in the West Loop like sightings of Britney Spears’ nether-region, the number of great restaurants hasn’t followed suit. Since Jerry Kleiner’s prescient Daniel Boone-like maneuvering in the late nineties there’s been a slow dribble of similar establishments such as Blackbird, Moto, Follia and, now, Sepia. Of course, great doesn’t have to mean haute, but most of the ethnic spots in the area feel like Grecian theme parks. More »

10.22.07

Weekend in New England

Travel


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For a variety of reasons, I keep finding myself in Boston. I have been there to visit historic sites, to catch a plane to another destination (Icelandair doesn’t fly directly from Chicago to Reykjavík), for business, and more recently, because I now have friends there. More »

10.18.07

Pirates Who Grill

Food History


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Piracy itself is ancient. The word pirate comes from the same Greek root as “peril”(which seems appropriate)—and you don’t get Greek roots like that without having been around for a long time. It seems likely that piracy in some form dates back to the beginning of transportation by water. There have been Ancient Greek, Roman, Phoenician, and Carthaginian pirates, post-Renaissance pirates, the Vikings, Chinese pirates, Russian pirates, Indonesian pirates, and of course the famously dangerous Barbary pirates—those Muslim marauders who swept out of ports across North Africa for a few hundred years. More »

10.16.07

Mein Comp

Bites: News and Miscellany


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If you comped me a $300 meal at one of Chicago’s top restaurants, I believe I’d be able to write honestly about it. That being said, it would be impossible for the reading public to know what’s in my heart, and, admittedly, it’s possible some unintended subjectivity might creep in. That’s why I never write critically about free meals. This of course includes friends and family cooking, which has had the unintended but delightful consequence of keeping me invited to dinner parties and in good standing with my mother-in-law. More »

10.15.07

Five Alarm Food Fest

Bites: News and Miscellany


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Along with apple and pumpkin picking, Oktoberfest and endless weekend festivals, fall brings a variety of events - including a chili cook-off I attended on September 30th at the Medinah Shrine Center in Addison, Illinois. There were seven participants in the Shrine Center’s first ever chili cook-off event. I was lucky enough to be asked to be one of five judges for the event and I must say that it was an event filled with good food, good company and a party atmosphere. More »

10.14.07

Bucktown Apple Pie Contest

Bites: News and Miscellany


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This morning, I had the privilege of working as a judge in preliminary rounds of the Bucktown Apple Pie Contest, a benefit for Holstein park (fellow judges included local foodie luminaries like Barry Sorkin of Smoque and Tracy Kellner of Provenance Food and Wine). Since it was Sunday, I shirked my journalistic responsibility and didn’t stick around to see who won, though the Tribune and Time Out were there, should you need to know the full story this week.

What I do know is the impressive trove of 162 pies from 81 contestants (1 baked for tasting, 1 for presentation) filled the room with a heady aroma of nutmeg, perfume, clove, and sweet spices. Apple fillings were pureed, chopped, and sliced. The tops of the pies ranged from simple puffy caramelized old school simple vented tops to intricate lattice work and Apple Inc. logos. One brave inventive and very talented soul cooked up a braised pork pie with apples (the top included a little dough pig). Of the nine pies I tasted, the one I enjoyed the most channeled a McDonald’s apple pie with a hint of caramel, though admittedly the filling was less gloppy and artificial, and the crust was flaky and probably kissed with a bit of leaf lard. Enjoy this photo slideshow of some of the prettier pies.

10.12.07

A Tale of Two Pours

Bites: News and Miscellany


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Despite what Jay-Z would have you believe (before he turned his back on it), Cristal isn’t the shiznit. It’s a good bottle, but I can think of many different Champagnes, some cheaper than “Cris,” that taste better. Like many luxury items, Cristal’s ascendance as the champagne of choice in the hip-hop community had as much to do with its marketed prestige and high price tag as with its quality. More »

10.09.07

Sepia

Podcasts, Profiles in Food: Interviews


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Sepia’s chef Kendal Duque and owner Emmanuel Nony

Sepia restaurant (123 N. Jefferson) is located right around the corner from Blackbird and Avec. Based on the incredibly smoky octopus and creamy pork rillete with bacon pistachio brittle alone, we have the feeling Sepia might just join these two spots as another local fave. In our opinion, it’s one of the best restaurant openings of 2007. Enjoy a photo slideshow of the new digs from photographer Lara Kastner.

We caught up with Chef Kendal Duque and owner Emmanuel Nony in this month’s podcast. If you have Adobe Flash installed, you can play the file right on this site, below, by pressing the play button. If not, download the file and play it on your PC or on an MP3 player here: Sepia Interview

Also, we consolidated some of the highlights of the audio podcast in a video also shot by Lara Kastner.

10.08.07

Fundraiser for homeless youth at Custom House, 10/13

Events, Serve: All Things Sustainable or Charitable


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Please join us on Saturday, October 13th from 6-9 pm at Shawn McClain’s Custom House for passed hors d’oeuvres, signature cocktails by Master Mixologist Bridget Albert & members of the U.S. Bartenders Guild, and a silent auction. The auction will include opportunities to try out your ‘dream job,’ including food critic, chef, museum critic, reporter, and lots more.

All proceeds from this event will be used to support A Taste of Success, our transitional jobs program for homeless youth. A Taste of Success hires youth to work in a commercial kitchen learning to bake pastries. Our goods are sold at Farmers Markets & to catering clients. For more information, please visit our website: http://blueskyinn.org/atos.htm

Tickets are $55 in advance, $65 at the door. For reservations, please send an email to events@blueskyinn.org or call (773) 710-7346.


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