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Hungry Magazine - All Things Tasty
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Archive for January, 2008

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Newer Entries »
01.22.08

Check Please to Take Over the World (wide web)

Bites: News and Miscellany


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According to the Sun Times, your favorite neighborhood focused daily, Check Please has plans to expand capsule video reviews throughout the United States. No word on whether reviewers will be required to banish “to die for” and “phenomenal” from their adjective arsenal on the small screen, but we hope so.

01.22.08

The Three Martini Lunch Lives

Bites: News and Miscellany


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Or at least the three Bordeaux lunch. According to this release Sam’s Wine and Spirits will be offering spectacular wine specials during the lunch hour to capitalize on mid-day web surfing spikes. No word on whether web surfers are looking for a post-work elixir to fend off the memory of their overbearing bosses, but if so, calming your nerves just got cheaper.

01.21.08

Bad Phrases Part 2, or is “bistronomic” the new “gastropub”

Bites: News and Miscellany


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You probably all know by now, but just in case you don’t Graham Elliot Bowles is leaving Avenues to start his own gig . Trib says:

Bowles says he plans a “bistronomic” concept, borrowing a term that emerged in Paris last year and refers to cooking that is at the haute-cuisine level, presented in a casual bistro atmosphere. Think of it as the French equivalent of “gastropub,” minus the beer requirement.

Maybe UC prof Steven Levitt should consider a study of the current trends of the $40 entree and bad service at haute restaurants and call it Bistronomics.

Trib also says:

To that effect, Bowles says the restaurant will feature brick walls, exposed pipes and ductwork, “cool music” and no tablecloths. Bowles is mum on the exact address, but mentioned that the space will seat 150, bar and private room included, and that he’s working on the space’s noise and wheelchair-accessibility issues.

Did Powerhouse close already and GEB snapped it up? If not, maybe he’s opening a spot on the Lake St. “L” Platform.

01.21.08

A Christmas Story

Restaurant Reviews


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For years, I’ve been telling people Peter Billingsley, the actor who played Ralphie in the movie “A Christmas Story,” was now a porn star. By the time my family was doped up on rum balls and snoring through their third viewing of the movie, I’d whip out the porn nugget and invariably win friends and influence people. In this age of Google, since no one ever called me on it, I thought it must be true. More »

01.18.08

Winter Hideaways in Plain Sight

Bites: News and Miscellany


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According to this lame PR driven New York Times article, the following are Chicago winter “hideaways”:

The downtown location of Mr. Beef. Yeah, must be that all the cabbies lined up in the parking lot that make this place tough to see. Try maybe Chicago’s best beef at Chickies (2839 S. Pulaski), or a pefectly good one at Pop’s which (10337 S. Kedzie) is so hidden, it’s practically in Indiana.

Eno at the Intercon. Umm, yeah a Mag Mile corporate wine and cheese franchise that’s usuall subbed in for staid cheesy hotel lounges is where you should definitely spend a Winter day. Try Pastoral at 53 East Lake instead.

At least they get Hot Chocolate right. Few of the most well intentioned tourists would probably ever make it past Garrett popcorn to this strip of Bucktown.

01.18.08

Phrases, Words, and Things Food Writers and Foodies Should Stop Using

Bites: News and Miscellany


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Today, Leah Zeldes has a sort of an amusing article in the Daily Herald about BBQ in a hotel. Though the content is fine, I’m more interested in how she and the editor use the headline, as well of the first two paragraphs, to dub the place “sci-fi” because of it’s sleek modernist decor. I’ve never been to this place, but looking at the pictures accompanying the article, I wonder just when it is that Studio 54 inspired decor became “sci-fi”. The place looks more like a suite in Vegas than an outtake from Bladerunner. It just feels like the writer and the editor used the words “sci-fi” to prey on what they perceive as fears of backwoods suburbanites (i.e. science food and non-mcmansion drywall based decor) in order to sell papers. Furthermore, later in the article, Zeldes writes:

“In creating the menu, it’s clear that he triumphed over the room’s designer or, along with restaurants like Moto, Avenues and Alinea, O’H would be serving edible paper sushi, lamb sprinkled with crushed Altoids and foie gras crusted with Pop Rocks from smoking glass test tubes.”

Interestingly, Alinea serves none of those things, the first dish is from Moto, the second two are from Avenues, but again, it’s a lazy trite attempt to group all three of these restaurants in as a similar breed of crazy wacky “science food” nerds. To be brief, Moto is a certainly the farthest out, but it’s more performance art than science food. Avenues is actually very thoughtful restrained cuisine with a touch of reasonable creative whimsy, and Alinea is a flavor first proposition that melds the best of very traditional French Techniques and only really uses modern food techniques to achieve better texture or flavor than they can with traditional means. Also, if another writer refers to these chefs as “Willy Wonka”, he or she should just quit their job.

Science food aside, I’ve also been watching quite a bit of the local review show Check Please and I don’t think I’ve seen an episode, where one of the reviewers didn’t say, “phenomenal” or “to die for”. If I believe the show, then by my calculation I should be willing to off myself for 70% of all Chicago restaurants.

As a food writer myself, I’m not immune to adjective over-use, and so in the spirit of this piece, I pledge to stay away from “tang”, “toothsome” and “unctuous”. Actually I’ve never used that last one, but Steve Dolinsky whipped that whopper out on his otherwise fine Iron Chef judging appearance a few weeks ago.

01.17.08

Tentori Takin Care of Business

Bites: News and Miscellany


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Looks like almost a decade of enduring his former employer Charlie Trotter’s militant credit claiming management style has paid off for Giuseppe Tentori.

From a recent press release:

“Co-owners Kevin Boehm and Rob Katz are pleased to announce Executive Chef Giuseppe Tentori has been named a partner of their acclaimed Lincoln Park restaurant, BOKA (1729 N. Halsted St.).

Chef Tentori has much to look forward to in 2008. As he continues to exemplify the evolution of progressive America cuisine at BOKA, he will also oversee Perennial, a chef-driven American bistro, which Boehm and Katz will open this March in Lincoln Park at 1800 N. Lincoln Ave. “

01.17.08

Per Se Puffs Up Prices

Bites: News and Miscellany


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Thomas Keller’s second child, Per Se restaurant in New York has raised menu prices to a wallet clearing $275 per nine course pre-fixe. That’s $30.55 per course. No word on whether you get a professional escort and a cache of cocaine with that, but it sure makes the $79 porterhouse for two at Primehouse David Burke and the $44 ribeye at Powerhouse look like a night at the Sizzler.

01.16.08

Lake Erie’s Finest

Bites: News and Miscellany


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Cleveland's West Side Market

Cleveland’s West Side Market

Trib reporter Monica Eng traveled to Cleveland to do some recon with food writer extraordinare Michael Ruhlman. Our only quibble is that according to the story, Ruhlman, the man who tells people they ain’t right if they’re not using homemade chicken or veal stock also drinks Folger’s coffee. What? I sure hope it’s at least whole bean that he grounds before he brews, because snob or not, the ground crystals are pap.

Glad to see Cleveland getting some love. Hungry magazine took a similar trip in 2006. If you want to explore more things Cleveland check out our podcasts with Michael Ruhlman and the newest Iron Chef America, Michael Symon. Go inside the West Side Market with our photo slideshow and check out some of the restaurants including some of the best flan around.

01.15.08

The Man with the Mediterranean Plan

Podcasts, Profiles in Food: Interviews


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Chef Sean Eastwood earned unanimous critical acclaim with his first spot, suburban Geneva’s Isabella Estiatorio. Now he’s bringing his Mediterranean/Greek inspired cuisine to the big city. He and his partner Dean Georgelos are expected to unveil OLO (stands for Olives, Lemons, and Oregano - the holy trinity of Greek/Med cooking) in mid-February at 1152 W. Randolph St. In this podcast we talk about his travels abroad, the centerpiece of the new restaurant, a wood burning oven (from the same folks who made Chez Panisse’s wood burning oven), and so much more. Enjoy.

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: Sean Eastwood Interview

01.13.08

Booze King

Bartender, Pour me a Drink: Alcohol and Spirits, Profiles in Food: Interviews


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Peter Vestinos is Iron Chef Liquor. In October, Vestinos, head barkeep at Sepia (123 North Jefferson), beat out a host of local luminaries, including Adam Seger of Nacional 27, in an Iron Bar Chef competition. More »

01.10.08

Barley

Food History, Recipes


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The cultivation of barley pretty much dates back to the beginning of cultivation. Barley appears to have originated in the Ethiopian highlands up into southeast Asia, but had already spread out from its starting point by the time we first find it recorded in Egyptian hieroglyphics (around 5000 BC). It is listed on Sumerian cuneiform tablets that date to around 3500 BC, and was clearly being used in northwestern Europe by 3000 BC. Barley was identified as one of the “two immortal sons of heaven,” along with rice, in India’s Vedic literature, and it was listed as being among the five sacred cultivated plants of China by around 2800 BC. More »

01.09.08

Power Play

Restaurant Reviews


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The tragedy of good interface design is that if a designer’s done his or her job, no one seems to notice. Sure there’s the occasional Apple product about which folks bomb Internet forums regarding “scroll wheels” and “flicks” like squalling schoolgirls pining for The Beatles on Ed Sullivan. But when’s the last time you got psyched over a computer mouse or a telephone? More »


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