Sunday, April 29, 2012

The Bristol - Chicago, IL

I brought Jeanie and Mary to Bristol for dinner when they visited me last summer.  I had heard great things about it but it's one of those places that was on my radar for a bit but never became realized.  Thankfully I used their visit as an excuse to come.

We were a bit early for our reservations so we went up to the bar and had some drinks.  I'd like to point out that they have a special brew from Goose Island called "A beer named Sue."  It's an American black ale and it's quite good.

By the time we got our drinks, our table was ready so we headed downstairs.  We ordered the raviolo as our starter.  It's a big ravioli filled with ricotta, egg yolk and brown butter.  Sorry for the grainy pictures, it's pretty dark inside the restaurant.

You would think the combo of ricotta, egg yolk and brown butter would be too heavy but it just works.

We also got the roasted bone marrow with shallot jam and sea salt.  Most places cut the bone marrow into round cylinders and it's so hard to scoop out the marrow but this was so much easier to eat.  

For our entrees we shared the pork belly with some yogurt sauce.  It was highly recommended and it did not disappoint.

Mary loves chicken so we had to try the roasted chicken, which was really moist and quite delicious.  I'm always hesitant to order chicken because most often than not it ends up rubbery, but this was really good.

For dessert, Bristol is known for their basque cake.  It's basically a buttery cake that's crispy on the outside and soft in the middle.  It's a bit dense for my taste, but I can see why people love it.  They do different variations on the fruit depending on the season so when we were there, it came with strawberries, balsamic and champagne sabayon.

I'm told they also have fantastic brunch and their monkey bread is divine.  I wasn't able to make it back for brunch but hopefully one of these days!

2152 N Damen Ave
(between Shakespeare Ave & Charleston St)
Chicago, IL 60647

Lure Izakaya - Chicago, IL

I visited Lure Izakaya with my cousin when I was in Chicago.  I had heard of a new izakaya opening in Chinatown and it sounded like it could be promising.  

I was expecting a more low key, Japanese pub like environment but I think they were going for a more trendy, lounge feel.  It's reflected in the menu as well.  Their menu consists of mostly small plates of Asian fusion dishes and a few yakitori options.  My cousin and I thought the food was tasty, but definitely not what we were expecting from a traditional izakaya place. 

We both picked a few dishes that jumped out at us.  First was the Zuke salmon, which was seared salmon in a soy-mirin broth.

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Zed451 - Chicago, IL

I am so behind on my posts, but here's a quick shot of one of my last dessert stops in Chicago.  When I asked my foodie friends what was a must eat before I leave Chicago, they raved about the butterscotch bread pudding at Zed451, which I thought was a brazillian bbq spot so I would have never guessed they have excellent desserts.    

I would have never ventured here had it not been for my friend's recommendation and the food we had was really good.  I know most people enjoy getting all the different cuts of meat when they go to a braziallian bbq restaurant, but I am one of the few who actually get full from the salad bar.  The have a build your own salad station, soups, a charcuterie and cheese station, a whole range of different types of pre-made gourmet salad.  

Don't forget to finish your meal off with their butterscotch brioche bread pudding with home made marshmallow on top.  Can't get any better than that!  Ok maybe Tartine's bread pudding but we'll have to wait a few more posts for that one.  

Zed 451

739 N Clark St
(between Superior St & Chicago Ave)
Chicago, IL 60610

Sunday, February 26, 2012

Longman & Eagle - Chicago, IL

One of my favorite favorite restaurants in Chicago is Longman & Eagle in Logan Square.  It's a gastropub and I know what you are thinking Chicago is full of gastropub so what's so special about this one.  The difference is that they actually fulfill on both fronts - great drinks and great food.  Maybe it was also that we came during a warm autumn night and got to sit outside and ate and drank to our heart's content, but I think the company that you're with can definitely make the food association that much greater and of course I was with Susan and Aleen.  

They had a bunch of interesting small plate options so we couldn't narrow it down so we got three to share.  This was the Ricotta Gnuddi with Asian Pear Black Walnut Jam, Butternut Squash Veloute and Brown Butter Sage Emulsion.  Basically imagine a ricotta gnocchi that is fried and you get the picture.  Yum is right.  

Root's Pizza - Chicago, IL

When I heard a Quad City style pizza place was opening near my old neighborhood in Chicago I knew I had to go.  For those unfamiliar, Quad Cities refers to the five cities on the Mississippi River—Rock Island, Moline and East Moline in Illinois, and Davenport and Bettendorf in Iowa.  A particular style of pizza is home to that area and it's known for their hand-tossed malt crust pizzas that are scissor cut into strips, not slices.  

For a city that deeply prides itself on deep dish pizzas, you would think a Quad City style pizza place would not flourish here but from the looks of it, it's been doing pretty well.  For those that aren't into pizza, they also have hot dogs, sausages, bratwurst, sandwiches and pasta options on their menu.  

Caroline and I chose for our pizza the garden pizza which came with roasted mushroom, diced green peppers, roasted red peppers, kalamata and green onion mix and Quad Cities Mozzarella Blend.  The crust was definitely chewier and a tad on the sweet side.

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Purple Pig - Chicago, IL

Sniffle sniffle, this is one of my meals that I had with Aleen when I was still in Chicago.  It feels so long ago now.  

In case you guys didn't know, I made the move out west to San Francisco a few months ago.  I had such an amazing time in Chicago and have such fond memories, especially of food.  I feel like I literally ate my way through Chicago in the short time I was there and I'm so thankful for it.  My friends even asked me before I left if there was anywhere I had to go before I left and I really felt like there was nothing that I missed out on.  

Plus I have to leave some places for my visit next time, right?  :)

Purple Pig was one of Chicago's hot new restaurants when I was there.  It's a sister restaurant to one of my favs, Davanti Enoteca.  As you can guess from the name, they feature and highlight the other white meat.  

It's tapas style so we ordered several dishes to share.  

This was the asparagus & hazelnuts with arugula salad with treviso or radicchio.  One of my favorite dishes at Davanti is their truffle egg toast with asparagus and this salad is also a creative and delicious use of asparagus.