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Posts Tagged ‘chicago restaurants’

D.C. “Fete Select TV” Crenshaw, NBC Chicago Street Team

Lately it seems like I’ve been on an Italian culinary tour around Chicago.  From a fabulous dinner at Prosecco to an intimate meal in the 200 East Supper Club, I’ve tasted a few different pasta dishes and consumed more than a couple of glasses of wine.  Last week I ventured into the Lincoln Park neighborhood to take on yet another Italian establishment.  Let’s just say that my dining experience at Trattoria Gianni was not only enjoyable, but was a perfect nightcap to my birthday celebration.facade_main11

Trattoria Gianni is intimate, homey, authentic and friendly. The ambiance is most comparable to the dinner settings that I experienced while honeymooning in Rome. The cuisine was not too far behind either. Among the Antipasti dishes, the fried calamari and grilled octopus stood out.  Moving to the Primi Piatti side of the menu, the Gnocchi della Nonna, handmade and stuffed with ricotta, and the Conchiglie del Mercante, pasta crumbled with Italian sausage, mushrooms and fresh tomato sauce, were savory and plentiful.   The veal scaloppine, grilled duck breast,  grilled chicken breast, and grilled Norwegian salmon filet were also favorites.  However, the “Costolette d’ Agnello alla Griglia”, their grilled lamb chops marinated with olive oil, garlic and fresh mint, was a noted specialty dish and the highlight of the evening.  The most enjoyable side dish were the roasted potatoes in olive oil garlic rosemary.wine_151

Trattoria Gianni has homemade desserts worth the indulgence.  The Panna Cotta and Tiramisu led the way. Their sorbet and cannoli are good alternatives and the not-quite-frozen hazelnut mouse, topped with chocolate sauce received accolades. The service met expectations and the wine recommendations paired nicely with our many courses.  A live vocalist added a special ambiance throughout dinner, which set off an energetic vibe amongst diners.

Trattoria Gianni will celebrate their 21st anniversary this year with a $21.00 priced fixed dinner every Tuesday night starting March 24th – June 30th.  Trattoria Gianni is located at 1711 N. Halsted St.  Log onto <a href=”http://www.trattoriagianni.com&#8221; target=”blank” http://www.trattoriagianni.com.com for more information or call (312) 266-1976 for reservations. 

To find more dining options and to get an inside look at the newest and best restaurants in Chicago watch Fete Select TV on www.efete.net.

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D.C. “Fete Select TV” Crenshaw, NBC5 Street Team

The word “authentic” is often overused in restaurants when referencing cuisine.

If you’ve ever traveled to Europe, especially Italy, then you probably have a good idea of what authentic food is all about. Chefs that specialize in Italian cuisine don’t always have the luxury of having grown up in the mother country, so they have to draw on their childhood kitchen experiences for inspiration and influence.
Such is the case with 200 East Supper Club‘s executive chef Tony Navarro.

The 200 East Supper Club is located on the main level of the historic Seneca Hotel. It’s a moderately-priced, business-casual spot that features live entertainment Tuesday through Saturday. The ambiance feels somewhat old school, with a splashes of elegant touches sprinkled throughout the main dining room.

Click here to read the rest of this post on nbcchicago.com.

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D.C. “Fete Select TV” Crenshaw, NBC5 Street Team

The runaway success of “Slumdog Millionaire” has made many people curious about exploring the Indian culture. If you’re in that boat, then the food is a great place to start.

Mild, medium or hot? That’s the question the server will pose to you concerning the spice level at
Indian Garden Restaurant
(247 E. Ontario Street). We chose medium, which thankfully turned out to be the correct choice. In fact, Indian Garden is the correct choice if you’re looking for good Indian cuisine and an experience that will take you on a culinary voyage.

Log on to nbcchicago.com to read the rest of this post.

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D.C. “Fete Select TV” Crenshaw, NBC5 Street Team

A burger is a burger right?  Wrong;  Well, at least not to foodies and culinary experts.  In-fact, I bet that most folks around Chicago can probably tell you where to find their favorite burger, even if they aren’t foodies.  I recently tried a burger that is vying for the “best burger” title at the “Amstel Light Burger Bash” and I liked it.  I really, really liked it.5512207d252591e7d5c632fa8c8135851

Carol Wallack, is the Executive Chef at Sola restaurant and one of two Chicago chefs (Rick Bayless) invited to participate in the “Amstel Ligh Burger Bash” competition.  Hosted by Rachel Ray, the event takes place  in Miami on Thursday February 19th and is part of the 2009 Food Network South Beach Food & Wine Festival.  The South Beach Festival is one of the premiere culinary and wine events in the country and features some of the biggest culinary stars in the industry. 

Chef Wallack is competing against some top notch chefs, but I think that her “Wagyu Beef Burger” may have a chance.  The signature “Wagyu Burger”, which has taken Chef Wallack over 20 years to perfect, is Allen Brother’s Wagyu Beef, cambazola cheese, house-made bacon, carmelized onions and arugula all squeezed between a soft pretzel roll.  The Chef likes to serve the burger medium, which I normally don’t do, but her suggestion went over very well.  Of course, you can’t have a burger without their truffle fries, which were the perfect complement to the beef.

In celebration of the “Burger Bash”, Sola is serving the delectable burger all weekend  long (February 19th – 22nd).  The burger is normally only served during lunch and dinner on Thursdays and only during lunch on Fridays.

Sola is located at 3868 N. Lincoln Ave. (773) 327-3868.  For more information log onto www.sola-restaurant.com.  Watch Fete Select TV on www.efete.net to check out the newest and hottest restaurants in Chicago.

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D.C. “Fete Select TV” Crenshaw, NBC5 Street Team

Upscale tends to be the trend in sports bars these days.  Or at least the hope is to attract a more sophisticated and trendy crowd that would typically choose a hipper environment to spend their Thursday, Friday or Saturday nights.    The new River North sports bar, Bull and Bear, not only lures the hipsters, but attracts businessmen and women during the lunch hour.91101

The name Bull and Bear obviously recognizes two of Chicago’s major sports teams, but also refers to the financial world and appeals to the CBOT crowd.  The restaurant has a nice layout and designs, but can get a little too close for comfort when crowded.  After talking with a few friends about the menu, I wanted to see if their food matched the upscale vibe.  Well, let’s just say that it didn’t measure up.

The Bull and Bear menu has a ton of starters, salads, main courses, sides and short order options.  There are a plethera of burgers and sandwiches to choose from as well as a few non bar food entrees.  The “Onion Tower” and “Sweet Potato Fries” were typical.  Nothing great, but nothing bad about either dish.  The “Lobster Bisque” was deemed to be a signature item and would have been if it wasn’t served luke warm.    The “Double Cut Grilled Pork Chop” was a little dry and didn’t live up to the waitresses billing,  but my dining guest really enjoyed his “Pulled Hammy” pork sliders.  We were graciously served with a sampling of all of their desserts, which consisted of a chocolate chip cookie draped in vanilla ice cream, cinnamon doughnut holes with three different dipping sauces, peanut butter bread pudding, and a “Thrilla in Vanilla” shake with Filandia Vodka and Godiva Dark Vanilla Royale.  They were all savory, but I wouldn’t necessarily have paired peanut butter and bread pudding together.  The service started off sketchy, due to a mishap with my reservation, but the owner and waitress attempted to make up for it.  Don’t expect upscale service during crowded nights though, because it is still, however, a sports bar.

A unique feature to Bull and Bear are their 5 premiere booths with Personal Table Taps.  Each booth has two taps (1 domestic, 1 import) that dispenses beer, which is recorded on a meter at the table.  The goal is to allow guests to pay-as-they-pour and enjoy a no-wait standard of service.  This feature should be a big hit for beer lovers.

Bull and Bear has only been open for about 3 weeks, so they may still be working out the kinks.  Although they didn’t meet my dining experience expectations for what they deem as an “exclusive luxury sports bar”, I may give them another shot once the madd rush dies down.

Bull and Bear is located 431 N. Wells St.  For more information log onto www.bullbearbar.com.  Also watch Fete Select TV on www.efete.net to check out the newest and hottest restaurants in Chicago.

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D.C. “Fete Select TV” Crenshaw, NBC5 Street Team

There are so many choices to enjoy a great meal in the city that a lot of restaurants simply get looked over or don’t make the cut.  Some places that are decent, but won’t blow your socks off, still have a place for foodies.  Dine, located in the West Loop, is such a place that could be added to your dining options. d706648w240h1591

Executive Chef Chris Turano uses unpretentious ingredients and escalates them.  His menu consists of American cuisine that has a lot of options.  Some of the more memorable items were from the starter side of the menu, which included “Braised Veal Cheek, Caramelized Cauliflower Puree, and Mustard Seed Consomme”.  The “Cast Iron Seared Wild Alaskan Scallops, Soft Porcini Polenta, Parmesan, and Baby Arugula” also received high marks.  Although I sampled their “Bone in Ribeye” and “Braised Domestic Lamb Shank” entrees, I preferred the “Block Island Monkfish, Wild Mushroom Broth, Beluga Lentils and Shellfish Mushrooms”.  The best dish of the evening came via the “Finishing Touches” dessert menu.  I indulged in the “Red Velvet Cake” that had me licking the cream cheese frosting from my fingers.

Dine is a 1940’s – style eatery and design essentials include vintage elements such as antiqued glass, terrazzo flooring, and over-sized printed art.  It doesn’t have that contemporary feel of other popular West Loop restaurants, but could be a good alternative to the contrary.

Dine is located at 733 W. Madison St. and is connected to the Crowne Plaza Hotel.  For more information check out www.dinerestaurant.com.  Also watch Fete Select TV on www.efete.net to get an inside look to the newest and hottest restaurants in Chicago.

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D.C. “Fete Select TV” Crenshaw, NBC5 Street Team

Shopping at the 900 Shops on Michigan Ave. can work up quite an appetite.  Although I’m not a big shopper, I am a frequent guest there mainly because of my better half.  Even though my window shopping is limited,  I tend to venture to the 6th floor to check out Oak Tree, my favorite restaurant in the building.

Click here to read the full post on nbcchicago.com.

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D.C. “Fete Select TV” Crenshaw, NBC5 Street Team

When I first moved to Chicago ten years a go, the hot spot to have cocktails and dinner was One Sixty Blue.  It had decent food, a nice crowd and of course it was owned by Michael Jordan.  Just the mention of MJ’s association with the restaurant had folks pulling up to valet park their rides.  However over time, like many other restaurants in the city, One Sixty Blue lost its luster.  Most guests didn’t perceive the concept as a once or twice a week place to dine, but as a special occasion place to have an expensive meal.  Well fast forward a decade later, as the new Executive Chef Michael McDonald is attempting to change their image.chef_mcdonald1

 McDonald, a former Charlie Trotter restaurant Executive Chef, created a new menu that will allow his guests to think of One Sixty Blue often.  Very often.  In-fact, Michael the basketball player sampled Michael the chef’s cuisine and gave the ultimate approval.  No doubt that MJ’s high regards of McDonald’s creations made him feel like a champion also.  He is attempting to blend vibrant seasonal flavors with modern traditions. 

Signature dishes include Potato Leek Soup, Blue Crab Ravioli, Wagyu Short Rib, and Creamy White Grits.  The menu has many “starter plates”, “side plates” and “main plates” options, but the daily five-course tasting menu is a must.  Appropriately titled “Dinner with Michael”, Chef McDonald prepares an exceptional array of courses to suit your palate complete with wine pairings.  He also prints and presents a copy of the five courses that were selected for you.  A nice touch for guests, especially for those who often try to relay their dining experiences to friends.img21

Main plates are priced between $19 and $35, making it more affordable to dine versus previous years.  One Sixty Blue has a nice wine selection and a specialty cocktail list that borders on traditional twists.  Although they’re located at the end of restaurant row in in the West Loop, their new menu could help diners remember that MJ’s joint is still a gem.

One Sixty Blue is located at 1400 West Randoph St. Chicago, IL. (312) 850-0303.  www.onesixtyblue.com

Watch Fete Select TV on www.efete.net to check out the newest and hottest restaurants in Chicago.

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D.C. “Fete Select TV” Crenshaw, NBC5 Street Team

The weather outside is frightful.  Everyone, including me, are day dreaming about an island vacation far away from the Windy City.  Hawaii, Mexico, or somewhere in the Caribbean are all acceptable destinations.  However, after a reality check, the best that we may be able to do is to indulge in cuisine that takes us to the place where we want to be.  Former Chicago Bears and All-Pro defensive back Jerry Azumah knows exactly where to find such a spot.  He introduces us to Ja Grill, the newest and hottest restaurant that brings Jamaican flavors to Lincoln Park.  Check out Jerry and Ja Grill on Fete Select TV below.  Also, watch Fete Select TV on www.efete.net for a review of the newest and best restaurants in Chicago.

 

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D.C. “Fete Select TV” Crenshaw, NBC5 Street Team

Monday night’s can be pretty slow on the dining scene.  Due to slow traffic and the start of the work week, a lot of restaurants are closed.  However, the folks at Rockit Bar and Grill can’t wait until Monday’s, because that’s when they feature their special “Taste It” menu.  “Taste It” Monday’s allows their Executive Chef to focus on one particular theme that pairs cuisine and wine flights to particular region.

December’s “Taste It” focuses on the region of France.  It includes 3 appetizers and 3 flights of wine for $12.  The appetizers for this month include: wine_1511

Duck Confit Flatbread

            gruyere cheese, thyme, fig and port wine jam

            $8 a la carte

Cheese Plate

            brie and morbier cheeses with sliced baguette, toasted nuts and dried fruit

            $8 a la carte

Deviled Eggs

            topped with american sturgeon caviar

            $10 a la carte

I had the pleasure of indulging last Monday and was very impressed with the food and the flights.  Rockit Bar & Grill is located at 22 W. Hubbard St. downtown Chicago.  Log onto www.rockitbarandgrill for more information.m11

Check out Fete Select TV on www.efete.net for the newest and best restaurants in Chicago.

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D.C. “Fete Select TV” Crenshaw, NBC5 Street Team

Let’s face it, there are a lot of restaurants in Chicago that feature Mexican cuisine, but there are only a handful that really, really stand out.

You can place the new Logan Square eatery Real Tenochtitlan (2451 N. Milwaukee Ave.) in the standout category. Let’s say it together: Re-AHL-teh-NOCH-tee-tlahn.

Click here to read the rest of this article on nbcchicago.com.

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D.C. “Fete Select TV” Crenshaw, NBC5 Street Team

Even a hard core Chicagoan would be forgiven if they weren’t thinking about warmer destinations this time of year.

If you can’t swing the plane ticket south, Nacional 27 might have the next best thing.

Every Friday night, the restaurant transforms into a sexy South Beach nightclub with sultry signature cocktails, Miami fashion week footage and dynamic beats performed by special guest DJs and live percussionists.

Log on to nbcchicago.com to read the rest of this story.

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D.C. “Fete Select TV” Crenshaw, NBC5 Street Team

Downtown Chicago is loaded with great steak houses, such as Gibson’s, David Burke’s Primehouse, Capital Grill, Keefer’s and Kinzie Chop House, but you can add another restaurant to list.

Fleming’s Prime Steakhouse and Wine Bar (25 East Ohio St.) made its debut a few months ago and is becoming a destination that many folks are flocking to. Although Fleming’s is nationally renowned for its prime beef and steakhouse fare, their seafood selections, such as Tuna Mignon, Seared Scallops and Barbecue Scottish Salmon Filet are also very popular.

To read the rest of this story go to www.nbcchicago.com.

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D.C. “Fete Select TV” Crenshaw, NBC5 Street Team

The stretch of Randolph Street in the West Loop is lined with restaurants that are frequented by foodies from all over the city and beyond. Also known as the Market District, the area has become a destination for nightlife activity, as many new lounges and clubs have popped up on the scene over the past few years.

The new kid on the block is Veerasway (844 W. Randolph St), a modern and fresh Indian cuisine inspired restaurant that brings Indian food to modern America with a sleek and simple design. 

Click here to read the full story and see video on www.nbcchicago.com.

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D.C. “Fete Select TV” Crenshaw, NBC5 Street Team

A trip to Italy may not be on your travel agenda in the near future, especially with the state of the economy. However, thanks to a new River North Italian hot spot, you can experience Venice right here in Chicago.

Ristorante Prosecco (710 N. Wells St.) is a chic yet unpretentious white tablecloth restaurant in the heart of the River North gallery district. Prosecco offers sophisticated, regional comfort foods from Italy’s 20 regions, as well as the largest selection of Italian sparkling wine in Chicago. The interior of the restaurant was designed based on the beauty of Venice and the soft color of a glass of prosecco.

Read the rest of this story on nbcchicago.com.

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D.C. “Fete Select TV” Crenshaw, NBC5 Street Team

Brunch is arguably my favorite meal on the weekends.  My selection criteria for the perfect brunch spot is pretty particular when it comes to my Sunday afternoon feast.  I must have good food, an extensive menu with a nice selection of breakfast and lunch items, and great cocktails.  The vibe must be appealing, and of course, cost is always a factor.  Next to New York City, Chicago has some of the best hidden gems for brunch when it comes to major cities.  I found one such gem, maybe not as hidden as most, in the South Loop.

Cuatro Cocina Nuevo Latino has it all when it comes to my criteria.  Their Bossa Novo Brunch was delectable.  The food was bangin’, the cocktails were slammin’, and the vibe was on point.  In a nutshell, I liked it a lot.  Executive Chef Edie Jimenez’ menu consists of soulful flavors of Latin America, Caribbean and Mexican cuisine.  Brunch standouts include the Tropical Pancakes, Chilaquiles, and Pan Frances (thick french toast with vanilla roasted sweet plaintains and farmers cheese).  Cuatro’s 10 cane rum cocktails flowed nicely and were a perfect complement to my meal.   Great music adds to any brunch vibe and Cuatro has it with the lively Brazilian sounds of “Bossa Tres”.

Cuatro’s brunch is served Sundays 10:00 am – 3:00 pm.  “Bossa Tres” performs 11:00 am – 2:00 pm.  Dinner is served Monday – Saturday 5:30 pm – 10:00 pm and Sundays 5:00 pm – 10:00 pm.

Cuatro is located at 2030 South Wabash Ave. (312) 842-8856  www.cuatro-chicago.com.

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Jim Grillo, NBC5 Street Team

Osteria via Stato’s Parties & Events Manager, Allison Gallese, offers a worry-free solution for hosting intimate celebrations.

 

The Italian approach to entertaining is to keep it simple-great food served with great wine. Parties & Events, Manager Allison Gallese has a simple approach to entertaining: The Chef’s Table. All you need to do is arrive with your guests and let the Chef take care of the rest with great food and great wine waiting for you at the table.


AMBIENCE: The Chef’s Table is a culinary adventure with the chef as your personal tour guide sharing cooking techniques and methods as you and your guest enjoy seasonal dishes. It’s just like being invited by the Chef at his table.

INVITES: As you plan your guest list, keep in mind that our antiqued-farmhouse table can accommodate 6 to 18 guests. Remember, this is an intimate gathering with the Chef and guests both sharing their love of food and cooking.

MENU: The menu selected and prepared by the Chef and begin at $75 per guests excluding your wine selections, tax and gratuity. The menu is a progression of courses that will include antipasti, primi, secondi and dolce. However, expect small bites and surprises along the way.

Founded on Chef David DiGregorio’s Italian ancestry and travels throughout Italy, Osteria Via Stato, a Lettuce Entertain You restaurant, embraces Italy’s heritage of seasonally-prepared dishes featuring artisanal ingredients. The award-winning restaurant offers candlelit ambience, an extensive all-Italian wine list, and genuine hospitality—extending Italy’s passion for food, wine and celebration.

 

For a unique group dining experience in Chicago for your next business meeting, client dinner, birthday party, rehearsal dinner or corporate event, contact Osteria Via Stato, Chicago’s best italian restaurant in the heart of downtown located in Chicago’s River North neighborhood. Salute!

 

Osteria Via Stato is a Planner Preferred Vendor on Hereschicago.com, Chicago’s Event Planning Resource Guide for Meeting and Event Planners seeking Chicago’s top restaurants, event venues and service providers.

 

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D.C. “Fete Select TV” Crenshaw, NBC5 Street Team

The Mrs. and I like hanging out in the Wicker Park area often for breakfast, brunch or lunch. That area has been bustling since the revitalization period started to take place when I arrived in Chicago about nine years ago.  We have some favorites on West Division Street such as Milk and Honey, Crust, and Smoke Daddy BBQ.  But now I can add a new spot to our list of Wicker Park places that I had never tried before — Moonshine! 

Moonshine, surprisingly has a cool and hip vibe that makes it a nice place to dine or watch the game. The menu consists of specialty thin-crust pizzas, sandwiches, appetizers and several hearty entrees.  While searching for a better brew to pair with its upscale bar cuisine, Moonshine decided to make beer in-house instead of looking elsewhere. 
They tapped brew master Reverend Bob Kitrell, a former Goose Island brewer, to handcraft quality beers with spirit and soul.  Although I’m not much of a beer drinker, I thoroughly enjoyed the two brews that I gulped down, while watching the thrashing of Ohio State at the hands of USC. 

Moonshine’s current brews on tap are Sin City, Chronic, and Alpha Dog.  The Alpha Dog went nicely with my mahi-mahi tacos.  Reverend Bob brews his beers primarily in the American tradition, using ingredients from the Midwest whenever possible.  Drawing from his own experiences is what made him an award-winning Brew Master.

But what makes Moonshine a great place to hang out is their music. There’s nothing like kicking back a few while listening to the DJ spin a mix of classic R&B, house and current hits.  Good food, great brews and jammin music…nuff said! 

Check out Moonshine at www.moonshinechicago.com
1824 W. Division St., Chicago, IL (773) 862-8686

As always, check out Fete Select TV for an inside look at the newest and best restaurants around the globe.  Or check out www.efete.net for more restaurant tips.

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D.C. “Fete Select TV” Crenshaw, NBC5 Street Team

Sept. 16th  marked the beginning of Hispanic Heritage Month which is celebrated in the US – a national holiday that began under President Lyndon B. Johnson and highlights the significant contributions Latinos have made on US culture.  Coca-Cola and Fete Select TV celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month with an inside look at Mercat a la Planxa.  Inspired by Catalan cuisine, acclaimed Executive Chef Jose Garces’ new restaurant shows us why Latino chefs are making a huge impact on fine dining.

View Fete Select TV below and see why Mercat a la Planxa is one of Chicago’s best new restaurants in the city.  Check out more hot new restaurants on Fete Select TV at www.efete.net

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