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Posts Tagged ‘d.c. crenshaw’

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

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

If you’re looking for something different to do this holiday season and want a break from Chicago’s hustle and bustle, then you might want to travel to Northwest Indiana.  I recently visited Horseshoe Casino, in Hammond Indiana, and was pleasantly surprised to see a first class venue.  I dined at their steak and seafood restaurant, Jack Binions, which offers select cuts of prime rib, steaks, veal and seafood.  My Kobe beef steak was tantalizing along with a few appetizers and a couple of desserts.  The restaurant overlooks Lake Michigan and attracts a lot of casino goers from Indiana and Chicago.  The casino also has a few other dining options, including the Village Square Buffet, housing Italian, Mexican, American, Asian and Seafood cuisine.uha_steak_house_2_300x22511

Horseshoe Casino has 350,000 square-feet of gaming space and 97 tables with games such as Black Jack, Poker, Craps, Roulette, Mini-Baccarat and many more.  The casino features approximately 3200 slot machines including the High-Limit Slot Room.  There are a few exclusive private lounges for special guests and high rollers.  The Horseshoe’s gaming room rivals any casino on the Las Vegas strip.

The Venue, the casino’s 90,000 square foot entertainment facility, hosts events and concerts.  Famous musicians and comedians are showcased weekly.  Past performers have included Seal, Liza Minelli, and Bette Midler.   Upcoming events will feature Gladys Knight, Jeff Foxworthy and Cedric the Entertainer.  The Venue also hosted the World Series of Poker this past October.

The Hammond Horseshoe Casino is about 30-minutes from downtown Chicago via I-90/94 and the Chicago Skyway.  For more information log onto www.hammondhorseshoe.com or call 866-711-SHOE (7463).

To check out the newest and hottest 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 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

Chicago has some great neighborhoods with excellent restaurants.  The major “hoods” that I frequent are Bucktown, Wicker Park, Gold Coast, River West, River North and the South Loop.  My neighborhood in Lakeview has some pretty darn good restaurants as well.  Recently I had the pleasure of dining at another Lakeview standout on North Broadway, Angelina Ristorante.

Read the rest of this article on nbcchicago.com.

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

Most folks in the know in Chicago can attest that there’s a ton of events, fundraisers and parties that you can attend on a weekly basis. There’s not nearly enough time to hit them all, so you have to be selective in the events you choose.

You might want to add “Hip Sip” at the W Hotel City Center to your calendar of must-visit events. It’s a themed cocktail party that is quite different from your average soiree.

Click here to view the rest of this story on nbcchicago.com.

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

The Italians created pizza, but can you believe that they had never heard of Chicago style pizza?  That’s until Leo Spizzirri made some noise amongst the best pizza makers in the world.  Leo, the Executive Chef for Giordano’s 46 locations, is now a member of the World Pizza Champions team.  He is considered to be one of the best pizza makers in the world, and his specialty is stuffed pizza.

Leo has been trained by 9 time pizza champion, Tony Gemignani, and is also certified in Classic Italian Pizza, Pizza in Pala, and Pizza in Taglia from the Scuola Italiana Pizzaioli in Carole, Italy.  Gemigiani tagged Leo to be a part of the World Pizza Champions after many conversations about Chicago style and tasting the stuffed pizza.  Chicago style pizza wasn’t recognized in any of the World Championship competitions, but Gemigiani wanted to change that.  

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

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

The anticipation was high, as I was eager to attend the Meals On Wheels 20th Celebrity Chef Ball this past Friday.  This was a foodie’s dream event – to indulge in cuisine prepared by chefs from Chicago and around the country.  The premium ticket included a four-course seated dinner served by celebrity chefs.  The Indulgence Ball featured food samplings and chef stations from various Chicago restaurants.

The scene was elegant and stylish and was hosted on the 7th floor by Macy’s on State St.  Chefs from notable restaurants such as Perennial, Drawing Room, WAVE, C-House and Aigre Doux prepared and served signature dishes as well as desserts.  Foodie favorites were the Fish Taco by C-House and Duck Croquettes delivered by Perennial.  Cupcakes by Chaos Theory Cakes also got a lot of attention.  Premium cocktails, casino games, raffles and a silent auction made the evening especially fun.  A few local celebrities and a lot of Chicago socialites dressed for success to celebrate the grand occasion.

Meals on Wheels is a non-profit organization that provides funding to programs that support home bound senior citizens and peole with disabilities.  It truly is a great cause and an excellent way to give back to those that have probably helped us at one point or another during our lives.  The Celebrity Chef Ball was a big hit and one of the best charitable events in Chicago.  For more information about Meals on Wheels Chicago visit www.mealsonwheelschicago.org.

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

A month before my second wedding anniversary I was trying to decide what I would do for my wife.  Of course our first year anniversary was special, but my goal was to make our second year just as memorable.  My new Facebook friend, Pam Spritz, is a sassy, cute, and energetic mother and grandmother.  Our connection came through the birth of my son Tru on August 5th and her granddaughter Sunney Lou on August 6th.  Pam also has a son, Jordan, the founder and Executive Chef of Jordan’s Food of Distinction (JFOD).  He asked to cook for my wife and I on our anniversary and what followed was the best dining experience ever!

JFOD is in an unassuming location on Thomas St. near Ashland and W. Division St.  The dining room and kitchen are open and connected.  The room is intimate, homey, quaint and exudes food.  I never imagined upon my arrival that such a modest spot would leave us with an incredible experience.   We were their special guests for the evening.  A table set for two complete with candles and a flower arrangement created by Pam that reflected my wife’s wedding bouquet.  Cocktails, wine, and champagne flowed steadily.  A dining scene that heightened all of our senses.  The eight courses prepared for us were stunning and included “Marinated Hawaiian Black Fin Tuna and Japanese Day Boat Hamachi”, “Pan Roasted Diver Caught Scallops with Slow Poached Fresh Water Baby Rock Shrimp”, “Crispy Soft Shell East Coast Whole Crab” and “Extra Virgin Oil Poached Artic Salmon”.  The dessert, “Candied Fresh Ginger and Warm Brazilian Mango”, was ridiculously good.

Jordan customizes his cuisine to individuals.  He actually interrogates his clients about their likes, dislikes, lifestyle etc.  He wanted to know who we were, which allowed him to create and produce a menu that evening that hit home and provided a unique dining experience.   His inspiration came from two famous Chefs, Charlie Trotter and Rocco Dispirito.  Trotter taught him quality vs. quickness and Dispirito helped him to respect ingredients that come from farms.

JFOD is non traditional in their approach to dining.  Although we had many courses, they don’t matter here.  It all depends on what the customer wants and likes.   The more pickier the customer and the more challenging the task, the more excited Jordan becomes.  For example, he once prepared a meal for a Japanese company that wanted 15 different dishes that represented the flavors of 15 different countries where they were located.  The client has been a repeat customer ever since.

JFOD, on any given week, has artistic chefs from top Chicago restaurants such as Alinea, Trotter’s, Moto, and NoMi that help out in the kitchen .  Jordan wants his clients to feel that they had the perfect meal, at the perfect time, in the perfect place, during the perfect season.  He wants his cuisine to reflect everything about life and the bubble that surrounds them at that moment.  Everything that represents that meal.

JFOD can host up to 75 people for a cocktail party and 2 – 40 people for a sit down dinner.  If you want a dining experience customized to your palate, then JFOD is a must try.

Jordan’s Food of Distinction, 1551 Thomas Street, Chicago, IL. www.jfod.com (773) 278-8111

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

I always get asked about my favorite restaurant in the city.  My answer?  I don’t have a favorite restaurant, but I do have favorite dishes at certain places.  For example, my favorite BYOB sushi restaurant is Wakamono in Lakeview.  My favorite Sunday brunch spot is consistently the Bongo Room, and my new favorite doughnuts are served at the Powerhouse Restaurant.  Recently I think that I may have found my new favorite garlic bread dished out at Ristorante WE located in the W Hotel – City Center. 

I always make it a point to try the signature dish on the menu, just to see if it is something special.  The menu at Ristorante WE boldly lists as an appetizer item “Our Famous Garlic Bread”, therefore I had to try it.   The bread was nicely done with gorgonzola fonduta.  Fortunately it lived up to it’s billing, because the appetizers set the tone for the rest of the meal.  Other tasty menu items were their “Tuscan Spice Rubbed Tuna” and the “Warm Apple Crostata”, with caramel sauce and vanilla gelato.  Also check out their nice wine selection that we enjoyed by the glass.

Ristorante WE is open for breakfast, lunch, brunch and dinner.  It’s a great place for pre-theater dining and business dining.  They’re closed on Sunday for dinner, but you gotta try the garlic bread!

Ristorante WE, 172 W. Adams, Chicago, IL (312) 917-5608

www.ristorantewe.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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Paul M. Banks a.k.a. The Sports Bank  As the back and forth of the White Sox AL Central race concludes this weekend, I’ve had more mood swings than Naomi Campbell and Lindsay Lohan combined. The “Hunt for Black October” roller coaster ride gives me so much tension and anxiety, that an outside observer might assume I was an AIG shareholder. On Thursday night, I left my house happy and confident with the Sox up 6-1 in the 5th inning. I attended the Stephanie Izard (Chicago Top Chef winner) Diva Series event at Madame Tartine downtown. It was a fun time partying with fellow Street Teamers Desiree Prieto and D.C. Crenshaw as well as hostess Sarah Vargo. But the party became a lot less fun (for myself anyway) when I found the television at the end of the bar and camped out to watch the Sox lose the biggest game of the season in extra innings at the Metrodome in Minneapolis. For some reason, following the game online with my brand new Smartphone made blown leads seem more calming. My text messaging back and forth with the Soxman fails to alleviate my anxiety. Getting into very mean sounding, but ultimately hilarious text message wars with the lead Twins writer of my site, Peter Christian is an enjoyable pastime, but it still doesn’t soothe my nerves.

On Friday night, I watched the Sox lose a home contest to the Cleveland Indians (and fail to recapture first place from the Twins who got blown out at home by the Kansas City Royals that same night) from the Press Box at U.S. Cellular Field. Coincidentally, there was a Tampa Bay Rays media guide laying near my seat in the press box. Given that Tampa is the team the Sox would most likely play in the postseason, I think this is more than serendipity. I think it’s a sign. Or at least I hope. In my next segment, I’ll tell you what manager Ozzie Guillen and the players themselves have to say about handling their pennant race stress.

For more Chicago Sports analysis and discussion click here.

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

Longevity in any industry is rare nowadays, but especially within the restaurant industry.  A combination of great food, service, location and price is what every restaurant owner desires, in order to make their venue last.  Chicago restaurant veteran Jimmy Alexander has been doing it for years, and now has another winner with his new restaurant Powerhouse.Elizabeth Taylor and Conrad "Nicky" Hilton flew in Alexander's dressing for their wedding recpetion in 1950.

Built in a historic landmark in Chicago’s Fulton River District, Powerhouse gets its name from the Western Railway power plant.  The main dining room vibe reminds me where powerful business meetings take place, but the separate bar area is much more casual and contemporary.  The menu, by Executive Chef Jeff Mauro, is packed with an array of traditional American dishes with a powerful twist.  One of my favorites was the Tartare of Hawaiian Ono, an appetizer item.  The Lemon Risotto and Wild Boar Rack and Loin were also very tasty and enjoyable.  One of the highlights of the menu was the famous Alexander salad dressing on their Romaine Hearts salad.  

Mr. Alexander explained that the salad dressing has been on the menu at all of his restaurants since the 1950′s.  In-fact, Conrad “Nicky” Hilton enjoyed the dressing so much, that he had it shipped to his 1950 wedding with Elizabeth Taylor, for their dinner reception.  Now that’s a history lesson for you.  The desserts are plentiful with a selection of cheescake, cake and sorbet, but the winner hands down were the Sweet Potato Doughnuts!  Being a doughnut connoisseur, I have to say that these were the best doughnuts that I’ve ever had.  Period!  Gotta try the doughnuts folks.

Powerhouse is located at 215 Clinton Street between Randolph and Fulton.  It’s open for lunch and dinner and their casual bar is a great place to watch the game.  You can check out their web site at www.powerhouserestaurant.com or call (312) 928-0800 for reservations.  As always, check out Fete Select TV for an inside look at the newest and best restaurants in the city.

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

There’s nothing like taking to the streets to find a new place that can tempt my taste buds with incredible food.  Chicago offers a lot of hidden gems that don’t necessiarly make the popularity dining circuit, mostly due to location.  I love to share my hidden gems with everyone, especially when it comes to food done right, regardless of location.  Recently, I made a trek away from my normal dining circuit in the city and headed to the ‘burbs to try a new food concept created by another foodie.  I didn’t really know what to expect, but after I took my first bite I knew that the 30-minute Sunday ride was worth it.

The concept is prepared gourmet foods.  The place is AOK Gourmet, a new caterer and gourmet food shop in Skokie, IL.  Owner Andrew Kalish prides himself in providing the finest homemade foods using only the freshest ingredients.  From gourmet sandwiches to herb-marinated whole beef tenderloin, everything is made fresh right from their kitchen.  I had the pleasure of establishing some of my favorites during my outing.  The BBQ Chicken Panini and Mediterranean Chicken sandwiches were ridiculously good.  I also enjoyed their Chicken Florentine wrap with a side of Cavatappi Pasta Salad.  Some of the more popular side items are their Herb Garden Tuna Salad, Classic Chicken Salad and Rustic Roasted Sweet Potato Salad.  For you vegetarians, the homemade Veggie Burger and Israeli Couscous w/Veggies are very tasty as well.

AOK Gourmet prepared foods change daily for optimal freshness and they have quickly become the caterer of choice on the North Shore.  However, corporations and and other folks in the city are calling on them more these days.  AOK Gourmet caters breakfast, brunch, lunch and dinner or simply call for take out or delivery.  Not a bad idea for the upcoming holidays.

Visit AOK Gourmet at 4950 Dempster Street, Skokie, IL. (847) 329-3800.  www.aokgourmet.com.  For more info on the hottest new restaurants in the city check out Fete Select TV at www.efete.net.

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

The first time that I had tea was at the Ritz Carlton here in Chicago.  My wife treated me on my birthday afternoon to little sandwiches, cookies, tarts, champagne and of course tea.  It was a really nice and we both enjoyed ourselves, but I probably wouldn’t go back unless it is with her.  The idea of “tea”, especially among guys, is perceived as girly, quite stuffy and pretentious, and for the most part it is.  However, WAVE Restaurant in the W Lakeshore Hotel, is attempting to change that perception and make “tea” time sexy and unisex.

WAVE Executive Chef Kristine Subido created the uni-tea experience.  No white gloves or a full room of ladies here, but feminini-tea and masculini-tea are encouraged.  Along with a selection of loose leaf teas you’ll find tea-infused vodka elixirs (mar-tea-nis), bubbly and a selection of hand-crafted beers.  The menu prepared by Chef Kristine appeals to both men and women.

Mar-tea-ni selections include Raspberry Nectar and White Ginger Pear.  The Masculini-tea (beer choices) includes Goose Island, Pere Jacques and Chimay, Red.  The Tea-ni-bites are tailored to Guys and Gals selections.  The Guys menu include grilled beef tenderloin, beef tartare and mini Angus beef sliders.  The Gals savory treats consists of chilled shrimp and cucumber salad, smoked salmon cannolli, and curried deviled eggs.  Their Sweet Bites are scones, tarts, tea cakes, and macaroons.  The cuisine, cocktails and vibe at unitea is a place where friends can go hang out on a fall afternoon.  In-fact, unitea is a place where the fellas can go hang without having the “girly” stigma that surrounds tea time.  Unitea is available at WAVE Restaurant in the W Lakeshore Hotel Wednesday – Sunday from 2:30 pm – 6:30 pm.  For more information log onto www.waverestaurant.com.

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