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Posts Tagged ‘wine’

rebecca_1Rebecca Taras, NBC Chicago Street Team

 

Courtesy of inPLAY events

Courtesy of inPLAY events

 

Just because festivals are turning a bit more beer and sausage focused in honor of Oktober Fest, doesn’t mean wine lovers won’t find an activity to satisfy their love of the grape. The Windy City Wine Festival takes place in the Daley Bicentennial Plaza this Friday and Saturday, giving you an opportunity to sample from more than 250 wines from around the world.

Of course, to appreciate fine wine, you have to learn about it. Check the event website for the most updated event schedule, which includes cooking demonstrations and wine seminars from local chefs, event sponsors and visiting wineries. Grab a little sustenance from one of the food booths and listen to some local musical entertainment and you might just forget those post-summer blues.

Tickets are $25 in advance, $30 at the door. Visit www.windycitywinefestival.com for more information.

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rebecca_1Rebecca Taras, NBC Chicago Street Team

  

It’s no secret that Chicago has an amazing restaurant scene full of new and established talent. You could literally pick a new place each week and still not cover everything, let alone come up for air.  While there are some fabulous events in this city dedicated to the art of the eats, the TOQUE Dining Gala: An Evening With Chicago’s Culinary Masters, is at an entirely different level. NBC -logo_toque09_sm

Taking place this Thursday, the event is an amalgamation of food stations and a formal sit-down dinner, all prepared by Chicago’s finest. But it’s not just an excuse to come eat. Philanthropic partygoers will feel good knowing that proceeds from the evening  (tickets and a live auction) will benefit Children’s Oncology Services, Inc. (COSI), which will help send children with cancer to camp with their One Step At A Time programs.

This year’s event is emceed by Bill Kurtis, journalist and founder of Tallgrass Beef Company, along with Michael Kornick of MK Restaurant who is returning as chef coordinator of the event. Along with four fine dining courses (prepared by Art Smith, Michael Kornick, Mindy Segal and others), guests will also enjoy wine pairings and a cocktail hour with chef inspired bites from several other top notch contributors.

Need some advice?  Skip lunch this Thursday.

The event takes place at the Harold Washington Library Winter Garden at 6:00 pm.

Visit www.onestepcamp.org for additional information and to purchase tickets.

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rebecca_1Rebecca Taras, NBC Chicago Street Team

I’m not here to provide a history lesson, but I have to address the fact that today is Bastille Day. While you may see it as an excuse to dine at a resto in town that’s offering a special menu, the day actually commemorates the storming of the Bastille (a prison),

Monet - Bastille Day

Monet - Bastille Day

which took place on July 14, 1789 (the theory behind those crazy priced menus you might see this week.) While it sounds like a horrible reason to celebrate, the act actually symbolized the fall of the king’s power.

While my favorite Bastille Day memory was sitting with my mom on our hotel balcony (in our pajamas, I might add) watching the French soldiers march off to the annual parade on the Champs, I managed to make my way to the kitchen this morning to make up a batch of crepes for old time-sake. The truth of the matter is, I own Charles Aznavour CD”s and most would consider my apartment a mini Parisian flat in the heart of Chicago. While I try to get away for a short visit once a year, I fill the time in-between with events and experiences to hold me over until the next visit. Whether you love France or just good wine, Bistro 110 has a Tour de France Wine Tasting Series that will be venturing into the Loire Valley on Thursday, July 23 from 6-8 p.m.

Chateau de Chaumont - Loire Valley

Chateau de Chaumont - Loire Valley

Summer is a time to be casual and mingle, so the event will take place on Bistro 110’s newly opened “terrasse,” the outdoor patio where guests can sip  and nosh at their leisure. Along with the French staples of bread and cheese, Executive Chef Dominique Tougne will provide a selection of bites ranging from Valencay-Style Chicken with Grapes and Muscadet Wine Sauce, to a Whole Poached Salmon “Bellevue” with Tarragon Mayonnaise.

Reservations are available, but not required. Attendance is $25 per person, including tax and gratuity (a bargain in any language.) Bistro 110 is located at 11o East Pearson. 312.266.3110.

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rebecca_1Rebecca Taras, NBC Chicago Street Team

There’s a doctor in the house – literally!  Located within a rehabbed pre-Victorian Hennesy House, Dr. Dominic Gaziano opened Salute’ Wine Bar (46 E. Superior) last week. The 130-year old building in the Gold Coast exudes both traditional and modern Italian touches. “We want people to feel like they’re being welcomed into a cozy Italian home,” says the good doctor.

The warm atmosphere pays homage to family traditions iNBC-SaluteFireplace Diningnspired by Gaziano’s upbringing. As a first generation Italian-American, Gaziano grew up learning Calabrian and Sicilian culinary traditions instilled by his mother, a gourmet cook and author. Inspired by mom and memories of preparing elaborate Sunday meals with his four brothers, Gaziano started entertaining at his Lincoln Park home in his adulthood. As an internal medicine doctor, author of “Feel Good Health,” and nationally syndicated health show, “Health and Lifestyles Weekly,” Gaziano wants to bring Chicago a genuine Italian experience combined with the health benefits of the Mediterranean culture, food and wine.

Who better to whip up such a “remedy” than an Italian native. Executive Chef James Caputo (formerly of Rosebud restaurants) grew up in a small neighborhood with family roots from the regions of Marche and Naples. The menu features items made with ingredients imported from Italy to re-create an authentic Italian Bistro. Look for a variety of small and large plates, salads, grilled and toasted sandwiches (panini and trammezzinis respectively), cheeses and of course, homemade desserts. Need more of a visual? Think the Salute Panini with proscuitto d’parma, aged gorgonzola and truffled fig butter, or a melt in your mouth Beetroot Hummus served with aged balsamic reduction and flatbread. Pair with a wine that will blow your taste buds away and not your budget. Bottles range from $30-$60 and glasses in the area of $6-$12.

You’ll love the fireplace on a crisp windy city winter and the secluded stone outdoor patio on a balmy summer evening. At Salute’, the prescription is a glass of vino and some Italian comfort fare. Isn’t it about time you got a refill?

Open Sunday through Friday from 11 a.m. to 2 a.m. and Saturday from 11 a.m. to 3 a.m. Private party packages and space available. Street parking or Valet ($9). For additional information please visit www.salutewinebars.com or call 312.664.0100.

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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, 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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Liz Holland, NBC5 Street Team

Grape as in wine. Wine paired with chocolates – specifically the truffle kind. What could be more heavenly?

Just opened this spring, Chocolate Grape is a quaint cafe on Division with a warm atmosphere. They cover all the details with tasteful glassware, utensils, and comfortable outdoor seating. With over 50 bottles to choose from (30 by the glass), and a thoughtful menu that pairs every selection, you really can’t go wrong.

I originally wanted to hit up this spot because I read about some delicious sounding crepes (chocolate stuffed with nutella and raspberry). Unfortunately you can only get crepes for Sunday brunch. But my disappointment quickly disappeared when the waiter pointed out the various cheese platters, specialty sandwiches such as prime beef tenderloin with chipotle remolade, and grandma-worthy deserts like “Chocolate Grape Obscenity”, cupcakes, cheesecake, and fondue.

I settled on the “Signature Grape” salad with scallops, field greens, almonds, goat cheese, and peach white chocolate vinaigrette. The scallops were large and deliciously fresh. To compliment the wine, we had a selection of truffles fit for the likes of Marie Antoinette. Good thing because they kept them coming – cabernet, lavender, coconut, curry, and earl grey. Sweet tooth satisfied, I will definitely be going back.

For the special treatment, check out Chocolate Grape at 2113 W. Division. www.chocolate-grape.com

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