New Orleans has always held a unique place in my heart. From late nights in the Quarter as a college kid, to lazy rides on the St. Charles streetcar as a tourist, in search of an oyster po’boy or a strong Sazerac. I proposed marriage in Audubon Park after an epic jazz brunch at Commander’s Palace nearly 20 years ago, so yes, you could say NOLA has always been special to me. Few cities in America are so resolute in their distinctiveness. The birthplace of jazz and the American cocktail only add to its allure. Cajun, Creole, African, Spanish and French accents fill The Big Easy with a gumbo of sorts that’s impossible to fully understand unless you’ve actually been. Here’s your chance . . . Read More
Evanston is known for many things: Northwestern, Edzo’s and the rocky lakeshore come to mind. But beer? Not until recently. The Hopleaf’s Michael Roper says get ready to hear about Temperance – the first and only brewery from Evanston that has some wonderful citrus hops, low alcohol and just a touch of rye. Here’s to yet another Chicago area brewery, doing things the old fashioned (small batch) way. Cheers.
Neapolitan pizzas have been taking over Chicago recently, kind of like Middle Eastern falafel joints, fried chicken shacks and BBQ houses. But the best of the bunch is certainly Panino’s Pizzaiolo - although I’ve also loved the pies at Forno Rosso, on the far western edge of the city, on Harlem Ave. Say all you want about Nella’s in Lincoln Park (I was just there), the crust (and by that I mean the yeast starter) at Panino’s is far superior, resulting in a chewy, complex dough with just the right amount of salt. A combination of longer fermentation and a hot oven – plus the addition of fior di latte cheese and San Marzano tomatoes – make this Neapolitan one for the ages. Mangia!
So you can probably figure out where we’re headed next, based on this picture, but if you can’t, be sure to save the dates of March 8 – 11 for a one-of-a-kind trip unlike anything you’ve ever experienced. I’ve spent the past three weeks lining up mixologists, chefs and artists; a plantation owner and a few restaurateurs I know, with the sole purpose of creating a once-in-a-lifetime eating and drinking tour to one of my favorite cities. This trip has something for everyone, and the accommodations are pretty swank as well. I’ll release all of the information and detailed itinerary later this week, but for now, just think oysters. Lots and lots of oysters…
Steve Dolinsky is the Food Reporter for ABC 7 News in Chicago, the city’s #1 news station. Every week, he produces three original reports. They might include: how to eat Korean barbecue, where to get Indian mangoes, highlighting the process of making Colombian empanadas, even following produce from the farm to the table. Steve has won 12 James Beard Awards for his TV and radio food reporting.
His “Hungry Hound” reports air three times per week and each one is unique: on Friday and Saturday nights at 10 p.m., as well as on Saturday mornings at 9:30 a.m. His work on ABC is also seen in thousands of taxi cabs throughout the city. Click here to see more of Steve’s work on ABC.
Here are a few of Steve’s most recent reports:
Fish Tacos Born in Baja, Raised in San Diego, Replicated in Chicago
Friday, November 29, 2013
Nantucket Bay Scallops Now Available All Over Chicago
Saturday, November 30, 2013
Q Restaurant Offers French/Vietnamese in an Orland Park Strip Mall
Saturday, November 30, 2013
This week’s pick has nothing to do with magic, it’s simply an oatmeal stout from one of our favorite breweries – Firestone Walker. “They can do no wrong,” says Hopleaf owner Michael Roper, and with its low alcohol and dark, rich finish, it’s a beer that’s well-suited to the cooler days ahead. Cheers to that.