Congratulations to Genie Bae, the winner of our “Omakase With Steve” contest.
Last month, we had asked you to name three Japanese ingredients you’ve always wanted to try, and give us some reasons why. Genie (a.k.a @EBArchDesign on Twitter) chose three good ones: uni (sea urchin) because, as she called it, “it’s nature’s sublime foie gras of the sea.” She’s also curious about live sashimi – which may be more difficult to pull off; the last time I saw this was at Heat, near Old Town, but nothing since. Her final wish: takoyaki, which technically isn’t an ingredient, but rather, fried or grilled octopus. In Japan, it’s a popular ball-
So Genie, a guest and I will be dining at the new Chef’s Table at Union Sushi + Barbeque Bar this month, where Chef Chao will be cooking for us. Here’s the best part: the local chapter of Share Our Strength - an organization that is committed to ending childhood hunger – will get a donation from me for the value of the dinner; even better, all November and December, the restaurant is donating 10% of all Chef’s Table dinners to S.O.S.
The restaurant has omakase seatings at 6 and 8:30 p.m. every Tues – Thurs; reservations can be made for 2 or 4 guests. Five to seven courses will cost $60 per guest, eight to 10 courses will run $80 per guest. Sake pairings will be available for an additional charge.
Congratulations Genie, and thanks to everyone who entered.
If you’ve been a semi-regular reader of this blog, you probably know by now that I’m a sucker for a good sandwich. You know how important it is to get that starch-to-ingredient ratio correct, right? While having a business lunch recently at La Madia, I realized not only was the sandwich good – served on a very thin sheet of bread (made from the pizza dough they use) – but the smoked pork belly, sliced impossibly thin, was also noteworthy. Combine a half sandwich with a rich, bracing soup and a lightly-dressed salad and sell it all for $10, and you’ve got one of the best lunch deals in River North.
There are no cabs in St. Louis.
Well, that’s not completely true, of course. But hailing a taxi here, in the “Gateway To The West” and the home of baseball’s World Champions, isn’t nearly as easy as it is in Chicago, as I found out over the course of 24 hours. I was here to see the Blackhawks game on Saturday night, and I took my son, Max, on a little road trip adventure that naturally included eating, drinking and sight-seeing along with the game. Read More
By Benita Zepeda
I absolutely love sushi, but I’m not going to lie, there was a time when I was intimidated by how unfamiliar it seemed. I remember being nervous about eating something raw, while at the same time, owning a fish named – yes, it’s true – Sushi.
What helped me get over my fears and turn me into the sushi fiend I am today? Aside from the help of my friend, who happens to be somewhat of an expert when it comes to sushi, I took a few important steps on my own. With a new year just a few weeks away, perhaps those of you who might be sushi averse could follow these simple steps, and join the ranks of the sushi lovers like me. Read More
Since Chicago doesn’t have near the competitive deli culture like they do in New York City, I realize wading into this subject isn’t fraught with nearly as much potential hate mail as I would receive if, say, I delved into Italian beef or pizza. But still, this holdover from a bygone era still gets my heart racing (literally, and figuratively), as it’s one of the iconic foods I ate as a kid. I can still taste the Lincoln Del’s matzo ball soup, tart, briny pickles and meaty, salty corned beef on rye bread; even though it was Minnesota – a galaxy away from the true deli all-stars of the East Coast – it gave me the basis for what would later become epiphanies in Montreal (Schwartz’s), New York (Katz’s and 2nd Ave. Deli) and Los Angeles (Langer’s). Read More
How many times have you opened up the fridge, craving some guacamole, only to discover that, besides the one mealy avocado you have left on the counter, the cilantro you bought over the weekend has already started turning black and slimy. It’s a common problem for us cilantro lovers, and one that can be rectified with two simple tools: paper towels and Ziploc plastic bags.