I’ve been preaching about the tacos at En Hakkore since they first opened, about a month ago. It’s too bad they’re buried on the menu of rice bowls (bibimbop) and maki rolls. Listed under the “sandwiches” section of the menu, they come with either BBQ beef or spicy pork belly, and feature a beguiling spicy mayo that brings together the sesame-scented mushroom, onions and kimchi; the real genius move is to abandon the usual corn tortilla, and go with a thicker, flakier Indian paratha flatbread as the starchy vehicle for transporting all of these delicious ingredients to your mouth.
1840 N. Damen Ave.
In case you missed them, we had a busy week at ABC 7. First, we sampled the homemade corned beef, bacon and pastrami at the tiny Mr. Spanky’s in Bridgeport, home to the Daley clan and a legion of Sox fans. Then, it was time for some Yogurt 101, helping you decipher the sugar and fat on some well-known labels. We took a tour inside of Alpana Singh’s wine-focused new restaurant, The Boarding House – a four-level behemoth on Wells Street in River North, and we topped off the week with a cocktail (and some rabbit pot pie) at Billy Sunday in Logan Square, my favorite new watering hole. Cheers.
Dogfish Head Brewery is known for producing some irreverent beers, but their latest is a doozy: one of the first successful collaborations between the world of wine and beer. It’s called Noble Rot, and the key is some botrytis affected viognier grapes; there’s also pinot gris must, and the combination produces a uniquely distinctive, saison-esque style beer. Cheers.
Ever since it opened last year, Kai Zan has quietly become one of Chicago’s favorite BYOB sushi spots. Tucked away in the smallest, most demure little nook of a shopping strip along west Chicago Avenue, the space is hard to spot. But when you enter the cozy little restaurant – dominated by the tall sushi bar – you’ll instantly feel transported. Brothers Melvin and Carlo Vizconde quietly slice and assemble from behind the bar; they offer standard nigiri and sashimi, as well as some rolls, but best bet is to let them cook for you, omakase style. One of their more interesting presentations, called the “Orange Rush,” marries sashimi (salmon and scallop) with the idea of a maki, since they are rolled together, but there’s no rice. Slightly torched, kissed with fresh citrus and a few droplets of unagi and wasabi sauce, this little knob of seafood packs a wallop of flavor. Definitely something you should eat.
We all may be suffering a bit of cabin fever this week, but there’s plenty to get excited about on the Chicago food scene. My stories last week included the newest player in the citywide doughnut craze, a more veggie-friendly Korean spot in Bucktown, East Coast lobster rolls on the Gold Coast, plus, a Japanese chef in River North 100% committed to using all binchotan charcoal at his robata grill.
By Camille Izlar
Gluten-free diners have been enjoying the creative, mind-boggling good food at Senza in Lake View the past few months. Now, the restaurant is betting that they’ll also enjoy sitting down for a cup of coffee and a muffin in the morning. From Tuesday through Friday mornings, they’re selling gluten-free treats from their bakery. Read More