| Jul 30, 2014
| 7:59 AM
Scene: Monday afternoon, Spring Hill Mall in West Dundee. A girl at a kiosk sells smartphone cases to no one in particular. A man sells plush dolls at a free-standing cart to no one in particular. Two teens walk out of Spencer Gifts, giggling. The food...
| Aug 26, 2014
| 9:30 AM
At some point, Chicago's Italian restaurants lost their focus, and I don't mean that in a bad way.
Going back 30 years, Italian restaurants in town self-identified as "Northern Italian" or "Southern Italian." These were grotesquely oversimplified terms;...
| Oct 27, 2014
| 8:17 AM
Nearly each month, Yusho (2853 N. Kedzie, 773-904-8558) has held a Ramen Battle, in which local chefs battle show off their creations. For the restaurant's seventh competition, chefs Charlie McKenna of Lillie’s Q and Lee Wolen of Boka will go head...
| Nov 3, 2014
| 2:00 PM
Today is supposedly National Sandwich Day, another one of those made-up nonsense holidays conceived by the restaurant industry (Thursday, by the way, is National Nacho Day). But you know what? I'll play along.
Please note: This is not an authoratative...
| Aug 19, 2014
| 11:15 AM
The Bon Appetit presents Chicago Gourmet will run Sept. 27 and 28 in Millennium Park. But your chance to earn a free ticket starts today.
The annual Dine Around, through which diners can earn one-day admission to Chicago Gourmet by eating at five...
| Oct 15, 2014
| 7:27 AM
Looking for organic craft beer to go along with the biodynamic veggies, organic farmhouse cheese and grass-fed organic beef on your shopping list? A few years ago there were only a few certified organic brews, but more brewers are tackling the challenge...
| Nov 24, 2014
| 11:33 AM
News and notes from a snowy Monday:
- Purple Pig restaurateur Scott Harris is suing his partners, including Tony Mantuano, Jimmy Bannos Sr. and Jr., alleging embezzlement. [Crain's]
- Del Taco, briefly in Chicago several years back before closing its...
| Aug 22, 2014
| 10:29 AM
Old man alert. I'd always thought that the phrase "dog days of summer" referred to the way dogs lazed around on the front porch most of the day come July and August. I got the time period right, just not the allusion.
"Dog days," it turns out, is a term...
| Oct 28, 2014
| 6:37 AM
At one point there were as many as a dozen Czech restaurants in the Chicago area, most of them grouped along Cermak Road (named after a Czech-born former Chicago mayor), in Cicero and Berwyn, and along Ogden Avenue in Brookfield. I used to call the area...
| Oct 30, 2014
| 7:00 AM
The Jean Banchet Awards for Culinary Excellence, which honor culinary distinction in the Chicago area, announced its nominees Thursday.
There are four nominees in each of the 12 restaurant and chef categories; this year, for the first time, public input...
| Aug 27, 2014
The boss plopped "The Chef Says: Quotes, Quips and Words of Wisdom," on my desk and growled, "Gimme 300 words."
"Yes, Boss," I whimpered back.
Having consumed inordinate amounts of those cooking and restaurant-rehab shows larding TV and the Web,...