Chicago

Discussion in 'General Discussion | Dining' started by sfo1, Sep 8, 2011.  |  Print Topic

  1. Sweet Willie
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    Sweet Willie Gold Member

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    I tried Parsons Hot Chicken Sandwich. It's a crispy fried, brined, boneless breast, that is then dipped in Parson's house hot sauce, then topped with slaw, American cheese, aioli, pickles.

    It was quite a tasty sandwich, I look forward to trying a chicken dinner.

    Side note: looks like an AWESOME courtyard area to enjoy during nice weather.

    Parson's Chicken & Fish
    2952 W Armitage Ave
    Chicago, IL 60647-3972 773-384-3333
    http://www.parsonschickenandfish.com/
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  2. Sweet Willie
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    Sweet Willie Gold Member

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    Had read somewhere that Big Star was going to have Sonoran style hot dogs for a day. If you've ever been to Tucson AZ, the Sonoran dogs served there are sublime. So I was excited to see a Sonoran dog in the Chicago area.

    Big Star's version wasn't close to the Sonoran dogs of Tucson, (bun was too big, far too much mayo/mustard, not enough beans). That said I did finish it and was pleased.

    Side note, really loud music, most of it was stuff I really like but would be really difficult to have a conversation. If you dislike hipsters, stay away.

    Big Star
    1531 N Damen Ave
    Chicago, IL 60622-1906
    773-252-7767
    http://www.bigstarchicago.com/
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  3. Sweet Willie
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    Sweet Willie Gold Member

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    Mrs Willie has a conf/training going on this weekend 1/2 block from Northwestern University Hospital campus. We had grand plans to take the water taxi from Michigan Ave to Chinatown but after a very long day, she was in the mood for something very local.

    We ended up at The Windsor @ 160 E Huronhttp://thewindsorchicago.com/
    For the record, happy hour is from 3-6pm Mon-Fri.

    Had 3 starters:
    Smoked Trout Dip - served with saltine crackers and some sliced Fresno chilies and scallions

    Special of the Day starter of crisped pork belly sliders, served on sweet buns with tomato jam

    K Town Short Ribs - two thin slices of grilled marinated short rib (bone in) done Korean BBQ style served with an Asian style slaw.

    Each and every item was terrific, we were just pleased as could be.

    The Windsor
    160 E Huron
    Chicago IL
     
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  4. Sweet Willie
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    Sweet Willie Gold Member

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    Dined at GT Fish & Oyster.

    Indeed the oysters are prepped with quite the skill, 2 dozen and not one bit of shell and lots of liquor present.

    Oyster slider (fried oyster, kim chi, peanuts on bun) is now $5 per, I enjoyed it but would have liked a larger oyster, say like the gulf of Mexico slab oysters one gets in New Orleans. I'd line up for a meal of those all night long.

    The $5 hit for our table and for me one of the best bites of 2017 was the GT “DEVILED EGG” smoked salmon, cauliflower, preserved meyer lemon. Wow what a flavor bomb.

    We enjoyed the COLD GREEN TEA SOBA NOODLES with shrimp, tofu, bok choy, thai chili soy vinaigrette. The tofu was in small cube format and had been deep fried to give a warm cheese curd effect, really a nice addition. The soy vinaigrette had good flavor with decent heat.

    Mom had the FISH & CHIPS beer battered cod, dill pickle remoulade, steak fries, malt vinegar. Didn't get to try any of the fish so I'm assuming she enjoyed. Steak fries were loaded with salt so if sodium sensitive stay away. That said, she did take them home "I'll scrape off the salt & make something with them" [​IMG]

    Pop had the smoked fish platter and the clam chowder. He enjoyed both, I don't think either was a wow for him.

    I know this is blasphemy at a place like GT, but I had ROASTED LAMB SHANK w/ roasted cauliflower, eggplant puree & Moroccan flat bread. The flat bread was actually store bought pita cut in half. The lamb was cooked perfect however the Moroccan "BBQ" sauce over it was overly sweet, there were some spice notes trying to come out but I found the sauce to be very cloying.

    Mrs Willie chose the OCTOPUS prepared korean BBQ, bok choy, crosnes, peanuts. EXCELLENT dish, prepared perfect, just not much of it, very small portion.

    Service was very attentive and warm w/o being overbearing. Mrs Willie & I will be back for more of the raw oysters, the octopus and that egg.

    Side note, maybe because it was a Friday and it is the fashionable River North area, the music was very loud, something to consider if that's not the atmosphere you are looking for. (and another thing, "Get off my lawn!!") :)

    GT Fish & Oyster
    531 N. Wells St.
    Chicago, IL 60654
    312-929-3501
    http://gtoyster.com/
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  5. Sweet Willie
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    Sweet Willie Gold Member

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    having never been to Carnivale, Mrs Willie & I decided to give it a try prior to seeing "Linda Vista" at the Steppenwolf (go by the way, Tracy Letts has done it again)

    Carnivale is an explosion of color, atmosphere is very fun.

    Started out with drinks on the patio as it was near 80 degrees, just crazy warm. I had PISCO PASSION - Pisco brandy, passionfruit, fresh lime juice, egg white. I'd order again easy. Mrs Willie the RUNNING OF THE BULLS - Pinnacle vodka, pink guava puree, fresh lime juice, Red Bull Yellow Edition, this is not the type of drink she or I normally order, it was good but the Pisco was much better as was the OLD CUBAN -
    Flor de Caña 7 year rum, fresh mint, lime, angostura bitters, cava, which I had later during the meal.

    Started out with the CEVICHE TASTING
    MIXTO -Poached shrimp, calamari, octopus, glass noodles, poblano citrus sauce, peanuts
    BLUE CRAB - Avocado, key lime, red onion, cilantro, aioli, soda crackers
    TUNA - Cucumber, red onion, cilantro, beech mushrooms, coconut, fish sauce, ginger, tostada
    SHRIMP - Lightly poached gulf shrimp, watermelon, gochujang, basil, sesame

    We really enjoyed these ceviche with the star being the Tuna & the shrimp

    SPANISH OCTOPUS - Garbanzo purée, crispy potatoes, frisée, Spanish paprika, Kalamata olives

    Very skimpy on the octopus serving, cooked perfectly though, very good.

    EMPANADA DE VERDE - Crispy green plantain crust, artichoke, spinach, mushroom escabeche

    Empanada was all grease, not good at all, ate less than 1/2 of it. Mushroom escabeche was quite tasty. Server was very nice & took this off the bill for us as we clearly didn't enjoy it overall.

    ARRACHERA - Wood-grilled skirt steak, rice and beans, bacon sofrito, sweet red onion, chimichurri sauce

    Steak was oddly cooked, some just barely rare and other parts near well done. The few pieces that were MR were quite tasty. Rice & beans were not that appealing.

    So overall we had a good time and enjoyed, we'd go back for the ceviche and to try some other items, just won't be in hurry.

    Carnivale
    702 W Fulton St
    Chicago, IL 60661
    Phone: 312.850.5005
    http://www.carnivalechicago.com/
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  6. Sweet Willie
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    Sweet Willie Gold Member

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    Was at the Cubs game last night, prior to the game Mrs Willie & I stopped by Bernie's which is just across the street (Clark) from NW corner of Wrigley Field.

    Terribly overcooked burgers, gray with no moisture or pink at all. $10. Waste of money. Next time I'll stick with a hot dog at Wrigley.

    Bernie's Tap & Grill
    3664 N Clark St
    Chicago, IL
    https://www.bernieschicago.com/
     
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  7. Sweet Willie
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    Sweet Willie Gold Member

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    Looking for Szechuan cuisine at a restaurant that is BYOB? On the far north side of Chicago, here's the place:

    A Bite of Szechuan
    5657 N Lincoln Ave
    Chicago, IL 60659
    773-878-8577
    11am to 10pm
    Closed Mondays

    A group of 6 of us frequent travelers dined last night at Bite of Szechuan.

    Pork with Garlic Sauce and Spicy & Sour soup were the big hits with our group, followed by Zhong dumplings and soybean sprouts w/leeks.

    Chicken in chili oil was good and I enjoy meat on the bone but there were tiny bone bits in copious amount.

    Spicy & Sour soup is more commonly referred to as hot/sour soup at most places I've been. This version served here is fantastic, best by a wide margin.

    Pork in Garlic Sauce, the dumplings and Chicken in Chili Oil were lathered in chili oil. I was surprised with the chili oil dishes at how luxurious the sauce was but there was no real heat that I could detect. It was delicious, just didn't have any heat.

    Lotus Root "chips" were good as well. Sliced lotus root w/Szechuan spice

    Our group came away at $9 per person which included tip, we'll be back for sure to try other items.

    Here is a review by the Chicago Reader:
    http://www.chicagoreader.com/chicag...ogers-park-dingguo-cheng/Content?oid=25941077
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  8. Sweet Willie
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    Sweet Willie Gold Member

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    Went to Rositer on Friday night, was pleased that for a very busy Friday evening we were seated promptly upon arriving. From what I could tell, Roister is very good about managing reservations as it seemed most were not waiting long if at all to get seated.

    We had:
    Chicken Liver Toast w/onions, dill pickle slices and cilantro. What a flavor bomb, Mrs Willie and I devoured this and were tempted to snag some from the neighboring table when they ordered it. Ultra creamy liver, with such a clean fresh taste.

    Smoked oysters w/garlic butter & breadcrumbs. Oysters cooked perfectly, too bad the entire dish is just ok, there is nothing special about it despite the allure of smoked oysters, there was no smoked flavor to the oysters that we could detect. Actually found the bread crumbs to be heavy and scraped off most on the others before eating.

    Gulf shrimp served with grits, crab curry and Thai basil. FANTASTIC dish, only "complaint" is that there wasn't more of the crab curry to mix with the grits. Shrimp cooked perfectly and full of flavor.

    Rohan duck - served with Carolina gold rice, egg yolk sauce, lemon/citrus. The duck leg is made into sausage and crumbled along with the rice, rice has very crispy bits and some chilies, almost as if scraped from a Korean bi bim bap bowl, a little greasy but some nice heat, flavor and texture. Duck breast is sliced, cooked to MR. A very enjoyable dish. (I would state the aged duck from Boka is still the best duck dish I've had recently).

    Wines by the glass in the $12-18 range, found some very nice ones.

    Service was overall very cordial without being overbearing. Only missteps were wine we had ordered well before a course did not arrive until the last bite or two of said course. Also, there was grit and a dogwood fluff on the plate initially at the table, it was quite windy that day and with the large open storefront, I can understand how some dust/grit got in.

    Seeing as the liver toast and shrimp/grits were hit so far out of the park for us, we will for sure be back to try some of the other dishes.

    Roister
    951 W Fulton Market
    Chicago, Illinois 60607
    http://www.roisterrestaurant.com/
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  9. Sweet Willie
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    Sweet Willie Gold Member

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    My Pop had wanted a seafood tower for Father's Day so we went last Friday night to Maude's Liquor Bar which according to Chicago Tribune food critic Phil Vettel has a very good tower (article here: http://www.chicagotribune.com/dining/ct-seafood-towers-restaurants-vettel-20150401-story.html )

    We started with the steak tartare and foie gras pate. Both were excellent.

    For the tower, we had Maude's Tower. All the seafood was terrific, certainly scratched the seafood tower itch. Included were 18 oysters (9 each of East & West coast), 1/2 lobster, 1.5 lbs or so of king crab, 18 shrimp, salmon ceviche (only item that was just ok). Nice touch was that for the crab & lobster, Maude's had cut the meat into individual pieces but then placed back in the shell. Maude's does not serve clams, something my Pop and I had wanted to have but that means we'll just have hit up a place that does serve! :)

    Service was quite prompt, friendly, not overbearing. The front stand hosts on the other hand, just not friendly in the least.

    We enjoyed a couple bottles of a nice French Chablis with dinner, the markup was substantial, certainly not a value liquor place.

    Maude's Liquor Bar
    840 W Randolph Street
    Chicago, IL 60607
    (312) 243-9712
    http://www.maudesliquorbar.com/
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  10. Sweet Willie
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    Sweet Willie Gold Member

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    Mrs Willie has been wanting to go to Duck Duck Goat for quite awhile. It is the 3rd restaurant in Chicago opened by Top Chef Stephanie Izard.

    Xiao Long Bao were meh (too little soup & thick wrapper, flavor ok)

    Lo Mein, the noodles had lots of good wok char and the goat pieces went well

    Ham Sui Gok were delicious, the crispy yet chewy glutinous rice wrapper combined with the savory goat filling really hit a spot with me.

    The twice cooked pork hit a note with Mrs Willie but I thought it was just ok. We both felt the goat spring rolls were good but nothing to make a special trip for.

    Edited to add: had some delicious cocktails, specifically the BEBOP 'N WOK STEADY - Benz Mezcal, Pineapple Fresno Shrub, Ska Modus Mandarina, Lime, Salt as well as BEFORE THE DAWN - Kettle One Vodka, Blood Orange Liqueur, Ginger Liqueur, Rose Demerara, Lemon, Sea Salt, Activated Charcoal

    Duck Duck Goat
    857 W Fulton Market
    Chicago IL
    http://duckduckgoatchicago.com/
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    Last edited: Jul 5, 2017
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  11. Sweet Willie
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    Sweet Willie Gold Member

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    Mrs Willie & I went to Sabatino's this past Friday night, one of the old school Italian restaurants of Chicago. For those taking public transportation, It is an easy 5 block walk west from Irving Park Blue Line stop (or Metra NW line).

    We were seated promptly and were informed of the numerous specials by our waitress Maria prior to taking our order. We ordered two of the specials.

    The complementary pizza bread was ok, as was the huge loaf of bread served. I personally like a crustier bread.

    Straciatella - we both enjoyed this soup, just a good soup.

    Salad w/blue cheese - reminded me of the northwoods Wisconsin supper club presentation, basically loaded with blue cheese crumbles & a creamy dressing. I was very pleased with this as for some reason I never make this at home.

    One of the specials was goat cheese stuffed zucchini blossoms. The blossoms were fried perfectly, nice amount of cheese filling. The only drawback was the tomato sauce wasn't "bright", it was a bland red sauce with really no herbs, garlic that I detected. With our red sauce experience, I'd likely not order a red sauce prep on our next visit.

    Off the menu I had the Pappardelle con Funghi di Bosco - Homemade Wide Noodles in a Variety of Wild Mushrooms in a Light Cream Sauce. This was decadent as hell, rich mushroom taste with a lush velvety cream sauce.

    Mrs Willie had a special offered that night: Squid Ink black pasta with scallops & shrimp. Seafood, especially the scallops, were on point, perfectly cooked and full of flavor as was the rich tasting pasta. Another great dish.

    We enjoyed and will be back.

    Sabatino's
    4441 W Irving Park Rd
    Chicago, IL 60641
    773-283-8331
    http://sabatinosrestaurantchicago.com/
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  12. Sweet Willie
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    Sweet Willie Gold Member

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    Mrs Willie & I went last night to Momotaro, a sushi/Japanese restaurant from the Boka Restaurant Group.

    We arrived a bit early so went downstairs to the bar, had two cocktails we really enjoyed:
    MONK’S JOURNEY - ketel one vodka, chareau aloe liqueur, matcha green tea, lime
    NATSUJIKAN - chicago distilling co. barrel aged finn's gin, amaro montenegro, lemon

    After our cocktails, we walked upstairs to the restaurant and tried a number of items

    HATSU - jidori chicken hearts, house yuzu kosho. Delicious morsels of chicken hearts cooked to a medium rare.

    WASHUGYU - shoyu marinated wagyu skirt steak, shishito pepper. The steak was good, but those grilled shishito peppers were the highlight for me

    CHILI MENTAIKO SPAGHETTI - tokyo specialty, jidori egg, chili spiked roe. So rich in flavor, such a good dish.

    AJI YAKUSUGI - smoked jack mackerel, 1000 year old cypress. Loved the preparation and taste.

    Ordered one roll and it was excellent, MOMOMAKI - big eye tuna, spicy tako, pickled daikon

    Had a variety of individual sushi items, standouts for me were the HIRAME -
    ikejime flounder, a very delicate texture, almost buttery and the MADAI - red seabream which was by far the finest piece of sushi I've had in a long time. Wow.

    We both are looking forward to getting back to Momotaru.

    Momotaru
    820 W Lake St
    Chicago, IL 60607
    http://www.momotarochicago.com/

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  13. Sweet Willie
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    Sweet Willie Gold Member

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    Mrs Willie & I took in the Rolling Stones exhibit at Navy Pier last Friday afternoon.

    After the exhibit, seeing as the weather was glorious, we partook of one of the sole redeeming qualities about Navy Pier, the beer garden area, what a view and place to drink a few cold ones !!

    After a few, we were feeling very lazy about searching out dinner so simply walked into Riva Seafood which is situated mid pier.

    Not cheap but that is to be expected, bill was $145 pre tip and we only had 3 glasses of wine. (not per person, but 3 total)

    Oysters were fresh/tasty and shucked well, $3.25 per. They do offer an oyster happy hour where oysters are only $1 per, sorry didn't get exact times/days.

    I had a bowl of the clam chowder, New England style. Salty, just ok.

    For my main, I had the mussels in spicy tomato broth ($15), quite nice, mussels cooked perfectly.

    Mrs Willie's main course was the Colossal White Shrimp w/potato gnocchetti, oyster mushrooms, arugula, thyme butter sauce ($37). Besides the shrimp being slightly overcooked, this was a terrific dish.

    Riva Seafood @ Navy Pier
    700 E. Grand Ave
    Chicago. IL 60611
    http://www.rivanavypier.com/
     
  14. Sweet Willie
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    This restaurant isn't in Chicago proper but in the near north Suburb of Evanston (just east of the boundary of Skokie/Evanston).

    Kabul House has been THE restaurant to try Afghanistan cuisine for quite awhile. They recently moved to Evanston from Skokie. 6 of us dined the other evening.

    Kabul House is a BYOB (bring your own booze) restaurant, they charge $8 corkage per bottle of wine/booze.

    Started with Bulanee - flatbread filled with scallion, leek, spiced potato. I thought this was ok, fillings were minimal, would have liked a greater % of filling.

    Vegetarian Platter - eggplant, cauliflower, spinach, baby pumpkin (all cooked separately). Cauliflower & spinach were ok, baby pumpkin was cloyingly sweet, eggplant was stunningly delicious.

    Kabuli Palau - the national dish of Afghanistan - was really enjoyable, loved the pronounced flavor of the lamb as well as the Afghan rice w/raisins & carrot strips.

    A variety of kabobs - beef filet, lamb tenders, ground chicken. The ground chicken Koobideh being my far preferred favorite.

    Looking forward to going back and trying other items.

    Kabul House
    2424 Dempster Street
    Evanston IL 60202
    https://www.kabulhouse.com/
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  15. Sweet Willie
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    Charlatan continues to put out some great pasta.

    Last night Mrs Willie & I split 3 half orders: Black Pepper Rigatoni, Pork Belly Carbonara, the daily bolognese was smoked paprika.

    We really enjoyed all 3.

    While bottles of wine are 50% off on Sunday evenings, we chose a cocktail.
     
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