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Hot Doug’s Book Coming Soon

2 May

Doug Sohn of Hot Doug's photo from http://www.IDMPhotography.com

According to sources, it looks like the Mayor of Encased Meats himself, Doug Sohn of Hot Doug’s, will add author to his growing list of accomplishments.

Within the publishing world, word has it that Sohn is penning a book: Hot Doug’s: The Book. The book is going to be a celebration of his and Chicago’s passion for sausages along with contributions from some of the more famous Hot Doug’s patrons such as Doug Seibold at Agate Midway. The book should be out in Spring 2013.

Time Out Chicago’s 2012 Eat Out Awards Winners

18 Apr

Congrats to all the deserving chefs, partners, patrons and supporters of the Time Out Chicago’s 2012 Eat Out Awards. And the winners are…

 2012 Eat Out Award Winners
READERS’ CHOICE

  • Best new bar: The Aviary
  • Best new restaurant: Next
  • Breakout chef of the year: Dave Beran
  • Best new burger joint: Butcher & the Burger
  • Best new sweet shop: Doughnut Vault
  • Best new breakfast: Waffles
  • Best local chain: Epic Burger
  • Best new restaurant cocktails: Perennial Virant
  • Best fro-yo chain: Forever Yogurt
  • Best new BYOB: Goosefoot
  • Best new food truck: The Southern Mac and Cheese
  • Cheap eatery of the year: Pleasant House Bakery
  • Best new pizzeria: Roots Handmade Pizza
  • Best comeback: The Pump Room
  • Best new sports bar: Public House

CRITICS’ PICKS

  • The fresh air award for restaurant design: Yusho
  • Most legitimately farm-to-table restaurant: Pleasant House Bakery
  • Best one-man show: Bill Talbott at EL Ideas
  • Strongest dessert program: Spiked milkshakes at 25 Degrees
  • Coziest place to hibernate: Miko’s Flipside Café
  • Best old-country buffet: Julbord at Tre Kronor
  • Best use of egg yolks: Egg-yolk buns at Cai
  • Best route to the suburbs: Wisma
  • Boys to men award for grown-up drinking: Elixir
  • Best firestarter: Tozi Korean BBQ
  • Best creative loafing: Publican Quality Meats
  • Best new biker bar: Heritage Bicycles General Store
  • Most palatable evangelism: Martha Bayne
  • Easiest history lesson: Big Jones
  • Lifetime achievement award: Tony Hu
  • Inspired performance award presented by Infiniti: Jeremy Quinn at Telegraph

Vote For Your Favorite Chicago Neighborhood Restaurants

18 Apr

Before there was Yelp, before MenuPages, before Twitter, there was Zagat as the trusted foodie resource when deciding where to eat. I still love my hard copy Zagat guides and collect them on the bookshelf.

Now you can be part of the ranking system for Zagat by voting on and reviewing your favorite neighborhood food spots. I had fun voting and filling out the reviews, secretly hoping one of my quips will be included in their final restaurant write-up. We shall see!

Today is the last day to vote, so get cracking!

Terrific Tenderloin That’s Easy As Pie

19 Jan
Beef Tenderloin

Photo from MyRecipe.com

It’s no secret that since Teddy arrived on the scene, going out to eat doesn’t happen as often as it once did. But that’s okay. We love entertaining and cooking, so having people over for dinner parties has been a fun way to still see friends, enjoy delicious food, all while Teddy snoozes away in his bedroom.

Recently, inspired by a delicious Christmas dinner, I decided to reenact the star of the show, a beef tenderloin. Turns out beef tenderloin is a dinner party super star. It’s insanely easy to prepare and cook and everyone loves it. Here’s how I made mine and it was a huge crowd pleaser.

I bought a five pound trimmed tenderloin at Costco. Note: normally when I buy beef, I get Prime grade. It’s the top 2% of been produced and is graded on the marbling (fat). When you’re doing a tenderloin, since it’s a lean cut, you should stick with Choice grade. There’s just not enough fat in a tenderloin to justify paying the amount for Prime.

Take the meat out, pat it down and season with some salt and pepper. Then use some cooking twine to truss it so it cooks evenly. Once it’s trussed, stick cloves of garlic and sprigs of Rosemary between the meat and twine and drizzle with a few tablespoons of EVOO. Let it sit out at room temperature for a few hours before you cook it.

Once it’s time to cook this bad boy, heat the oven to 400 degrees. Then, in a roasting pan, sear the meat so it browns on all sides. It should take about 10 total minutes. This is really key as it locks in the juices and flavor.

After you’re done browning it, pop it into the oven and cook for about 30 minutes. You may have to cook for additional 5-10 minutes, depending on how well done you want it. Use a meat thermometer to check the temperature (registers 120°F to 125°F for rare, 125°F to 130°F for medium rare).

Serve with potatoes, a green, some delicious bold red wine and you’ll be the toast of the dinner. Enjoy!

 

Celebrate The Chinese New Year in Chicago

6 Jan

Hing Kee Restaurant, photo via Yelp

I get a lot of event notices through my inbox, but I thought this one, in honor of the Chinese New Year, looked especially interesting.

Learn how to make Chinese dumplings and eat a family-style meal (featuring menu items such as pumpkin seafood soup, quadruple happiness pork meatball and water chestnut cake) for a reasonable $38. Not too shabby.

It’s on Sunday, January 15th at 3 p.m. at the Hing Kee Restaurant, 2140 S. Archer Avenue.

Details below. Happy Chinese New Year!

Celebrate the Chinese New Year with Dumpling Making and a Family Style Dinner!

$38.00 (includes gratuity)

Sunday, January 15, 2012

3:00pm – 5:30pm

Hing Kee Restaurant, 2nd Floor

2140 S. Archer Ave., Chicago, IL 60616

Tea is included. Please bring extra money if you would like other non-alcohol drinks or BYOB. Seats are limited.

Tickets must be purchased in advance at the event website:

PROGRAM

  • 3:00pm Registration
  • 3:15pm
  • Presentation – Z.J. Tong, President – Chicago Chinese Cultural Institute
  • Chinese New Year Traditions and Stories
  • How Chinese Celebrate the New Year at Home
  • 3:45pm Dumpling (Jiao-Zi) Making
  • 4:30pm Dinner Served

MENU

  • Pumpkin Seafood Soup
  • Appetizer Platter (cucumber, seaweed, wonton, eggplant)
  • Jiao-Zi (Seafood Dumpling & Vegetarian Dumpling)
  • Lemon Chicken
  • Beef with Garlic and Onion
  • Quadruple Happiness Pork Meatball
  • Abalone Mushroom with Bok Choy Tips
  • Braised Bean Curd with Black Mushroom
  • Whole Fish in Sweet and Chilly Sauce
  • Water Chestnut Cake
  • Tang Yuan (Sticky Rice Balls Soup – Dessert)

Stay awake! I’m giving away a NESCAFÉ® Dolce Gusto® Piccolo™

13 Dec

You may have seen my post about this handy little coffee maker a few months back. Well, I love it. I have it on my desk at work and enjoy the coffee during the week. Well, the nice folks at NESCAFÉ® are giving away a Dolce Gusto Piccolo to one of my readers. To enter, just post a comment about what you’d do if you were more awake during the holidays. I’ll select the winner who could most use the coffee maker and voila! Contest will end January 10th, 2012.

NESCAFÉ® Dolce Gusto® Piccolo™ i

So, get going and tell me why you need this premium caffeine!

Disclosure: I’m not paid by NESCAFÉ®, however, I did receive a free NESCAFÉ® Dolce Gusto® Piccolo™. Thoughts and opinions in this post are mine alone. 

The Michelin Guide Chicago 2012 and Michelin Star Restaurants

15 Nov

Grant Achatz remains king as Alinea is awarded the sole dignity of having three Michelin stars in Chicago, while last year’s co-champion, L20, fell down to one star with the transition of their executive chef. There were a few other fluxes in this year’s Michelin star ranking from last year; a total of 21 Chicago restaurants were awarded the honors versus 23 in 2011. Next was not included and it’s unclear if that was a result of not being able to experience the restaurant or due to when it opened.

I am thrilled to see some of the standouts from my year  in dining were included, among them Schwa and Tru. With last year’s arrival of Chicago Michelin Guide, it showcased what we in our fair city have known for a long time, we have tasty food and restaurants. I appreciate that the Michelin Guide continues to push and excel our Chefs, but with the Chicago charm I wouldn’t trade for the world. Sappy? Sure. But I’m not wrong.

And now, I present the 2012 Michele star restaurants in Chicago:

Three stars:

  • Alinea

Two stars:

  • Charlie Trotter’s
  • RIA

One star:

  • Blackbird
  • Boka
  • Bonsoiree
  • Courtright’s (new in 2012)
  • Everest
  • Graham Elliot
  • L2O
  • Longman & Eagle
  • Moto (new in 2012)
  • NAHA
  • Schwa
  • Seasons
  • Sepia
  • Spiaggia
  • Takashi
  • Topolobampo
  • Tru
  • Vie