Friday, May 30, 2008

Don't forget dear old dad!

We understand that Mother's day is the BIG dining out holiday but really, don't you think Dad needs a break too! Whoever thinks that Dad enjoys standing behind the grill while everyone else is having fun, try it some time! It's damn hot! While having a lot of brews helps, really, give him a break and take him out to lunch or dinner! Here's our choice selections:

305 Happ Road, Northfield, IL
(847) 466-1133
Treat dad to a Father’s Day meal he won’t forget at just opened Haussmann Brasserie, the latest suburban spot to open under chef/owner Jacky Pluton. This American brasserie will be offering brunch items from their daily menu from 10 a.m. until 3 p.m. and dinner from 5 p.m. until 8 p.m. Choose from items such as Gaufres Grand-Mere, waffles with caramelized bananas and rum caramel ($10.95); Croque Monsieur, jambon, gruyere, pistachio paste, and pomme frites ($15.95); Royale with Cheese, classic ½ pound burger with gruyere cheese, on a toasted brioche bun and pomme frites or the Poulet Roti made for two with roasted carrots, green lentils, jus roti ($48).


1804 West Division St.
(773) 772-6656
Celebrate Father’s Day early this year with the Smoke Daddy’s Annual Pig Roast, which takes place on Saturday, June 14 from 12 p.m. to 3 p.m. For $20 per person, you can hang out in the sun with Dad while feasting on the all you can eat Pulled Pork Sandwiches made from the Smoke Daddy’s special mix of apple, hickory and cherry wood; side dishes such as the Smoke Daddy’s homemade coleslaw, and housemade barbecue chips. Don’t forget the Bud Light drafts (which are included in the price!)

800 E. Higgins Rd., Elk Grove Village, IL
(847) 437-9555
This year for Father’s Day, give Dad a break from the barbecue and let Sweet Baby Ray’s do all the work! With an extensive barbecue buffet, Dad will be able to have all of his favorite dishes such as an omelet station, eggs Benedict, French toast, assorted breakfast potatoes, salad bar, BBQ ribs and chicken with Southern style biscuits and gravy. Sweet Baby Ray’s will also feature an outdoor grill station complete with garlic mini burgers and brats. Additionally, Sweet Baby Ray’s will also offer an extensive Bloody Mary Bar with all the fixings. Buffet brunch is priced at $26.95 for adults, $14.95 for children ages eight to 12 and $6.95 for children ages four to seven. The Bloody Mary Bar is an additional $7.99 per person. Seating times are at 11 a.m. and 1 p.m.

Other spots open for brunch (indoors and outside weather permitting) are Deleece, Dine, Dunlays on the Square, Frasca Pizzeria, Shochu and Powerhouse.

Thursday, May 29, 2008

"Put another shrimp on the barbie!"

Memorial Day marks the official start of grilling/barbecue season and Sweet Baby Ray's Barbecue Restaurant (yes like the sauce) knows Chicago barbecue! Although I technically had the holiday off, I was happy to join the restaurant's executive chef/partner Paul Papadopolous, owner Dave Raymond (Sweet Baby Ray himself) and fellow chef Mike Nykaza for a grilling season kickoff segment at WGN.

Anchor/traffic reporter Val Warner led the segment as Chef Paul demonstrated Grilled Yukon Gold Potato Salad with Yukon Gold potatoes, hickory smoked bacon, red onion, balsamic vinegar, parsley and blue cheese. I snuck a bite afterwards and it was amazing! Paul also showed us a unique dessert, Elvis-inspired Peanut Butter and Banana Burritos...kind of like a s'mores with bananas wrapped in a tortilla instead of the graham cracker and gently grilled to melt it all together. Yum!

Chef Mike showed off his grilling skills with some baby back ribs, pork chops and chicken breasts, yet it still wasn't quite enough to feed the entire WGN morning news staff.

Finally Paul topped it all off with a demo of Grilled Shrimp and Andouille Sausage Skewers and Hawaiian Style Lamb Ribs...Overall a pleasing spread for any barbecue. Want to try this dishes on your own? All of the recipes are on the WGN site, here.

But, don't fire the grill up until reading the TOP 10 GRILLING TIPS, compliments of Sweet Baby Ray's:

10. Clean, preheat, & season grill before cooking.
9. Season or marinate foods well before grilling to enhance flavor.
8. Sear steaks, chops, and fish at high temperatures to lock in juices and flavor.
7. Use tongs or spatula to prevent puncturing food with a fork and loosing juices.
6. For perfect grill marks, rotate foods from 10:00 to 2:00 with 3 turns.
5. Never leave the grill unattended. Be patient and don’t ever abandon your post.
4. Learn to cook by sight: Watch the edge of meats become opaque indicating doneness.
3. Learn to cook by touch:
Soft = Rare
Some Resistance = Medium
Firm = Well Done
2. NEVER trust a skinny Chef!

Happy grilling!
Sweet Baby Ray's Barbecue Restaurant is located at 800 E. Higgins Rd. in Elk Grove Village. Open for lunch and dinner daily, and breakfast Saturday and Sunday. For catering and general information, call the restaurant at (847) 437-9555 or visit online at

The second restaurant location is at 249 E. Irving Park Rd. in Wood Dale; (630) 238-8261.

Dine on WGN-TV

Dine’s executive chef, Chris Turano, made his live television debut yesterday on WGN-TV’s Noon News. Chef Chris prepared fresh Grilled Copper River Salmon, served with fresh corn, ramps, and fingerling potatoes.

Copper River Salmon is unique from other salmon in that it has a large amount of fat in the meat, and because of that, it self lubricates during cooking and is much easier to handle on the grill than other fish. The fish has about 7% higher fat content than farmed salmon and contains high amounts of omega 3 fatty acids, which help lower amounts of bad cholesterol.

In case you missed the segment, click here to see it for yourself.

Interested in dining at Dine? The restaurant is open for lunch and dinner, and is running a special of the Copper River Salmon this weekend. For reservations, call (312) 602-2100 or visit
Photo credit: Catherine Patterson

Friday, May 23, 2008

Calling all night owls

Check out Shochu.
If you're like me and always looking for a place go get great food and drink after the typical restaurant closes, you'll be happy to know that Shochu (3313 N. Clark, 773-348-3313) is open everynight, seven days a week until 2 a.m. in the morning with food being served until 1 a.m.! Saturday night, it's open until 3 a.m. and you can get their tasty small plate menu until 2 a.m. So all of you night owls, head on over and tell them Cindy sent you!

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Frasca Pizzeria & Wine Bar Now Serving Brunch

Not enjoying your friends lake house this Memorial Day weekend? If you’re sticking around the city hoping to enjoy some warm weather, then grab a seat outside at Frasca Pizzeria & Wine Bar (3358 N. Paulina; (773) 248-5222) and check out their new brunch menu, which will be served on Saturday and Sunday from 10 a.m. until 3 p.m. beginning May 24. I can’t wait to try the breakfast pizza which has three eggs over easy, sausage and cheese served on their homemade pizza crust and French toast made with a fresh baguette, YUM! For the health nuts out there Frasca will serve housemade granola with yogurt and fresh fruit. The best part of the new brunch menu is the bottomless mimosa made with Italian prosecco. This is sure to be my new favorite brunch spot after a big night out!

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

"Oh Baby I Like it Raw"

While doing my routine reading of the Red Eye on the el this morning, I was super excited to come across Heidi Moore's Metromix article about the new "Sex and the City" movie and hot spots around the city where you and you girlfriends can go to feel just like Carrie, Samantha, Charlotte and Miranda. (I'm sure I'm not the only one who fantasizes about being the 5th SATC character).

Even more exciting is that the newly opened Shochu restaurant and lounge (3313 N. Clark Street) was selected as a location for a SATC-themed girls' night:

"Make dinner plans at Asian-inspired small plates spot Shochu. Channel Sam on the night she met hunk "Smith" Jerrod and hone in on the menu's 'Oh Baby I like it raw' section. Wash it down with the restaurant's namesake, a popular (and low cal!) Japanese spirit distilled from rice, sweet potato or barley."

Until the new movie hits theatres May 30, avid SATC fans like myself can only speculate whether Carrie and Big will actually tie the knot, or if Charlotte and Harry will finally have a child.

Did you miss the article? See what other Chicago spots were chosen here.
Shochu is open daily for dinner starting at 5 p.m. And their 60-seat outdoor patio is now open! For reservations, call (773) 348-3313.

Monday, May 19, 2008

1000s Show for Green City Market Kick-Off with Mayor Daley


know your food...know your farmer

GCM Founder and President Abby Mandel and Mayor Richard M. Daley cut the 10th anniversary cake as Maggie Daley and Rick Bayless look on. photo by Roark Johnson

Our rally on Saturday was a resounding success! Mayor Richard M. Daley and Maggie Daley were on hand to proclaim the day "Green City Market Day" and honor GCM Founder and President Abby Mandel, who spoke about her vision of a year round farmers' market in Chicago. Chef Rick Bayless, owner of Frontera Grill/Topolobampo, provided remarks highlighting the importance of supporting local farmers and producers, and Beth and Brent Eccles of Green Acres Farm spoke about the history of their farm and their start with Green City Market. Participants in our Sprouts educational program for kids danced the "Local-motion" as the Mayor officially cut a ribbon made of fresh lilac branches, and we finished the event with a delicious rhubarb birthday cake, prepared by Limelight Catering.

The Market experienced a record breaking turnout as thousands of Green City Market patrons and supporters joined us for a day of celebration, good food, and the freshest produce and products from local farmers and vendors.

What's Cropping Up: Seasonal Excitement:

  • Purple asparagus is available from Mick Klug Farm.
  • Garden Offerings has a dazzling array of tulips.
  • Certified Organic baby lettuce is offered at Kinnikinnick Farm.
  • Ready to plant your own garden? Many of our vendors have seedlings for sale.

Lavazza will launch its new Espression cafes in America this fall. First stop: Chicago

Lavazza, Italy's leading coffee company, has created a new cafe concept, Espression, which will have its American launch in Chicago this fall. Click the links to get a sneak peak of these amazing cafes.

There are several Espression cafes already operating in Europe and they reflect Lavazza's extraordinary flair for design. The cafes recently won the Grand Award for Restaurant Design at the A.R.E. Design Awards, sponsored by the Association for Retail Environments.

The name "Espression" refers to espresso, the signature Lavazza product and also Lavazza's popular tagline, "Espress Yourself." Espression features a youthful, eclectic and contemporary design that glows with creativity, vitality and a touch of glamour.

The ambience juxtaposes a number of seemingly contrasting elements in such a way that they actually live side by side in harmony. The traditional materials used evoke Italian design history, but they are designed with a strikingly modern look and feel. The mood is vibrant throughout and the space interacts with people, gaining their attention while stirring their emotions.

The scribble graphic style chosen for the backgrounds represents Espression's recurring visual theme. The "eclectic Italian nature" was taken as the central element for the aesthetic definition. Old traditional stereotypes were put aside in order to bring to the surface a truer and more modern way of being Italian.

Lavazza teamed with world-renowned consulting chefs Ferran Adrià and Moreno Cedroni to develop the menu ideas. The menu is highly creative and its exclusive offerings, including food and original espresso and gelato beverage creations, are designed with a nod toward the best in contemporary cuisine. A majority of the breads, croissants, muffins and cookies are baked fresh on site daily. Sandwiches and salads are made to order.

Lavazza's unique coffee creations, collectively known as "I Piaceri del Caffe" (The Pleasures of Coffee), are a blend of espresso with gourmet ingredients in unusual and delicious ways. Items such as Espesso, Cappugiro, Espresso Crema Shakerato and the new Espessiones), are served in porcelain or glass.

Espression's design and fixtures are based on a modular approach that works well within hotel, airport, mall or campus settings. The company also signed a Master Licensing Agreement for Espression with Hilton Hotels Corporation. Additional licensing arrangements with other select multi-unit operators are available.

Friday, May 16, 2008

Ah, foie gras

It took place two years ago, and will be remembered as one of the strangest decisions in Chicago history. Maybe the most bizarre decision. Or silly. No, I’m not talking about the infamous “spaceship” addition to Soldier Field. I’m talking about the ban on serving foie gras in Chicago’s restaurants, which Chicago’s city council repealed on Wednesday by a vote of 37 to 6. Local chefs and the National Restaurant Association rejoiced at the lifting of the odd ordinance, with some restaurants eagerly adding the delicacy to their menus as soon as this weekend.

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Jacky Pluton returns to the Chicago dining arena

The long awaited opening of Haussmann Brasserie (305 N. Happ Rd., Northfield, IL; 847-446-1133) has finally arrived! The traditional American brasserie with a touch of Parisian flair will open Monday, May 19 in the former space of Brasserie T and MK North.

Accomplished chef/owner, Jacky Pluton is the master behind Haussmann Brasserie. He previously owned Chicago restaurants, Pluton and Jacky's Bistro, and has been anxious to get back in the restaurant business. He's nabbed talented up-and-comer Thomas Rice formerly of Gilt in New York City as chef de cuisine, and David Ligon, of Trio, as general manager.

Expect the menu to be light, lively and popularly priced. "I wanted a strong name that symbolizes French influence on Chicago, " says Pluton. "I've named it after Georges-Eugene Haussmann, a famous French planner, is who credited with the redevelopment of Paris under Napolean III."

Friday, May 9, 2008

Hooked on Shochu!

I'm not a big drinker but I have to tell you that the shochu cocktails using the smooth Japan spirit being popularized at the new Shochu (3313 N. Clark, 773-348-3313) the fashionable American Shochu Lounge that serves Asian-inspired small plates, have me going back for more. Got to check it out! Take a look at the drink menu here. And visit their website here. I recommend trying the flights which come in three's and allow you to taste the differences between varieties. If you're with a group, have everyone order a different selection before you move on to the mixed cocktails.

Don't confuse Shochu with Sake! Shochu is a distilled beverage similar to vodka, but made from different ingredients such as rice, sweet potato, barley, and brown sugar. The best thing about shochu, they say, is that it’s actually healthy for you! It has 1/3 the calories of vodka and keeps your hangovers to a minimum. (We’ve had personal experience with this, and it’s true!!!) It also produces an enzyme called Urikanase, which allegedly breaks down blood clots and helps prevent heart attacks and strokes. (We hope that we don't have personal experience with this!)

I predict that you'll be seeing shochu popping up on cocktail menus all over the country, but you can find if first (well among the first and certainly with the most options, since Shochu offers nearly 20 different varities) in Chicago, at Shochu!

Save the Girls: A Silver Lining Foundation Is Looking For Junior Board Members

Join the Junior Board of A Silver Lining Foundation at Enoteca Piattini, 934 W. Webster Avenue in Chicago, on Thursday, May 29, from 6:30 p.m. until 9:30 p.m. as they host “Save the Girls,” a social and networking event which will raise money to help sponsor no cost mammograms for the uninsured and to promote the early detection of breast cancer. The evening features a selection of Italian tastes, including wine, beer and appetizers. Advance tickets are $25 and can be purchased at, with $30 admission at the door. At the event, t-shirts will be available with a donation of $10 or more.
Launched in 2002 by Dr. Sandy Goldberg, a breast cancer survivor, A Silver Lining Foundation (ASLF) provides the underinsured and uninsured with information concerning cancer resources, treatment options and support services. All proceeds from the event go to ASLF's unique Buy A Mom A Mammogram™ program, which funds screening mammograms at The University of Illinois Medical Center at Chicago, South Shore Hospital in Chicago, and Northwest Community Hospital in Arlington Heights to qualifying women in a timely, dignified and respectful fashion. Since the Buy A Mom A Mammogram™ program's inception in 2006, ASLF has provided more than 2,000 women with information about and access to no cost screening mammograms. In response to the growing number of women needing follow up due to a possible abnormality, the foundation began funding diagnostic testing in 2007.

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

Top Chef Wedding Wars - Loaded with Kurman associates

I hope that you caught tonight's installment of Bravo's Top Chef - Wedding Wars. Did you recognize the bride? Former Kurman Communications account executive Corey Smith married the handsome and talented restaurateur JP Marchetti, from Galleria Marchetti. We first met Corey when she was dating JP, then a client of Kurman. Anxious to move to Chicago from Kansas, Kurman quickly nabbed her as a senior account manager. As their relationship bloomed, Corey decided to join the ranks of the
Marchetti organization to help build the business and start a new life with JP. Well, we all know how the storybook romance played living color on Bravo!

Also featured tonight as the celebrity guest chef was none other than Kurman long time friend (and former client) Gale Gand of Tru and Cenitare restaurants in Chicago. The award winning pastry chef, Gand is currently consulting with Kurman client Patty Rothman in her cupcake boutique project, More, which will open mid-June at 1 East Delaware St. in Chicago.

Don't miss the Showcase River North May 13

A perfect snapshot of life in River North can be experienced at the upcoming complimentary Showcase River North Business Expo taking place this coming Tuesday, May 13 at the Holiday Inn Mart Plaza, 350 North Orleans, Sauganash Ballroom, 14th floor. Any business that's a member of the River North Association can display their wares at a table. More than 60 businesses, including restaurants, hotels and yours truly, Kurman Communications, Inc., are participating. It's a great opportunity to become familiarized with local resources! There will be lots of goodies including discounts, offers, gifts, door prizes, and of course cocktails and food. The expo runs from 5 to 7 p.m. and is open to the public.

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

Mother's Day 2008 Chicago Restaurant Roundup from Kurman Communications

BIRCH RIVER GRILL-AN AMERICAN KITCHEN, 75 West Algonquin Rd., Arlington Heights, IL (847) 427-Treat mom to a Mother's Day brunch she won't forget! Enjoy Mother's Day Brunch from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. featuring hearty American cuisine in a rustic chic atmosphere. The buffet starts with a lavish seafood station featuring shucked oysters, cocktail shrimp and mussels. Made to order eggs, omelet and waffle stations are available alongside a hot entrée buffet featuring items such as Basil Pesto Crusted Salmon Filets with citrus butter and Pan Seared Breast of Chicken Piccata. There will also be a special children's station and a dessert station. New this year is the Birch River Grill Bloody Mary Bar. Create your own Bloody Mary with your favorite vodka and fixings such as assorted stuffed olives, fresh asparagus spears, a variety of peppers and more. The price is $32.95 for adults and $14.95 for kids 12 and under. Kids 5 and under are complimentary. The Bloody Mary Bar is an additional $8.95 per person.

DINE, 733 West Madison Street, Chicago (312) 602-2100. Feast on Dine's Mother's Day prix fixe brunch buffet, $39 per person ($14.95 for children age 12 and under) served from 9:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. The regular dinner menu will be available beginning at 5 p.m. The brunch buffet features items from Dine's new raw bar including an assortment of sushi, smoked salmon, and shrimp cocktail; a made to order omelet station; breakfast selections including waffles, French toast, potato hash, bacon and sausage; assorted breakfast pastries and a fresh fruit display. Savory selections include meatloaf with brandy tomato sauce, roasted spring vegetables and chicken Wellington. Enjoy cold selections such as Caesar salad with focaccia croutons, roasted vegetable pasta salad, golden tomato gazpacho and vegetable crudité, and an assortment of cheeses. As always, Dine's homemade desserts will round out the celebration. Children will enjoy selections just for them including tater tots, chicken fingers and more. Dine is one of Chicago's few restaurants offering breakfast, lunch and dinner in the outdoor patio as well as late night dining. Another big plus is their large complimentary parking lot.

DELEECE, 4004 N. Southport, Chicago (773) 325-1710, Indulge in special items on the menu for Mother's Day brunch at Southport's hot spot, Deleece. Special brunch entrée items include House Cured Lox Platter ($13); Lobster, Bacon and Spinach Quiche with mixed green salad ($14); Risotto Crab Cake Benedict ($13); Morel Asparagus and Parmesan Frittata ($16); Mustard Crusted Ham Steak with fig compote, Irish Cheddar Strata ($14) and Chocolate Marble Waffles ($10). An edible flower will be presented on every mother's plate. Mother's Day brunch will be served from 9 a.m. until 2:30 p.m.

ENTOURAGE ON AMERICAN LANE, 1301 American Lane, Schaumburg, IL (847) 995-9400. Pamper mom this Mother's Day with an elegant brunch at Entourage on American Lane. Select your favorites from an array of traditional brunch items such as freshly baked breakfast pastries, omelet station, Cinnamon Apple and Spiced Pecan French Toast and Traditional Eggs Benedict with lemon cayenne Hollandaise sauce. Unique brunch items include Mascarpone Whipped Scrambled Eggs with fresh chives, Oriental BBQ Glazed Atlantic Salmon and Penne Pasta Bolognese with roasted poblano and beef tenderloin sauce. Don't skip the delectable seafood and carving station, complete with Peel and Eat Shrimp, Oysters on the Half Shell, Oven Roasted Kobe Beef, and Truffle Salt Crusted Pork Loin. Top everything off with a dessert station featuring a selection of fresh pastries. Brunch is served from 9:30 a.m. until 2:30 p.m. Adults are $36.95; $15.95 for children 6 to 12 years old and kids under five are complimentary.

KARMA, 510 East Route 83, Mundelein, IL(847) 970-6900. This gorgeous, chic restaurant celebrates Mother's Day with a holiday brunch buffet, served from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. The price is $26.95 for adults; kids age five and under are complimentary. The brunch includes an array of seafood, assorted pasta and noodle salads, omelet station, entrée items such as Cheese Blintzes with fruit compote, Pot Stickers and Spring Rolls with dipping sauces, Thai Ginger Glazed Salmon and Orange Tempura Chicken. Save room for the carving station which features Herb Garlic Crusted Prime Rib and Ginger and Molasses Glazed Ham. The brunch also includes an array of mini pastries and a fresh fruit display. Brunch also includes a complimentary glass of champagne for each guest.

POWERHOUSE RESTAURANT AND BAR 215 N. Clinton St., Chicago (312) 928-0800. Treat mom to an elegant meal at one of Chicago's newest hot spots. Recently named one of Chicago Magazine's Best New Restaurants for 2008, Powerhouse will be serving Mother's Day lunch and dinner from noon to 8 p.m. Begin with an appetizer such as Slow-Roasted Chicken Thigh with faro, braised artichokes, Swiss chard and sorrel sauce ($12). Be sure not to miss their signature Romaine Hearts Salad with Nueske's bacon, quail eggs, shallots, and Alexander's garlic dressing ($11). Indulge in a Double-Cut Iowa Pork Chop with mustard spaetzle, red cabbage, poached pear and mustard jus ($28) or Walleye Pike with English pea custard, black trumpet mushrooms, white corn and roasted red pepper nage ($27). All mom's will be treated to a complimentary glass of Champagne Henriot . Conclude the meal with Sweet Potato Doughnuts with brown butter, cinnamon sabayon, poached pear and pepitos ($9) or Banana-Peanut Butter, banana bavarian, peanut butter crunch cookie, milk chocolate cream and marshmallow ($9).

SWEET BABY RAY'S, 800 E. Higgins Rd., Elk Grove Village, IL(847) 437-9555 Enjoy a unique barbecue buffet for brunch this Mother's Day at Sweet Baby Ray's. Begin with a complimentary mimosa and then enjoy the buffet, which includes items such as made to order omelets, eggs Benedict and French toast, seafood selections, on site smoked barbecue ribs and chicken, Southern style biscuits and gravy and much more. Make your way over to the carving station featuring barbecue brisket, smoked pork loin and smoked turkey. Sweet Baby Ray's will also offer an extensive Bloody Mary Bar with all the fixings. For Mother's Day, Sweet Baby Ray's offers an 11 a.m. seating and a 1 p.m. seating; reservations are required. Buffet brunch is priced at $26.95 for adults, $14.95 for children ages eight to 12 and $6.95 for children ages four to seven. The Bloody Mary Bar is an additional $7.99 per person.
It isn't too soon to start planning for Father's Day!

This year for Father's Day, give dad a break from the barbecue and let Sweet Baby Ray's do all the work! With an extensive barbecue buffet, dad will be able to have all of his favorite dishes such as an omelet station, eggs benedict, French toast, assorted potatoes breakfast potatoes, salad bar, BBQ ribs and chicken with southern style biscuits & gravy. Sweet Baby Ray's will also feature an outdoor grill station complete with garlic mini burgers and brats. Additionally, Sweet Baby Ray's will also offer an extensive Bloody Mary Bar with all the fixings. Buffet brunch is priced at $26.95 for adults, $14.95 for children ages eight to 12 and $6.95 for children ages four to seven. The Bloody Mary Bar is an additional $7.99 per person

Sneak Peek: Shochu food photos now available from Kurman Communications.

Photo credit: Cindy Kurman

We've been getting a ton of requests for Shochu photos so I'm happy to announce that I photographed the food and room yesterday. The photos are great! Everyone can pick up high resolution photos at our site, Or, you can give us a call at 312-651-9000. Shochu is an American lounge and restaurant featuring the popular liquor from Japan by the same name, shochu. Conveniently located at 3313 N. Clark in Wrigleyville, Shochu (pronounced show-chew) is offering reasonably priced and great tasting small plated foods with an Asian-edge. There's a full bar with a lot of creative Shochu based cocktails as well as a terrific beer and wine list. For information and reservations call 773-348-3313 or visit Check out my photos!

Saturday, May 3, 2008

Green City Market opens May 14

In case you missed it, Green City Market and Nichols Farm are featured in the May issue of Real Simple magazine. Kurman Communications secured the placement last August. Just goes to show you how long in advance the magazines work! Kurman's leader Cindy has been on the GCM board for nine years!

Now in its 10th year, Green City Market reopens on Wednesday, May 14th in Lincoln Park, with a lineup of ways to explore spring's fresh produce. At 9:30 AM, two "Savor the Seasons" events – one with chefs Sarah Stegner and George Bumbaris (Prairie Grass Cafe), the other with North Pond's Bruce Sherman – showcase salad-tastings. And at 10:30 AM, Carrie Nahabedian (Naha) gives a cooking demo. Also opening for the season is Edible Gardens, the market's farm-at-the-zoo educational project for kids (10 AM–1 PM). Green City Market runs Wednesdays and Saturdays (7 AM–1:30 PM; Lincoln Park between 1750 N. Clark St. and Stockton Dr.).

On Saturday, May 17th, the market will hold a rally for local sustainable farming featuring GCM board members Bill Kurtis is Master of Ceremonies and celeb chef Rick Bayless (Frontera Grill, Topolobampo) will be joined by other board members and Mayor Daley. Other like organizations are invited to participate! Activities include live entertainment, a kids' parade and the ceremonial cutting of the world's largest organic carrot cake (9 AM–noon at Green City Market in Lincoln Park just north of North avenue between Clark and Stockton,

If you're up for joining in the rally, the celebration is geared to all who support the Market's mission; Chicago organizations are invited to host tables with their information and encourage their members to attend. Don't miss this great exciting expression of sustainable community to support a cause we so fervently support!

Friday, May 2, 2008

Celebrate Mother's Day with Powerhouse Restaurant and Champagne Henriot

If you are anything like me and are scrambling for Mother’s Day plans, Powerhouse Restaurant & Bar (215 N. Clinton St., (312) 928-0800) is the answer as to where to take mom. Powerhouse has partnered with one of France’s renowned Champagne houses, Champagne Henriot, to give mom a complimentary glass of Henriot Blanc with her meal.

Powerhouse was just voted one of Chicago’s Best New Restaurants by Chicago Magazine, so you can’t go wrong with anything on this menu. While there, try some of Powerhouse’s signature menu items such as the Slow-Roasted Chicken Thigh with faro, braised artichokes, Swiss chard and sorrel sauce; Walleye Pike with English pea custard, black trumpet mushrooms, white corn and roasted red pepper nage, or Double-Cut Iowa Pork Chop with mustard spaetzle, red cabbage, poached pear and mustard jus.

Don’t forget to end the meal with Powerhouse’s signature dessert of Sweet Potato Doughnuts with brown butter, cinnamon sabayon, poached pear and pepitos, yum! And, if your family is big, check out their great private and semi-private dining spaces, they can handle all group sizes. If your mom is anything like mine, she will appreciate having someone else cook and clean up in the kitchen!

Thursday, May 1, 2008

Buzz About Kurman Restaurants

Congratulations to Kurman restaurants featured in the May issue of Food Arts magazine. I couldn’t agree more with the title of Barbara Revsine’s piece, “Second To None,” because it seems like genius chefs constantly invade Chicago’s restaurant scene with their talents. And who can complain about that?!

Haven’t picked up the latest issue? Not to worry, I’ve posted the Kurman restaurants here:

Sample sophisticated fare at Powerhouse Restaurant & Bar (215 N. Clinton St., Chicago; 312-928-0800), “a stylish restaurant tucked into an historic building that originally housed the power plant for a local rail line. Diners can sample full flavored starters such as slow roasted chicken thigh paired with toasted faro before tucking into equally flavorful entrees such as grilled wild striped bass with chorizo sausage.”

At Aigre Doux (230 W. Kinzie St., Chicago; 312-329-9400), the “seasonally attuned menu… features dishes like glazed duck breast partnered with huckleberry compote, rack of lamb with truffled grits, and sticky toffee pudding.”

The mag also sent kudos to Shochu (3313 N. Clark St., Chicago; 773-348-3313), where “contemporary American cuisine with an Asian edge is featured... Named for Japan’s best-selling liquor, the restaurant focuses on small plates and features cocktails made with its signature spirits.”

Listed as noteable newcomers include suburban eateries Haussmann Brasserie (305 Happ Road, Northfield; 847-446-1133) and Maijean (30 S. Prospect Ave., Clarendon Hills; 630-794-8900).

Thinking about all the stellar food at those restaurants makes me hungry. Dinner date anyone?!