Gift Giving Guide for the Health Conscious Gourmand

Health Conscious Gourmand?!

Yes, they exist.  I know because I am one, and I’m here to tell you that I like food gifts for Christmas.  However, only gifts that won’t make me fat, sick, or feel like I want to sleep for days under the Christmas tree.   I’m sure the health conscious gourmand in your life feels the same way.  So, here are some ideas for giving the perfect gift to your favorite HCG.

Sticky Toffee Pudding Co. Dessert Cups

The cup fits in your hand. Perfect for your waistline.

Dessert is best in small doses.  I don’t know anyone who was glad they ate an entire pie.  UK-born founder Tracy Wilkinson-Claros brought British hot puddings to the U.S. in the form of these small frozen cups.  These sweet treats are made in small batches in IL and made with fresh, all natural ingredients.  Nothing artificial, no preservatives.  In less than 2 minutes, you can literally unwrap, microwave, and enjoy.

Sticky toffee pudding after 60 seconds in microwave.

No need for any self control here.  Your health conscious food gourmand will love these incredible delights, available in sticky toffee pudding, molten chocolate fudge cake, tart lemon pudding, and sticky ginger pudding.  Sample pack of flavors also available.  Top with ice cream, whipped cream, or absolutely nothing:

Home baking in a cup, no fuss, no mess, no clean up!

Check out the “Sticky bars” and seasonal items, including Christmas Plum Pudding and Brandy Butter.

Quince & Apple Cocktail Syrups & Jams

For your health conscious creative gourmand, look no further than handcrafted fruit based syrups from Quince & Apple.  The small kitchen team in Madison, WI slices and dices fresh produce and creates not-too-sweet vegan syrups and jams without corn syrup or gluten.

Quince & Apple: Fruit in a bottle to enhance your food or cocktails!

The artisan syrups are available by the bottle ($13.50 — $47.50) or as a gift set ($40). Fan favorites include Rhubarb Hops, Tart Cherry Grenadine, and Lime & Cucumber.

Creative blends like Pear with Honey & Ginger will add dimension to just about anything.

Also available-fresh preserves in flavors like Pear with Honey & Ginger and Orange Marmalade with Lemon ($9 a jar or $36 for a set of 4).  You can have both the syrups and preserves shipped straight to your door, and you can enjoy them on cheese, pastries, yogurt, and in cocktails.  The sky’s the limit.  Find recipes and pairing ideas right on the website.

Pastoral Gourmet Gifts

Pastoral offers a huge range of gifts for any gourmand in your life, and is offering free shipping through 12/15!  They beautifully package together artisan products, primarily charcuterie, cheese and wine from around the world and around the block.  The health conscious gourmand may appreciate the Chicago Farmers Market ($44.90) with a small, waistline friendly taste of Chicago’s finest artisan producers.  This collection includes fluffy chevre from Champaign, IL, housemade toastettes, spicy Calabrian salami and sweet heirloom tomato relish.  Find gifts for ANY gourmand here.

Receiving a gift box from Pastoral is an event! So exquisite!

The Chicago Farmer’s Market basket

Stu’s Pickles and Bloody Marys

College BFFs Stu Waters and Rudi Schmidt are bringing back the art of food preservation, one pickle at a time.  Their love of  Bloody Mary’s inspired them to go into business to create the best mixes and condiments for their breakfast cocktail.  Your health conscious gourmand would be happy to know that Stu’s uses only field-fresh cucumbers from Midwest farms, natural ingredients and spices.  They also support local farmers who are committed to ethical farming and preserving our precious natural resources.  In addition to their crunchy pickles and bloody mary elixir (to make your own bloody with fresh tomato juice, and low sodium if you wish) a really creative gift is the Bloody Mary Mixology Kit ($40) complete with their famous bloody mary concentrate, ghost pepper hot sauce, key lime rimmer and sweet corn rimmer.

This is a hangover cure in a box!

Do you want your bloody spicy? Tart? Sweet? You decide!

Check out all the guilt free products from Stu’s Kitchen here.

Creminelli Fine Meats

The meat eating health conscious gourmand in your life may very well be concerned with humanely raised animals.  Creminelli Fine Meats out of Salt Lake City prides themselves on providing traditional Italian meat specialties, many of which are available only on a regional basis in Italy. Creminelli uses only natural and organic ingredients, and heritage meats from animals raised humanely, without antibiotics, on vegetarian feed.  They offer a variety of non-GMO hams, handcrafted salamis, and artisan deli meats. Seasonal offerings include the White Truffle Salame and Whiskey Salame.  So tasty and so fresh!

Salami is perfect for a holiday party!

Happy Holidays everyone, and have fun giving to your favorite gourmand friends and family members!

 

{Ted’s Montana Grill} A dining experience that gets better each time

What’s better than getting a media invite to dine? An invite to a restaurant that you already trust and love!  I frequent this Bolingbrook, IL location as it is fairly close to my day job and in the past year, I’ve dine here more than a handful of times.  I’m never disappointed.

Last week while my mom was in town, I took her to a media invitation to check out the burgers on the menu. I know what you’re thinking “great, another burger”. But No, You’re Wrong. Because I was able to bring my family to this dining experience, I can tell you about it from the perspective of a senior citizen AND two very active toddlers with picky eating habits, and of course, my very own humble opinion.

Ted’s is the ALL AMERICAN restaurant that features ‘merican food. I’m talking hamburgers, crab cakes, meat loaf, turkey dinner…BUT WAIT, There’s More! The restaurant features BISON!

Why Bison? Bison is an extremely lean protein and because the industry isn’t commercialized, the chances of getting bison meat with antibiotics and GMO corn fed, etc. are LOW. At Ted’s Montana Grill, the bison is source directly through media mogul, Ted Turner’s ranch! Ted’s Montana Grill features the largest bison menu in the world.

Let’s talk food, shall we?
I started my meal with a cocktail. It was, after all, past noon on a Sunday – and I was dining with two toddlers. I kinda needed it!
MOUNTAIN BREEZE
Finlandia Grapefruit vodka, freshly squeezed lime and orange juice with a splash of cranberry.

In all honesty, I’m not sure I would order it again.  I am not sure if it was because I had brushed my teeth about 30 minutes prior but it had a little bit of a bitter taste to it.  I’m not a “sweet” cocktail kind of person either but I didn’t LOVE this drink.  But being the food whore that I am, I drank the whole thing.

Next, I introduced the CRAB CAKES to my mom – who said “wow, this is a real crab cake!”  Look at those juicy chunks of crab.  This is the real deal with barely any fillers.  Large lumpy pieces of crab.  One of the best crab cakes I have ever had.  This is a sampler that the proprietor arranged for us to try.    I’ve had it before and it is delicious, every time.

Oh, let me tell you about the free munchies when you dine here.  HALF SOUR PICKLES are as addictive as crack.  I LOVE these crunchy, salty cucumbers.  Ask for seconds!  My 2 year old daughter loved them and my 4 year old son actually tried one (when told him I would give him a small sampler pack of jelly belly’s to try it) and he said it was tasty! (and on your way out, free cookies!!! not pictured)

Then our meal came.  As a Chinese Canadian/American, I am by NO MEANS any expert on traditional America cuisine.  I classify Meatloaf as such.  I tried meatloaf for the first time about 5 years ago and have only had it maybe, 4 times in my life.  HOWEVER, my corn-bred, Southern Illinois husband was able to identify with this dish and said it was really, really good.  It provided notions of nostalgia… enough said?  I certainly thought the flavors were well balanced, the meat was not tough at all, neither too sweet or too salty.   The side of beans were crisp and fresh and the smashed potatoes are how you expect they should taste at home.

OMG. It’s past midnight as I write this post and looking at these pictures is making me HUNGRY!!!!


What did the toddler’s eat, you ask?  My son is 4 and my daughter is 2.  Every day, my son declares that steak is is favorite food, while my daughter, less vocal, normally says “Mmmm, that’s good” after eating steak for dinner.   However, I was a bit worried when I saw the steak was sprinkled with pepper but this didn’t phase either one of them.  Because they are just little kids, we ordered one for them to share and they wolfed it down.  No steak was left unharmed.   The meal also comes with lemonade (or some other choices like soft drinks) but we ordered the lemonade not knowing that they FRESH SQUEEZE the juice daily.  My kids LOVED it.  (My secret to getting my kids to eat is to have the servers bring out the drinks AFTER their meal).

On to the burgers…. pictured below is the Ted’s burger.  The all american classic BISON burger (yes, guilt free) topped with bacon and cheese.  Delicious.  My mom, the senior citizen, commented that this was WAY better than Kuma’s Corner (we went a few days prior) and that the atmosphere is WAAAAY nicer.  Please don’t forget that mom is always right.  I think I agree with that, the meat has more texture than Kuma’s.  I almost felt that Kuma’s was too soft, with more of a meatball texture.

Below is a cross section of

NO. 11  Burger

Horseradish cheddar, slow-braised bison, grilled mushrooms and horseradish sauce

Wow, lots of flavor.  My husband and I LOVE horseradish and this definitely hit the spot.  It’s also one of their best selling burgers, in case you were wondering.

 

Ted’s features 17 burger varieties to suit every need.  You can opt out of the bison experience and choose beef instead.  But bison is a delicious and healthy alternative.

If you’re looking for a no-fail dining experience, check out Ted’s Montana Grill.  It’s a great spot for a date night, family lunch and even business function. Servers are knowledgeable and friendly.

 

~Vivian

  • 623 E Boughton Rd
    Ste 890

{Barbakoa} Latin Flavors Ignite!

I couldn’t help but say “yes!” when I was invited to dine at Barbakoa a couple of weeks ago. I had passed by this new restaurant situated in the old Buona Beef establishment but never had a chance to make it in. There are so many exciting things about this restaurant that I am certain that I will make this a regular destination.

The lively vibe and bright spacious patio makes you feel like you’re in the city, almost. The vivid decor reminds me much of Carnivale in the West Loop, probably because one of the partners belongs to the restaurant Klein restaurant group. If you’re familiar with the high ceilings, colorful splashes of red, purple and orange, you’ll know what I mean.

On a Thursday night, the place wasn’t packed but there was quite a crowd. The room was a bit cool but the patio was perfect for a summer night. Unfortunately, there was a wait for the patio so we sat inside. Ladies, bring a pashmina!

The restaurant menu is designed for tasting, but if you’re not into multiple courses, you can order a la carte.  But check this out!

The most economical tasting menu will leaving bursting at the seams and satisfied.  I can’t wait to go back and try their upgraded menus!

Let’s have a look at the $22 per person menu which is what we enjoyed.  We asked our server to bring out his favorites (actually, he offered!) and we gladly obliged!  Highly recommend doing this…

Guacamoles, not your average guac!

A simple but pretty presentation.  The first guacamole at the top is finished with chicharron also known as fried pork rind.  The avocados had a nice balance of flavor, mild (some guac has too much onions or garlic) and a crispy top.

Second item, mango guacamole  had just a touch of sweetness. Again, nicely balanced and flavorful, the mangoes were like a celebration of summer!

Salsas…..

…if you can’t take the heat…let your server know!  We love spicy food so not an issue.  the first was a serrano pepper green salsa (mild) and the second was a habanero salsa.  Both excellent and not the knock your socks off kinda spicy. I was still able to taste my food after eating this.

The main event…TACO’s – wow. my favorite part to tell you about!  LOOK AT THIS FEAST!

We were given four taco to try – EACH!  Short ribs, halibut, shrimp and carne asada.  the carne asada was so amazing I almost ran to the kitchen to beg for more.  But I had some more serious work ahead of me, that is, to taste the rest of the tacos.  I loved that the taco are the tiny tortillas, the size of your palm but the chef stuffs it as full as a burrito.  Tasty stuff my friends.  I loved all the textures of soft, crispy, crunchy, sweet, salty – all of the above (except bitter).


Wait, I just lied. I think my favorite part is dessert.  A five course dessert!  Amazing.  Small bites of 5 different desserts was a heavenly way to polish off a meal.

Need I remind you that it was only $22 per person?

Add a couple of giant mojitos and dinner was $75 including drinks, taxes and tips.  WHOA!  Date night is going to happen more often.

{Q-BBQ} Not Your Average Smokehouse

Downtown Naperville has always been an attractive place to dine – bustling with independent boutiques and often pricey restaurants -however the town is now complete with it’s very own fast-casual smokehouse,  Q-BBQ.  Q-BBQ earned it’s following at their flagship location in LaGrange several years ago and has now found a comfy spot on Main St. in downtown Naperville.  Their location is a huge stomach tease on the nearby population as you can smell the delicious smoked meat from MILES away!

Now correct me if I’m wrong, but Naperville seems to only have two smoke houses:  Gemato’s and now, Q-BBQ.  I went to Gemato’s over the summer and found it extremely mediocre. But of course, I’m comparing it to the lip smacking quality of Smoque BBQ or Honky Tonk’s in the city.  I ordered the smoked chicken and the ribs and remember clearly that the chicken was so dry enough that my toddler refused to eat any. The high chairs really needed a severe cleaning – who wants to put their kid in a sticky high chair??  I love that Q-BBQ is a modern restaurant – like the feeling you get when you walk into a Chipotle. It’s clean, bright and inviting.   The staff is good looking and friendly.

Now, I mentioned Honky Tonk – it’s hands down, my favorite BBQ in the city. We used to live about 5 mins from there and ordered as often as our waistlines could afford.  I can easily say that the calibre of Q-BBQ may EXCEED that of Honky Tonk. Let’s compare apples to apples.

1) Q-BBQ offers FOUR sauces where Honky Tonk only offers 3 – My favorite is definitely the South Carolina Mustard. They also have a Texas spicy, North Carolina Vinegar and Sweet Sauce.

2) Q-BBQ offers both SLICED and CHOPPED beef brisket (Honky Tonk only has chopped it seems)

3) Q-BBQ’s memphis style chicken wings might make you orgasm upon first bite. Not offered at Honky Tonk

4) Q-BBQ may just win this comparison with their BURNT ENDS. (More on that later)

What Q-BBQ doesn’t have are the fun additions that Honky Tonk has, like fried green tomatoes or bacon candy.

Not know what to order, we opted for the Q-COMBO where you can choose 4 meats and add sides.  As the platter of BBQ deliciousness was passed under my nose, I felt a mouth boner erect inside me.  My salivary glands began to express themselves and I found my throat beginner to swell. My heart palpitated just a litte as the tray slid in front of me.

::Pulled chicken, chicken wings, chopped beef brisket, pulled pork.  Hush puppies, mac n cheese (whisper “smoked…….. meat………”)

Without blinking an eye or letting another second pass without having BBQ in my mouth, we quickly divided up our share and each of us attacked the food in our own way.  Uniquely different right off the bat was the chicken wings.  They are so covered in brown sugar & spices then smoked – the flavor was finger licking good!   Everything else was very good but we weren’t able to stop at just tasting this 4 meat combo. (btw, Hush Puppies are are the BOMB – sweet kernerls of corn pop nestled in the soft potato sing glorious songs in your mouth).

One thing I was able to do on this visit was solidify the fact that I have to make my way to South Carolina very soon.  I’ve found the style of sauce that I keep going back to.  Not shown here (it’s around the backside) is this yellowy, mustard bbq sauce.  Who can recommend a place to go in South Carolina??

::Round Two

Not satisfied yet, at the recommendation of the manager, Abbey (who’s adorable by the way), we ordered the Burnt Ends.  I am not sure I have been burnt ends any where else, or maybe just never took notice.  At Q-BBQ, they smoke the brisket, then cut off the burnt ends, re-rub and smoke another two hours for a total of 24 hours.  Intense meaty smokiness unless any other meat I’ve had before.  I was afraid they might be uber dry but actually very tender!

::Round Three, Food Whores don’t quit easily

You just can’t leave a BBQ joint without trying out the ribs, right? I am a bit of a pork rib snob – Because we make ribs at home often enough – I have a preference in the cut of meat a buy.  We never buy ribs from the conventional grocery store anymore because all the big name brands have super fatty, super thick meat on the bones. Sounds like I would like it, but I don’t!  My idea of a perfect cut of ribs is uniform meatiness across the bone and at Q-BBQ, you get exactly that.  Look at the smoke ring around the meat? Yum. Perfect.

::Last round – salad for digestion.  I don’t know about you, but I prefer my salad post entree.


Hardly a healthy salad with REAL bacon, chunks of bleu but definitely fresh.  You can add meat onto the salad for just a few bucks more.

So there you have it, another invite to dine complete with pictures to show off the deliciousness.  Of all the items we ate, I highly recommend the burnt ends, the ribs and defintely the BBQ wings!  Since our visit, Q-BBQ added a few items to the menu including mashed potatoes, stuffing, chili, and a side salad to their ever-expansive menu.

~Vivian

Category:Restaurants Barbeque

103 S Main St Naperville, IL 60540
http://www.q-bbq.com/

 

FREE FOOD! Dos Equis teams up with DucknRoll for the Most Interesting Academy

Hello, Food Whore fans.  When was the last time you ate something really INTERESTING?  Or something that maybe even freaked you out a little bit?  Food is one of my favorite ways to keep life interesting.  That’s why I am so pumped about this great promotion by Dos Equis, which just launched their Most Interesting Academy.  Dos Equis is making it easy for their fans to try new experiences and keep life interesting by partnering with some great food trucks all around the US, which will serve up some unique and exotic foods, to really shake up your usual lunch routine!

The best part – lunch is FREE!!!  What do you have to lose, food whores?

The Dos Equis Mobile Academy will be at various Chicago locations from 11am to 2pm in the locations listed below:

  • August 21: Dearborn and Monroe (11am-2pm)
  • August 22: AON Center (11am-2pm)
  • August 23: Wabash and Van Buren (11:30am-2:30 pm)
  • August 24: 600 W. Chicago (11am-1pm)
  • August 25: 1442 N. Milwaukee Ave (Silver Room) (12pm-3pm)
  • August 26: Wrigleyville (12-2pm; Cubs game @1:20pm)
  • August 27: OFF
  • August 28: Wabash and Van Buren (11am-12pm)
  • August 29: 57th and Ellis (11am-1pm); Jefferson and Madison (1:30-2:30 pm)
  • August 30: Wrigleyville (12-2pm; Cubs game @1:20pm)

If you are Chinese or Asian, some of these foods might be old news to you.  That doesn’t make them any less delicious!  Chef Amy Le of the DucknRoll food truck did an amazing job of bringing these delicacies to the masses.

The Menu:

Jellyfish Salad

This traditional Chinese wedding appetizer has been served for a thousand years – served chilled with pickled cucumbers.  Jellyfish has a nice chew to it, and I love the pickly goodness!

Braised Sea Cucumber with Oyster Sauce

Eastern Medicine has touted the healing powers of the Sea Cucumber for over 3,000 years. Our version of the wonder seafood comes braised in oyster sauce with winter bamboo shoot.  Listen.  Sea cucumbers are not pretty.  They look scary when they are raw, they look scary when they are cooked.  Just man up, mix your rice up with Amy’s tasty oyster sauce and take a bite.  Sea cucumber on it’s own doesn’t have much flavor, so it takes a skilled chef to make it taste good.  Sea cucumber more or less has the texture of a cooked mushroom.  JUST EAT IT.

Miso Marinated Beef Tongue served in Steam Buns

The quintessential Japanese spice meets the quintessential Chinese street food!  Amy has taken care of the scariest part for you – she had to cut up a giant tongue.  Amy has brought great aggressive flavors to this dish and the meat is tender and delicious!  Love the bright pineapple salad, great contrast!

Stay hungry, my friends…

Got a dream adventure you’d like to embark upon?  Dos Equis wants to help you bring your dreams to life! To help fans experience their most ambitious adventures, the Stay Thirsty Grant is an invitation to bring their most interesting dreams to life with a reward of up to $25,000.  Whether it’s starting your own food truck, or serving Jellyfish Salad to royalty, the Stay Thirsty Grant is an invitation for fans to bring their ambitions to life.  To enter, visit http://www.mostinterestingacademy.com/staythirstygrant.

Valentine’s Day 2011 Menus

food-themed vintage Valentines – cute!

Love is in the air, Chicago!

Time to start booking your romantic table for two for Valentine’s Day.  Our favorite area restaurants have some great Valentine’s Day menus and specials that will put you and your honey in the mood for romance!

KEEP CHECKING BACK – We’ll be updating this post often!

If your favorite romantic spot isn’t  listed here, let us know and we’ll do our best to get their Valentine’s Day menu for you.

01.19.2011 – Takashi & mk Restaurant menus just added!

01.20.2011 – Nia menu added!

01.25.2011 – Sunda & Rockit added!

01.27.2011 – Vivo added!

02.03.2011 – Ai added!

02.04.2011 – 33 Club, Chen’s, Koi, Phil Stefani’s, Red Light, Riva, Shokran’s added!

02.10.2011 – The Bristol added!

 

33 Club

3-course dinner, $39 per person.  Available Feb. 12 – 14.  Call 312.664.1419 for reservations.

Menu highlights include flash fried kumamoto oysters, pan-roasted diver sea scallops, 5-hour prime rib, maine lobster ravioli and red velvet cake  or ginger crème brulee for dessert.  In addition, on Sunday and Monday only, 33 Club will feature any bottle of wine on the menu at 33% off during both lunch and dinner which guests can pair with the Valentine’s Day prix fixe menu.

 

Ai Japanese Restaurant & Lounge

4-course menu, $88 per couple.  Includes 2 complimentary glasses of champagne.  Available Feb. 11 – 14.  Call 312.335.9888 for reservations.  Click here for Ai Valentine’s Day Menu.

 

Bonsoiree

8-course menu, $135 per person.  Available Feb. 11 – 14.  Seating extremely limited.  Call 773.486.7511 for reservations.  Click here for Bonsoiree Valentine’s Day Menu.

 

The Bristol

3-course menu, $45 per person.  Available Feb. 11 & 12 only.  The Bristol will be accepting reservations for their special Valentine’s Day menus only.  Call 773.862.5555 for reservations.  Click here for The Bristol Valentine’s Day Menu.

 

Chen’s

$25 per person, excluding tax and gratuity.  Available Feb. 11 – 14.  Call 773.549.9100 for reservations.

Specialty menu includes a Sushi Tuna Rose Appetizer, an appetizer comprised solely of tuna and served in the shape of a rose, followed by the Dragon and Phoenix Entrée, featuring the Dragon: crispy chicken covered in tangy sweet and spicy pepper sauce and the Phoenix: shrimp sauteed with vegetables in white wine sauce.  This entrée for two brings longevity to the relationship.  Guests can indulge in chocolate cake for dessert, and a glass of house red wine, white wine or sake rounds out the menu.

 

The Drawing Room

4-course menu for $55 per person.  Cocktail pairings are available for an additional $22 per person.  Menu COMING SOON.  Please call 312.266.2694 or visit OpenTable for reservations.

 

Devon Seafood Grill

3 course dinner for two – $85 per couple.  Spoil your sweetie with oysters, scallops, filet mignon and lobster tail!  Available Valentine’s Day Weekend, Feb. 11 – 14, 2011.  Reservations recommended.  Please call 312.440.8660.  Click here for Devon Seafood Grill Valentine’s Menu

 

Fleming’ s Prime Steakhouse & Wine Bar

Special entrees and dessert available February 11-14. Reserve your spot now at two Chicago area locations: 25 E. Ohio St., Chicago, IL, 312-329-9463, or 960 Milwaukee Ave., Lincolnshire, IL, 847-793-0333.

To sweeten the deal, you will also receive a Valentine’s Day Card worth $25 toward a future rendezvous at your favorite Fleming’s.

Choose from 2 entree selections and a special dessert, all made for sharing:

Filet Mignon & Crab-Stuffed Shrimp, filet mignon with Madeira sauce, giant black tiger shrimp stuffed with crab and toped with bacon and lemon garlic butter sauce, served with butter poached Portobello mushrooms and Parmesan cheese mashed potatoes (for two, $98.95)

New York Strip & Shrimp Scampi, Prime New York steak, with peppercorn sauce, shrimp scampi with chimichurri herb pesto, served with lemon-scented orzo pasta and French green beans with porcini essence, plus a choice of Fleming’s, Caesar or Wedge Salads (for two, $89.95).

Red Velvet Cake & Chocolate Dipped Strawberries, three-layer red velvet cake with strawberry cream cheese frosting, garnished with two double-dipped chocolate strawberries (for two, $9.95).

Fleming’s will also be featuring a special 99-calorie cocktail, Tickled Pink. The new libation is made with Belvedere vodka, orange juice, raspberry and Mionetto Prosseco for $9.95. The Tickled Pink cocktail is available throughout February and March.

 

Geja’s Cafe

Fondue AND flowers?  You’ll definitely score points with this one!

Reservations for the Valentine’s Dinner Package begin Saturday, January 15 at 9:00 am and continue Monday through Friday from 9-4pm. A credit card payment at the time of reservation is required.  Please call 773.281.9101

The Valentine’s Dinner Package includes Geja’s creamy Gruyere cheese fondue, a glass of  sparkling rose, Geja’s salad with tangy Dijon vinaigrette, entrée fondue of Beef Tenderloin, Lobster Tail and Jumbo Shrimp, Geja’s luscious flaming chocolate dessert fondue with coffee.

Special Valentine’s Dinner Packages
Saturday, February 12th
5:00-7:00                     $95 per person
7:30-9:30                     $95 per person
10:00-                          $95 per person

Sunday, February 13th
4:00 ─ 6:00                 $95 per person
6:30 ─ 8:30                 $95 per person
9:00 ─                         $95 per person

Monday, February 14th
5:00─7:00                   $95 per person
7:30─9:30                   $95 per person
10:00─                        $95 per person

All package prices include tax and gratuity.

For a $25, guests can add a beautiful selection of fresh seasonal flowers to be sent to their valentine as a confirmation of their reservation.  The floral arrangement will be delivered within 2-3 days after the reservation is made to anywhere within the Chicago city limits.  Additionally, Stems will offer participants 3 different flower arrangements available at a discount for table adornment at their Geja’s Valentine’s Day dinner.  Guests will have the opportunity to select this lavish detail for their date upon making reservations at 773.281.9101.  This offer is subject to availability.

 

Koi (Evanston)

$25 per person, excluding tax and gratuity.  Available Feb. 11 – 14.  Call 847.866.6969 for reservations.

Specialty menu includes a Sushi Tuna Rose Appetizer, an appetizer comprised solely of tuna and served in the shape of a rose, followed by the Dragon and Phoenix Entrée, featuring the Dragon: crispy chicken covered in tangy sweet and spicy pepper sauce and the Phoenix: shrimp sauteed with vegetables in white wine sauce.  This entrée for two brings longevity to the relationship.  Guests can indulge in chocolate cake for dessert, and a glass of house red wine, white wine or sake rounds out the menu.

 

mk Restaurant

$62 per person and $71 with cheese.  For reservations please call 312.482.9179

a tasting lovers menu
or a lovers tasting menu

hamachi
crudo of yellowtail, shaved hearts of palm
blood orange, mizzuna
capezzana olive oil

lobster
butter poached maine lobster
baby leeks, caramelized cauliflower
red wine butter

kobe skirt steak
grilled over hardwood charcoal, hedgehog mushrooms
bordeaux spinach, yukon gold potato puree, thyme

pleasant ridge reserve
cow’s milk, firm, nutty, rich, buttery
with a lasting finish… our favorite catch phrases
wisconsin

chocolate
warm double chocolate ganache tart
salted caramel ice cream
pomegranate syrup

 

Nia Mediterranean

Dating a vegetarian?  Don’t fret, Nia has separate menus for meat lovers and veggie lovers!

Available Feb. 12 – 14.  Prepaid – $49 per person.  On site – $59.  Optional wine pairings – $25.  Call 312.226.3110 for reservations.  Click here for Nia Valentine’s Day Menus.

 

Phil Stefani’s 437 Rush

3 course dinner for 2, $90.  Available Feb. 11 – 14.  Call 312.222.0101 for reservations.

Guests will enjoy a romantic 3-course Valentine’s Day dinner for two for only $90 which includes Spicy Jumbo Shrimp, Grilled Beef Tenderloin Chateaubriand and a special dessert.

 

Red Light

$20.11 per person, excluding tax and gratuity.  Call 312.733.8880 for reservations.

Red Light is offering Chicagoans a sneak preview of some of the new menu items  planned for launch in mid-February by their new Executive Chef Ryan Fowler.  He is thrilled to bring a unique spin to Red Light’s Pan Asian menu and is giving Chicagoans the chance to preview some new offerings with a  special 3-course menu available for $20.11 during dinner through Tuesday, February 15.  Red Light will offer both a Vegan and non-Vegan $20.11 prix-fixe preview menu.

 

RIVA Crab House

3 course dinner for 2, $90.  Available Feb. 11 – 14.  Call 312.644.7482 for reservations.

Guests will enjoy a romantic Valentine’s Day 3-course dinner for two, with amazing skyline views, for $90 per couple.  The menu will include two flutes of champagne, served in commemorative glasses as a gift to guests as well as Ravioli Erbette, Grilled Shrimp and Chateaubriand Duet, and a Chocolate Fantasia dessert.

 

Rockit River North

Available Feb 14.  For reservtions call 312.645.6000.  Guests that make a reservation for dinner in the dining room will receive a complimentary glass of champagne for the total number of people in the party.

Executive Chef James Gottwald prepares a candle-lit menu of romantic favorites in the dining room for dinner on Monday, February 14th including Brie Cheese Fondue (assorted baguette, sliced apple, dates, $9); Pan Seared Jumbo Sea Scallops (butternut squash risotto, toasted pinenuts, dried cranberries, $14); Surf & Turf (braised beef brisket, whipped potatoes, jumbo shrimp, asparagus, lobster cream sauce, $21); Flourless Chocolate Cake (with raspberry sorbet, $8).

Guests can also participate in Rockit’s Monday night TasteIt promotion in which select bottles and glass pours of wine are half off.

 

Salud Tequila Lounge

Romance on a budget!

3-course dinner for 2 for $50.  Dinner includes a a specialty cocktail, appetizer, entree, and a shared dessert.  Available Feb. 11 – 15.  Call 773.235.557 or visit OpenTable for reservations.

 

Shokran Moroccan Restaurant

4 courses, $25 per person.  BYOB.  Available Feb. 12 – 14.  Call 773.427.9130 for reservations.

Menu highlights include Chicken Bastilla, Tilapia Tagine, and Lamb Fez.

 

Sunda

Have a romantic dinner (and maybe spot a celeb!)  in one of Chicago’s most stylish restaurants.

Family-style dinner, $120 per couple.  Available Feb. 13 & 14.  Call 312.644.0500 for reservations.

Starting off with complimentary glasses of sparkling wine, the family-style service includes appetizers such as Warm Spinach and Mushroom Salad, Rock Shrimp Tempura, Chef Jesse’s St. Valentine Roll and The Food Buddha’s Classic Crispy Rice with Hand-Cut Spicy Tuna.  Main flavors feature choices of Miso-Bronzed Black Cod and NY Strip Steak. Various side dishes will be offered as well as a Chocolate Dessert.

 

Takashi

A Food Whore favorite!

Seatings from 5:30 until 10:00 pm.  6 courses, $85 per person.  Optional wine pairing for $38.  For reservations please call 773.772.6170.  Click here for Takashi Valentine’s Day Menu.

 

West Town Tavern

2 desserts? Hell yeah!

Valentine’s Day “Fourplay” Dinner for Two, $48 per person, food only. Optional wine pairings, tax and gratuity extra.  Available Monday, Feb. 14.  Regular menu, including their famous Fried Chicken is also available.  Please call 312.666.6175 for reservations.

Shared Starter Platter
Smoked Lobster Tail with Avocado, Mango, Mint and Peanuts
Potato Gnocchi with Chanterelles, Rosemary, Bacon and Gruyere
Roasted Beets, Toasted Hazelnuts, Arugula and Creamy Gorgonzola Vinaigrette

Choice of Entrees
Pan-Seared Wild Gulf Shrimp Risotto with Baby Artichokes, Lemon and Chervil
Sun-Dried Tomato Crepes with Winter Vegetables, Ricotta, Orange and Fontina
Pepper Crusted Beef Tenderloin with Smoked Red Onion Marmalade and White Truffle Fries

Shared Dessert Platter
Fudge Brownie Ice Cream Sandwich with Black Raspberry Ice Cream
Warm Raisin-Cinnamon Bread Pudding with Rum Custard, Caramel and Whipped Cream
Meyer Lemon Tart with Toasted Coconut Praline

Housemade Truffles To Go

 

Vivo

4 course dinner, $55.  Wine pairings, $25.  Available Monday Feb. 14.  Call 312.733.3379 for reservations.  Click here for Vivo Valentine’s Day Menu.

Isacco Kitchen – A World Kitchen in St. Charles

It’s extremely refreshing to see a restaurant of this caliber in St. Charles, IL.; read on and you’ll see why.

James and I just moved to the Western suburbs – if you’ve been following my posts, my husband knocked me up and we quickly made a move out to Batavia where we would no longer endure 3 hour daily commutes to our day time jobs in the western suburbs.  I was completely torn up when we packed up all our things and left our awesome downtown loft…I thought that Olive Garden’s and Chili’s would become my staple restaurants.

I first heard of Isacco Kitchen when I saw it walking to a nearby bar (no worries, I drank O’Douls) on my way to watch one of the last games of the NHL playoff’s before the Hawks won the Stanley Cup(!). I was immediately intrigued at the yellow exterior, pretty landscaping and unique spelling of the restaurant name. At first, I didn’t quite understand how to read the name but later learned it was just the letter “A” sideways.

Little did I know, restaurants like Isacco’s exist here!! Just think, “Blackbird, minus the foam”.  Unique and fresh ingredients prepared by highly skilled hands.

This trendy little restaurant was just about to close after their lunch service on a Saturday afternoon when we drove up. Luckily the waiter saw us and quickly ran into the kitchen to double check with Chef if he wanted to continue serving us.  I’m SO glad he did because this was absolutely one of the best meals I’ve had THIS YEAR (see my Macku Sushi review for the other oustanding meal) .  We were also STARVING as we had spent the morning painting our kitchen. We don’t normally eat like this for lunch but we felt it was well deserved!

It was a gorgeus day and not too hot so we opted for a seat outdoors on their cozy patio overlooking a highly professional landscape and herb pots.  J and I perused the menu and immediately a few things caught our eyes.

Should you decide to try Isacco – all of our dishes were superb, fresh and organic!  Turns out Chef Isacco was executive Chef on one of the most prestigious cruise ship lines in the world and has experience cooking using flavors from all over the world.

Let’s begin with the Beef Tartare – You can’t really see but the tartare appears to be properly chopped with the double knife method, then garnished with mustard, chives and seasoning.  Although I’m NOT supposed to eat any raw food, I couldn’t help myself but take a small taste and it was one of the best tartare’s in the city (would you believe that the tartare at Paramount Room is pretty kick ass too?)

I opted for the seared Diver Scallops appetizer and I felt like I was ripping the restaurant off by ordering this – 4 giant succulent scallops seared to perfection and paired with organic greens, ratatouille and mango papaya relish – $11 – I couldn’t make it at home for $11!!!!

One sexy dish…

Our entree’s were also outstanding and a steal for the price:

Rack of Lamb with artichoke salad (it’s artichoke season and these were yummy!), aged percorin, balsamic and crispy potatoes au gratin ($15)  I couldn’t believe there were 4 full chops – again, I can’t do it for this cheap at home!!

Finally, my entree was slightly screwed up – it was supposed to come with gnocchi but Chef accidentally made pasta but I’m REALLY glad because I was more in the mood for pasta than gnocchi’s. DID I MENTION THAT THEY HAND MAKE THEIR PASTAS???  Chef came to talk to us and told us about his Italian pasta roller – and he has every right to be proud because the noodles were soft, tender and had the perfect bite.  Served with perfectly seasoned and melt in your mouth oxtail. One of my favorite cuts of beef.

If you’re in the suburbs looking for a high caliber restaurant, please – try Isacco Kitchen – it’s definitely going to be one of my favorite restaurants in Chicagoland.  I can’t wait to go back for dinner and pay suburban prices for City of Chicago quality food. (Entrees maxed out at $21).

Categories: Restaurants, Lounges  [Edit]

210 Cedar St
St. Charles, IL 60174

(630) 444-0202

www.isaccokitchen.com

Himalayan Restaurant: A Culinary Journey to Nepal

Himalayan Restaurant & Bar

Recently Vivian and I were lucky enough to be invited by Kiran and Jennifer of Himalayan Restaurant to do a tasting of their menu, which is Indian and Nepali cuisine.  Being the food whores that we are, we jumped at the chance to try something new and exciting!  With Kiran, the owner, as our guide, we took a gastromomic journey to Nepal!

Don’t let the location fool you!  Vivian and I visited the Niles location, which is located in a strip mall.  The interior is simple and comfortable.  You might even call it “fancy” since the tables have real white tablecloths!  We went for a late weekend lunch, thinking we’d miss the crowd, but the place was still packed with Indian families having lunch!  We took this as a sign that we were in for a real treat!

First we started with a few appetizers from the buffet.  Most of the dishes in the buffet are South Indian style, with the traditional sauces such as yogurt sauce and tamarind.  We had lentil soup and a selection of salad and veggies.  I particularly liked the lentil fritters.

lentil fritter

After the buffet came a long procession of dishes from the regular menu.  Kiran was sure to emphasize the traditional Nepali dishes, especially since Vivian and I are both already familiar with Indian food.  The first dish we tried is also an appetizer called Chicken Chowela.  I love the way Kiran described this – he called it “Nepali pub food”!  This spicy dish is traditionally served in the hot summer months, with a rice-based liquor.  This was the first of many homestyle “mom’s recipe” dishes that we tried.  While the spice level was toned down a bit from the traditional way, it still had a great tomatoey, spicy kick.  Although Nepal is a relatively small country, the food is very regionalized.  Chowela is a dish mainly found in Kathmandu.  Quite fittingly, Kiran is from the region in Nepal that is known for their festivals and great food!

chicken chowela

Since Nepal is located between India and Tibet, naturally they have been influenced by their neighbors.  Nepal adopted some ingredients, such as soy, and some cooking styles, such as the use of cornstarch, from its Chinese neighbors.  Himalayan Restaurant offers a selection of Indo-Chinese dishes.  We tried the Gobi Manchurian, which is battered and fried cauliflower with green pepper, onion and a tomato-based sauce.  This dish was easily one of our favorites!  Great big flavors – kind of a sweet aroma with a smoky taste — totally unique.  Super good!  If you’re looking for something unlike anything you’ve tried before, I highly recommend this dish.  It’s so flavorful, I promise you won’t even miss the meat!

gobi manchurian

In the same way that Nepal adopted some Tibetan cooking techniques, they also adopted some aspects of traditional Indian cooking.  While there are lots of similarities between Indian and Nepalese cuisine – they use many of the same spices – there are also some distinct differences.  In general, Indian food is very rich and robust.  Nepalese food may use the same spices, but they simply use LESS of them.  The basic herbs and spices of Nepalese food are ginger and garlic.  Additionally, Nepalese cooking uses clarified butter instead of oil, and there are NO milk-based products in Nepalese cuisine, unlike Indian food which can use ingredients such as cream or coconut milk.

Next we tried the most typical of all Nepali foods – the momo.  Momos are Nepali-style dumplings.  Kiran called it “the hamburger of Nepal” because it’s a dish you can find everywhere, done a million different ways.  The momos that Kiran makes look very similar to the Shanghainese soup dumplings, xiao long bao, like little pouches without the soup!  We tried chicken momos, which are stuffed with chicken, ginger and garlic.  One of the most important aspects of the momo is the sauce.  Kiran serves his momos with a red chile sauce made of chiles, tomato and ginger.  There is another style of pan-fried momo, which is served with a sweeter sauce.  Vivian and I are dumpling lovers – we could eat them ANYTIME—so we both loved the momos.  I’ve actually had momos before, and I like Himalayan’s version, with a fairly thin wrapper (not so chewy!) and a thicker, tastier sauce.  Momos are definitely another MUST at Himalayan Restaurant!

chicken momo

Next, the manager brought out a selection of traditional Nepali dishes that he thought we must try.  We had Bodi Aloo, which is sautéed potatoes and green beans, Khasi Ko Masu, a goat curry which is a basic at ALL Nepali occasions, and the Kadhai Paneer, which is homemade paneer cooked with tomato, onions and bell peppers.  These were served with saffron rice and garlic naan and whole wheat roti.  The goat curry had a great rich sauce, but  Vivian and I were both drawn to the vegetarian dishes.  And we’re dedicated carnivores!  The vegetarian food at Himalayan Restaurant has so much depth of flavor that they would easily safisfy any meat-eater!  Even though I loved the strong flavor of the garlic naan, plain naan or roti are much more traditional.

clockwise fr bottom left: garlic naan, saffron rice, kadhai paneer, bodi aloo, khasi ko masu

By this time, Vivian and I are starting to get full, but then a sizzling plate of tandoori was brought out, and of course we had to try everything!  We recommend the Mix Grill, which comes with tandoori chicken, chicken tikka, lamb kabob and fish tikka.  I’d never had fish tikka before, and with a meaty fish like mahi mahi, it was quite delicious!  MMM, love those sizzlin’ onions!

mix grill

As full as we were, of course we had to have dessert as well.  We tried a drink called Falooda, which is actually a Middle Eastern style dessert, containing ice cream, rose syrup, jelly, some poppy seeds, and noodles!  Lots of interesting textures going on, and it’s kinda fun to suck noodles up through the straw! 

falooda

So what does one drink with Nepali food?  There is tea of course, or lassi, the Indian version of a fruit smoothie.  Himalayan Restaurant is one of the only places importing Haywards 5000 beer in the area, so I decided to try one.  Actually the beer is a great palate cleanser, preparing your taste buds for the next delicious bite!  Himalayan Restaurant has a full bar with a variety of wines.  I like that Kiran has put conscious thought into what types of beverages will pair well with his food, for example a Malbec with a lamb curry.  In fact, he is also planning a wine dinner at the restaurant!  Many people are at a loss as to how to pair ethnic food and wine, and I think it’s great that Himalayan Restaurant is showing us all how it’s done!

What Vivian took away from this experience was much more than full bellies and boxes of leftovers!  What sticks in my mind even more than the unique flavor of the Gobi Manchurian is Kiran’s passion for what he does, and his enthusiasm to share his culture with his customers.  While the 2 locations of his restaurant are both successful, he’s not just trying to make a buck.  It’s clear that Kiran and his partners have worked hard to get to where they are.  He truly wants each customer to have an enjoyable experience, and not only to taste great food, but to learn about his culture.

For a true taste of Nepal’s delicious cuisine and culture, a visit to Himalayan Restaurant is highly recommended!

Himalayan Restaurant & Bar – Bloomingdale

398 W Armytrail Road

Bloomingdale IL  60108

(630) 523-5100

Himalayan Restaurant & Bar – Niles

8265 Golf Road

Niles IL  60714

(847) 324-4150

www.himalayanrestaurant.com

Chicago Restaurant Week 2010 – Menu’s posted here!

February 19 marks the beginning of one of the best dining weeks of the year!!! We are SOOO excited to see how the list has expanded over the last three years!!! If you see a * next to the name, it’s recommended!! There is NO EXCUSE for not dining out during Restaurant Week – it’s the perfect Food Whore deal!

Adobe Reader is required to view these menus.  Please let us know if you experience any broken links!!!!

The full and complete list is found at the OFFICIAL website here but fyi, our site is easier to click!

This year, the Chicago Restaurant Week is from February 19-28, 2010 where 3 course GOURMET PRIX FIXE menus are just $22 for Lunch or $32 for dinner!

Make your reservation now at OpenTable!!!

Michelle and I have been participating in this citywide dining event since it’s inception 3 years ago  and we can’t express how much we love it! In fact, our WHOLE PAYCHECK is dedicated to this week!  It’s a great way to check out that expensive restaurant that you never dared to step into before (eh hem, Topolobampo, Spiaggo, Terzo Piano, etc).

CHECK BACK FOR FULL MENU’s – Yes, we’re linking to documents from EAT IT UP but there are menus missing from some of the restaurants – we’re going to try and get them for you – KEEP POSTED!

Here is a list of some of the participating restaurants (so far…) – we omitted some of the less interesting restaurants because that’s how we roll.

676 Restaurant and Bar – surf & turf!

Ai Japanese Restaurant and Lounge – mmm..hamachi carpaccio

Aja Steakhouse

Alhambra Palace Restaurant

Aria

Atwood Cafe – veal tenderloin – don’t see this everyday!

Berghoff Restaurant>

Bice – Chicago

Bin 36

Bistro 110 ></a> – The French Onion Soup is supposed to be to DIE FOR

Blackbird* – sorry, lunch only I am disppointed too!

Blue 13

Boka* – no choices, but solid prix fixe – one of my favorite Chicago restaurants! FLOURLESS CHOCOLATE TORTE was featured as one of Time Out’s top 100 dishes 2009

Brasserie Jo

Brazzaz – The Brazilian Steakhouse

Cafe Des Architectes / CDA – great lunch menu!  tartare, carpaccio, mmm… (btw, the peekytoe crab salad from CDA was on of Time Out’s 100 top dishes in 2009 – maybe you can order it on the side in addition to the 3 course meal!)

Cafe Spiaggia*

Caliterra Bar & Grille – Chicago – the only entree choices are Steak Oscar or NY Strip – YES PLEASE!

The Cape Code Room at the Drake Hotel

Capital Grille – Chicago

Carmine’s

Carnivale

Catch 35

Chicago Firehouse Restaurant – good selection of entrees to choose from

China Grill – Chicago

C-House Restaurant

Coco Pazzo

Coco Pazzo Cafe

Croften on Wells – no red meat on this menu. Looks just “ok”

David Burkes Primehouse at the James Hotel* – probably one of the best deals for Restaurant Week – the Kobe Beef Sashimi is probably one of the best things I have tasted – EVER

Devon Seafood Grill – Chicago* – great for groups – ask for the group tables downstairs – solid food, great service

The Drawing Room @ Le Passage

Fornetto Mei – wow, delicious sounding menu! lunch looks especially enticing for $22!

Frontera Grill

Fulton’s on the River – Mmm..steak tartare, YES PLEASE!

The Gage Restaurant and Tavern

Geja’s Cafe – nice selection at this restaurant voted “most romantic”.  Fondue anyone?

Gemini Bistro – lots of choices, where do I begin??? good for groups so you can try everything!

The Grill on the Alley – Chicago

Hard Rock Cafe – Chicago – includes coffee, tea or soft drink!

Harry Caray’s Italian Steakhouse – Chicago

The Indian Garden Restaurant – huge selection! great for groups that are adventurous!

Il Mulino

Jack Binion’s Steakhouse

Japonais* – I love this swanky restaurant!  Great choices too!

Joe’s Seafood, Prime Steak and Stone Crab*

Keefer’s Restaurant What? dinner menu doesn’t feature steak…odd for a steak house!
Kinzie Chop House

La Cantina Italian Chophouse

La Madia – pizza lunch! how fun! Includes a glass of wine too!!! Great menu for picky eaters

La Salumeria del Merlo on Lincoln Ave – note that the ARTICHOKE RICOTTA RAVIOLI was one of Time Out’s 100 Top Dishes 2009! Hope to see it on the menu!

La Trattoria del Merlo – pheasant terrine, handmade pastas…

Landmark – to be frank, menu looks boring but the food is really well done here. I could be wrong.

Lawry’s The Prime Rib

Le Colonial

The Lobby

Lockwood Restaurant and Bar – Mussels, skate wing, wagyu beef burger…nice selection!

Market Restaurant and Sports Bar

McCormick and Schmick’s Seafood

Mercat a La Planxa*

Merlo on Maple – tons of handmade pastas, stewed lambshank..yummy

Mike Ditka’s

Mirai Sushi*

Mon Ami Gabi – Escargots, steak frites, beef bourguignon

Morton’s Steakhouse

N9ne Steakhouse

Nacional 27* – super awesome deal – love it last year!

Naha

NoMI

one sixtyblue – Hope to see MILK-CHOCOLATE SOUFFLÉ on the menu – it was on Time Out’s 100 best desserts of 2009

Osteria via Stato* – great for groups served family style with LOTS of selection.

The Palm Chilean seabass, filet mignon, crab cakes – nice choices!

Park Grill Rabbit, rainbow trout – impressive offerings for sure!

Parrot Cage

Pegasus –

Phil Stefani’s 437 Rush

Piccolo Sogno* – went last year for lunch and loved it.  Such a pretty restaurant with friendly staff and great wine

Prosecco

Pump Room

Rapsody – skate wing or pork belly – crap, how do I choose between those two? YUMMO!

Riccardo Trattoria – honeycomb tripe done Italian style? Clearly the best menu available for Restaurant week! I already made my reservation!! Note weekend reservations not available until 9pm.

Rise Sushi and Sake Lounge

Ristorante We – never even heard of this place but it’s at the W hotel

Riva SIX FRESH OYSTERS is one of the 1st course selections!

Rock Bottom Brewery

Rockit Bar and Grill

Rosebud on Rush

Rosebud Prime Lunch only!

Rosebud Steakhouse Lunch only!

Rosebud Theatre District

Rosebud Trattoria (fka Ballo)

Roy’s

Saloon Steakhouse

Salpicon – um, read this menu and tell me if your eyes are getting crossed.

Salute Wine Bar

Season’s Restaurant – Scampi, pork belly…

Shaw’s Crab House

Shine

Shula’s Steak house

Smith and Wollensky – 10 oz filet mignon!

South Water Kitchen

Sullivan’s Steakhouse

Sushi Taiyo

Sushi Samba Rio*

Tapas Valencia

Tavern at the Park

Tavern on Rush

Terzo Piano – CHOCOLATE SEMIFREDDO featured as Time Out’s 100 top desserts in 2009 – hope to see it on the menu!

Tizi Melloul – Offering a FIVE course meal instead of THREE!!! Wow!  & a Vegetarian Menu!  Fabulous!

Topolobampo* – Lunch only, sad – Yes, we’re curious what the menu is too!

Trattoria No. 10

Tsuki Japanese Restaurant and Lounge*

Tuscany on Taylor

Viaggio Ristorante and Lounge

Viand Bar and Kitchen

Wave

Other Menus:

ARIA
LUNCH
Choose one from Each
Starters:
wild mushroom bisque – white truffle oil, mushroom goat cheese won-ton
salad of fresee, arugula and blue cheese – organic mizuna, ciabatta croutons, haricot vert, braeburn apples, roquefort dressing

Entrees:
vegetable pad thai – tofu, roasted peanuts, preserved radish
romesco crusted salmon – chorizo, white beans, organic baby carrots

Desserts:
maple creameux – chocolate sauce, malted milk crisp, strawberry
pear almond tart – blackberry jam, vanilla bean ice cream

DINNER
Starter & Dessert same as lunch
Entree:
fiery wok seared noodle bowl – chinese broccoli, shiitake mushrooms red chilis, bean sprouts
braised beef short ribs – jade arborio rice