Dining and food culture in Chicago

Top 5 of Everything 2011: Resto

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Top 5 New Vegetarian/Vegan Restaurants 
Quesadilla La Reyna del Sur
Urban Vegan
Native Foods
Soul Vegetarian Express
Protein Bar
—John Wawrzaszek

Top 5 Cookbooks Featuring Recipes from Chicagoans 
 “Willie’s Wildcat Cookbook” by Northwestern University alumni (Northwestern University)
“Homemade Memories” by Home Instead Senior Care and friends (Home Instead Senior Care)
“The Chicago Homegrown Cookbook: Local Food, Local Restaurants, Local Recipes” by Heather Lalley with photos by Brendan Lekan (Voyageur Press)
“beta cocktails” Includes cocktail recipes from Chicago bartenders like Stephen Cole, Paul McGee and Mike Ryan (self-published)
“Girl in the Kitchen: How a Top Chef Cooks, Thinks, Shops, Eats and Drinks” by Stephanie Izard and Heather Shouse (Chronicle)
—Veronica Hinke

Top 5 Waffles
Albondigas, Waffles
The Jack Hammer, The Waffle Gourmet
Belgian waffles, Melrose
Cheddar and Short Rib, Waffles
Chicken and waffles, Chicago’s Home of Chicken and Waffles
—Veronica Hinke 

Top 5 Birthday Cakes
Maple Homestyle, Dinkel’s Bakery
Red Velvet, Rahmig’s House of Fine Chocolates
Pure Classic Devil’s Food, Dinkel’s Bakery
Marble with French buttercream, Bennison’s
Strawberry Orange Whip Cream Cake, Lutz Café & Pastry Shop
—Veronica Hinke

Top 5 Cocktails
Hay Ride, Uncommon Ground (seasonal)
Pisco Sour, The Violet Hour
J. Hendricks 10, Viper Alley
Watermelon Mojito with Hum, Topaz Café (seasonal)
Blueberry, Aviary
—Veronica Hinke

Top 5 Chilled Soups
Chilled Bourbon Peach Soup, Winberie’s (seasonal)
Korean Cold Noodle Soup, Lao Beijing
Homemade Fresh Beet Borscht, The Bagel (seasonal)
Tomato-watermelon Gazpacho, Mercat a la Planxa (seasonal)
Spring Pea Soup, Blackbird (seasonal)
Veronica Hinke

Top 5 Chocolate-Covered Foods
Mexican Ginger covered with Blommer’s Kosher Dark or Milk Chocolate, Margie’s Candies
Chocolate-covered Candied Orange Peel, Belgian Chocolatier Piron
Milk or Dark Chocolate-dipped Candied Pineapple, Windy City Sweets
Chocolate-Covered Strawberries, The Fudge Pot
Chocolate-dipped Prunes, Old Fashioned Candies
Veronica Hinke

Top 5 Whoopie Pies
Heart-shaped; heart-healthier, Cookies Fresco (seasonal)
Whoop it Good, Sweet Ride
Pumpkin, Fraiche (seasonal)
Chocolate with white buttercream, Angel Food Bakery
Red velvet, Sweet Mandy B’s
Veronica Hinke

Top 5 New Uses for Rhubarb (all seasonal)
Rhubarb mustard for cheese plates, Maude’s Liquor Bar
Chickpea and Green Garlic Crêpe, Lula Cafe
Roasted Pork Loin with Pickled Rhubarb, Custom House Tavern
Roasted Duck with Rhubarb Compote, Prairie Fire
Rhubarb Custard Tart, mK
Veronica Hinke

Top 5 New Uses for Quince (all seasonal)
Quince Ice Cream, Chilam Balam
Quince Vlaai, HB Home Bistro
Quince Coffee Cake, Quince at the Homestead
Red Wine Quince Sorbet, Blackbird
Cheese plate condiment, Tapas Barcelona
Veronica Hinke

Top 5 Hot Dogs 
Brandy-Infused Smoked Portuguese Chorizo with Peppadew Mayonnaise and Smoked Mozzarella Cheese, Hot Doug’s (daily special)
Polish Sausage Sandwich, Jim’s Original
Char Cheddar Dog, Wiener Circle
Chili Cheese Dog, Chicago Beef, Burger & Dogs
Char-Grilled Maxwell Street Style Polish, Portillo’s
Veronica Hinke

Top 5 Most Surprising Restaurant Closings
Carlos’ Restaurant
Kith and Kin
Franconello Italian Restaurant
Istanbul Restaurant
Veronica Hinke

Top 5 Promising Restaurant Openings
Viper Alley
Everest Burger and Bakery
Benjamin Restaurant
Tozi Korean B.B.Q. Cuisine
Three (III) Forks
Veronica Hinke

Top 5 Most Talked about Chef/Sommelier Moves
Dan Marquis’ (Bin 36; SushiSamba Rio; Pasha Spanish Cuisine) star-spangled move from sous chef to executive chef at Quay during Food Network’s “Chef Hunter” competition
Sommelier Alpana Singh’s bow from her post as Lettuce Entertain You Wine and Spirits Director
L20 alum Johnny Besch’s move to Bistro Bordeaux executive chef via MiX on the Beach
Pastry Chef Meg Galus’ switch from Cafe des Architectes (Hotel Sofitel Water Tower) to NoMI Kitchen (Chicago Park Hyatt)
Pastry Chef Stephanie Prida’s (Blackbird) move from Ria and Balsan (both of The Elysian Hotel) to L20
Veronica Hinke

Top 5 Independent Food Websites/blogs  
Chicago Bites, ChicagoBites.com
LTH Forum, LTHForum.com
Our Chicago Food Blog, OurChicagoFoodBlog.com
Pro Bono Baker, ProBonoBaker.typepad.com
The Local Tourist, TheLocalTourist.com
—Veronica Hinke

Top 5 Independent Cooking Classes
Shoba Havalad’s Indian and Thai cooking classes
Cooking in the Hills
Wooden Spoon
Cook au Vin
Cooking Fools
—Veronica Hinke

Top 5 French Restaurant Desserts
Suzette a la Germain, La Creperie
Ginger Crème Brûlée, Les Nomades
Marjolaine Cake, Café Bernard
Chocolate Hazelnut Mousse Cake, Froggy’s French Café
Chef Didier’s Homemade Chocolate Truffles, Cyrano’s Bistrot & Wine Bar
Veronica Hinke

One Response to “Top 5 of Everything 2011: Resto”

  1. andrew Says:

    Umm, one your top 5 independent food blog/websites’ last two posts are from November 17 and September 10. If that were the true state of Chicago’s indie food blog scene it would be sad…

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