Monday, September 8, 2008

adventures in face stuffing - chicago

the windy city is a lot like new york...

...if new york was retired and had a bum hip.

that being said, i must admit that i had a great time visiting chicagol
and with my girlfriend, Sandy, this past august.

--first off, they have no idea what they are doing with pizza out the
re. the "toppings" are UNDER the cheese and they cut circle pies into square slices; totally fucking backwards. the stuff tastes pretty good, it's just NOT pizza; it's a casserole with crust.

hotdogs, however, are a totally different story. the windy city dog is a work o
f art. it is far superior to the dirty water dogs being peddled by the INS-dodging cretins on the streets of NY.

case in point:

a snappy vienna frank smothered in fresh-cut tomatoes, raw onion, tangy pickles, hot peppers, neon green relish and ooey gooey gobs of melted cheese! --damn, i got a semi just thinking about it.

we also had some fries, nothing special, but they sure were plentiful:

The Wiener's Circle
2622 N Clark Street
Chicago, IL 60614


Ron Bennington, host of the Ron & Fez radio program, has his very own cupcake and there's only one place you can get it, Molly's Cupcakes!

i'm not a real cup cake person but i couldn't pass up the opportunity to try Mr. B's signature confection:

rich chocolate ganache, creamy peanut butter filling and a crunchy butterscotch topping - if the keebler elves had an orgy in your mouth this is what it would taste like.

Molly's Cupcakes
2536 N Clark St

Chicago, IL 60614

SPRING in the Summer

from what i gather, "SPRING" is located in what used to be a Russian bathhouse back in the early 20's, but from the looks of it you could never tell. the atmosphere was chic and modern with an asian flare; something you'd get if you crossed a triad operated yanky-cranky hotspot and a day spa. i probably should have taken pictures but i was too busy sucking down dirty martinis - i think after the fourth one they were just giving me olives in water....

the amuse:

white asparagus "salad," charred cauliflower, citrus, horseradish foam

-- a delightful mouthful; the citrus, asparagus and mache combine to create a clean and crisp experience that lends itself nicely to the somewhat spicy, slightly smokey foam creation.

first course:

scallop & potato ‘Raviolis’ seared Maine scallop, mushroom-black truffle reduction

barbequed unagi eel, kimchi, crispy somen noodles, avocado emulsion & toasted

--- the scallops were kind of an inside-out ravioli. the scallops, seared and seasoned to perfection, were tastefully arranged on a layer of thick-cut potato "chip" like ravioli and complimented by a medley of sauteed mushrooms and a decadent creamy truffle emulsion.

--- the eel dish was my favorite of the evening. both the eel and the pork belly paired nicely together and the tangy kimchi fritter worked well as a referee keeping the unctuous tendencies of the eel-pork-avacado trio in check.


seared shrimp, ramen noodle, sweet potato-dashi emulsion

--- nothing special but it was compliments so i didn't really give a shit. it was an interesting dish that tried to play up umami angle with the earthy sweet potato-dashi emulsion and i appreciate that...but it just didn't have any balls.

main course:

barramundi, potato gnocchi w/ chinese mustard, caramelized shittake, edamame, toasted cashews

speaking of balls...this dish was just swangin' dem thangz! the gnocchi's incredibly light and fluffy texture was an act of subterfuge distracting the palate from the fierce bite of the chinese mustard sneaking in the back door. the creamy/spicy gnocchi paired beautifully with the perfectly cooked fish fillet - they got a mean sear on that son of a bitch. this dish reminded me of eating a popeye's chicken breast with the mustard dipping sauce. if that sounds off putting to you, you should probably go fuck yourself. popeye's chicken rules and so does barramundi. dining at its finest!

quinoa pound cake, ginger icecream, candied cherries

frozen coconut custard, candied blueberries, crispy wafers and cashews
-- compliments

--- the quinoa pound cake was interesting to say the least. insofar as flavor was concerned, the cake itself was pretty standard, however that wasn't necessarily a bad thing. the real draw with this dish was the playful texture courtesy of the qunioa. the ginger icecream was sharp yet sweet and harbored tiny pieces of carmelized ginger that tied the whole dish together nicely.

--- the fozen custard dish had a lot of texture contrast going on. it was blueberry pie a la mode, deconstructed - simulatneously creative yet mundane.

2039 West North Avenue

Chicago, IL 60647

© 2008 c. c. villani @ "mission: insatiable" -

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