WBEZ | Paul Virant http://www.wbez.org/tags/paul-virant Latest from WBEZ Chicago Public Radio en Chicago 2013 Michelin stars: List, links, map, and burning questions http://www.wbez.org/blogs/louisa-chu/2012-11/chicago-2013-michelin-stars-list-links-map-and-burning-questions-103808 <p><p style="text-align: center;"><a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/louisachu/7556514502/"><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/mexiquetastepork.jpg" style="height: 412px; width: 620px;" title="Jamaica-glazed pork belly by new Michelin 2013 one-star chef Carlos Gaytan of Mexique at Taste of Chicago 2012 (WBEZ/Louisa Chu)" /></a></p><p><iframe frameborder="no" height="166" scrolling="no" src="http://w.soundcloud.com/player/?url=http%3A%2F%2Fapi.soundcloud.com%2Ftracks%2F67409729&amp;show_artwork=true" width="100%"></iframe></p><p>I don&#39;t always dine out, but when I do, I prefer a lot of restaurants that <a href="https://twitter.com/MichelinGuideCH">Michelin inspectors</a> don&#39;t &mdash; evidently.&nbsp;Which isn&#39;t to say that I don&#39;t like the new stars list, but more importantly, where are Vie and Lula?</p><p>Michelin unveiled its <a href="http://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/michelin-releases-third-edition-of-its-famed-guide-to-chicagos-best-restaurants-179186341.html">Chicago 2013 stars</a> list Wednesday. Alinea is the city&#39;s only three-star <a href="http://www.wbez.org/blog/louisa-chu/2011-11-15/michelin-updates-chicago-guide-2012-94075">again</a>. The grammatically challenging restaurants graham elliot and L2O won two stars. A total of sixteen restaurants were awarded one star.&nbsp;</p><p>The upsets: <a href="https://www.nextrestaurant.com/website/faq">Next</a> has been shut out again&nbsp;and <a href="http://www.vierestaurant.com/">Vie</a> lost its one star.</p><p>So despite widespread speculation on last week&#39;s <a href="http://www.wbez.org/blogs/louisa-chu/2012-11/chicago-2013-michelin-bib-gourmands-list-links-and-map-103731">Bib Gourmand list</a>, hometown favorites <a href="http://www.aramichicago.com/">Arami</a>, <a href="http://hopleaf.com/">Hopleaf</a>, <a href="http://www.lulacafe.com/">Lula</a>, and <a href="http://perennialchicago.com/">Perennial Virant</a> did not receive any recognition in Michelin&#39;s two most notable categories this year. The stars and Bib are best known, but the guide also includes a lesser known &quot;Under $25&quot; list, for a total of 433 recommended restaurants in Chicago and the suburbs for 2013.</p><p>It&#39;s important to note that while <a href="http://www.michelintravel.com/michelin-selections/what-are-bib-gourmands/">Bib Gourmands are a defined</a> as &quot;Inspectors&#39; Favorites for Good Value&quot; and &quot;places that Michelin&#39;s esteemed inspectors would frequent themselves,&quot; Michelin stars are a travel guide, despite what they might claim. An internationally renown travel guide for sure, but a travel guide nonetheless.</p><p>I haven&#39;t dined at all the restaurants on the lists so I can&#39;t say if anyone doesn&#39;t deserve to be on them, but where are Lula and Paul Virant? And despite the fact that Next is a proven international destination restaurant, why didn&#39;t it earn any stars again? And yes, I know Michelin says it loves consistency.</p><p>The <a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/206717696X?ie=UTF8&amp;creativeASIN=206717696X&amp;tag=lklchu-20"><em>Michelin Guide Chicago 2013</em></a> goes on sale today in print and ebook; the iPhone&nbsp;app on November 20. The full stars list, with link and a map, below.</p><p><u><a href="http://www.michelintravel.com/michelin-selections/selecting-our-stars/"><b>Three stars</b></a></u>&nbsp;(&quot;Three stars reward exceptional cuisine where diners eat extremely well, often superbly. Distinctive dishes are precisely executed, using superlative ingredients. Worth a special journey.&quot;)</p><p><a href="https://content.alinearestaurant.com/html/index.html">Alinea</a></p><p><strong><u><a href="http://www.michelintravel.com/michelin-selections/selecting-our-stars/">Two stars</a></u> </strong>(&quot;Two stars denote excellent cuisine, skillfully and carefully crafted dishes of outstanding quality. Worth a detour.&quot;)</p><p><a href="http://www.grahamelliot.com/">graham elliot</a>&nbsp;[new; up from one-star last year]</p><p><a href="http://l2orestaurant.com/">L2O</a>&nbsp;[new; up from one-star last year]</p><p><strong><u><a href="http://www.michelintravel.com/michelin-selections/selecting-our-stars/">One star</a></u> </strong>(&quot;One star indicates a very good restaurant in its category, offering cuisine prepared to a consistently high standard. A good place to stop on your journey.&quot;)</p><p><a href="http://acadiachicago.com/">Acadia</a>&nbsp;[new]</p><p><a href="http://blackbirdrestaurant.com/">Blackbird</a></p><p><a href="http://www.bokachicago.com/">Boka</a></p><p><a href="http://www.everestrestaurant.com/">Everest</a></p><p><a href="http://www.goosefoot.net/">Goosefoot</a>&nbsp;[new]</p><p><a href="http://www.longmanandeagle.com/">Longman &amp; Eagle</a></p><p><a href="http://www.mexiquechicago.com/">Mexique</a>&nbsp;[new; up from Bib Gourmand last year]</p><p><a href="http://www.motorestaurant.com/">Moto</a></p><p><a href="http://www.naha-chicago.com/">NAHA</a></p><p><a href="http://schwarestaurant.com/">Schwa</a></p><p><a href="http://www.sepiachicago.com/">Sepia</a>&nbsp;[Warning: autoplay music!]</p><p><a href="http://www.trumphotelcollection.com/chicago/fine-dining-chicago.php">Sixteen</a>&nbsp;[new; one-star in 2011]</p><p><a href="http://www.spiaggiarestaurant.com/">Spiaggia</a></p><p><a href="http://www.takashichicago.com/">Takashi</a></p><p><a href="http://www.rickbayless.com/restaurants/topolobampo.html">Topolobampo</a></p><p><a href="http://www.trurestaurant.com/">Tru</a></p><p style="text-align: center;"><iframe frameborder="0" height="350" marginheight="0" marginwidth="0" scrolling="no" src="https://maps.google.com/maps/ms?msa=0&amp;msid=201149109594033049268.0004ce685c1c75541b68b&amp;ie=UTF8&amp;t=m&amp;ll=41.958979,-87.637596&amp;spn=0.089356,0.21286&amp;z=12&amp;iwloc=0004ce685c209455f6e9c&amp;output=embed" width="620"></iframe><br /><small>View <a href="https://maps.google.com/maps/ms?msa=0&amp;msid=201149109594033049268.0004ce685c1c75541b68b&amp;ie=UTF8&amp;t=m&amp;ll=41.958979,-87.637596&amp;spn=0.089356,0.21286&amp;z=12&amp;iwloc=0004ce685c209455f6e9c&amp;source=embed" style="color:#0000FF;text-align:left">Michelin Stars Chicago 2013</a> in a larger map</small></p></p> Wed, 14 Nov 2012 05:00:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/blogs/louisa-chu/2012-11/chicago-2013-michelin-stars-list-links-map-and-burning-questions-103808 Hunt, gather, eat, drink: A Hank Shaw dinner at Vie http://www.wbez.org/blog/louisa-chu/2011-10-28/hunt-gather-eat-drink-hank-shaw-dinner-vie-93544 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/blog/photo/2011-October/2011-10-28/hankviefb.jpg" alt="" /><p><p style="text-align: center;"><img alt="" class="caption" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/blog/insert-image/2011-October/2011-10-27/hankviefb.jpg" style="width: 600px; height: 399px;" title="Hank, Mike Page, and Fernet-Branca"></p><p>I first met Hank Shaw, a rifle-packing Renaissance man, not through his own fine food blog (<a href="http://honest-food.net/">Hunter Angler Gardener Cook</a>), but through that of his friend and neighbor's, the wildly widely read <a href="http://simplyrecipes.com/contributor/hank">Simply Recipes</a>. From there it was down the rabbit hole, emerging in Hank's world, one where he hunts and forages the wide open lands and seas for nearly all his own food, cooks it up with style—and finishes the night with a Fernet-Branca.</p><p>But we're getting ahead of ourselves.</p><p>Hank just wrote the companion book to his life of adventure (<a href="http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/hunt-gather-cook-hank-shaw/1100228566?ean=9781605293202&amp;itm=1&amp;usri=hunt%2bgather%2bcook%2bfinding%2bthe%2bforgotten%2bfeast&amp;cm_mmc=AFFILIATES-_-Linkshare-_-sKeKUk6WDnY-_-10:1">Hunt, Gather, Cook: Finding the Forgotten Feast</a>) and has been on a cross country road trip/book tour/hunting trip—punctuated with occasional author dinners with like-minded chefs and diners.</p><p>Hank recently stopped in the Chicago area at Paul Virant's <a href="http://www.vierestaurant.com/index.html">Vie</a>. Though we dined in the sleek dining room, on the beautiful dishes that earned a Michelin star, with lovely wine pairings—and a killer cocktail—by the end of the night we all lingered too late over drinks, stories, and the relish of physical nature usually reserved for campfires or lodges.</p><p>Hank sat with my friend <a href="http://www.greatermidwestfoodways.com/index.php/page/14.html">Catherine Lambrecht</a> and I at dinner, but between every course he got up to talk to everyone at every table, though with a limp: he'd banged up his knee on a tree trunk while hunting the nearly-mythical woodcock in Michigan the day before.</p><p>Paul and gifted sous chef <a href="http://soapbox.restaurantintelligenceagency.com/profile/jawa37">Nathan Sears</a> are themselves masters of the wild, and the markets. Their first course, parsnip tortelloni with slow cooked Tuscan kale and pickled fennel, held a pleasant, surprise ribbon of caramelized egg yolk and crunchy fried red onions—which they themselves called, correctly, Funyuns. Paired with a glass of Italian 2008 Alois Lageder Pinot Grigio.</p><p style="text-align: center;"><img alt="" class="caption" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/blog/insert-image/2011-October/2011-10-27/hankvietortelloni.jpg" title="parsnip tortelloni" height="400" width="600"></p><p>Before the dinner, I'd sent Cathy Vie's email announcement, which showed a <a href="http://campaign.r20.constantcontact.com/render?llr=k8femrfab&amp;v=001p_v0Yvtx7lzRWjVFTsvl3BkAxieaoiC3Qmm7yx630pDX7T9CsZzfvx3s-XkHf8PAr_FFK797WMl_oG5j9Af6QvsJTmHlNPjTzwK65pliVVLEZYp43p5E4pN_T2NnlUaH0g8oAF-gxyypMYmTX8sFU8BaBRXaTgNf">photo</a> of hen-of-the-woods mushrooms in situ. She forwarded it to her friend, the mycologist <a href="http://illinoismushrooms.com/About%20Us.html">Joe McFarland</a>, who replied: hey, those are my mushrooms! (I've paraphrased.) In the second course, Joe's Illinois hen-of-the-woods mushrooms, acorn flour puff pastry, wild greens (chickweed, purslane, wood sorrel, dandelion, lamb's quarters), and pickled ramps met Alaskan birch syrup, and Colorado hawks wings mushrooms—foraged by Paul's sister, and found only above 8,500 feet. I've never had anything made with acorn flour. The puff pastry was like shortbread made by woodland elves and fairies. The wine paring, the white Italian 2009 Santa Barbara "Le Vaglie" Verdicchio del Castelli di Jesi.</p><p style="text-align: center;"><img alt="" class="caption" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/blog/insert-image/2011-October/2011-10-27/hankviemushrooms.jpg" title="hen-of-the-woods" height="399" width="600"></p><p>The third course—local surf and turf—Walleye pike, ham hock brodo, celery root gremolata, and sauerkraut cake. Yes, you heard me: a savory sauerkraut cake. Think latke with kraut. An inspired heart for this dish which I finished with spoon and bread. Wine pairing, Oregonian 2008 Emerson Vineyards Pinot Noir</p><p style="text-align: center;"><img alt="" class="caption" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/blog/insert-image/2011-October/2011-10-27/hankviewalleye.jpg" title="walleye pike" height="399" width="600"></p><p>By this point in multi-course dinners, I'm pretty full, and planning ahead for dessert. But the fourth course—wood-grilled Hawks Hill Ranch elk loin, caramelized and fried sunchokes, burdock purée, and elderberry elk sauce—had me eating all the chips, <a href="http://honest-food.net/2008/11/17/jerusalem-fartichokes-revisited/">no problem</a>, and taking just a few more big rich bites. The wine pairing, the big red French 2009 Mas Carlot "Les Enfants Terribles."</p><p style="text-align: center;"><img alt="" class="caption" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/blog/insert-image/2011-October/2011-10-27/hankvieelk.jpg" title="wood-grilled elk" height="399" width="600"></p><p>But before dessert, an herbal, highly spirited palate cleanser—the killer cocktail—an elixir of Buffalo Trace bourbon, housemade black walnut nocello, Chartreuse, cherry bitters, and pear cider. I love complex, bitter, sweet, and murky—I'm still talking about the cocktail here.</p><p style="text-align: center;"><img alt="" class="caption" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/blog/insert-image/2011-October/2011-10-27/hankviecocktail.jpg" title="cocktail" height="399" width="600"></p><p>And finally dessert. By talented pastry chef Elissa Narrow: pumpkin cake roulade, espresso semifreddo, candied walnuts, pumpkin, dried cherry compote. I am one of those diners some pastry chefs hate: I always want chocolate. But in the season of pumpkin, I want everything pumpkin, or more precisely, so-called pumpkin spice. This was all the classic American fall dessert flavors, refined and playful.</p><p style="text-align: center;"><img alt="" class="caption" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/blog/insert-image/2011-October/2011-10-27/hankviecake.jpg" title="pumpkin cake roulade" height="399" width="600"></p><p>Below left, old friends and new: lovable Vie GM Jimmy McFarland (no relation to mycologist Joe), Elissa, Hank, Nathan, and Paul. Below right, Vie exterior at night.</p><p style="text-align: center;"><img alt="" class="caption" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/blog/insert-image/2011-October/2011-10-27/hankviegroup.jpg" style="width: 300px; height: 200px;" title="Jimmy, Elissa, Hank, Nathan, Paul"><img alt="" class="caption" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/blog/insert-image/2011-October/2011-10-27/hankvieexterior.jpg" style="width: 300px; height: 200px;" title="Vie"></p><p>Below left: Hank, Paul, and Hank's infamous white truck. Below right: a blurry shot of Hank's truck door. Did I mention that cocktail was killer?</p><p style="text-align: center;"><img alt="" class="caption" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/blog/insert-image/2011-October/2011-10-27/hankvietruck.jpg" style="width: 300px; height: 200px;" title="Hank, Paul, and truck"><img alt="" class="caption" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/blog/insert-image/2011-October/2011-10-27/hankviedoor.jpg" style="width: 300px; height: 200px;" title="honest-food truck"></p><p>What's not pictured are the three <a href="http://honest-food.net/2011/10/23/woodcock-rejuvenation-and-light/">woodcocks</a> hanging in back. After aging for a few days, Hank roasted them up at his next stop in the Dakotas. Not a book dinner; a just a beautiful dinner.</p><p>But back at Vie, before he hit the road again, mixologist and bar manager Mike Page and I shared in Hank's ritual night-ending Fernet-Brancas. Looking forward to the next one, wherever that might be.</p></p> Fri, 28 Oct 2011 14:00:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/blog/louisa-chu/2011-10-28/hunt-gather-eat-drink-hank-shaw-dinner-vie-93544 Tuesday Foodie Forecast: Wine holiday and craft beer for hunger http://www.wbez.org/dolinsky/2010/02/monday-foodie-forecast/14955 <p><p style="text-align: center; "><img width="364" height="364" alt="" title="" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/blog/insert-image/2010-November/2010-11-17/wine.jpg" /></p><p>National Drink Wine Day may not be a real holiday, but it's the perfect excuse to drink more than the doctor-recommended daily glass of wine. So this Thursday, pull out the corkscrew and enjoy that expensive bottle of wine you've been saving or break out that box of Franzia if you're on a budget .</p><p>On Thursday Feb. 18, <a href="http://www.frascapizzeria.com/">Frasca Pizzeria &amp; Wine Bar</a> is celebrating National Drink Wine Day with their regional dinner wine series that a four-course meal to highlight the wines and cuisine of Tuscany, Italy. The menu includes:<!--break--></p><ul> <li><strong>Zuppa Toscana </strong>spicy sausage, potatoes and kale in a creamy chicken broth</li> </ul> <p><em>Casalfameto Verdicchio</em></p><ul> <li><strong>Risotto </strong>with prosciutto, peas and Tallegio cheese</li> <li><strong>Porcini-Crusted Skirt Steak</strong> with green lentils and gorgonzola</li> </ul> <p><em>Marchese Antinori Chianti Classico Riserva</em></p><ul> <li><strong>Roasted Apple Zepole</strong> Italian-style &quot;doughnut&quot; with powdered sugar and maple caramel</li> </ul> <p><em>Badia Coltibuono Vin Santo</em></p><p>Dinner starts at 7 p.m. and costs $50 per person. Reservations are recommended and can be made by calling 773-248-5222.</p><p style="text-align: center; "><a href="/sites/default/files/archives/blogs//hotchocolate.jpg"><img class="aligncenter size-full wp-image-15252" title="hotchocolate" alt="" width="360" height="274" src="/sites/default/files/archives/blogs//hotchocolate.jpg" /></a></p><p>In celebration of their 5<sup>th</sup> anniversary, on Monday, Feb. 22, <a href="http://www.hotchocolatechicago.com/">HotChocolate</a> will host a charitable <a href="http://www.hotchocolatechicago.com/anniversary.html">craft beer dinner</a> to benefit Share Our Strength, an organization dedicated to eliminating child hunger.</p><p>Hot Chocolate owner Mindy Segal has brought together a cast of Chicago's all-star chefs to prepare a dinner paired with beer from domestic craft breweries.</p><p>Chefs include:</p><ul> <li>Bill Kim -- Urban Belly, Belly Shack</li> <li>Paul Kahan -- Blackbird, Avec, The Publican, Big Star</li> <li>Rick Bayless -- Topolobampo, Frontera Grill, Xoco</li> <li>Paul Virant -- Vie Restaurant</li> <li>Michael Kornick -- mk/DMK Burger Bar</li> </ul><p>Dinner begins at 6:30 p.m. and costs $150 per person. Tickets can be purchased by calling HotChocolate at 773-489-1747.</p></p> Tue, 16 Feb 2010 13:00:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/dolinsky/2010/02/monday-foodie-forecast/14955