WBEZ | Province http://www.wbez.org/tags/province Latest from WBEZ Chicago Public Radio en Friday Foodie Forecast: Earth Day and chef collaborations http://www.wbez.org/blog/steve-dolinsky/2011-04-22/friday-foodie-forecast-earth-day-and-chef-collaborations-85505 <p><p style="text-align: center;"><img alt="" class="caption" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/blog/insert-image/2011-April/2011-04-21/cartoon chefs.jpg" style="width: 364px; height: 199px;" title=""></p><p>While Easter brunches and Passover Seder dinners have all but taken over food talk this week, the coming days also feature some noteworthy chef-driven collaborations. <a href="http://deathsdoorspirits.com/">Death’s Door Spirits </a>will be serving up specialty cocktails at <a href="http://chicago.provincerestaurant.com">Province</a> where Chef Randy Zweiban joins forces with <a href="http://www.cityprovisions.com/delicatessen.htm">City Provisions</a> Chef Cleetus Friedman, creating a multi-course, seasonal, sustainable dinner in honor of Earth Day. Chicago’s <a href="http://blackbirdrestaurant.com">Blackbird</a> will be teaming up with Napa’s <a href="http://www.blackbirdvineyards.com/">Blackbird</a> –<em>Vineyards </em>that is – for a customized dinner and wine pairing, while <a href="http://www.quartino.com/">Quartino</a>&nbsp;is&nbsp;throwing a bash showcasing Chef John Coletta’s fare and Italy’s fine <a href="http://www.quartino.com/">wines</a> as well.&nbsp;Here’s to classic couplings and the spirit of teamwork – cheers!</p><p><strong>Province Celebrates Earth Day</strong></p><p>In honor of Earth Day, Chef Randy Zweiban of <a href="http://chicago.provincerestaurant.com/">Province</a> invites Chef Cleetus Friedman of <a href="http://www.cityprovisions.com/delicatessen.htm">City Provisions </a>over to his West Loop kitchen for a one-of-a kind collaboration Friday, April 22, from 5:30 – 7:30 p.m. Guests will be treated to multi-course, sustainable finger foods sourced from three local farms – including skirt steak taquitos with ancho-chipotle aioli and Cuban pork sandwiches with pickles and mustard salsa – paired with cocktail creations from <a href="http://deathsdoorspirits.com/">Death’s Door Spirits</a>. Tickets are $55 per person and include food and drink (as well as tax and gratuity). A portion of the proceeds will benefit <a href="http://chefscollaborative.org/">Chefs Collaborative</a> – a nonprofit network of chefs promoting sustainable cuisine by teaching children, supporting local farmers, educating one another and inspiring the public to choose good, clean food – <a href="http://www.organicvalley.coop/">Organic Valley</a> will also match all donations. Reservations are required and can be made by calling Province at 312-669-9900. Province is located at 161 N. Jefferson St. For more information, visit <a href="http://chicago.provincerestaurant.com/">http://chicago.provincerestaurant.com</a>.</p><p><strong>Blackbird Vineyards Dinner</strong></p><p>While the snow gives way to rain and the blackbirds fly back to Chicago as a beacon of spring, <a href="http://blackbirdrestaurant.com/">Blackbird</a>&nbsp;the restaurant meets <a href="http://www.blackbirdvineyards.com/">Blackbird</a> - the Napa-based winery - for a customized dinner of food and wine pairings this Wednesday, April 27 at 7:00 p.m. Held in the restaurant’s private upstairs dining room, chefs David Posey and Paul Kahan join forces with Paul Leary of Napa’s Blackbird Vineyards for a menu including English pea soup with hamachi bacon, eucalyptus, and yogurt; roasted duck breast with pastrami, garbanzo beans, golden raisin custard, and rye; and lamb loin with fried lentils, salsify, smoked olives, and licorice pudding. Reservations are required and can be made by calling 312-715-0708. Tickets are $125 per person (<em>inclusive of tax and gratuity</em>). <em>Note</em>: Blackbird also offers an ongoing, $22 three-course prix fixe lunch menu Mon. thru Fri. Blackbird is located at 619 W. Randolph St. For more information, visit <a href="http://blackbirdrestaurant.com/">http://blackbirdrestaurant.com</a>.</p><p><strong>Quartino Throws a Wine Bash</strong></p><p><a href="http://www.quartinochicago.com/">Quartino</a> invites you to taste the wines of Italy and join in on its <a href="http://www.facebook.com/pages/Quartino/251670422096">April Wine Bash</a> this Wednesday, April 27 from 7:00 – 9:00 p.m. The event – now in its third year held on the last Wednesday of every month - showcases wines from a particular region or style, with Sicilian wines the focus of this evening’s soiree. The tasting will include samples of Caldora Chardonnay; Cusumano Syrah; Nero d’Avola; and merlot. Wines will be paired with festive bites and seasonal specialties by Executive Chef John Coletta including; roasted peppers; beet and walnut salad; assorted Neapolitan pizze; bruschetta; and grilled vegetables. Guests are invited to take home a bottle of the featured wines for $10 per bottle. Tickets are $20 per person and registration begins at 6:30 at the door (<em>reservations are not accepted</em>). Quartino is located at 626 N. State. For more information, call 312-698-5000, or visit <a href="http://www.quartino.com/">www.quartino.com</a>.</p><p>&nbsp;</p></p> Fri, 22 Apr 2011 17:00:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/blog/steve-dolinsky/2011-04-22/friday-foodie-forecast-earth-day-and-chef-collaborations-85505 Nothing to Pu-Pu, but I think I'm a fan of platters again http://www.wbez.org/blog/steve-dolinsky/nothing-pu-pu-i-think-im-fan-platters-again <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/sushisamba.jpg" alt="" /><p><p style="text-align: center;"><img height="299" width="400" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/blog/insert-image/2010-November/2010-11-21/sushisamba.jpg" title="sushi platter from Sushisamba" alt="" /></p><p style="text-align: left;">I&rsquo;m usually not a fan of platters.<span style="">&nbsp; </span>More precisely, I tend to shy away from any sort of mass-service, group-intended eating from the trough.<span style="">&nbsp; </span>I avoid buffets like a Bears fan shuns Lambeau and don&rsquo;t want anything to do with those &ldquo;sampler platters&rdquo; they try to foist upon you at mediocre Chinese joints.</p><!--StartFragment--> <p class="MsoNormal"><o:p></o:p>But there I was, twice in the past week, sitting down with friends and gobbling up two very different items from uniquely prepared platters.</p><p class="MsoNormal"><o:p></o:p>The first, from <a href="http://www.sushisamba.com/index.cfm/id/10/id2/28.html">Sushisamba</a> in River North, where I&rsquo;ve always been more drawn to the cooked items, such as the seafood-jammed <i style="">moqueca</i> stew or the savory <i style="">robata</i> skewers of beef and chicken.<span style="">&nbsp; </span>But for some reason, a sushi assortment was ordered, and without hesitation, we polished off the delicate pieces of Hamachi, as well as the savory maki rolls embedded with an appropriate amount of fish (great ratio of seafood to well-prepared sushi rice), and not coated in an unagi-lathered sauce like so many other places do, hoping to cover up any flaws.<o:p></o:p></p> <p style="text-align: center;" class="MsoNormal"><img height="299" width="400" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/blog/insert-image/2010-November/2010-11-21/noon-o-kabab.jpg" title="Kebab platter from Noon-o-Kabab" alt="" /></p><p class="MsoNormal">Then on Friday night, at <a href="http://noonokabab.com/">Noon O Kabab</a>, perhaps the best Persian/Iranian restaurant in Chicago, we sat down to a platter of kebabs, each one more juicy and flavorful than the next.<span style="">&nbsp; </span>In the picture above, you&rsquo;ll notice shrimp skewers on the far left; check out the large chunks of salmon right next to them.<span style="">&nbsp; </span>They were an absolutely spot-on medium rare, and as we sampled each kebab &ndash; from filet to ground beef and chicken that must have been marinated for a few days to keep it so moist &ndash; I was even more impressed with the &ldquo;jeweled&rdquo; rice dish that arrived alongside: studded with shards of orange peel, carrots and crunchy pistachios, I was reminded instantly of why I love this place so much, and how I need to make a habit of returning again soon.<o:p></o:p></p> <p class="MsoNormal">On a completely different train of thought, I wanted to share this picture from my lunch Friday at <a href="http://provincerestaurant.com/">Province</a>, a place I haven&rsquo;t eaten in much lately.<span style="">&nbsp; </span>It&rsquo;s cobia &ndash; a type of black kingfish &ndash; sustainably caught, of course, like all of the seafood at the restaurant.<span style="">&nbsp; </span>Topped with some briny capers and resting over a crunchy assortment of squash, edamame and hearty winter greens, it was a richly-satisfying dish with very little guilt (allowing for just a few extra nibbles of dessert).</p><p class="MsoNormal"><o:p></o:p></p> <p style="text-align: center;" class="MsoNormal"><o:p><img height="299" width="400" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/blog/insert-image/2010-November/2010-11-21/cobia at Province.jpg" title="Cobia from Province" alt="" />&nbsp;</o:p></p> <!--EndFragment--> <p style="text-align: left;">&nbsp;</p><p>&nbsp;</p></p> Mon, 22 Nov 2010 12:24:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/blog/steve-dolinsky/nothing-pu-pu-i-think-im-fan-platters-again