| Mar 13, 2014
There are hidden gems, and then there are hidden gems. Waterleaf restaurant, for instance, isn't a good restaurant where one wouldn't expect to find it; it's a good restaurant tucked away where you'd never think to look for it.
Waterleaf sits on the...
| Dec 5, 2013
My wife took a bite of the scallop-crab motoyaki, one of the specialties at Kabocha, and smiled beatifically.
"Now this is a signature dish," she said happily. "This rocks."
My wife doesn't dazzle all that easily (though she married me; make what...
| Feb 27, 2014
'There's a saying," says chef extraordinaire Rick Bayless, "that every Mexican recipe begins, 'First you brown the onions and garlic.'"
Well, in the themed menu being featured (along with the regular menu) at Topolobampo, that isn't happening. The menu,...
| Nov 13, 2013
| 10:11 AM
Three-month-old Tanta, in River North, is easily Chicago's most accomplished Peruvian restaurant, elevating the cuisine — a melting pot that claims Chinese, Japanese, Spanish, African and ancient Incan influences — to the level of fine dining....
| Feb 26, 2014
| 8:28 AM
As a kid growing up Catholic, my meatless-Friday options included canned tuna, grilled cheese, tomato soup and whatever nasty fish my mom would slap in a fry pan.
Mind you, I grew up Old School Catholic. Back then, we still had limbo, purgatory was...
| Dec 12, 2013
Coherence is overrated. That's the conclusion I draw from Beatrix, an agreeable hodgepodge of a restaurant that opened six months ago in River North and has been doing brisk business ever since.
Focus? Fuggedaboutit. This Lettuce Entertain You...
| Nov 20, 2013
| 12:49 PM
Part harvest festival, part good excuse to drink wine, the annual release of Beaujolais nouveau takes place the third Thursday on November. Beaujolais nouveau is a light, fruity, food-friendly and fun red wine meant to be enjoyed young, and preferably...
| Dec 26, 2013
| 7:00 AM
New Year's Eve is just six days away. Do you have your dinner reservations yet?
If not, I've got a few extras. More than 130, actually.
As I've done for the last 13 years (and 18 of the last 20), I've made reservations, in my name, at restaurants...
| Nov 21, 2013
Mark Grosz is old school, and I mean that in the best possible way. He learned his craft by working at top restaurants here and abroad, most notably under Jean Banchet when Banchet and Le Francais were in their prime. And he runs a superb restaurant, a...
| Dec 26, 2013
I admit to an irrational fondness for New Year's Day pajama brunches. The idea of showing up for brunch in one's pjs has a certain quirky charm, and when the entire dining room, including staffers, is doing the same — let's just say that one year at...
| Mar 7, 2014
| 10:05 AM
I've combined a post from earlier this week with a commentary for my Sunday print column My PDSD — Post-Daley Stress Disorder — is relatively under control. I sometimes cringe involuntarily when inserting my credit card into parking meter...
| Aug 8, 2013
Elizabeth, the restaurant, is not quite a year old, but recent changes by chef/owner Iliana Regan have made the dining experience drastically different. And I like every single change she has made.
Most notably, Regan has revamped Elizabeth's seating, a...