Eater's Digest: Chicago 3

Previously on Adam Riff™:

April 2018
honey butter fried chicken / fort willow / the delta / mott street / antique taco / cellar door provisions / s.k.y. / piece / proxi / saint lou's assembly / roister / bonci / minghin cuisine / smoque bbq / tribecca's cubano / the budlong / kimski / elske / chicken planet / seoul taco / s.k.y. / carnitas uruapan / pizzeria bebu / herb n' kitchen / sultan's market / shake shack / panes bread cafe / hotchocolate bakery / old habits at ludlow liquors / wyler road / sultan's market / split rail / tempesta market / saint lou's assembly / piece / the publican

Whole Chicken and Chamomile (Roister)
braised, poached, fried; with sunchokes

^ 1. A whole chicken, which was fed scraps from Manhattan's most prestigious restaurants, is butchered and brined for 24 hours in sweetened chamomile tea.

2. The thighs are deboned, brined in buttermilk, and fried. A double dredging in seasoned corn starch, buttermilk, and flour ends with a deep tissue massage for each thigh. The final touch is a sprinkling of spice blend made with chamomile tea, salt, MSG, sugar, and pepper.

3. Breasts are seared in a cast iron skillet in the 900-degree hearth until juicy on the inside and charred almost black on the outside.

4. Legs are cooked sous-vide in chicken fat before they are tossed with sunchokes, onions, celery, and sunflower seeds to make chicken salad.

Served with chicken gravy and a white, hot sauce made from sunchokes that have been steeped with habanero chiles.

Hot Chicken (The Budlong)
served with texas toast and budlong pickles

^ Awesomely crisp.

Organic Fried Chicken (S.K.Y.)
fermented habanero hot sauce, creamed corn

^ More swell fried chicken. Not sure about its accompaniments.

Spicy Chicken Parm Sandwich (Honey Butter Fried Chicken)
fried chicken strips, calabrian chile pimento cheese, spicy tomato sauce, basil, buttery bun
—Mine was delivered with mozzarella cheese instead of Calabrian chile pimento cheese [grumbling], but it was still yummy.

Chicken Salad Sandwich (Wyler Road)
chicken breast, fried chicken skin, chimichurri, sour grape jam, sprouts, whole grain
—I tasted peanut butter? – and kinda dug it.

(Fort Willow)'s interior "tree"

Braaibroodjie (Fort Willow)
sharp cheddar cheese, peach chutney, and red onion; south african spice-rubbed lamb ribs on the side

^ A South African grilled cheese.

The #99 – D.D. Brindisi Grand Avenue Pastrami (Tempesta Market)
our incomparable house wagyu beef pastrami [time, brine, molasses, love, smoke, and calabrian pepper] with bread and butter pickles, swiss, and remoulade, griddled on rye

^ Fry hard.

The Dante (Tempesta Market)
hot soppressata, mortadella, finocchiona, hot coppa, porchetta, provolone, giardiniera, 'nduja aioli, lettuce, and tomato on a baguette

^ Six Italian meats in one.

Jim Shoe Tamale (The Delta)
lamb and beef tamale, house-made pastrami, giardiniera, provolone, daf sauce, l.t.o.

^ A Jim/Gym Shoe is a Chicago sandwich featuring gyro meat, roast beef, and corned beef. (The Delta)'s play on it is a large tamale filled with lamb and beef, garnished with pastrami in corned beef's stead. Easy on the sauce, chef.

Tacos Dorados de Sesos (Carnitas Uruapan)
crispy tacos filled with spicy pork brain, onion, cilantro, and jalapeño

^ I couldn't stop eating these deep-fried pig brain tacos. Watch for toothpicks.

Kimchi and Oaxaca Empanadas (Mott Street)
masa shell; served with chimichurri crème fraîche

Bread (Mott Street)
potato and onion bread, leek-curry butter, soft baked egg

Mott Burger (Mott Street)
double chuck patties, sweet potato shoestrings, hoisin aioli, pickled jalapeños, dill pickles, miso butter, american cheese

^ One of the best burgers, if not the best burger, in Chicago? I guess…

Everything Wings (Mott Street)
crispy wings glazed with soy, jaggery, and dried chilis; tossed with sesame, poppy seed, fried shallots; served with tzatziki

Crab Dragoon (Old Habits at Ludlow Liquors)
crab meat, everything crm chz, scallions

^ Crab rangoon repulses me, but sometimes opposites attract?

Veggrolls (Old Habits at Ludlow Liquors)
curried potato, english peas, coriander chutney

^ Aloo samosas, basically.

Filipino Egg Rolls (Old Habits at Ludlow Liquors)
beef, pork, spam, patis

Jon: Rum ham? Like on It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia?
Server: Yes.

Pinoy D'lite (Old Habits at Ludlow Liquors)
adobo pork shoulder, white rice, rum ham, mung beans
—Fried rice served in a Chinese take-out container. The rum ham was disappointingly just a sprinkling of rum ham bits.

Chicago Rib Tips (Old Habits at Ludlow Liquors)
classic smoked rib tips en su jugo, crispy belly tips, cheesed flour tortilla, seeded mirepoix slaw

Frensch Cut Fries (Old Habits at Ludlow Liquors)
beef gravy [served warm], malted vanilla ice cream [served cold]

^ Gravy and ice cream as dipping sauces.

Yukon Fries (Roister)
soy-dusted, bonito flakes, tofu mayo

^ Thick-cut fries stink.

(Kimski) is dubious Korean-Polish fusion.

Kimski Poutine (Kimski)
fries dressed with kimchi beer gravy, pan-fried wisconsin cheese curds; topped with pickled onions, scallions, and sesame leaves

^ I approve of this kimchi beer gravy.

Maria's Standard (Kimski)
house polish sausage, soju mustard, buns from spoken bird in pilsen, kraut chi made with co-op, scallions, sesame seeds; comes with a side of fries

^ Soju mustard, however, ain't it.

Scallion Potato Pancakes (Kimski)
house-made batter, scallions, grated potato with dill; served with kimchi slaw and drizzled with tamari sour cream sauce, scallions

^ At least you tried.

Cacio Pepe Pizza (Bonci)
onion, provolone cheese, pecorino cheese, pepper

Sausage and Broccoli Rabe Pizza (Pizzeria Bebu)
house-made italian sausage, mozzarella, broccoli rabe, ricotta

Pepperoni Pizza (Pizzeria Bebu)
parmesan, mozzarella, garlic, calabrian chile, basil

Taleggio Pizza (Pizzeria Bebu)
panna, pistachio, calabrian honey, chive

Aged Cheddar Rillettes (Roister)
truffle, cauliflower, fry bread

^ Adding cauliflower to a cheese spread for texture? Hey, it works!

Habanero Popcorn (Antique Taco)
olive oil, habanero cheddar powder

Adobo Corn Nuts (Saint Lou's Assembly)
crispy maiz
—Come with chicharrones, for some reason.

Tempura Elotes (Proxi)

^ Curious corn fritters – cob-less elote.

Cobia (Proxi)
coconut, turmeric, curry leaf
—A fish fillet in a delectable thick curry sauce.

Meat Cone (Tempesta Market)

^ Portable charcuterie.

Chef's Menu (The Publican)
—R.I.P. (The Publican)'s omakase? A stellar value for $65. None of the 10 or so courses I was served was particularly interesting, but most everything was delicious.

(Cellar Door Provisions)' $42 prix fixe dinner for 4.13-4.14:

Snacks (Cellar Door Provisions)
pepita dip, zhoug, brined beets and carrots green strawberry, briny butter, cabbage slaw

^ My first experience with zhoug. Spicy!

Trout Crudo (Cellar Door Provisions)
salted turnip, grapefruit, sunflower

Buttermilk Beet Soup (Cellar Door Provisions)
all herbed out

Agnolotti (Cellar Door Provisions)

+$22 Supplement: Half Chicken (Cellar Door Provisions)
sprouted hummus

Roasted Carrot Ice Cream (Cellar Door Provisions)
farro shortbread, citrus curd

Banana Budino (S.K.Y.)
vanilla, cocoa nib granola, bourbon

^ So scrumptious, I ate it four separate times while in Chicago. Its base is vanilla pudding and banana purée, unmixed.

Chocolate Pizza (Piece)
a 12" crust topped with our house chocolate hazelnut sauce and mascarpone cheese

Jon: The mousse tastes like hay? Like, dried grass hay?
Server: Yes.

Frozen Hay Mousse (Elske)
with rhubarb

^ The mousse indeed tasted like hay.

Sunflower Seed Parfait (Elske)
with sour honey, licorice, and bee pollen

^ A revelation. That round mound of bee pollen is an ingenious "crust."

Foie Gras Candy Bar (Roister)
black walnuts, pretzel, caramel

^ Too much unseared foie gras for me. I never learn.

Griddle Rum Cake Donut (Tribecca's Cubano)

Chocolate Coca-Cola Cake (Panes Bread Cafe)
goat's milk caramel, cream cheese frosting


The Bomb (Kaiser Tiger)
5 lbs. of spicy beef and pork sausage stuffed with pepper bacon and wrapped in a brown sugar bacon weave; cooked for hours on the smoker and served with fresh cut fries, buns, pepper jack cheese, onion, lettuce, tomato, and bbq sauce

Bone Marrow Cornbread (Cellar Door Provisions)
pork, pickled onion, herbs

Chicken Fried Rutabaga (Daisies)
country gravy, ramps two ways

Pork Ribs (The Delta)
paprika caramel, crème fraîche, crispy allium

PBT! (Monteverde)
prosciutto butter, radish, seeded rye toast, lemon marmellata

Foie Gras Bibimbap (S.K.Y.)
charred vegetables, mushroom bulgogi

Muffaletta (Tempesta Market)

Southside Johnny (Tempesta Market)
porchetta, brun-uusto, broccolini, chimichurri, cheese, pickled fennel, with rosemary broth, on sourdough

Nancy's Kahlua Cake with Rhubarb Preserves (Daisies)

Warm Beignets (Gideon Sweet)
parsnip cream, fleur de cao

Choco-Banana (Mott Street)
thai baby banana dipped in chocolate, roasted szechuan peppercorn peanuts

Bolo Brigadeiro (Tack Room)
chocolate sponge cake, brazilian fudge, candied coconut, cashew snap, tonka bean ice cream

Wattleseed Pavlova (Tack Room)
wattleseed ice cream, lemon myrtle meringue, honey-white chocolate mousse, tropical fruit, macadamia nuts

Tiramisu Cruller (Tack Room)
hamilton rum-soaked vanilla orange cruller, whipped mascarpone cheese, espresso chicory gelato, caramel, passion fruit, hints of cocoa

Barter Brownie (HotChocolate Bakery)

^ Half doughy brownie, half cocoa rice brittle.


Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *