3 city & 1 ‘burbs – Spots for live music with good food


Do you expect exceptional food when you go out for live music? Chicago has a few places that make this a priority. In the city, where you can get there by cab or public transport:

  1. Bandera, 535 N. Michigan. Jazz & blues every night. Cocktails, lunch and dinner in sexy, subtle lighting.
  2. Eddie V’s Prime Seafood and Steak, 521 N. Rush St. Seafood, oysters, crab, sea bass, etc. and prime steaks. Pricey but highly rated.
  3. Buddy Guy’s Legends, 700 S. Wabash. Rockin’ good music and down home Southern-inspired dishes. Word is, Buddy himself sits in sometimes!

And we just heard about one in the ‘burbs that’s making food a priority, too: 210 Restaurant and Live Music Lounge, 210 Green Bay Road, Highwood, IL. Co-owner and Executive Chef Jeff Tomchek Chef Jeff Tomchek KCI_0733lo resbrings 30 years of experience in several countries honing his abilities to turn fresh, high quality, locally sourced produce and ingredients into menu items that span regional and global cuisines as well as barbecue and Southern-style dishes. 

Appetizers include Hawaiian Tuna Poke with toasted Macadamia Nuts ($13 Hawaiian Tuna Poke with Toasted Macadamia Nuts 210 KCI_0537 lo res.jpg); Roast Local Corn Mexican Street Food Style ($5/$8); Korean Chicken Wings ($12); and Tomato Bisque ($5/$8). Salads include Roast Beets with Bean Hummas, Arugula & Pine Nuts ($12); Frillman Farms Heirloom Tomato with Burrata & Basil ($11); and a Crispy Chicken Chopped Salad with Chipotle Ranch ($18).

Main dishes Baby Back Ribs Dry Rub and Pit Smoked 210 a KCI_0626 lo res.jpginclude Baby Back Ribs, Dry Rub & Pit Smoked (taste $8, half $16/full slab $24); Buttermilk Fried Chicken Sandwich with Arugula & Remoulade ($13); Roast Scottish Salmon with corn mashed potatoes and Mexican Truffle Vinaigrette ($24); and Andouille Jambalaya with Louisiana Style BBQ Shrimp ($19).

Roast Cauliflower with Thai Three Flavor Sauce 210 KCI_0718lo resThis place even lets you get your vegetables in with original presentations like Roast Local Eggplant with Moroccan Spices ($9); Miso Glazed Acorn Squash ($8); Roast Cauliflower with Thai three flavor sauce ($8) and Bacon Braised Collard Greens ($8); and Not Yo Mamma’s Mac & Cheese ($8); and Local Bi Color Corn Sautéed with Peppers & Onions ($8). Seasonal offerings and daily specials are listed on the website.

If you live in the city and want to enjoy 210 Restaurant and Live Music Lounge, consider finding a nice hotel in the area so you can stay as long as you like and not have to worry about driving home. If you live nearby, get thee hence and try it soon.


New Knife honors and elevates the steakhouse concept


Knife, 4343 N. Lincoln Ave., opened for business this week. Steak and seafood abound, and every creative item on the menu is presented with passion, precision and love in a warm and intimate atmosphere. Knife is brought to you by David and Paula Byers and Chef Tim Cottini, the team behind the popular Lincoln Square restaurant, Fork.

At first glance, the handsomely designed menu is understated and traditional-sounding, but the element of surprise will be ever-present in each dish. “We want to take the essence of a classic dish and re-create it in a unique way,” said Chef Cottini, who understands that, “We first eat with our eyes before we eat with our mouths. The visual impact of the food will be almost as important as the taste.” Throughout the menu, Chef Cottini maintains a high standard using locally sourced, quality seasonal ingredients, as he transforms the traditional into the unexpected.

Chef Tim Cottini low res.jpg
Chef Tim Cottini

Knife is modernizing the old-school steakhouse mentality and ambiance. It will raise expectations of what a steakhouse can be while paying homage to menu classics. Promoting culinary creativity and cultural fusion is what makes this restaurant truly American.

Menu Rundown
The dinner menu is clearly organized into six sections: Appetizers, Chilled Plates, Salad & Soup, Entrées, Steaks and Sides. Appetizer choices include Fois Gras Terrine, seasonal jam, brioche, market greens and pickled vegetables ($19); Oxtail Doughnut Holes, aupoivre sauce ($10); Lobster Tail Tempura, arugula & ginger-orange sauce ($22); and Shrimp De Jonghe, puff pastry, garlic, fine herbs ($17).

Lobster 300
Lobster at Knife

Chilled Plates feature seafood, including Oysters on the Half Shell (market price); Ahi Tuna Tartare, avocado, fresno chili, endive ($14); and Shrimp Cocktail, horseradish & candied lemon ($16). The ala carte Bread Service offers two house-made choices:  Parker House Rolls with whipped butter & sea salt ($6) or Focaccia with seasonal dipping sauce ($6).

Salad & Soup choices include the Heirloom Tomato & Burrata Salad, basil pesto, marinated red onions & basil ($16); Lobster Bisque, crème frâiche, tarragon ($11); Tableside Caesar, white anchovies, focaccia croutons, parmesan & pecorino ($19); the Market Salad, shaved market vegetables, Urban Till greens with sherry vinaigrette ($9); and the Grilled Wedge Salad, Urban Till baby iceberg, green goddess, lobster mitts, bacon, bleu cheese, tomato, scallions ($18). The Tableside Caesar can be prepared tableside for three or more persons.

ECS-Pork chop 1 300 pixels.jpg
Pork chop at Knife
28 day bone in ribeye for two at Knife 300 pixels.jpg
28-day aged bone-in ribeye for two at Knife

The Entrées section of the menu includes the non-steak main courses, and there are seven from which to choose, providing plenty of variety for guests who prefer alternatives to steak. The Pork Chops are served with candied sweet potatoes and butter-bourbon gastrique ($27). Lamb Chops are accompanied by stuffed zucchini & hollandaise sauce ($27). The vegetarian Pasta entrée is built on a foundation of pappardelle, with market vegetables, basil pistou & parmesan ($18). Poultry lovers will enjoy the Green Circle Farm’s Chicken, a braised thigh with macaroni gratin, chicken jus ($24). Fish entrées include Wild Salmon, caramelized cauliflower, béarnaise ($27); Ahi Tuna, green beans amandine, smoked tomato butter ($28); and Halibut, pipperade, creamed kale, lobster demi ($30).

Knife’s Steaks section clearly emphasizes the restaurant’s keen philosophy: “Knife is proud to offer locally-sourced, house dry-aged beef. This premium product hails from local farms in Illinois and Iowa that uphold humane standards and practices as well as conservation.” There are five selections from which to choose and all steaks are served with house-made Journeyman steak sauce and choice of onion strings or hand-cut frites. Guests may order the Sirloin (10 oz, $27), Beef Tenderloin (6 oz, $33); Trio of Medallions with Bleu Cheese Crust (8 oz, $25), or the Boneless Ribeye (12 oz, $34). Knife’s signature steak is a 28-Day Dry-Aged Ribeye for Two, carved tableside and served with twice baked potatoes, green beans and au poivre ($89).

ECS-Zucchini-019 300 pixels.jpg
inspired zucchini dish at Knife

Embellishments to the steaks are plentiful. Guests can choose a Lobster Tail ($19), Shrimp ($4), Foie Gras ($9), Oscar Style ($14) or Bleu Cheese ($5). Several sauces are available as well: Béarnaise ($3), Barolo ($2), Hollandaise ($2), Butterbourbon ($2), Au Poivre ($3) and Smoked Tomato Butter ($2).

Rounding out the dinner menu are nine creative side accompaniments, including Smoked Frites, lemon aioli ($6); Onion Strings, roasted pepper aioli ($6); Macaroni Gratin, parmesan, Jarlsberg & lemon ($7); River Valley Ranch Mushroom en Pappiotte, portabella, cremini, shiitake, rosemary & roasted garlic ($9); Stuffed Zucchini, basil roasted peppers & parmesan ($7); Caramelized Cauliflower, sultanas, balsamic & capers ($8); Green Beans, almond tuile & butter ($8); Twice Baked Potato, bacon, fontina, scallions, crème frâiche ($8); and Whipped Potatoes, confit garlic with cream & butter ($7).

Dessert selections continue to showcase Chef Cottini’s modern interpretations of steakhouse classics. Choices include Flaming Gran Torino, bruléed spumoni, sponge cake with vanilla, pistachio & brandied black cherry ice creams ($13); Profiteroles-gluten free-with chocolate & Tahitian vanilla ice creams with house made fudge sauce ($9); Key Lime Version 3.14, raspberries, ginger graham crust, whipped cream ($11); Chocolate Layer Cake, chocolate mousse, fudge sauce, white chocolate ($12); Blossoming Apple Tart, Honeycrisp apples, almonds, cranberries, caramel, Saigon cinnamon ice cream ($13).

Sophisticated preparation and exciting presentation are the foundations of Chef Cottini’s food
The menu descriptions purposefully understated on paper, belie the sophisticated preparation and exciting presentations that guests will experience, creating a memorable dining experience.

For example, the Grilled Wedge Salad starts with iceberg lettuce raised locally by Urban Till in Chicago specifically for Knife. The smaller lettuce heads enhance the natural flavor, and are grilled to add a charred smokiness. The traditional toppings, bacon, tomatoes, cucumbers, and blue cheese are scattered around the plate, but Chef Cottini has gone the extra mile, dehydrating the bacon for twelve hours to make it extra-crisp.

Other appetizers, such as the Heirloom Tomato & Burrata Salad, are re-invented at Knife as well. The tomato is peeled, hollowed, and filled with a locally produced Burrata, infused with local basil-pesto and roasted. The Oxtail Doughnut Holes are savory bites filled with classically braised oxtail and served with an au poivre sauce. Bread offerings are baked in-house with Parker House Rolls served fresh from the oven and an artisan, potato-based Focaccia provides a dairy-free option.

Steaks are served uncut. “We wouldn’t dare deprive our customers of the joy of cutting into an exceptional, tender steak with ease. It’s an experience unlike any other,” says Chef Cottini. The special 28-Day Dry-Aged Ribeye for Two is carved tableside – such a  pleasure to watch the juices flow.

The Pork Chops have an intense marbling and flavor, served with a side of candied sweet potatoes seasoned with a spicy Saigon cinnamon, then topped with marshmallows and a butter bourbon gastrique. In a completely different category than any candied sweet potatoes many of our moms used to make.

Sourcing quality ingredients is a cornerstone of the Knife philosophy. The Wild Salmon is prepared with Skuna Bay Salmon, a top quality fish from a Vancouver Island, British Columbia vendor who exemplifies the sound ecological raising of farm-raised salmon. Sides are thoughtfully designed to enhance each flavor profile. The River Valley Ranch Mushroom en Pappiotte is a marinated portabella cap filled with shitake and cremini mushrooms, rosemary and roasted garlic. The Macaroni Gratin is jazzed up with a blend of cheddar and jarlsbergcheeses with lemon. The Stuffed Zucchini is sourced from local farmers, hollowed out and stuffed with a zucchini puree.

Knife bacon-wrapped potato
Knife bacon-wrapped potato

One example of Chef Cottini’s creativity is the Twice Baked Potato. This steakhouse standard side dish takes a contemporary turn as it stands up on its side, filled with an Italian fontina cheese, wrapped in bacon, and then roasted.

About Knife
Knife, located at 4343 N. Lincoln Avenue in Chicago, is a new contemporary steakhouse from David and Paula Byers and Chef Tim Cottini, the team behind the popular Fork restaurant in Chicago’s Lincoln Square. Knife is inspired by traditional steakhouse food and beverages and gives them a modern interpretation, using fresh, locally sourced ingredients.

Knife is open for dinner from 5:30 p.m. to 10 p.m. Tuesday through Thursday; 5:30 p.m. to 11 p.m. Friday and Saturday; closed on Sunday and Monday. All major cards will be accepted; ample street parking is available. Knife also will be available for private events. For more information, please contact Knife at (773) 799-8283. Visit the website at knifechicago.net. Like Knife on Facebook at Facebook.com/KnifeChicago; follow on Twitter atTwitter.com/KnifeChicago and on Instagram at Instagram.com/KnifeChicago.


Beer for breakfast – Dovetail Brewery does it right

New Orleans. Old Algiers neighborhood. "V...
New Orleans. Old Algiers neighborhood. “Vine & Dine” restaurant & wine shop. Glass of Hoegaarden beer. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Beer for breakfast? Why not!? Dovetail Brewery, 1800 W. Belle Plaine, is hosting a traditional German Sunday morning beer drinking event, Frühschoppen, in its taproom from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Sunday, October 23. Hey, if they can do it in Germany and New Orleans…

This German custom is a weekly gathering of friends who come together at a pub or tavern Sunday to enjoy a late morning beer. On October 23 join Dovetail Brewery and Sausage König to imbibe and eat. König’s handmade sausages are seasoned with lots of herbs, spices, and some salt are simple but amazingly flavorful. The featured sausages for October 23 are Blaue Zipfel, a traditional Franconian dish of Nürnberger sausages and onions and Currywurst, a curry seasoned pork sausage in a tangy currywurst sauce. SausageKonigBlaueZipfel300lowres

Chicago’s beer lovers can purchase .3 liters ($5) or .5 liters ($7) of Dovetail’s signature beers on tap: Lager, Dunkelweizen (a winter version of Hefeweizen that is darker in color, with chocolate tones in addition to Hefeweizen’s clove and banana), Rauchweizen (a dark, smoky Hefeweizen), and Grodziskie, a classic Polish Beer. Dovetail’s taproom is a lively, dog-friendly gathering place that has become a popular spot for neighborhood locals as well as Chicago’s beer aficionados.


“My co-founder, Bill Wesselink, and I met when we were both students at the Doemens Akademie in Munich,” said Hagen Dost, co-founder of Dovetail Brewery. “There is nothing like getting together on aSunday morning to have a beer with sausage and great conversation, especially if it’s a smoked beer like our Rauchweizen. This event will be a celebration of our beer and delicious food that pairs well with them. We think our many fans will have a great time.”  

About Dovetail Brewery

Dovetail Brewery is a craft brewery owned by master brewers Hagen Dost and Bill Wesselink, specializing in delicious, balanced beers brewed using traditional German and Belgian brewing methods. Signature beers include unfiltered German-style lagers, traditional Hefeweizen, Rauchbier and Lambic-style sour beers. Dovetail Brewery also produces a variety of special seasonal beers.

Bill and Hagen lowres300The 22,000 square foot brewing facility includes an attractive tap room that is open to the public for drinking and retail sales. The tap room is also available as a rental space for private events.

For more information about Dovetail Brewery, please visit the brewery’s website at http://dovetailbrewery.com (under construction), their newsroom athttp://www.newsline360.com/dovetailbrewery or contact Bill Wesselink by email atbill@dovetailbrewery.com or Hagen Dost by email athagen@dovetailbrewery.com. For additional information, call 773-683-1414Follow Dovetail Brewery on Twitter (www.twitter.com/dovetailbrewchi; @DovetailBrewChi). Follow Dovetail Brewery on Facebook (www.facebook.com/dovetailbrewchi)  



Halloween 2016 at Chicago bars and restaurants

aliveOne Halloween
aliveOne Halloween

aliveOne, 2683 N Halsted St., Halloween Happy Hour and Specials, Monday, October 31 – $4 to $5 specials. Celebrate Halloween with half-off everything happy hour from 5 pm to 7 pm Other festive specials include $4 Oktoberfest beers, $4 pumpkin beers, and a $5 ‘Houdini’ cocktail. And FREE pool all night.

Caffe Umbria hot chocolate
Caffe Umbria hot chocolate

Caffè Umbria, 346 N Clark St. in River North, offers Fall Hot Chocolate. The Cioccolata Calda, an Italian version of traditional hot chocolate, includes fine Italian Pernigotti cocoa blended with milk and sugar resulting in a rich, creamy and intense indulgence. The $3.25 drink is perfect option when you want a sweet that’s not candy.

Easy Bar Halloween
Easy Bar Halloween

Easy Bar, 1944 W. Division St., hosts new Belgium tap takeover and pumpkin carving. Friday, October 28. Free admission; $4 to $6 beers. Beginning at 7:30 pm Limited pumpkins and carving tools for pumpkin carving on the patio (weather permitting). Featured New Belgium beers will include Le Terroir (sour), Fruit Fly (kettle sour), Pumpkick (seasonal), Blue Paddle (pils), and Spiced Strong Dark Ale, a New Belgium collaboration with Orval’s Anne-Françoise.

Kanela Breakfast Club offers a Halloween Pancake Special Friday, October 28 through Monday, October 31 – $12 pumpkin pancakes with cream cheese icing. Num! Get ‘em at Kanela locations in Andersonville, Lakeview, Old Town, Streeterville and Wicker Park.

Remedy Bar Halloween
Remedy Bar Halloween

Remedy Bar, 1910 North Milwaukee Ave. (recently opened at the border of Bucktown and Logan Square), Pumpkin Carving Event and Halloween Specials Monday, October 17 and Monday, October 31, – $4 drink specials.

Guests will receive a pumpkin, carving tools, and enjoy $4 pumpkin beers and pumpkin ciders like Ace Pumpkin Cider from 8 – 10 pm. On Halloween itself, Monday, October 31, all draft beers $4 from 4 pm to 4 am

Tavern on Little Fort, 4128 North Lincoln Ave., fall specials from Friday, October 28 through Monday, October 31 – $8 cider cocktails like Bourbon Cider Mule, Bulleit Bourbon, apple cider, ginger beer, sour mix, garnished with an apple peel, Spiced Hard Cider, Captain Morgan, apple cider, lemon juice, garnished with a cinnamon stick and apple peel, Cider Ball, Fireball Whisky, Right Bee Cider, garnished with a cherry.


Good luck foods for Cubs – order some!



According to Grubhub, the nation’s leading online meal delivery service, it’s time to order takeout/delivery food items that appear to be good luck food for the Cubs as they begin the National League Championship Series on Saturday. If the Cubs are to appear in the World Series for the first time since 1945 and ultimately clinch their first championship since 1908, you may want to order these foods on game day!

The following are the top 5 most ordered foods during game day wins in Chicago for the Cubs vs. game day losses.

  1. In Chicago, hamachi kama was ordered 145% more when Cubs won than when they lost.
  2. In Chicago, creamy mac and cheese was ordered 117% more when Cubs won than when they lost.
  3. In Chicago, black bean taco was ordered 111% more when Cubs won than when they lost.
  4. In Chicago, horiatiki salad was ordered 91% more when Cubs won than when they lost.
  5. In Chicago, shepherd salad was ordered 88% more when Cubs won than when they lost.

Fried chicken and bubblies, oh my!

English: Several pieces of fried chicken.
English: Several pieces of fried chicken. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Next Saturday October 22 from 11:30 am to 3:00 pm, hundreds of Chicagoans will be on hand to enjoy the 2nd annual Fried Chicken & Champagne Fest. Proceeds from the event go towards financial assistance for hospitality and culinary arts students through the Kendall College Trust. A dozen award-winning Chicago chefs fry up their best recipes, and attendees munch those chicken renditions while sipping on a vast array of bubblies have been curated by Master Sommelier Serafin Alverado of headlining sponsor Southern Glazer’s Wine & Spirits. And let’s just say, with the likes of Chef Lee Wolen from Michelin-starred Boka Restaurant participating, you are bound to exerience way beyond ordinary.

With over 60 different offerings from around the world – including luxury labels like Moet Imperial Rose, Dom Perignon and Palmes D’Or – everyone can find a perfect pairing or two. For a full list of Champagne, click here.  Get more info and tickets here.

October events at Chicago Lettuce Entertain You

  • M Burger's Have Dreams milkshake
    M Burger’s Have Dreams milkshake

    M Burger special flavor milkshake, Have Dreams’ Shake—Strawberry Hot Fudge Swirl Surprise for the month of October (Skokie, Aurora and downtown) for $4.49; $1 of each sale is donated to Have Dreams. Learn more about their work with young people with Autism Spectrum Disorder at www.havedreams.org.

  • M Burger has also created a quintessentially fall-tasting confection Caramel Apple Cider milkshake available all of October. Chef Tim Hockett and his team create thick milkshakes made with locally sourced cider, house made caramel sauce and vanilla ice cream. The Caramel Apple Cider Shake is offered at six M Burger locations (listed below) for $4.49 plus tax.

At Osteria Via Stato, 620 N. State St., Chef David DiGregorio offers special menu items perfect for carbo-loading runners in the Chicago Marathon. Available Saturday, October 10 and all Marathon weekend: Lunch, 11:30 a.m. to 3 p.m.; dinner, 3 to midnight at both Osteria Via Stato and Pizzeria Via Stato or carry out. Choose from:

  • Whole Wheat Penne with Seasonal Vegetables ($15.95)
  • Orecchiette with Crushed Tomatoes and Garlic ($15.95)
  • Spaghetti & Meatballs ($16.95)
  • Rigatoni with All-natural Chicken Ragu ($15.95).

Everest, 440 S. LaSalle St. celebrates Shakespeare 400 Chicago – Culinary Complete Works.  October 13-23, 2016. Chef/proprietor J. Joho prepares dishes from the era of ancient Rome, inspired by Shakespeare’s “Julius Caesar” during The Joffrey Ballet’s run of “Romeo and Juliet” at the Auditorium Theatre. Reserve between 5 and 5:30 pm, enjoy the three-course Pre-Theater Menu (complimentary parking for the evening) and get to the performance on time. Call 312-663-8920 or visit www.everestrestaurant.com for more information. The Shakespeare Menu:

  • Great Lakes Wild Whitefish – Braised in Guarome and Lovage
  • Au Naturel Capon Fricassée, Roman Herb Seasoning, Chickpea Panisse, Sautéed Romaine
  • Fromage Blanc Bamboloni “Roman Beignet”, Compote of Fall Fruit, Honey and Pistachio
Num! Spiced pumpkin bao
Num! Spiced pumpkin bao

Wow Bao – Pumpkin Bao available at all downtown locations ONLY, starting Friday, October 21. Traditional Pumpkin Bao in our signature dough, filled with a rich and smooth blend of pumpkin & spices. ($1.99, $2.09 at Water Tower).

PLUS Wow Bao is poised for its Fourth Annual Wow Bao Eating Contest with ABC-7 Chicago’s ‘Hungry Hound’ Steve Dolinsky.

  • Preliminaries: Monday, October 17 – Friday, October 21 at 6 p.m. each night; Wow Bao – 1 W. Wacker (corner of State & Lake)
  • Championship: Saturday, October 22 at 2 p.m.; Wow Bao – Water Tower Place, 835 N. Michigan Ave., Level 2

For every bao eaten during the two-minute championship, each contestant will receive a $10 Lettuce Entertain You gift card. The Grand Prize Winner will also win a free six-pack of Wow Bao a day for a year. Don’t feel like filling your bellies with bao? Come help us create the hype at the championship and cheer on the finalists as they try to set a new record. To sign up visit www.wowbao.com.