Your Friday Food Buffet
By Chuck Sudo in Food on Apr 6, 2007 4:45PM
It's Easter, y'all. That means, in addition to the re-enactment of the Passion happening as we write this in Pilsen, churches will be filled, families will gather, and restaurants will offer Easter Brunch specials. We have a few for you, in addition to the usual complement of food news and notable events. So sit back and unbuckle your belts.
Who Comes Up With These Names, Anyway?: Leave it to us to be late to the party weighing in on the Tribune's new food blog, now firing on all cylinders. The Stew gives Phil Vettel, Monica Eng, Bill Daley, et al an opportunity to drop their collective guard and engage readers with a casual immediacy sometimes not afforded them in the main paper. Which is one of the things we love about blogging, for good or ill. It may look on the surface as though there's a sudden glut of local food blogs, but to us it only suggests that editors at traditional media are finally catching up to two things. First, they're recognizing the potential of internet media to attract a new audience. Second, Chicago's status as an international culinary epicenter is worth the expanded coverage. As we've always said, there's room at the cross. Welcome to the neighborhood, Tribune.
Spago, Spertus. Spertus, Spago. Now Finish Your Plate.: Wolfgang Puck is no stranger to cooking a nice seder. He married into a Jewish family and even cooks the occasional seder at Spago. So when he decides to open a kosher cafe in the Spertus Institute, it's noteworthy, and not simply because he's Wolfgang Puck. It's been three years since a kosher restaurant graced downtown, although Eleven City Diner fills the void for Yiddish kitsch and Bubbie's matzoh ball soup. The new cafe is slated to open in November. Puck and the Spertus Institute are still finalizing a menu and having the kitchen certified by the Rabbinical Council.
Which Hat Do I Wear?: It may be cold, but a bike ride along the Old Green Bay trail to Winnetka's Restaurant Michael is still worth the trip this weekend. Chef Michael Lachowicz is offering a $39, three-course Easter brunch, including a solid dark chocolate bunny for all guests. The menu, unfortunately, is not posted on the web site at the time of this writing. For our two cents, we'd opt for the spring mushrooms, roasted asparagus tips and hand-rolled "Laura Chenel" goat-cheese-filled tortaloni cassoulette, followed by the thyme and garlic crusted leg of spring lamb with caramelized onion popovers, eggplant "caviar," and natural jus, and topped off with Meyer lemon mascarpone cheesecake with a poppy seed cookie crust. Wash the whole mess down with a bellini, and you'll be counting Easter bunnies in your ensuing food coma.
For the Intrepid Among Us: The Siebel Instutute of Technology is offering a course for folks interested in starting their own brewery. The two-day course (May 2-4), created by craft beer expert Ray Daniels, will cover the basics of brewery and brewpub design, and cover the potential pitfalls of starting up a brewpub. The course costs $1075, but if you have a dream of making money-making beer, that seems like a pittance compared to what you'll eventually need.
Cartoon courtesy of joe-ks.com.