The Friday Buffet

By Chuck Sudo in Food on Aug 17, 2007 4:33PM

2007_08_17_buffet_julep.jpg"One Mint Julep" seems to be a fitting theme for this week, in both photo and song (Last.fm doesn't lie). Let's move on, shall we?

  • Today is "Charlie Trotter Day" in Chicago, in honor of the 20th anniversary of the opening of his eponymous restaurant. The Sun-Times had a couple of nice pieces this week in conjunction. We linked to Janet Fuller's story of Trotter's first two employees, who are still with him today, in Wednesday's "Extra Extra." Another item of note in the article is Trotter's first menu when the restaurant opened: a $35 a la carte menu. Meanwhile, the Bright One's jump2web section has a list of notable Trotter's alumni that reads like a who's who of popular and acclaimed local chefs. Suffice it to say, Trotter's chef's tree could rival Bill Walsh's coaching tree.
  • Goose Island has some local competition. Half Acre Beer Company launched this week, with placements of their first beer, a lager, throughout Wicker Park and downtown. Hours after reading about Half Acre on Gapers Block, owner Gabriel Magliaro contacted us to let us know about the beer. If it's local, we're gonna give it a spin (even though right now Half Acre's recipes are brewed in Black River Falls, Wisconsin; they maintain offices on the near west side). So look for a review of Half Acre lager next week, separate from "Beer of the Week."
  • Sushisamba Rio is bringing back their popular "Sushi + Sake 101" classes, beginning Thursday. There is a limit of 20 people per class, at the time of this filing there were still several openings available for anyone interested in attending. The class begins at 6:30.
  • one sixtyblue's monthly wine dinner on Thursday will feature a special "Tour de France" in partnership with Randolph Wine Cellars. The $85 per person dinner begins with a reception at Randolph Wine Cellars at 6 p.m., followed by dinner at one sixtyblue at 7. You can read the menu here (Adobe PDF).
  • It's a small world out there. Tuesday night we had the pleasure of meeting Bridget and Tammy from the Chicago Bites podcast and Josh, the mastermind of Chicago Foodies, at a bourbon dinner held at the SwissĂ´tel's Palm restaurant. Chicagoist regularly frequents both sites, and subscribes to the Chicago Bites podcast, which shocked Bridget when we told her. We recommend you do, as well, as they offer opinions and a different take on local dining you might not find at LTHforum. Getting to talk with these three was the best part of the dinner for us.