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Quick Bites

By Laura Oppenheimer in Food on Dec 13, 2007 4:00PM


  • The Chicago City Council held off on voting on a controversial ban on urban chickens yesterday. Since urban chickens are all the rage, it seems like a perfect time to ban them, right? Southwest Side Alderman Lona Lane (18th), who proposed the ban, said she didn't know why the vote on the ban was held up. Maybe it is, as the Sun-TImes suggests, because Mayor Daley has a thing for urban poultry: "Let's be realistic," he said. "A lot of ethnic people do keep chickens. If you grew up in Chicago, you know that." Let's all give a round of applause to Daley for being down with the "ethnic" people.

  • Ham lovers, rejoice! Iberian ham, or Pata Negra, is now available in the city. The Stew reports “the ham's flavor is richer and nuttier than others as it is fed with grass, vegetables and acorns for the last few months of its life.” The Food Chain has a list of restaurants stocking the delicious Spanish ham.

  • People all over the place were flummoxed by the name of the new Lettuce Entertain You restaurant going in the old Ambria space (2300 N. Lincoln Park West). Headed by chef Laurent Gras, the new seafood intensive restaurant will be named L.20. How do you pronounce that? That would be "el-two-oh," not "L-twenty" as we might have guessed. TOC reports "The L.20 kitchen staff will cold-smoke certain fish with whiskey barrels, turn Kurobuta and Berkshire pork into charcuterie, and make the butter, yogurt, creme fraiche and bread in-house."

  • And, it may be even easier to get drunk downtown in warm months, thanks to a proposal from Mayor Daley. He'd like to see cafes on the river be able to sell booze to thirsty promenaders. Fran Spielman tell us "Daley has long referred to the Chicago River as the city's "second lakefront." He wants to create a San Antonio-style riverwalk promenade that runs from Lake Street all the way to Lake Shore Drive."

Image of a massive leg of pata negra via Jamon de Patanegra.