FOOD

Diva Thai & Sushi Bar, Uptown Chicago

12235799_10206728442121904_93316052_o 12236765_10206728434641717_1014618_oMy favorite sushi spot hands down in the Uptown area! www.divachicago.com

Crew Bar & Grill Chicago

IMG_20150503_231540Stumbled accross one of Chicago’s hidden treasures in Uptown this afternoon! Crew Bar & Grill is the perfect environment boasting an outdoor porch allowing the cool summer breeze from Lake Michigan which is just a few blocks east of the restaurant.

IMG_20150503_231423The menu was impressive and filled with options of numerous appetizers and meals. I decided to try their signature Crew Hamburger garnished with a pound of ground beef and red slaw. The burger was made perfectly medium as I suggested to the server. Whenever you are visiting Chicago’s vibrant Uptown, this is certainly a great sports bar to experience.

Batter & Berries, Chicago

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I was blown away when some friends and I walked into Batter & Berries on Lincoln Ave.  The Gator Omelet!! – It’s an egg white omelet stuffed with roasted garlic and sun dried tomato cheese and topped with alligator meat that is sautéed in white wine with sun dried tomatoes and shiitake mushrooms! Shrimp Alfredo Omelet!! – Egg whites stuffed with parmesan cheese and topped with broccoli and jumbo shrimp that are sautéed in a white wine Alfredo sauce. Bon Appétit!

Chicago’s Chicken & Waffles

waffles chickenDelicious! Quite an experience when visiting or living Chicago!

Tavern on Rush, Chicago

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Lemon Roasted Jalapeno Chicken

Delicious!

The Gage,  South Loop  – Chicago

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Buffalo Chicken Sandwich

I was certainly blown away with this Buffalo Chicken Sandwich and enjoyed other delicious food and an assortment of drinks.  Thank  you my good friend Natalie Williams for the invitation to the Gage. I will be back very soon!

Houston’s Atlanta, Georgia

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Rotisserie Chicken With an Apricot Glaze and Barley Salad

When visiting Atlanta, I always find time to spoil myself at one of my favorite eateries, Houston’s Restaurant. Normally while dining at Houston’s, I would order their famous slow-cooked marinated Barbecue Ribs  grilled over hardwood in the open kitchen. Today however, I decided to try something new from the variety of dishes listed on the Menu! My selection, the Rotisserie Chicken (pictured above) is served on a bed of barley salad with almonds, fresh mint, tomatoes, cranberries and radishes give you perfection in taste!

Joe’s Seafood, Prime Steak & Stone Crab, Chicago

parties220120101_173721 Joe’s Seafood, Prime Steak & Stone Crab is the culmination of a partnership between Lettuce Entertain You and Joe’s Stone Crab, the legendary seafood restaurant of Miami Beach. Opened in Chicago in the fall of 2000, Joe’s features an extensive selection of seafood, flown in fresh daily, to complement the world’s finest Florida Stone Crab claws. Joe’s has quickly built a reputation as one of Chicago’s top steakhouses, featuring the signature 16 oz. Bone-In Filet Mignon and 22 oz. New York Strip Steak. Matched with Joe’s famous side dishes, dinner only gets better when capped with a slice of key lime pie. Enjoy a generous cocktail in the bustling lounge or the tuxedo-clad service of the clubby dining room and you’ll understand why dinner at Joe’s has quickly become one of Chicago’s favorite social engagements.

Sixteen Restaurant at Trump Towers, Chicago

14158.x600.eat.3way.Trump1Located on the 16th floor of Trump International Hotel & Tower, the signature Michelin-rated Sixteen offers panoramic views of the Chicago skyline. Diners will delight in Chef Lents’ innovative dinner menus that showcase the highest quality ingredients in the world. Since his appointment, Chef Lents has introduced exciting new programming at Sixteen and features a thoughtful approach to modern American cuisine. Chef Lents brings more than two decades of experience, most recently as the chef de cuisine of the three Michelin star-rated Joel Robuchon.

McCormick & Schmicks, Chicago.

20130321_173439Each  McCormick & Schmick’s Seafood Restaurant’s menu is printed daily, featuring an impressive number of fresh seafood varieties, in addition to aged steaks, poultry, entrée salads and pasta. The extensive menu changes everyday, based on the freshest, highest quality seafood available. Our chefs work with reputable seafood purveyors to obtain only the freshest seafood from local waters and beyond. We offer guests dozens of seafood varieties at the peak of their seasons, including Alaska Halibut, Northwest Salmon, Hawaiian Mahi Mahi, Oregon Petrale Sole and a large selection of oysters from the U.S. and Canada, just to name a few. Online.

Restaurant Review – NoMI, Park Hyatt Chicago

20130405_132618nomiGOLD COASTRyan LaRoche has put his winning 800 burger from last year’s Hamburger Hop on the menu at NoMI Kitchen. The $25 wagyu burger is topped with Neuske bacon, pickled garlic and shallots, comte cheese, watercress and smoked tomato aioli on a rosemary ciabatta bun. It comes with fries and a glass of beer.

Yojisan Sushi by Dan Brunn – Beverly Hills, California

Architect Dan Brunn’s newly designed Japanese restaurant Yojisan introduces a refreshingly whimsical and modern touch to the neighborhood. Instead of pandering to existing Beverly Hills clichés, Brunn steps through the looking glass with Yojisan as sushi signifiers are upended. The result is a simple yet substantial visual impact inspired by traditional Japanese materials, culture and lifestyle. Diners experience Yojisan through a narrative of allusion and light. This subtle surrealism begins with Yojisan’s façade, which beckons guests to enter through a threshold, subdivided by delicately intersecting planes. The façade appears as if it were metallic; however, as diners come closer they are met with a succession of cedar planks that melt seamlessly into a seductively slim signage. Upon entering Yojisan, diners walk under a floating rug of leafy plants that spring from the ceiling and lit from above. This design simulates a Japanese forest dreamscape unique only to the restaurant. Counterbalancing the lighter design features of the restaurant, are several grounding elements for diners as they approach the host desk and sushi bar. Comprised of sturdy reclaimed wood and board-formed concrete, these areas of high activity are given a sense of permanence and echo the rustic exterior materials.

Sea Water – Kitchen Steamed Lobster

Choose a pot large enough to hold all the lobsters comfortably; do not crowd them. A 4- to 5-gallon pot can handle 6 to 8 pounds of lobster. Fill with water, allowing 3 quarts of water per 1-1/2 to 2 pounds of lobster. Add sea salt (to taste) to water. Bring the water to a rolling boil. Add the live lobsters one at a time, and start timing immediately. Do not cover. Stir the lobsters halfway through cooking. Let the lobsters rest for 5 minutes or so after cooking to allow the meat to absorb some of the moisture in the shell.

Seafood Fried Rice

Seafood Fried Rice is one of those dishes that we serve when we need something quick and easy, especially when you have the right ingredients in the freezer. Of all the fried rice variants this one perhaps is my personal favorite due to the fact that it is made out of seafood. An all in one dish that that definitely would satisfy every seafood lovers taste buds.

Terrace At Trump, Chicago

This terrace lounge on the sixteenth floor of the Trump Tower boasts one of the best alfresco views in the city. To get there, take the elevator to Sixteen on the sixteenth floor and turn right. Thanks to a boomerang-shaped bar facing the terrace’s edge, you can take in an impressive eyeful of the Chicago River and Lake Michigan, not to mention Navy Pier’s seasonal fireworks on Wednesday and Saturday evenings. A brief food menu includes salads, ceviche, gourmet sliders and skewers, but don’t mistake this spot for a restaurant — the focus is on the imbibing, through and through. Pricey cocktails get their sparkle from the addition of sparkling wines; the big star here, though, is the “rosé is the new black” wine list pimping a huge list of pink picks from all over the world, including a dozen by the glass and 30-plus by the bottle.

Double Cheese Mushroom Burger

Mushroom Burger is type of burger where its patties are made out of mushrooms; it was created in the Philippines by a mushroom grower during thr 1980′s which then started selling mushroom burgers called “Mushroom Burger“ situated in Tagaytay, Philippines. It all started when a customer of them a Swiss Executive Chef commented that mushrooms are more expensive than beef from where he came from and asked why not make burgers out of mushrooms? He wrote down a recipe for a patty made out of mushroom, they immediately made it and the chef declared it was the best burger he ever tasted, and then the rest was history.

MEDITERRANEAN  CUISINE – Escabeche

Escabeche, the sweet and sour version of the Western World, introduced by the Spanish to the Philippines during the 1500′s.  It is a typical Mediterranean cuisine and which made out of poached or fried fish then marinated in an acidic mixture like vinegar or any citric juice before serving.  The dish is not just common in Spain but as well as in Panama, Peru, Puerto Rico, Mexico and Philippines.   Its not just fish that is served in this manner but also chicken, rabbit and pork but in Philippines this is the most common version.

Stir Fried Mussels with Black Bean and Chilli Sauce

Stir Fried Mussels with Black Bean and Chilli Sauce hits the spot every time!

AFRICAN CUISINE – Piri Piri Chicken

If you had dined in at Nandos (www.nandos.com) you will know what a Piri Piri Chicken (Nandos call it Peri Peri) is but for those who enjoy the type of chicken dish marinated in chillies, herbs and lemon then flame grilled. One of the best chicken recipes you will ever encounter especially if you love hot dishes. This wonderful recipe had originated in Africa using a type of birds’ eye chillies which is also called as the African devil. These type of chillies together with other herbs make the marinade so delicious, it was popularized by the Portuguese and discovered this great ingredient when they went out and explored Africa, they found this chilli which was locally called as pili pili, they used it in their local dishes then later renamed it as piri piri then the rest is history.

Fred’s – Barneys New York, Chicago

You too can enjoy a delicious lunch at Fred’s located in Barneys, New York (at store locations) – considerably perfection in fine cuisine. The top floor restaurant overlooks Chicago’s busy shopping area on Rush Street, next door to the newly incredibly built HERMES Flagship store (which I had to mention, btw)! Shown here was my order for the afternoon, Ceasar Salad with Grilled Salmon ($25.00). My verdict… Absolutely scrumptous!

Chef Jeff Pikus – Maude’s Liquor Bar, Chicago

Maude’s Raw Bar Plateaux: Kumamoto and Bagaduce Oysters, Lobster, Clams, Baby Scallops, and Crab.

Silver Cloud – Bucktown, Chicago

Located on Damen Avenue at Wabansia, just a block north of North Avenue, comfort extends beyond the food to our cozy 1940’s retro style dining room and bar. The warm lighting and casual atmosphere will make you and your guests feel right at home. In the mood to eat outside? Silver Cloud has one of the best dining patios in Chicago.

Mixologist Clint Rogers of Henri – Chicago, IL

Negroni Thyme: North Shore No. 6 Gin, Campari, Carpano Antica Sweet Vermouth, Club Soda, Thyme Sprigs, and House-made Orange Sorbet.

Mom’s Beer Sauteed Dungeness Crab

CrabQuite often, my mother visits Chicago from Indiana and of course, food is always quite a major factor for us both during that weekend. In case you weren’t aware,  I grew up with my mother owning and operating one of Liberia’s top and most sought after Restaurants -“The Cottage”, located in the Capitol City, Monrovia. As far back as I can recall, my days being brought up around “The Cottage” were consumed with serious cooking and many people gathering daily to savor some of JoJo’s well talked about cuisine. Actually, it should be no surprise that I adore food, and that when she visits me, we look forward to her combining a variety of flavors and making some very delicious original dishes. Interestingly enough, today we shopped around town for large Dungeness Crabs, hand picked Spinach, bought fresh tomatoes, and made a garden salad for a delicious side dish which complimented our dinner. These Crabs were the largest and meatiness fresh water ones I’ve seen or eaten thus far. She flavored them by pouring beer and adding a variety of hearty seasonings – The taste as always, was enhanced to perfection.

The Publican, Chicago

From the team that created Blackbird and avec restaurants, The Publican is a new beer-focused restaurant located at 845 W. Fulton in Chicago. Executive Chef Paul Kahan and Chef de Cuisine Brian Huston crafted an eclectic menu inspired by simple farmhouse fare in a space evocative of a European beer hall. Designed by James Beard Award-Winner Thomas Schlesser, The Publican features the same simple lines and strong design elements that made the architect’s long-time partnership with Design Project Manager/Partner Donnie Madia so successful.

Featuring pork and fish/seafood preparations, the menu is best described by Kahan and Huston as “pristine product, simply prepared,” an approach to food Kahan has long espoused in all of his kitchens. The Publican boasts the simplest cuisine of all three properties, each dish stripped of adornment and containing only essential ingredients.

The menu is presented in sections: Fish, Meat and Vegetables, each laid out from lightest to heaviest fare. My experience after having dinner with Nathalie at The Publican was certainly one to remember. We both vowed that day we would continue to return eventually tasting the entirety of the menu.

BLACKBIRD Restaurant, Chicago

Usually when I first visit a restaurant, it’s because I’ve heard great reviews and feel a desire to experience what the talk is all about. However, I was drawn to Blackbird entirely for different reason this time. What reason you might ask? While driving pass the restaurant in the West Loop during my routine commute, the clean and minimal lines, along with a transparent floor to ceiling glass window helped persuade me to go in and finally check it out.

As a design aficionado impressed with the exterior aesthetics, I was certainly unaware that I was in for a major treat thus enjoying a splendid dinner at Blackbird (reservations recommended). What a wonderful way to end many months of driving by and wondering what my experience would be like. Unmistakably, the menu at Blackbird is amazing as you would expect.

Chef Kahan’s cuisine is as creative and accomplished as any other chef in town, perhaps less elaborated – with a startling and compelling mixture of tastes and textures. Whether it’s the Braised Sort Rib ($32), or the Fresh Water Torbot ($28), it’s almost guaranteed you’ll probably be back again. Before you leave, be certain to indulge in an array of desserts such as the original Walnut Cake featured above ($8).

OYSY Sushi, South Loop, Chicago

It’s no secret to my friends and I that OYSY is one of my all time favorite sushi restaurant in Chicago! Not only is there a location close to my home in the South Loop, in my opinion- they offer the best price for sushi in Chicago hands down. I’ve visited many of the other sushi spots throughout the West Loop and the Downtown areas but none impresses me like OYSY. Beginning with the delicious Lychee Martinis that you can’t seem to stop gulping for around ($12) a glass, you’ll also enjoy a large variety of selections from the menu such as the Red Dragon shown above for ($15), and also the Sashimi Platter shown below for ($24).

The space is decorated minimalist and has a modern contemporary airy feel. There are rays of green lighting that seems to create an intimate atmosphere that slightly suggests if you are a Chicagoan or simply just visiting the Windy City, OYSY should be your #1choice for excellent sushi with no frills. I strongly recommend that you stop by one of two locations and judge for yourself. I have a strong feeling that you wont be disappointed.

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