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santo_grace

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    Chicago
  1. I think your plan looks really good. A couple of thoughts/comments. I hope you enjoy M.Henry...never had a bad brunch or lunch there. I really like Alex's suggestion of Big & Little's, and would choose it over Bari's. We used to order takeout from Bari's for work, was a welcome relief from some of the usual catered lunch fare, but not sure it beats Big & Little's. Save some room if you are heading over to Hot Chocolate...combining it with Takashi is a good one-two punch. Another thought it to check out our food truck scene. Meaty Balls is a good one for lunch, and they post online and their twitter where they will be. Also, I was skimming through this and didn't notice when you are visiting, but you may want to think about getting into Next. You could try same day tickets, especially if you are flexible with some of your reservations (e.g., Sunday at Avec you aren't going to make reservations). Last I saw the Thai menu is going on until Oct. 9 and the Childhood menu is starting the following week. If you are coming after the Thai menu ends, you could try to get tickets when Childhood goes on sale and turn into a crazy person like the rest of us. (Just don't turn into one of the idiots that gets mad at Grant and Nick for "forcing" them to sit in front of their computer, or miss meetings or their commuter trains all day trying to get tickets.)
  2. santo_grace

    Cooking with "Stir" by Barbara Lynch

    A little over a year ago I was told by my manager to pick a conference to attend. I had the choice of Boston, Orlando, or San Diego. I jumped on the one in Boston since it had been a number of years since I had been, and the Red Sox were in town, so my husband and I made a weekend of it. While we didn't make it to No. 9 Park (our expensive dinner was at Oya), I was lucky the hotel was within walking distance of Sportello and Drink. I went to Sportello for dinner by myself and liked it so much took my husband for lunch when he got into town. We were also happy to go to Drink before we hopped in a cab for our dinner at B&G Oysters. Ms. Lynch contributed to a very nice weekend in Boston. I bought Stir on my second trip to Sportello. For our New Year's Eve dinner we served the chestnut bisque, iceberg wedge, tomato tarts, and prune gnocchi with foie gras sauce. I don't usually source so many of the our NYE dinner recipes from one place, but everything was pretty easy to make and was all delicious. I did cheat and didn't make the gnocchi for the prune filling, and instead made them as raviolis. Given my lack of experience making gnocchi and time needed to prep other courses, it just wasn't going to happen. We also don't always test all of our recipes beforehand, but we did with these. This was my first time roasting chestnuts and it was much easier the first time I made the soup because we peeled the chestnuts while still fairly hot. You can not let them cool too much. Also, my foie gras sauce did break, but the suggestion of adding hot water brought it back together. Thanks for resurrecting this thread. I just pulled Stir out again and am looking forward to making some summertime recipes. Cool corn soup with mushroom, scallion, and lemon sounds perfect.
  3. I was wondering when you were going to mention Chicago plans. Schwa? Next? I think some would say Alinea, but we didn't have problems either time we went. Looking forward to seeing you enjoy your time here.
  4. santo_grace

    The Manliest Restaurant in America?

    I haven't been in a few years, because it did seem so "manly", Mike Ditka's in Chicago.
  5. santo_grace

    Ranges/Cooktops/Ovens

    Hi All, We are in the market for a new stove. We can only do a 30" gas and expect to spend between $1,500-$2,500...so no Viking, Wolf, GE Monogram. Also, regarding BTUs, I'd rather not get anything that requires redoing gaslines to make them bigger. I saw some notes on this thread about having to do that and I don't think that is an option. Does anyone have any thoughts on the GE Profile or something similar?
  6. santo_grace

    Test Dishes

    Italian - antipasto salad and white clam sauce - lots of cutup clams, not too garlicky. I'm always concerned when something is too garlicky that they are overcompensating for lack of taste with the other ingredients. French - salad lyonnaise: egg has to be adequately runny, lettuce can't be too wet, large lardons (but not too large) Chinese - Mongolian beef: I'm not sure what I base it on...maybe the sauce and I only want green onions in it.
  7. Go across the street from the Violet Hour for some Big Star tacos. The takeout window is a great option.
  8. Ahh, santo_grace, so right you are. There is 1/3 cup of butter along with 1 egg in the recipe. It helped, but still not enough for Sig Eater . Noooo...I meant butter on the muffin. Slightly warmed in the toaster oven or microwave with butter.
  9. Some butter would help with making them less healthy and very tasty. I think they look good but butter makes everything better.
  10. How old were when you tried? I think these are only for those under the age of 16. These were a treat for me as a child even though my poor mother couldn't stand the smell. At some point I couldn't stomach them either. Never eat again...olives. I'm done with trying them because I think I should like them.
  11. santo_grace

    PLAN: 2011 Heartland Gathering

    Very exciting! Congratulations! I will be unable to attend. I was hoping to attend this year since I have family in the area, but we'll be in Seattle eating and wishing my brother well before he climbs Mt. Rainier.
  12. Me too! Going to WS tomorrow. Plus, a stand alone ice maker from a very well-meaning friend. I think it will be best to bring out for parties. While Christmas shopping I bought myself a copy of Marcella Hazan's Essentials of Italian Cooking.
  13. I just finished making my batch of this a couple of hours ago...no pecans though. My mother got the recipe from my father's mother. I have very vivid memories of her attaching the metal grinder to our butcher block countertop, grinding all the ingredients with a bowl sitting on a stool to catch everything, except for all the juice which inevitably ran down the front of the counter onto the floor. What a mess. Thank goodness for the food processor.
  14. An oxtail daube from Paula Wolfert. Two days of my life. It involved making a meat paste from pig's foot, salt pork, and ham, and spreading it over the oxtails. There was blanching, defatting, straining, skimming, reducing, and braising. It was going so well, but in the end it was a dry mess. I'm not sure where all the liquid went. It was a test run for New Year's Eve dinner. I was sooo glad I didn't wait to the actual dinner party. I recently made a daube from Julia Child. Best daube/stew/braised dish I've had a long time. A top 5 dish.
  15. Guilty. Off the top of my head (I'm too lazy to get off the couch to look)... Canned water chestnuts Almond syrup (the kind you put in coffee...we don't even drink coffee) Canned chipotle peppers
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