Blackbird (Chicago 2017)

On a recent trip to Chicago, we visited Blackbird--a one star Michelin restaurant by James Beard Award-winning chef Paul Kahan. Cameron had been to this restaurant back in 2013 (the year Kahan won his James Beard Award), and was impressed. We wanted to see if it was still worthy of all the acclaim. We actually walked to the restaurant on a beautiful late-summer day for an early lunch. Deciding to sit outside and enjoy the light and airy patio, we picked a nice table in the corner and settled in. After viewing the wine list, we picked a bottle of Burgundy: 2009 Domaine de Croix Bourgogne. It exhibited notes of cinnamon, cardamom, black currant, white pepper, pomegranite/acai berry, with

North Pond (Chicago 2017)

The restaurant is located in a wonderful setting in a gorgeous park next to a small lake. It definitely lives up to the hype as one of the most beautiful places in Chicago to dine. We loved the Frank Lloyd Wright-inspired craftsman setting. It was simply the perfect spot for a wonderful 6-course brunch. And we loved that they opened all of the full-height doors/windows on their closed patio, giving us a fantastic al fresco dining experience hard to replicate. We had high expectations for this brunch, and were not disappointed in the least. Ubering to the restaurant, we were dropped off on the street right next to the foot path leading to the restaurant. A 100 yard walk through the park g

Is There Something Wrong at Cattleack BBQ?

Recently, we've received some strange e-mails from the folks at Cattleack BBQ. On random Thursdays, we've received pictures of an empty entryway and sidewalk with the statement "no line--get in here." The first time they sent it to us, we thought "how strange--why advertise you aren't busy?" Especially when you're the highly-touted "3rd best BBQ in Texas. After the second and third times, we thought "maybe people have stopped going." Today, we got a separate (unsolicited) FAQ e-mail from Cattleack that was pretty snarky, and frankly, a bit over-the-top. Excerpts are included below: HOURS – We are open 10:30am until 2:00 pm on both Thursday& Friday along with the 1st Saturday of each mon

Tru (Chicago 2017)

We were lucky enough to be able to try Tru on our recent trip to Chicago. Tru is one of a small group of restaurants in Chicago that have been awarded 2 stars by the Michelin Guide--a huge honor, and one that creates enormous expectations on the part of the diner. For those who haven't been to a 2 or 3 Michelin star establishment, these are all multi-course restaurants, with a normal dinner taking several hours. Service is expected to be extremely professional, plating is expected to be impeccable, and the quality of both the food and the experience is expected to be extremely high. Needless to say, with only twenty-four of these 2 star restaurants located in the United States, you're de

Dusek's Board and Beer (Chicago 2017)

We recently took a food-centric trip to Chicago to experience all of the Michelin-starred restaurants we could fit in a long weekend. The airline tickets were cheap, the weather was great, and the time was right. We were off. Unfortunately, that meant we were "off" with a 6:00 a.m. Saturday-morning flight. But who needs sleep when there's great food to eat?? Seeing as how we had been up since 3:15 a.m. to shower and get to the airport for our 6:00 a.m. flight, we wanted our first restaurant of the trip to be casual. Neither of us wanted to bother with fancy since you can't get much sleep on the plywood that Spirit calls an airline seat. A pub sounded like a good choice! A Michelin-rat

Ten Tips From TexSom 2017

After taking a couple weeks to recover from the craziness that was TexSom 2017, we wanted to share a few insights from what is one of the largest and best wine conferences in the country. First, tasting at this level is simply different than anything you're ever going to experience at a winery, food and wine festival, a local wine gathering, or even the big monthly tasting put on by your local wine bar. The volume is astounding! There isn't 10 or 20 or 50 wines to try. There's 30-50 wines per room, and there's 8-10+ rooms each night. Multiply that by 3 nights, and you've got over 1,000 different high-quality wines to get through. Let that sink in, and come prepared. It's really a big job to

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