Delicious DIRT. Chi’s Own Final Beard Noms; Perennial Virant Mixologist Leaves; Mini Monday Round Up

DIRT Inside: James Beard Foundation, Next, The Aviary, The Violet Hour, Paul Kahan, Blackbird, Mindy Segal, Mindy’s Hot Chocolate, Spiaggia, Topolobampo, Dave Beran, Michael Carlson, Schwa, Stephanie Izard, Girl and the Goat, Bruce Sherman, North Pond, Andrew Zimmerman, Sepia Perennial Virant, Matty Eggleston, Tenzing Wine & Spirits, Jessica Oroloso, Black Dog Gelato, Ukranian Village, Bleeding Heart Bakery, Intelligentsia, Merchandise Mart, Chicagoland Entrepreneurial Center

Mini Monday Moves: What’s Going On In the CHI

Black Dog Gelato Courtesy of Grub Street

Jessica Oloroso’s Black Dog Gelato will be getting a second spot this spring, and it looks like it will be MUCH needed with all this beautiful spring and summer weather we are having here in the Chi. DIRT: BDG’s original location is in Ukranian Village, but the second gelato shop will be opening in Bleeding Heart Bakery’s old location @ 1955 W. Belmont. (BONUS DIRT: flavors like goat cheese cashew caramel and malted vanilla = TO DIE FOR.)

Brews Coming to the Merchandise Mart. Photo via Q Blog

Intelligentsia will be opening it’s fourth cafe, and this time in the Merchandise Mart. 1871, a tech-friendly center by Chicagoland Entrepreneurial Center, will house Intelligentsia in the Merch Mart. 22-seater, 12th floor, Wi-Fi included, all your coffee/tea/goodie cravings. Watch for it May 2.

Perennial Virant Saying Goodbye to Matty Eggleston. Below

Beard Noms Update: CONGRATS Chicago Noms. Below.

Oh my food porn feast...Goat Leg @ Girl and the Goat Courtesy of

Straight off the James Beard Foundation’s Twitter feed, we followed the live announcement of the final list of noms, and it’s as fresh as you can get: we’re delivering the Chicago noms to you. We’d like to congratulate all of the noms and send out a special congrats to everyone nominated in Chicago. Winners will be announced May 4 and May 7, so we’ll keep you posted! Full List below.

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Delicious DIRT. Gotta Check Out Epic Sky; Farm-To-Table Org. Ground Up Starts; “The Butcher’s Karma” by Sky Full of Bacon -> Watch Now!

DIRT Inside: Epic, Epic Sky, River North, farm-to-table, Ground Up, Spacca Napoli, Browntrout, Anteprima, C-House, Floriole, MK, The Bedford, Vincent and Wood, Mess Hall & Co., Rich Chocolates, Las Manas, Rare Tea Cellar, Green Grocer, Stephanie Izard, Heather Terhune, Sky Full of Bacon, Michael Gebert, Rob Levitt, Paul Kahan, Bartlett Durand, The Butcher & Larder, Publican Quality Meats, Black Earth Meats

Ground Up: Chefs Create New Organization, We’re Diggin’ the Farm-To-Table

Courtesy of Ground Up

Farm-to-table is here to stay . Chefs and restos across the city have been promoting and devising ways to bring food, farmers, and us urban-dwellers closer together for a while now. A new team of chefs have started a community called Ground Up, a “chef farmer community,” that aims to encourage farmer / chef collabs – and more than 12 of Chicago’s chefs have signed up already. So what can you do to help? Ground Up is hosting it’s first fundraising event Monday, April 9 from 6:00 PM – 9:00 PM at Spacca Napoli, and it’s first program (an indoor farmer’s market) at Browntrout on May 1. The program will benefit small family farms who provide to us right here in the Chi. The fundraiser in April will feature tastings from restos like Anteprima, Browntrout, C-House, Floriole, MK, The Bedford, Vincent and Wood, as well as vendors from Mess Hall & Co., Rich Chocolates, Las Manas, Rare Tea Cellar, and Green Grocer. Also – a silent auction with items from chefs like Stephanie Izard and Heather Terhune. Grab your tickets here! Get involved and go local!

Sky Full of Bacon’s Newest Mini-Flick: The Butcher’s Karma

Photo via PopSugar

Remember Dinner and a [Sky Full of Bacon] Movie? Whether you went to the event, or not, the film is now available for your viewing pleasure on Sky Full of Bacon’s blog.

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Delicious DIRT. JUICE WE LOVE: To Open -> To Check Out: Balena’s Desserts, Storefront Company’s Short Rib Fried Rice, and Old Town Pour House’s Brews

DIRT Inside: Balena, Storefront Company, Old Town Pour House, Bottleneck Management Group, Paul Katz, John Madden, Boka Restaurant Group, Bristol, Chris Pandel, Amanda Rockman, Wicker Park, Debonair Social Club, Bryan Moscatello, Food & Wine, Gary Weidner

Balena’s Got It: Chef Pandel and Pastry Chef Rockman Steal Our Hearts

Pistachio gelato with nougat and burnt-orange caramel. Photo: Jeff Kauck

Thanks to the lovely boys at Boka Restaurant Group and the Bristol crew, Balena is opens today (and for DD readers, that’s two amazing openings in one day). Balena and chef Chris Pandel have been on our To Open radar for some time now and it’s totally work the wait! We’re into their house-made pastas, wood-burning pizzas and amaro-based cocktails… oh yes, definitely worth the wait. This Tuscan-inspired spot’s tagline is “Italian inspired. Honest cooking” so look for Italian-style foods but with the benefit of being sourced from Midwest farms. We are loving all of this local attention! Speaking of attention, we cannot take our eyes off of pastry chef Amanda Rockman‘s sweet creations – watch her in action. And a Delicious DIRT insider: the Balena wine list is incredible, featuring 300+ labels of 95% Italian wines -> BONUS, there’s a glossary. Check out the full menu, and check out Balena for yourself. 1633 N. Halsted.

In Wicker Park: Storefront Company = Now Open

Photo via Storefront Company Facebook

Another long-awaited opening: Storefront Company in Wicker Park… and even better, this creation from the masterminds behind Debonair Social Club and chef Bryan Moscatello is now open! What you have to know: Chef Moscatello was a 2003 Food & Wine Best New Chef; Storefront is bringing a seasonal menu of farm-to-table goodness to the table; and the century old space features an enormous 34′ x 13′ mural by local artist Gary Weidner.

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Delicious DIRT. We’ve got the DIRT on Tequila + Sauces 101, Four Season’s Allium, and Which Chicago Talent is on Top Chef

DIRT InsideCarnivale, Daryl Freeman, Casa Noble, David Dworshak, Allium, Four Seasons Chicago, Kevin Hickey, Takashi Yagihashi, Takashi, Slurping Turtle, Top Chef, Iron Chef America

JUICE ALERT: Takashi Yagihashi on Top Chef WEDNESDAY 2/22.

Takashi Cuisine, via Takashi Facebook

2/22 Wednesday 9:00 PM – URGENT JUICE NEWS: We love seeing local talent broadcasted on a NATIONAL level! Chicago’s own Takashi Yagihashi of Takashi and Slurping Turtle will be making an appearance on an episode of Bravo’s Top Chef Texas on Wednesday, February 22 @ 9pm (central time) – so set your DVRs! Watch for him in the Quickfire Challenge and check out a clip of the episode before you tune in. And if you think this will be Takashi Yagihashi’s 15 minutes of fame, you are SADLY mistaken! The chef will be also be COMPETING on Iron Chef America on April 1. Stay tuned for news of his competitor, but in the meantime, get your Takashi-fix on Top Chef.

Get Schooled: Tequila and Sauces 101 by Carnivale

Carnivale Ceviche by Daniel Zemans

Okay, so Carnivale University’s Winter Quarter is about to end! You know that means you better hurry up and get to class – no more skipping school! Last two sessions of the quarter are Tequila 101 and Sauces 101.

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Delicious DIRT. February: This Little Month Packs a BIG Punch.

Country Rib by The Publican

DIRT Weekly Events Inside: David Singer, Intonation Music Workshop, Uncommon Ground, Chicago Children’s Museum, In Flames, House of Blues, Trivium, Veil of Maya, Kyng, Tempo, Soup and Bread, Hideout, The Butcher’s Karma,, Uncommon Ground, The Gene Siskel Film Center, Chico & Rita, Xoco, Chicago Restaurant Week, Chicago WingFest, Ben Lee, Martyrs, Sola, The Bourgeois Pig, The TallGrass Writing Guild

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Delicious DIRT. Weekly Event Roundup

Inside: Publican, Founders Brewing Company, Adam Ezra, Martyrs, ReVamped, Earth Share of IL, W Hotels, Jersey Girls, Wine Riot, Union Station, Farm to Table, Big Jones, McCormick & Schmick’s, MayFest, Campfire Ball, One Step Camp, One Step At A Time, Venue One

Adam Ezra, Photo Mac Polski

5/19 ******* Adam Ezra playing @ Martyrs‘!  Welcome back to our good friends and treasured talents Adam Ezra Group!! We missed you guys!  The DIRT team loves these shows more than most and you will too!  Get there! Martyrs’ 3855 N Lincoln Ave 9pm-11pm

5/19 Slow Food Chicago Farm-to-Table Series–Big Jones May 19, 2011 “Low on the Hog in the Lowcountry” Big Jones May 19, 2011 at 6PM (Reception) & 7PM (Dinner) Executive Chef Paul Fehribach 5347 N. Clark St., Chicago IL 60640 $49 includes tax, gratuity, and a $10 donation to Slow Food Chicago Optional beverage pairings: $25 RSVP: Phone: (773) 275-5725 MORE INFO

5/19 Linked N Chicago LIVE Event hosted by the one and only McCormick & Schmick’s- Chicago, Patio Grand Opening! May 19 06:00PM to 08:30PM Hosted by Linked N Chicago (LiNC) You’re invited to a LINKED N CHICAGO LIVE EVENT by popular demand Let’s kick off summer right!  Are you ready?  ***This event will sell out*** Linked N Chicago is the largest networking forum for LinkedIn business … Read more.


ReVamped 2010 Monica Wontorski Designs

5/20 Revamped! Check out Revamped: A Fashion Show Dedicated to a Greener Society! Support EarthShare of Illinois & enjoy eco-friendly fashion, art, food & cocktails! May 20 @ 7pm, $35 gen admission & $75 VIP. Purchase your tickets to REVAMPED! Pre-sale ends on Friday, May 20 @ 3:00pm! $35 General Admission pre-sale, $45 at the door, $75 VIP! See you at Revamped! Bridgeport Art Center,  1200 W 35th Street

5/20-22 MAYFEST We are jumping for join because Chicago’s festival season kicks off this weekend at MayFest!  Some of our favorite bands will play this 3 day festival in lakeview!  Sixteen Candles- best 80′s cover band ever (no not the movie), Too White Crew– best old school hip hop rap cover band full of white boys doing 90′s rap and Hairbanger’s – 80′s metal cover band you’ll rock out with your c-cks out… We hope not!  This is NOT to miss fest with a lot of flavor.  Friday, 5 pm to 10 pm Saturday,11 am to 10 pm Sunday, 11 am to 10 pm 3100 N. Ashland Avenue in Chicago

5/21 Campfire Ball at Venue One - Support such a great cause and another Invest For Kids recipient One Step At A Time programs!  This is one of our favorite events of the year! Every year it simply rules! Help send children with cancer to camp to heal, to grow and to play at the Campfire Ball. This is a truly life changing organization, one you should really support!

More info: Get ready for summer camp with an urban twist. Come support One Step At A Time camps for kids with cancer at Campfire Ball 2011. Venue One is our spot, Cork and Theory will be serving up inventive cocktails and camp-themed favorite foods all night long. Hot DJs will be rocking the house, and there will be plenty of opportunities to support the kids through awesome silent auction items, raffles and more.  It’s all the fun without the curfew.
The event will feature special guest appearances by former All-Pro NFL star and Chicago Bear Jerry Azumah and The Score’s Dan Bernstein (WSCR-AM). Emceeing the event is Nina Chantele of 103.5 KISS-FM and 107.5 WGCI-FM. Reserve your tickets today at  $75 per ticket/$100 at the door

5/21 Wine Riot Chicago 1:00 PM – 11:00 PM, Chicago | Great Hall at Union Station

Union Sushi & BBQ Bar Opens With A Bang

RedHot Midnight Kiss

Food Mafia Launch Video

Donuts Are The New Cupcakes

BaconFest 2011 = Delicious DIRT

Delicious DIRT at Thomas Keller’s Bouchon

5/17 Midwestern beers will be highlighted during a Founders Brewing Company tasting at The Publican during regular dinner service. The cost is $25 and includes three small plates. The Publican, 837 W. Fulton Market, Chicago, IL 60607, 312-733-9555.

5/17 Head to W Hotels of Chicago Lakeshore to welcome Authors Marie Moss (Turnpike Exit 11) and Barri Leiner Grant (Parkway Exit 109) of JERSEY GIRLS: The Fierce and the Fabulous on Tuesday, May 17th from 6pm – 8pm for their exclusive launch and book signing.

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