Delicious DIRT. Let It Snow Chicago

Wildberry Pancakes & Café by Chicago Scene

Inside: Beat Kitchen, Chicago Underground Comedy, 90 Miles Cuban Cafe, Union Sushi and Barbeque Bar, Detox at Union Sushi and Barbeque Bar, Trucking Thursday, Goose Island, David Barton Gym, Top Chef, Spiaggia, Sarah Grueneberg, Tony Mantuano, Top Chef Masters, Machine Head, House of Blues, Tavernita, City Provisions Deli, Supper Club, Rick Gresh, David Burke’s Primehouse, Death’s Door Spirits, The Trocks, Harris Theater, Les Ballets Trockadero de Monte Carlo, Pizano’s, Zocalo, Tequila, Bonnie, Logan Square Farmers Market, Lula, A Touch of Vintage, Provenance, Salted Caramel, Giordano’s, Dee Dee Bridgewater, To Billy With Love: A Celebration of Lady Day, Symphony Center, Atwood Cafe, Handmade Market Chicago, Empty Bottle, Bite Cafe, Chinese New Year, Chicago Chinese Cultural Institute, Z.J. Tong, Hing Kee Restaurant, Essay Fiesta, Book Cellar, 826CHI, Spoon Thai, Bryan Adams, Chicago Theatre, State and Lake, Book Cellar, Rachel Bertsche, MWF Seeking BFF, Margie’s Candies

NOW: At some point, even the most badass social butterflies among us have found ourselves wondering where we could find a BFF. Not content to wallow with a pint from Margie’s Candies, Chicago author Rachel Bertsche goes where few dare.  In her just released book, MWF Seeking BFF, Rachel brings back hilarious and engaging war stories from her year of 52 consecutive friend-dates. Catch her tonight on her book tour around the country now. And look sharp–maybe you’ll meet your new BFF.

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Delicious DIRT. JUICE

INSIDE: Mercadito, Tavernita, Eatocracy for Girl & The Goat’s Stephanie Izard, Sushi Samba Rio’s Carnaval, Food and Wine, Eatocracy, James Beard Dinner, and more.

To Open: Mercadito Sister Spot in the Chi- Tavernita

It’s general consensus that we all love Mercadito—that New York import that took Chicago by storm with its delicious Mexican food. Now we have even more reason to love it. It’s getting a sibling of sorts this summer.

Though we loved the baked goat cheese at Martini Park, it wasn’t enough to keep the patrons rolling in, so the owners of Mercadito decided to purchase the space and transform it into Tavernita. “It’s not Mexican. It’s somewhat of an eclectic mix of Latin, Spanish, American concept…” said Larry Silver, Managing Partner Mercadito Hospitality. Sounds incredibly appetizing. But close your mouths for a minute. It’s not scheduled to open until this summer. But until then, Mercadito is still hot and is even participating in restaurant week. Get your Mexican food fix from Feb. 17-28 during the course of Chicago Restaurant Week.

In Girl & The Goat News: Saveur, Food & Wine’s ‘People’s Best’, James Beard Dinner…

The highly respected food monthly Saveur, has just announced that they will include long form essay-type restaurant reviews in every issue beginning with the March 2011 issue, and Girl & the Goat and Stephanie Izard are lucky number one. Kudos continues to roll in for the restaurant. Executive Editor Dana Bowen wrote the review, and she seems to be enamored with the place. “Stephanie Izard’s pizza doesn’t taste like any pizza I’ve had before…it’s crisp in all the right places and piping hot with gooey cheddar, Gouda, and tomme-style cheeses…”

The Mediterranean goat-heavy fare has won fans the world over, and has even received a nod from the James Beard Foundation. Stephanie and The Goat were selected to host a James Beard house dinner at the restaurant, which quickly sold out. But the recognition doesn’t stop there. Vaunted publication Food & Wine introduces us to their Best New Chefs every year, and this year, they’ve implemented a People’s Best New Chef award that includes Stephanie Izard as a nominee for the Great Lakes region. If you’re interested to see who will come out as top toque, why don’t you take part of this democratic process and vote in the eatocracy here?

Eatocracy Courtesy of CNN

Sushi Samba Rio’s Carnaval March 5th:

Brazilian Carnaval is upon us, and we love that the sexiness that it exudes, although we don’t celebrate it in the States. However, SushiSamba Rio is having its own Carnaval version here in the city. On March 5, the restaurant will transform into the streets of Rio with samba dancers, drummers, and costumes inspired by Carnaval performers. There will even be a Brazilian inspired menu and drinks to really get you in a sexy Brazilian mood. Call 312 595 2300 to make a reservation, and check out for info about the restaurant.

Delicious DIRT. Chef Week is Here; Can’t-Miss Event: Dinner Tales @ Kahan’s Blackbird; Fed Up Fighting Food Deserts with Desserts for Deserts

DIRT Inside: Chicago Chef Week, Martial Noguier, Bistronomic, Jason Paskewitz, Gemini Bistro, Rustic House, Bruce Sherman, North Pond, Boka, GT Fish & Oyster, Mercadito, Publican, Tavernita, Dinner Tales, Tasting Table, Citi, Blackbird, Paul Kahan, David Posey, Bryce Caron, Lynn House, Fed Up, Desserts for Deserts, Fresh Moves, Greenhouse Loft, Green Exchange, fig media, Mari Gallagher

History, Dishes, Drinks: Dinner Tales @ Blackbird

Veal Sweetbreads from Blackbird - Simple, beautiful, perfection.

What an awesome event! Dinner Tales is a one-of-a-kind culinary event that happens on one night only by Tasting Table and Citi®. And the entire purpose of the evening is to provide a background of the selected restaurant’s history through dishes and stories for the people who are involved and know it best. Sounds amazing, interesting, and above all – DELICIOUS. We’re so excited to say that on Tuesday, March 20, Dinner Tales is on at Paul Kahan‘s West Loop hotspot, Blackbird. The current team at Blackbird, chef de cuisine David Posey, pastry chef Bryce Caron and mixologist Lynn House, along with Paul Kahan, will be in house for this amazing celebration – a night full of history and food. Don’t miss it – buy tickets! Your ticket gets you signature cocktails and canapés, courses paired with a well-chosen wine, and a special gift. See the night’s menu here. And more info on the Dinner Tales @ Blackbird event, here.

Make a Better World, In a SWEET Way: Desserts for Deserts

CHEF WEEK Rolls in Starting Sunday 3/18

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Delicious DIRT. Estate on the Riverfront, Chicago Brings Home the Nods, & Never Too Many Donuts

DIRT Inside: Estate Ultra Bar, Chris Turano, Dan De Los Monteros, 2012 JBF Restaurant and Chef Awards, Bistronomic, Next, The Aviary, The Violet Hour, Paul Kahan, Blackbird, Tony Mantuano, Spiaggia, Carrie Nahabedian, Naha, Patrick Fahy, Café des Architectes, Mindy Segal, Mindy’s Hot Chocolate, Tru, Donnie Madia, One Off Hospitality, Topolobampo, Sepia, Dave Beran, Matthew Kirkley, L2O, David Posey, Matthew Carlson, Schwa, Stephanie Izard, Girl and the Goat, Martial Noguier, Chris Nugent, Goosefoot, Bruce Sherman, North Pond, Giuseppe Tentori, GT Fish & Oyster, Andrew Zimmerman, Do-Rite Donuts, Petterino’s.

Never Too Much of a GOOD THING: Do-Rite Donuts Opens in Loop

Bacon + Donuts = LOVE @DoRiteDonuts

We’ve said it before and we’ll say it again! DONUTS ARE THE NEW CUPCAKES. We learned via Grub Street Chicago, that THIS morning @ 6:30 AM, Do-Rite Donuts opened in the Loop, attached to Petterino’s on Randolph. Francis Brennan and Jeff Mahin are the masterminds behind the latest addition to the doughnut line-up, bringing Lettuce Entertain You into the mix. And they’ve got some SERIOUS goodies in store: ranging from “gourmet” doughnuts (peanut butter + jelly + peanut better mousse topping) and “old-fashioned” cake doughnuts (topped with Tahitian vanilla or Valhrona chocolate) –> SO MUCH YUM. Definitely the next stop on our doughnut train. 50 W. Randolph.

NOW OPEN: Estate Ultra Bar is Rollin’ on the River

Peppadew Peppers by Estate Ultra Bar

Moving into some prime real-estate on the riverfront, Estate Ultra Bar is now open in River West.

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Delicious DIRT. Inside United States Holocaust Memorial Museum’s Chicago Events

As more than 300 supporters in their 20s, 30s and 40s gathered on June 2 at Museum Works Galleries in Chicago to learn more about genocide prevention at the Next Generation event, they were treated to signature cocktails and bites from Mercadito and soon-to-open Tavernita.    CLICK PHOTOS TO ENLARGE

Mercadito @ 2011 Next Generation Event by Lynn Renee

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Delicious DIRT. Aspen Food & Wine Recap

Aspen Food & Wine Festival (#FWASPEN) celebrated its 30th anniversary last weekend. Sadly the DIRT team did not make it to our home away from home this year. We #crave Aspen in the summer –> not a lot better. Perfectly sunny, warm and with NO humidity ->> Great. Hair. Days.  

Courtesy of Food & Wine Aspen, CLICK PHOTO TO ENLARGE - You will smile

#FWASPEN fest has been publicized as one of the prizes for each season’s Top Chef.  This year, food nerds and cuisine celebrities alike gathered in Aspen + indulged on tons of tasty tidbits and luscious libations.  Chicago’s own Stephanie Izard won top dish honors at the Best New Chef party with her goat sausage, which we down regularly at FAVE we CRAVE – Girl & the Goat. Another Chicago chef, Ryan Poli got his preview on as he showed what greatness Tavernita plans to bust out this summer.

Courtesy of Food & Wine Aspen

Get your swine on! The festival also hosted the finals for the Cochon 555 where chefs craft a menu utilizing an entire heritage pig. This year’s winners were Chefs Duskie Estes and John Stewart of ZaZu in Santa Rosa, California for their pork bun incorporating bits of tasty pork neck, head and heart.

Chef Ryan Poli @ #FWAspen, Courtesy of Tavernita

Courtesy of #FWAspen

Summer in Aspen, Courtesy of #FWAspen, CLICK PHOTO TO ENLARGE - You will smile

Winter Aspen = Gorgeous, Photo by MBK, CLICK PHOTO TO ENLARGE - A MUST

Aspen Comedy Fest -> WE MISS YOU. BRING IT BACK. Photo by MBK

Check out Stephanie Izard's People's Choice winning dish at the Food & Wine Best New Chef dinner in Aspen. Goat sausage in an XO broth. Photo by Girl + Goat. CLICK PHOTO TO ENLARGE

For more #deliciousDIRT on the Festival including pics from inside the Grand Tasting tent and a recap of the Cochon finals check out the links below:

Best of #FWAspen in Aspen Skollie Magazine

Inside the Aspen Tasting Tents with Yum Sugar

Aspen recap with GrubStreet

Dishes from the Grand Cochon

An intense day in the life of Food & Wine magazine’s restaurant editor Kate Krader

Delicious DIRT. Fundraiser –> United States Holocaust Memorial Museum


THURSDAY, JUNE 2, 6 p.m.
Museum Works Galleries
222 Merchandise Mart Plaza, Suite 1850

A refugee from the genocide in Darfur. Chad, 2007. U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum

Event Chairs
Marla and Larry Gilbert, Jordan Goodman, Melissa Grund, and
Emily Sachs Wong and Thad Wong

“A memorial unresponsive to the future would violate the memory of the past.”

—Elie Wiesel, Founding Museum Chairman  

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Delicious DIRT’s Chicago Resto Openings Update

Inside: To Open, Recently Opened, Been Open

Delicious DIRT. To Open

Fish Bar Lobster Roll, Courtesy of Myra Rubin

Delicious DIRT. Recently Opened

Delicious DIRT. Been Open. Old News

Breaker Breaker!!  Food Mafia’s live!! Check it on Eater and Thrillist.  Soon to come –>> 190 North feature.

Delicious DIRT. Juice

Inside: Paul Virant, Perennial Virant, Boka Group, NO CORKAGE 2/26, COCHON555, Flaco’s Tacos, Nacional 27, LOKaLChicago, @thesmokedaddy, @Chizakaya, @tacojointlp, Quince, D.O.C. Wine Bar, Frasca Pizzeria/ Wine Bar, Dunlays on the Square, Dunlays on Clark, Kit Kat Lounge / Supper Club, Zocalo Restaurant / Tequila Bar, redFLAME Pizzeria, Gossip Girl, Oscar Bingo, iPad 2, Brass Knuckle Bon Bons

Delicious DIRT. Food Nerds Delight

After loads of speculation and a lot of hype, today, our friends Kevin Boehm and Rob Katz, aka big shots and co-owners of Boka Group, announced Paul Virant will replace Ryan Poli (Tavernita) as executive chef at Perennial.  Not only is Virant, of Vie in Western Springs, soon to be cooking up glory, he is now part owner as well.  Perennial is now aptly named Perennial Virant.  We love the boys’ video announcement earlier today (see below).  Boehm is a superstar on video as you know from his quickie on Food Mafia.

Delicious DIRT. More Food Porn

BYO delights customers. For 1 night only, THIS SATURDAY- February 26, Chicago restaurants will be waiving their corkage fee! Participating restaurants include: @LOKaLChicago, @thesmokedaddy, @Chizakaya, @tacojointlp, Quince, D.O.C. Wine Bar, Frasca Pizzeria/ Wine Bar, Dunlays on the Square, Dunlays on Clark, Kit Kat Lounge / Supper Club, Zocalo Restaurant / Tequila Bar, redFLAME Pizzeria.

Traveling culinary competition @COCHON555 promoting sustainable farming of heritage breed pigs is coming to Chicago March 20!  Mike Sheerin, Andrew Zimmerman, Top Steph (Girl & the Goat), Chris Pandel (The Bristol), and Michael Fiorello (Mercat a la Planxa) are all signed up on the roster. More info read Eater’s piece

Flaco’s Tacos just opened a 2nd local in South Loop & Nacional 27 is celebrating Brazilian Carnaval!  Between March 4-8, get your hips shaking with dance performances, Samba lessons, loads of parades, parties, tapas, and caipirinhas galore. Get tickets now

Delicious DIRT. Juice We Love

LOVING the @gossipgirl #fashion this season! #Dior #fishnets #lace #pattern oh my! #Guiltypleasures. #Hedonist.

Apple Will Likely Unveil #iPad 2 at March 2 conference via @newser.

Check out the @Thrillist #Oscar Award Night Bingo. LOVE.  As they say, let’s keep if from feeling like 127 Hours…

Are you ready Food Mafia? Desserts with an Edge: Brass Knuckle Bon Bons start selling online today via @dailycandy.

I Will Check My #Phone At #Dinner And You Will Deal With It via one of our FAVES @techcrunch.  Great piece.  Recommended reading.

Who doesn’t LOVE a wardrobe challenge:? We can’t stop looking at the photos from the 30 days without repeating a closet item @FabiolaBeracasa via @ellemagazine

Stay Tuned for a full Delicious DIRT Oscar Event Roundup, Behind the scenes at Public House, Frontier Newbie Niceness, Purple Pig PIG-OUT, Exclusive with Michael Kornick himself, Food Mafia action at N9NE, y mucho mas Delicious DIRT

Delicious DIRT’s Events This Week

Action with Ari Bendersky Part 2

Delicious DIRT. Juice & Weekly Open Roundup

Delicious DIRT’s TO EAT This Restaurant Week


Delicious DIRT. Juice

Inside: French De-light @ Sofitel, James Beard Awards, Giordanos, My Pie, D’agostinos, Bricks

Last week, at the media preview French De-light,  Elevate Your Presence got a sneak preview of new healthy spa menu at Café des Architectes.  This resto, inside Chicago’s Sofitel, is a wonderful ode to French fare.  All of the gorgeous delicious presentations are low calorie (most are under 100).  Some highlights included coconut and passion fruit mousse and rillettes of mackerel. Check out CDA here, and Restaurant Week here. Can’t wait to indulge?  OH did we forget to mention -the French De-light menu is available during Restaurant Week too so get there soon.

Food nerds all over the world anxiously await the James Beard award nominees / winners every year. Some cuisine obsessives even get more excited than the nominees themselves! Literally, every year, from March to May, food lovers get dehydrated from salivating so much.  We’re sure you know by now that the JB semi-finalists were just announced. Of course, Chicago’s best are getting nods. Check out the list complete here and get ready, on March 21, the finalists will be announced. Delicious DIRT’s anticipating greatness…

How does pioneering deep dish pizza joint Giordano’s file for bankruptcy?! Yes, that’s what Crain’s Chicago Business reported last week. The chain defaulted on a Fifth Third Bank loan and has filed Chapter 11. The restaurants will remain open, but if things really go awry, we know the tourists will flock to Lou Malnati’s or, dare we say, Gino’s? We at Delicious DIRT and Food Mafia like My Pie, D’agostinos, and Bricks.  Stay tuned for all the inside info on the greatest pizza joints in the Chi….

Giordanos, Courtesy of Facebook

Delicious DIRT’s Events This Week

Action with Ari Bendersky Part 2

Delicious DIRT. Juice & Weekly Open Roundup

Delicious DIRT’s TO EAT This Restaurant Week

Delicious DIRT’s Juice: Vote Eatocracy Style, Girl & The Goat, Sushi Samba, Tavernita, Food & Wine, and Saveur


Elevate Your Presence is calling all Food Nerds, Chefs, and Cuisine Obsessives. Food Mafia is launching soon. Email us to receive an exclusive invite. Plus, send us your juiciest FOOD PORN and you might even get lucky…

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