Delicious DIRT. We Already LOVE

NOW OPEN: Brendan Sodikoff’s Done It Again @ Au Cheval

Bolognese w/ bucatini, charred tomato & parmesan @ Gilt Bar by MBK

Our lovely friend and insanely talented hot restauranteur, Brendan Sodikoff, (Gilt Bar, Maude’s Liquor Bar, Doughnut Vault,) has added another eatery to his fantastic mouth-watering resume. TODAY, Au Cheval, his classic diner with a gastronomic touch, opened in Chicago’s West Loop.  We can hardly contain our excitement!  Au Cheval is a dinner / late night joint, but Sodikoff hopes to eventually go 24 diner style.

This once gyro grease pit turned true beauty is not your typical diner folks…think more upscale local bordello you’ll want hit often (we already basically live at Gilt). The menu houses traditional diner items (patty melt) as well as more intense elaborate dishes (smoked whitefish pasta). Au Cheval is stocked with a full bar (36 draft beers), an open kitchen, menu items like chilaquiles (we die), burgers, melts, king crab, chopped chicken liver (think Jewish deli), fried-bologna sandwich, peppered bacon steak with truffle jus w potato purée, and classic eggs.  If you have not already left any diner stereotype you had at the door, you will.  Au Cheval is quickly becoming our new fave we crave.

***BONUS: eat/drink/be merry at Au Cheval TODAY and TOMORROW (Wednesday 2/22 and Thursday 2/23) and proceeds will go to Bright Pink and Heshima Kenya. 800 W. Randolph.

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Delicious DIRT. Only Pleasure: No Guilt At Gilt

Inside: Gilt Bar.

A True Fave We Crave.

One thing you already know about the DIRT Team is that we LOVE to eat.  We chow down regularly and do not hold back.  Life is too short and food tastes too damn good.  Not every resto is as drop dead delicious as Gilt Bar. #EveryBiteDelights. In case you need a reminder, our quickie Gilt Bar food porn below is sure to trigger you in ways you might not want to share…  Thank you Brendan Sodikoff. You created greatness we literally crave. Love, #DeliciousDIRT

Still #dreaming of the bolognese w/bucatini, charred tomato & parmesan @giltbar. Insanely flavorful & oh that crunch. #couldeatitDAILY #deliciousDIRT Photo by MBK

Does not get much better than this - @giltbar truffle mushroom Paris pasta. #deliciousDIRT Photo by MBK

Gilt's Pot Roast - gone for now folks! Will return in winter. Still a true fave of ours #deliciousDIRT Photo by MBK


Banana Spilt @ Gilt Bar Fulfills Dreams. Photo by MBK

Mac On The Mac

Pig Out. Get Your Taste On Delicious DIRT Style

Seafood Nerds REJOICE Over Fish Bar’s NEW Summer Menu

Aspen You Have Our Hearts. Food & Wine Festival

Lives Up To The Hype – Girl & The Goat

Delicious DIRT. Now Open–> Doughnut Vault

Elevate Your Presence Newsflash — NOW OPEN —>> Doughnut Vault. In our all time top 5 favorite things = plain glazed doughnuts, fresh off the presses + smokin’ hot! What’s your crave? Thank you for the heads up Brendan Sodikoff, ♥ Elevate Your Presence. #DeliciousDIRT

Once you try a Doughnut Vault doughnut, you’ll never want to go back.
Photo By: Doughnut Vault

Courtesy of Doughnut Vault

Courtesy of Doughnut Vault

Get ‘em while you can… limited supplies each day… But follow D Vault’s tweets for alerts on our fave, our crave — when they’re fresh off the presses and you’ll feel like you just got lucky!!   Oh wait, you did.

Courtesy of Doughnut Vault

Courtesy of Doughnut Vault

Courtesy of Doughnut Vault

Courtesy of Doughnut Vault

Food PORN for all… now officially available at 401 1/2 N. Franklin in the Chi.

Delicious DIRT’s TribeFest Quickie

Inside: TribeFest Intro, Miri Ben Ari, Rabbi Yonah, Ami Dar, Hebrew Mamita, Brendan Sodikoff, Rob Katz, Heeb Magazine, Shemspeed, and more

Where to begin?  What a ride its been.  You’ve been holding your breath, craving some good ole Delicious DIRT while some of us were in Vegas at TribeFest.  I mean, you’re just simply at the edge of your computers,  iPhones, iPads, iPods, Facebooks, Twitter accounts literally counting the hours, even minutes until we post right?  Good news…

Elevate Your Presence is here to satiate your every whim. So, don’t fret, the lack of posts last week means we’ve been busy… and it’s been juicy…not only for us, but also for you because you’re gonna get the inside flavor.  Fasten your seat belts ladies and gents…we’re taking off…

Delicious DIRT Editor-In-Chief‘s Elevated TribeFest experience is coming soon; for now some basics below

Elevate Your Presence trekked to Vegas this past week/ weekend for the first ever TribeFest. We decided to be open to anything. Man, not knowing what to expect, (a trip with tons of Jews could have gone a lot of ways), but this conference – 1290 young Jews from around the globe, wonderful leaders, speakers, musicians, comedians and about one hundred different organizations/ companies- truly blew us away.

MBK literally got up close and personal with so many magical people.  And that is what it’s all about.  Connecting. Real. Raw. True.  Nothing better.  Full report soon.

Grateful to have connected with:

This is only the beginning of these relationships… Building, growing, inspiring, changing, believing, learning, connecting, working together and uniting.  Hands on.  For each one of us, this experience means something different.  And for me, that’s the true beauty of it all.

TribeFest could have been complete with champagne snowballs and all… In fact, I’m sure some made romantic connections within the Tribe and that’s fab!  For me, this conference was all about connecting with truly monumental people, insanely wonderful organizations/ companies and learning about + connecting w/ Judaism in deeper ways.  And that it was!   This is just the tip… of the iceberg people.  Heads out of gutter…

  • For now, you can get a quick glimpse & watch Shemspeed’s video on TribeFest here.  You Tube the fest for more if you just can’t wait for our videos.. soon to post.  You’ll get chills watching Miri.  AMAZING.
  • So many creative and informative blog posts, check out hashtag #TribeFest and here’s two posts we heart – Let My People Grow and The UnLoad: Jews in the Desert… Is This A Joke?
  • Stay tuned for MBK’s full Tribal account.

For all you FOOD NERDS out there, an abundance of FOOD PORN is headed your way on Delicious DIRT.

  • Elevate Your Presence kicked it Food Mafia style last week at The Art of the Restaurant Deal with big shot restaurateurs Rob Katz and Brendan Sodikoff. By now you know both of them have announced newbie restos… We were given inside info a while back, but didn’t post… Next time you’ll be privy first.
  • Our night with sexy smarty Brendan Sodikoff aka owner of Gilt Bar/ Maude’s Liquor Bar / Doughnut Vault/ Ox Diner / Curio.
  • Plus, we’ve been telling you to stay tuned for so much and it’s ahead: Behind the scenes at Hubbard Inn + Public House, Frontier Newbie Niceness, Purple Pig PIG-OUT, Exclusive with Michael Kornick himself just as FISH BAR opens, Food Mafia action at N9NE, Gilt Bar, & Mike + Chao, y mucho mas Delicious DIRT.

It’s 230am people… Day 3 of TribeFest… let there be rest…


We know it’s last minute and it’s a Monday night folks.  But, when do you get a chance to hear some of the most vibrant and successful restaurateurs speak while networking with young real estate mavens?  And even better, when can you ask anything your little heart desires?  This evening is your chance.  Tonight is a rare opportunity to learn, to mix, mingle and make your voice heard.  This is an event we highly recommended.

The Young Real Estate Group and the 
Real Estate & Building Trades Division of the Jewish United Fund invite you to a panel presentation of:

TONIGHT: The Art of the Restaurant Deal @ Hotel Palomar.  Featuring: Rob Katz (Boka Group), Brendan Sodikoff (Gilt, Maudes, Curio, Donut Vault), Lawrence B. Swibel

Come hear three distinguished Chicago restaurateurs (some of our faves) discuss the process of launching a successful restaurant, from visualizing an idea to scouting locations to opening night. After the panel presentation there will an opportunity to ask questions and network with other real estate professionals. Click here for Facebook event page.

Rob Katz Boka Restaurant Group

Rob Katz & Kevin Boehm, Boka Group Co-Owners

Brendan Sodikoff Gilt Bar, 
Maude’s Liquor Bar, Curio, The Doughnut 
Vault (coming soon)

Brendan Sodikoff

Lawrence B. Swibel Partner — Fox, Hefter, Swibel, Levin & Carroll, LLP

Lawrence B. Swibel

Monday, February 28th, 2011
 5:30 p.m. – Registration & Networking
 6:15 p.m. – Program Begins Hotel Palomar Cocktails and hors d’oeuvres will be served.
505 North State Street  
Chicago, IL 60654 COST: $40

Real Estate & Building Trades Leadership: Jason Friedman, Friedman Properties Real Estate & Building Trades Division Chair, Russell Brenner, Syndicated Equities, Marc Klutznick, Klutznick Enterprises Young Real Estate/ Group Co-chairs: Adam Kaplan, Senior Lifestyle Corporation, Seth Singerman, Singerman Real Estate,  Helee Hillman, Jones Lang LaSalle, Daniel Kaufman, Holliday Fenoglio Fowler, Stephen Sotoloff, Walton Street Capital
Host Committee: Ben Firestone, Jonathan Glick, Scott Goldman,John Kinzelberg, Joshua Liss, Nathaniel Sager, Andy Stein, Elise Wiss

The Art of the Restaurant Deal

Delicious DIRT. Events Tonight

2/28 Chicagoans are invited to join Quartino Ristorante for an exclusive Wine Dinner in partnership with Branko.  Winemaker Igor Erzetic will lead the wine dinner and will feature a reception and five-course menu created by Quartino Executive Chef John Coletta. $49 per person plus tax and gratuity, reception starts at 7:30PM, Reservations required, call Quartino 312.698.5000, 626 N State St.

2/28 6 p.m. Mexican cooking classes at Double A – Lower level. Enter through Mercadito – 108 W. Kinzie St. – River North — Mercadito chef Patricio Sandoval demonstrates how to prepare four dishes.

Stay Tuned for DIRT. Weekly, Behind the scenes at Hubbard Inn + Public House, Frontier Newbie Niceness, Purple Pig PIG-OUT, Exclusive with Michael Kornick himself, Food Mafia action at N9NE, Gilt Bar, & Mike + Chao, y mucho mas Delicious DIRT.

Delicious DIRT’s Restaurant Week Extenders

Delicious DIRT’s Oscar Events, Games, Eats, Apps

Much Delicious DIRT. Food Fashion Tech PORN

Delicious DIRT’s Action with Ari Bendersky Part 2


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…

Delicious DIRT. EATS

Last night, we dined at one of our favorites- Gilt Bar.  Believe us, we felt only pleasure, no remorse.

Mouths will water… taste buds will thank you. EVERY BITE is better than the next at Gilt Bar. Thank you Brendan Sodikoff, Love, Elevate Your Presence & Chicago Food Mafia.

Gilt Bar's Short Ribs

It truly does not get better than this mushroom truffle pasta Gilt Bar. Chicago Food Mafia can not get enough. Again, Brendan Sodikoff, we can’t wait to devour more…

Gilt Bar's Truffle Pasta

Banana split never hurt anyone… Chicago Food Mafia felt no guilt at Gilt Bar savoring every bite….

Banana Spilt at Gilt Bar

Can’t wait to actually get on Food Mafia?  Here’s something to ease your anticipation….Below is a preview of MBK’s Food Mafia review of Gilt Bar posted a bit ago.

I have to say I can not believe I waited so long to try Gilt. My reason was simple- all the other restaurants in that space (many), have gone under so fast I thought it might not be worth it. Man was I WRONG! Gilt Bar has instantly become a favorite, a go to, and a staple in my regular rotation! In fact, I had my birthday dinner there this week and literally wanted to go back the following night… The atmosphere is my definition of PERFECT. It’s dark, yet not pitch black, it’s classy, yet not uptight, it’s lounge like, yet not cheesy. Gilt Bar is literally the perfect date spot. I have not even gotten to the food- in one word- exceptional. I loved every single bite more than the next. Here is what we ate- paris mushroom & truffle pasta, ricotta gnocchi w/ sage & brown butter, parmesan crusted whitefish (super well done) w/ lemon, butter, capers, brussel sprouts w/ probably the best bacon ever, & warm milk chocolate chunk brownies w/ tons of whipped cream, hot caramel & chocolate sauces on the side. I can not wait to get back there and I give Gilt the highest recommendation possible! Maude’s Liquor – their sister spot, opened this week too and is stellar…Stay tuned for DIRT’s report on Maude’s.  Don’t forget to check out Gilt’s downstairs lounge. AMAZING

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