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’s Food Porn Roundup

Inside: Gilt Bar, Perennial, Silver Cloud, Purple Pig, Naniwa, Turkish Cuisine, The Drake, Balsan, Frontier,  Joe’s Stone Crab, Hub 51


Did we say frito crunch AMAZES for brunch? Ah we’re poets… well, not really. But, Kevin Boehm / Boka Grp‘s Perennial restaurant is music to Chicago Food Mafia‘s mouths… Photo: Perennial brunch – Bob’s breakfast quesadilla is amazing! Eggs, bacon, jack cheese, and the best part – chili cheese Fritos!

Chicago Food Mafia
can’t resist Gilt Bar‘s PERFECT whitefish. A MUST EAT. Not a lame ol’ fish dish. This restaurant’s cuisine is truly stellar. You’ll smile with each bite. We and Elevate Your Presence are still smiling days later! Thanks Brendan Sodikoff. **** Shining stars… Photo: The whitefish at GILT BAR is the best! Perfectly crispy, flavored with just enough real butter and lemon… such fresh fish too. WE DIED and went to heaven with this dish. EVERY time- perfection.

Delicious DIRT indulged in one of our all time favorite restaurants AGAIN! Not feelin one ounce of guilt at Gilt Bar. We do feel like we’re floating on cloud 9 though at GILT and Maude’s Liquor Bar. HEAVEN. Thanks Brendan Sodikoff. You created perfection. Photo: Mussels at Gilt Bar…. LOVE

Chicago Food Mafia Elevated this weekend big time at Hubbard Inn w/ Elevate Your Presence. Owners surely rolled out the red carpet – much appreciated. H.I. is not only a restaurant, but also a fabulous bar (upstairs) w/ great energy. Get there & try the prawns, steak tartar, oysters (a MUST), deviled eggs (to die), & beet salad… well try it all! Photo: Steak Tartar – Served with quail egg, shallot, dijon, lemon, caper, and olive oil crostini.

Delicious DIRT loved every bite at Boka Grp‘s Perennial restaurant today… Check out this Croque Madame… mouth watering…. Photo: Perennial brunch – Croque Madame with gruyere cheese, confit chicken, fried egg

We love Balsan!

And a surprise from the chef after brunch… Balsan’s Mason Jar Parfait premiers for Elevate Your Presence! We were the lucky ones who tried it first! Just divine @ Balsan. Heaven. Yogurt, fruit, granola, fresh honey, agave, fruit..literally heavenly.

Healthy is the new crave! Balsan delights for brunch! Eggs or popcorn ? You pick!

High tea at The Drake…

Salmon jalapeño sashimi wins us over at Naniwa. Just divine.

Coco Pazzo Cafe delights. Order the seven veggie chopped salad with grilled chicken paillard if you want light goodness! Healthy is the new glory.

Food Mafia Elevating at Naniwa- healthy style folks!

Ever had this beef short-rib grahamwich? Chicago Food Mafia did! What a restaurant! Congrats graham elliot — > Delightful, easy and DELISH! Catch it while you can… taking off menu soon… Photo: Grahamwich: beef short-rib: baby watercress, shoe string potatoes, pickled shallots, creamy horseradish, pretzel roll

Breakfast Mountain – oh we mean breakfast burrito at Silver Cloud= AMAZE! Featured on FOOD MAFIA’s Delicious DIRT at launch… Get there cause you’ll LOVE it. We sure did! Ate every single bite….

Meat galore at Turkish Cuisine in Andersonville… FOOD MAFIA ELEVATING w/ BYO BANDITS

S’more sandwich at Purple Pig! Heavenly beyond words….

Our fave dish at Purple Pig. Guess it?

Delicious DIRT was among the lucky few to sample oysters galore at Frontier Chicago‘s opening night. The boys behind Lotties Pub and The Pony really brought it when they opened this newbie! Photo: Frontier’s oyster sampler for Food Mafia on opening night! DELIGHTFUL.

5 cheese Mac & Cheese last night –> opening night at Frontier!!! Literally blew us away.
Fabulous beyond words. Pic doesn’t even do it justice! More to come…., yummmmmm

Food Mafia Elevating –>> Stone Crab

Hub 51 ahi tuna stands out. Delish

Hub 51 Chicken Nachos truly RULE

Oscar cake 2011. Too bad the show literally lasted 127 Hours


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


Looking for an Elevate Your Presence recommendation for a cozy and guaranteed DELICIOUS meal tonight? Check out always phenomenal Maude’s Liquor Bar. Every bite of every dish tasted better than the next. Let us know what you tried. Sneak peek here….

Cassoulet by Maude’s Liquor Bar

Have you tried goat at the Girl & the Goat yet?? A favorite!!!

Bourbon Poached Lobster and Crab with goat belly, fennel, vanilla bourbon butter at Girl & The Goat. Quite good eating goat at the Goat!

Elevate Your Presence ♥’s Gilt Bar

Tartar by Gilt Bar

Have you tried goat at the Girl & the Goat yet? What about these divine green beans? The SUGO? Our mouths are watering over here…. Simply fantastic! Elevate Your Presence recommends you get to this Boka Grp staple and try all Stephanie Izard‘s creations…. and pronto.

Goat Pork and Veal SUGO at Girl & The Goat with pappardelle, rosemary, and cape goose berries. Sau…teed Green Beans with a fish sauce vinaigrette and cashews – both are Delicious DIRT FAVORITES – Heavenly.

Who does not LOVE a perfect flavorful breakfast burrito? Silver Cloud Chicago‘s breakfast burrito shines like the brightest star. We highly recommend you get there…..

Amazing Breakfast Burrito -> DD FAVE at Silver Cloud

We LOVE our vintage CC SKYE with our EJ ring. EPY ♥ CC SKYE & EJ

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