Cat’s Corner: Q&A with Arami Owner Ty Fujimura

By Catherine De Orio |

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Japanese whiskey at Arami

 

Hello! This week on the show we take you to sample Japanese and Nepalese cuisine and even stop by one of POTUS’s favorite spots (Valois) when he’s in town! Our stops are Arami in West Town, Chicago Curry House in South Loop, and Valois in Hyde Park. I spoke with Ty Fujimura who is the owner of Arami, as well as a certified sake professional. He gives some guidance on how to have a fantastic dining experience at Arami, choose sake for you meal, and gives his advice on sake bombs. 

The World of Food: Smorgasbord

By Julia Maish |

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A traditional Swedish smörgåsbord

 

A fair is a veritable schmorgasbord, orgasbord, orgasbord” – Charlotte’s Web (E.B. White)

 

Merriam-Webster defines smorgasbord as “an often large heterogeneous mixture.”
 

The term, as it relates to food, comes from the Swedish smörgås (open sandwich) + bord (table). Its origins, as described by Kitchn, “are found in the upper class of 14th century Sweden where a small spread of bread, butter, and cheese was offered before mealtime. The smorgasbord grew to include meats, both hot and cold, and at the 1912 Olympic Games in Stockholm it officially became the main meal instead of an appetizer. Its components generally include “herring, salmon, sliced meats, cheeses, boiled vegetables, and breads, while sweets range from fresh berries to pastries to porridge and jams.”

Season 16, Episode 5: Pub Royale, Ampersand, Thithi's

By David Manilow |

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Check, Please! host Catherine De Orio welcomes guest reviewers Pooja Koongar, Joe JaQuay, and Suzanne Witt who weigh in on Chicago area eateries Pub RoyaleAmpersand, and Thithi's.

Cat’s Corner: Q&A with Pub Royale’s Chef Nate Tano & Beverage Director Michael McAvena

By Catherine De Orio |

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Buttered chicken at Wicker Park's Pub Royale

 

Hello! I’m just back from London, and pub and Indian food are still fresh on my mind! So this week I spoke with chef Nate Tano and beverage director Michael McAvena of Pub Royale, the anglo-indian pub in Wicker Park that was named one of Bon Appetit’s 50 best new restaurants across the country.

The World of Food: Fusion

By Julia Maish |

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Mi Vit Tiem noodle soup from Thithi's in Evergreen Park

 

Merriam-Webster defines “fusion” as “a merging of diverse, distinct, or separate elements into a unified whole.” There’s nuclear fusion, spinal fusion, jazz fusion, and this: “food prepared using techniques and ingredients of two or more ethnic or regional cuisines.” Two of the restaurants reviewed on Check, Please! – Wicker Park’s Pub Royale (Anglo-Indian) and Thithi’s in Evergreen Park (Vietnamese-French-Thai), are prime examples of this trend, along with the previously featured de Quay in Lincoln Park (Dutch-Indonesian).

Bars Mix Things Up

By Matt Kirouac |

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Nothing like a little camaraderie to make cocktails taste better. Chicago’s restaurant scene is famously community-oriented, filled with chefs throughout the city eager to support one another. The bar department is no different, with mixologists happy to shake drinks alongside their brethren. Two spots jumping on board the guest bartender bandwagon of late, The Winchester and Bordel, are mixing things up by featuring drinks from various mixologists around the city and the country.

Cat’s Corner: Q&A with Liz Weeden of The English Room and Deer Path Inn

By Catherine De Orio |

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Hello and Happy New Year! I hope everyone had wonderful holidays and you are all hungry for some new episodes. This week we visit The English Room, Gundis Kurdish Kitchen in Lakeview, and L’Patron in Logan Square. The English Room is located in the historic Deer Path Inn in Lake Forest and boasts an award-winning wine list. This week, I get the scoop on the place from Liz Weeden from The English Room and Deer Path Inn.

The World of Food: British Isles

By Julia Maish |

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“British food is a celebration of comfort eating. Our traditional savory recipes are all about warmth and sustenance, our puddings a roll call of sweet jollity, our cakes are deep and cozy. We appear to be a nation in need of a big, warm hug.”
— Nigel Slater, British food writer

Bubble and Squeak. Bangers and Mash. Spotted Dick. Cullen Skink. Toad in the Hole. Are these…
a) Titles of children’s books?
b) Playground games?
c) Indie bands?

The World of Food: Twelfth Night

By Julia Maish |

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After the annual long, long build-up, the holidays are finally over. As we drag our dried-out Christmas trees to the curb and regard our bathroom scales (and credit card statements) with mingled horror and regret, most of us in the frigid Midwest are facing, as English poet Christina Rossetti wrote, “the bleak midwinter.”

Not so fast… 

The World of Food: New Year’s Day

By Julia Maish |

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New Year’s Day is imbued with meaning for many across the globe. As we bid farewell to the old year and prepare to welcome the new one, we often resolve to make a fresh start, turn over a new leaf, plot ways to live our best lives, and so on. After one last decadent blowout on New Year’s Eve, that is! That so many celebrants crawl into January 1 with a massive hangover from the night before may seem counterproductive and odd, but no odder than some other New Year’s traditions around the world…

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