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 Roister Chef Andrew Brochu

By Catherine De Orio |

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Hello! “Roister” means to enjoy oneself or celebrate in a noisy, boisterous way, and the restaurant by that name fits right into the bustling Fulton Market area of the trendy West Loop. Unpretentious, yet serious about standards of excellence, it was awarded a Michelin star in its first year and has retained it since. Chef Andrew Brochu has spent time in some of Chicago’s most illustrious kitchens, but Roister is where you see his creative culinary point of view flourish. I spoke to Andrew to learn about his influences and inspiration.

The World of Food: BYOB

By Julia Maish |

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This week, Check, Please! focuses its spotlight on a compendium of local restaurants reviewed on the show that have one important thing in common. They all offer budget-conscious diners an option that is very popular here in the Windy City: BYOB, or Bring Your Own Bottle (also known as Bring Your Own Booze, Beer, or Beverage). How popular? To date, in the Windy City and its surrounding suburbs, there are more than 5,000 of these establishments. So many options, too little time!

The World of Food: Soup

By Julia Maish |

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"Only the pure in heart can make a good soup.”
— Ludwig van Beethoven

It’s that time of year — you slog home in darkness at the end of a cold day, and what tastes better than a nice big bowl of hot soup? It’s filling, warming, and nutritious, and every culture has at least one that they love.

Cat’s Corner: Q&A with the Brewhouse Team at Band of Bohemia

By Catherine De Orio |

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Hello! Ravenswood Corridor has been dubbed “Malt Row” due to the proliferation of breweries and distilleries opening in the area. While many of these breweries are traditional in nature, Band of Bohemia is a brewhouse with a twist. Billed as a “culinary brewhouse” and the first brewpub to be awarded a Michelin star, it will take only one visit to realize this is not your grandpa’s pub. This week I spoke to the Band of Bohemia team to learn about their inspiration.

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