There's always something new to eat in Chicago, but especially as seasons change and menus evolve. From mini cupcakes and caramel apples to "Asian-gastro" fare, here's what to eat this week.
Indulging your sweet tooth feels less like a moment of weakness when said sweets are mini (even if you eat several of them, thus negating the daintiness of it). Blessedly, Magnolia Bakery recently added mini cupcakes to its lineup of adorable, buttercream-y treats. Now you can pop in for a sweet fix without ruining your appetite or pissing off your dentist. These two-bite confections (or one-bite, if you're somewhat of a python) are the perfect afternoon snack, late-night treat, or even breakfast! The latter is especially true considering the bakery just partnered with Peet's Coffee to roll out some coffee-inspired goodies. These limited time items include the double shot cupcake made with chocolate and vanilla marble cake and espresso meringue buttercream featuring Peet's Major Dickason's blend. Then there's the coffee cake pecan muffin, a fluffy breakfast cake studded with cinnamon sugar swirl and pecans.
(Caramel apple doused in s'mores and a doughnut)
Caramel apples are a keystone food for autumnal Americana, yet they're hard to come by in Chicago, since we're not living in a rural county fair. Thankfully, whimsically delicious Beavers Coffee + Donuts takes it upon themselves to introduce caramel apples to their repertoire this season. This limited time special features hand-dipped apples made with Granny Smiths enrobed in gooey caramel, rolled in Beavers' signature toppings like s'mores and chocolate-coconut, and then garnished with a doughnut. Because why not.
Wings and potstickers probably weren't the first things you'd expect to eat at OON, Matt Eversman's contemporary Asian envelope-pusher, but true to form the crafty culinarian gets new ideas "Out Of Nowhere," inspired to add what he calls "a taste of Asian-gastro" to the menu. So along with all the stunners implanted elsewhere on the menu, diners at OON can now enjoy modern riffs on familiar favorites such as wings, potstickers, and fried rice. It's gastropub meets Asian modernity, personified via sweet 'n' spicy chicken wings with kimchi spices, cucumber kimchi, and herbed crème fraîche; bourbon-braised pork potstickers with kabocha squash puree, pickled grilled onions, green onions, and soy-chile sauce; and roast pork belly fried rice with egg, Brussels sprouts, shallots, scallions, and mushrooms.
(Bourbon-braised pork potstickers at OON)