Nowadays, it seems everybody and their grandmother has a blog of some sort. Not that we don't want to read about your romantic woes as expressed through song lyrics and scroll through mildly amusing GIFS, but what really makes for a special blog is one that provides sincere insight into someone's life and career in a meaningful way. What with the incessant hoopla surrounding foodie culture these days, it's apropos that some of the hottest blogs belong to the restaurant industry. But not just any restaurant can throw up a Tumblr and call it a day. No, it takes a special place to curate something that stands out, that offers interesting content for readers, and makes for compelling readership. Here are some of the best restaurant blogs in Chicago.
Sixteen is the type of hifalutin fine dining restaurant that you want to explore, much like Dorothy prying behind the curtain to find out the mystery behind the wizardry. Thanks to Sixteen's recently instated blog, On Sixteen, now we have the chance to delve substantially deeper into the workings of the masterful restaurant. Between chef Thomas Lents and sommelier Dan Pilkey, readers have the opportunity to learn all the idiosyncrasies that make Sixteen tick. For instance, how do they really feel about the Michelin rating? What goes into a sublime fall cocktail? What farms hold a special place in Lents' heart? Also, the food porn is just unbelievable. See image below for proof.
(Autumn dessert at Sixteen. Photo: On Sixteen)
If there's any restaurant group with demand for a restaurant blog it's One Off Hospitality. The parent company of Blackbird, avec, The Publican, Publican Quality Meats, Big Star, and The Violet Hour (and soon to come Nico Osteria) oversees some of the biggest heavy-hitters in Chicago's restaurant landscape. One Off also curates one of the niftiest, coolest-looking blogs in town, looking more like an issue of Lucky Peach than a Tumblr. A quick scroll quickly turns into a total mindsuck, taking over your day and distracting you from anything not relating to images of pasta, Paul Kahan, tacos, and budino. Particularly cool is how they illustrate the anatomy of dishes, such as a sturgeon dish at Blackbird, literally showing a doodle of the dish idea next to the finished product, with all the elements annotated. Head to One Off Musings to spy new dishes, new drinks, new products at Publican Quality Meats, insight into staff meetings, and so much more your mind will flip.
The Farm Report is probably the most wholesome, adorable name for a blog any restaurant has ever contrived. It's all courtesy of Grange Hall Burger Bar, the most cottage-chic restaurant on the Randolph Street strip. Not surprisingly, their blog is as endearing as their motif. You see, owner Angela Lee has a farm in Michigan, thus the name. And Grange Hall's proclivity for farm-to-table, housemade everything. The blog serves to report on the restaurant's latest farm-centric wares, from orchard-harvested apples for apple pie to housemade relish and cowboy coffee made with Koval rye whiskey and freshly whipped cream.
Oenophiles would be wise to turn their attention to Telegraph's wine blog. It's amazing, providing a comprehensive look into the heart of the wine bar, from behind-the-scenes details on wine dinners to travel notes from international wine tours and thoughtful musing on a man's role in terroir. Everything you need or want to know about wine can be found on Telegraph's thorough blog.
Stephanie Izard is undoubtedly the culinary wizard of Oz in Chicago. So naturally you want to look behind the curtain. Lucky for you, the Girl & the Goat chef has a blog on her website that digs deep into details on many of her whimsical, outre dishes. She's thoughtful enough to provide ample recipes, just in case you don't have the patience to wait months for a reservation. She also talks about events, news, and other stuff, but this is mostly an eye candy drool machine.