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Chicago Makes Its Mark on Nashville

Chefs and restaurateurs are expanding their Chicago brands southward to Nashville. Although Nashville is roughly 450 miles South of Chicago, the two cities have never felt closer thanks to a recent uptick in restaurant expansions and chef movement. The draw for Chicago restaurants and bars to branch out to Nashville, essentially the closest Southern city […]

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Aug 29, 2017 04:25 AM
Weekly Planner: Happy Hour at Broken Shaker

Happy Hour at Broken Shaker New happy hours are a dime a dozen these days in Chicago, but the version taking place at the Broken Shaker may be the coolest (and most irreverent) yet. It’s called the “Happy Hipster,” and it’s a playful, nostalgia-inspired combo that features a secret recipe burger with fries and a domestic beer […]

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Aug 28, 2017 12:18 AM
The Polenta Bar Brings a Taste of Northern Italy to the West Loop

In recent years, fast-casual dining has manifested in many different ways, in part triggered like a Domino effect by companies following the Chipotle model of customized food, quick service and quality ingredients. From noodles and salads, to Middle Eastern food and poké, Chicago’s fast-casual scene has a lot to choose from, but none are quite […]

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Aug 23, 2017 06:06 PM

Sweet of the Week: Caramelized Plum Kolacky

The best desserts are the ones that emotionally catapult you back to sweet childhood memories. They need not be refined memories of highfaluten desserts, but rather the simpler times when lunchbox snacks and frills-free pastries satisfied like nothing else. Those were the days. One dessert that recently sent me on such a nostalgia trip was the caramelized plum kolacky at Eastern European-inspired Bohemian House. It didn't remind me of kolacky of my youth, because I don't think I ever had such a thing as a kid. Even better, it reminded me of my favorite childhood breakfast: boxed Pop Tarts. I'm not afraid to admit that Pop Tarts were my go-to. I would eat them like clockwork most mornings before school, usually in silence in the pre-dawn dark of my living room. That was kinda weird in retrospect, but I wouldn't trade those fruity pastry memories for the world. And now I can relive those memories in the form of an elevated dessert at River North's hottest new Euro haunt. 

Bohemian House
(Caramelized plum kolacky at Bohemian House)

Bohemian House's kolacky is an upgraded variation on the classic European cookie, a sort of fruity, jammy shortbread. This is to Eastern Europe as chocolate chip cookies are to Americana lore. While I never really had kolacky growing up, it's something I love and appreciate today, for its buttery rich simplicity and dainty cuteness. I applaud Bohemian House for giving them the platform of a composed dessert plate, filling the crimped cookies with plum jam and stacking them alongside slivers of caramelized plums. The whole thing is an apt homage to stone fruit season and the innate sweetness of plums. A sprinkling of powdered sugar rounds out the composition, and altgother the dish somehow tastes like my favorite Pop Tarts of my youth, the strawberry- or cherry-filled varieties bedecked with a thin sugary glaze, lightly toasted, and consumed with vigor. 

- Matt Kirouac

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