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Dining Chicago Makes The Most of Christkindlmarket

In the thick of the holidays, it’s that time of year for shopping, gifting, family and perhaps most importantly: mulled wine. The latter is where Christkindlmarket comes in. Chicago’s iconic German market/festival is back in action for the season, serving up holiday eats through Christmas Eve in the heart of the Loop. Here’s everything you […]

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Dec 12, 2017 11:36 PM
Weekly Planner: Mezcal Dinner, Feast of the Seven Fishes

Weekly Planner: Mezcal Dinner, Feast of the Seven Fishes Mezcal Dinner at Mi Tocaya Antojeria Wine dinners and beer dinners are a commonplace occurrence around these parts, but mezcal dinners? That’s something pretty new and enticing. At the buzzy Mi Tocaya Antojeria in Logan Square, chef Diana Davila is hosting a series of mezcal dinners this winter, […]

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Dec 12, 2017 02:35 AM
Dining Chicago Christmas Drinking Guide 2017

Where to eat, drink, dance and be merry this Christmas. Petterino’s: Santa’s coming to town a little early this year, and he’s hungry for brunch. Pay a visit to Mr. Claus at Petterino’s, where he’ll be stationed December 16 and 17 from 11:00 a.m. until 2:00 p.m. both days. The perfect stopover before an afternoon […]

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Dec 09, 2017 07:40 PM

Sweet of the Week: Rice Pudding at Svea

Rice pudding, against all childhood odds, is one of my all-time favorite desserts. Bar none. I remember scoffing audibly at my dad when he would purchase rice pudding at the grocery store when I was young. I thought the idea of rice in pudding sounded revolting, considering most of my experience with rice at that point was confined to pilaf and fried Chinese food. So naturally, the idea of rice for dessert was not appealing, to say the least. But like many childhood taboos-turned-obsessions, I quickly developed a love for the dish after finally amassing enough curiosity to try it. Flecked with plump raisins and a dusting of cinnamon, rice pudding turned out to be a masterpiece. Before long, I was the one begging my parents for more, and greedily shoveling spoonfuls into my mouth at the refrigerator. We've come a long way, rice pudding and I have. And nowadays, since it's sadly such a rarity on restaurant menus, I light up with glee anytime I get the opportunity to order some. I was presented with just such a fortune at Svea recently, capping off a Swedish brunch in the best way possible. 


Rice pudding at Svea

At Andersonville's Svea, one of the last remaining Swedish relics of the heavily Scandinavian neighborhood, the menu and motif are both old-school, kitschy, and deeply comforting. The squishy counter stools and vintage Nordic paraphernalia dotting the walls make for a cozy backdrop in which to tear into Swedish sausages, gravy-laden meatballs, and eggy pancakes. But no matter what route you take here, be sure you wind up with a plate of rice pudding in front of you at meal's end. Served modestly and simply on a bright blue plate, the pudding is a hefty slab stacked high. It sports two layers of textures here, one being a somewhat crunchy al dente rice "crust" and the other being a creamy, airy, and sugary patina. Together, they meld to create a unique, well-balanced bite of pudding. The icing on the cake here, true to Swedish form, is the dollop of tangy lingonberry jam glazed over top. 

- Matt Kirouac

Neighborhoods: Andersonville

Honoring Andersonville's Scandinavian roots, Svea is one of the sole remaining relics of Swedish dining in this north side enclave. This old-school diner, open for breakfast and lunch daily, features...

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