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Where to Eat on New Year’s Day 2018 in Chicago

Soothe your Champagne hangover on New Year’s Day Since you’ll more than likely be hungover from the previous night’s revelry, it’s of the utmost importance that you eat well on New Year’s Day. Plus there’s just something so fitting about starting the new year off with a sensational first meal. Here’s where to soothe your hungover […]

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Dec 30, 2017 07:21 AM
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

Chicago's Best and Brightest Crudite Plates

In the heat of summer, people typically scream for ice cream. But something that’s just as scream-worthy? Crudite. Proving that fresh, seasonal vegetables can be perfect in their simplicity, restaurants throughout Chicago are showcasing produce via assorted crudites with different dips and seasonings. 

 

Bar Marta
Bar Marta

Cafe Marie-Jeanne: Everybody loves sour cream and onion dip. At Cafe Marie-Jeanne, chef Mike Simmons freshens up the iconic party dip with a whole garden’s worth of fresh veggies. The housemade sour cream and onion dip, made with fresh cheese and creme fraiche, comes with whatever assorted items are in season at Green City Market items. On any given night, even during the same week, the roster of crudite provisions may be different. Examples include wild ferns, fennel frond, asparagus, turnip, radish and apple. 

Bar Marta: Cottage cheese has never been cooler than at Bar Marta. This Humboldt Park hot spot makes its own buttermilk cottage cheese as the crudite centerpiece for a beautiful melange of summer vegetables, from slivered summer squashes to cucumbers. 

Ēma: Brand new to River North’s restaurant scene, Ēma couldn’t have emerged at a better time. The Mediterranean-accented restaurant from CJ Jacobson features a variety of light and fresh creations, including a vegetable crudite served with za’atar-spiced hummus. 

 

Stella Barra; photo by Anjali Pinto

Stella Barra Pizzeria: Before you dig into Stella Barra’s famed pizzas, an apt starter would be the restaurant’s colorful crudite. Shaved radishes, cucumbers, carrots, jicama and sweet bell peppers are served with cauliflower hummus and arugula pesto, making for one of the best and brightest renditions in town. 

Acanto: Who says crudite can’t be decadent? One surefire way to up the comfort food factor with fresh vegetables is by serving them with parmigiana crema, like the version being served at Acanto. Along with a melange of tomatoes, carrots and radishes, the crema is accented with lemon oil and red pepper. 

Chop Shop: This Bucktown butcher shop/restaurant/bar may have a reputation for meat, but the kitchen is just as adept at seasonal vegetables. For instance, a smoked pea hummus crudite platter is just as alluring as Chop Shop’s famous charcuterie spreads, outfitted with assorted vegetables and flatbread pieces. 

 

The Kitchen
The Kitchen

The Kitchen: Another spot for hummus and crudite is The Kitchen, one of River North’s go-to destinations for farm-fresh ingredients in stunning presentations. Here, baby fennel, radish and baby carrots are the vegetables of choice, beautifully arranged over a bed of chickpea puree. 

Cafe des Architectes: Proving that crudite can be much more than a smattering of veggies and dip, Cafe des Architectes goes a step further (several steps, actually) by serving baby greens and cheve on a housemade barley cracker and rounding it out with their own Chestnut Provisions lamb salami. 

avec: Embracing its Mediterranean roots, avec goes full-force with its version of crudite. It’s actually a beautiful mezze presentations of chermoula-spiced carrots, marinated artichokes, labneh, cherry tomatoes, pita and beet muhammars, which is a take on a traditional rice dish from Bahrain. 

- Matt Kirouac


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