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Sweet of the Week: Nutella Baklava at Travelle


Nutella (Travelle does baklava right)

(Travelle does baklava right)

Baklava at Travelle:

Let’s get one thing straight. I would eat Nutella smeared on literally anything and be happy about it. The nefarious chocolate-hazelnut spread usurps any and all pretenses on its way to gustatory, gluttonous glory. There’s a reason it’s cited as one of the mightiest guilty pleasures, or why Eataly reserves an entire dessert station for it. Nutella is religion. Which is why when I see Nutella on a composed dessert menu, I bow down and order it. Especially when said dessert is the Nutella baklava (!) at Travelle.

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Pietro Ferrero, who owned a bakery in Alba, in the Langhe district of Piedmont, an area known for the production of hazelnuts, sold an initial batch of 300 kilograms (660 lb) of “Pasta Gianduja” in 1946. This was originally a solid block, but Ferrero started to sell a creamy version in 1951 as “Supercrema“.[2]

In 1963, Ferrero’s son Michele Ferrero revamped Supercrema with the intention of marketing it across Europe. Its composition was modified and it was renamed “Nutella”. The first jar left the Ferrero factory in Alba on 20 April 1964. The product was an instant success and remains widely popular.[3]

In France, senator Yves Daudigny proposed a tax increase on palm oil from €100 to €400 per metric tonne. At 20%, palm oil is one of Nutella’s main ingredients and the tax was dubbed “the Nutella tax” in the media.[4]

World Nutella Day is February 5.[5]

On 14 May 2014, Poste italiane issued a 50th anniversary Nutella commemorative stamp.[6][7] The 70 Euro cent stamp was designed by Istituto Poligrafico e Zecca dello Stato and features a jar of Nutella on a golden background.[6] Ferrero held a Nutella Day on 17 and 18 May to celebrate the anniversary.[8]

Brunch Bites: FIG & OLIVE and MAX’s Wine Dive




Thanks to FIG & OLIVE’s illustrious new brunch menu, diners can get a feel for the Riviera Coast in the Gold Coast. Weekend brunch at this gorgeous new downtown destination pays homage to the Riviera and Mediterranean coastal regions with a collection of wholesome, seasonal, and fresh dishes. The menu is pretty massive and potentially overwhelming, but bear with me. There’s crostini, carpaccio, and soups to start, followed by appetizers, salads, and egg dishes, which include French omelettes, quiche Lorraine, and South of France poached eggs with salmon, toasted crostone bread and scallion-harissa spread. Sweet options include French toast with strawberry-rhubarb compote, pearl sugar-studded waffles, and assorted breads and croissants. For lunchier fare, there’s bruschetta, panini, burgers, raw bar items, steak frites, salmon tartare, and lots more. There’s even a nice selection of thoughtful mocktails.…………CONTINUE: 







Laurent Halasz, the founder of FIG & OLIVE, envisioned an urban space embodying his origins from the South of France, and the 10,000 square foot dining destination features a variety of unique spaces that capture this essence of the French Riviera. With natural limestone and white stucco walls surrounding an open-exhibition kitchen, an expansive lounge and bar, a crostini station, and an open-air garden terrace, this location is perfect for an informal or elegant gathering. FIG & OLIVE embodies a passion for the best olive oils, flavors, and cuisine from the Riviera and Coastal regions of the South of France, Italy, and Spain. Executive Chef Pascal Lorange’s menu highlights the unique olive oils, paired with each dish and used in place of butter.

Weekend Planner: Cocktail Class, Juice-Bao Tasting, Hemingway Cake, and Formento’s Sunday Supper

Cocktail Class:

Cocktail Class (Harvest Juicery's wholesome wares)

(Harvest Juicery’s wholesome wares)

Cocktail Class:

Juice and Bao Partnership

Just when you thought you couldn’t love Wow Bao anymore, they team up with Chicago’s first cold-pressed juicery for a wholesome new partnership. Harvest Juicery beverages are now available at most Wow Bao locations, in flavors featuring pear-pineapple-ginger-thyme and watermelon-cayenne-basil. Both the perfect supplements to an onslaught of doughy decadence. To celebrate this esteemed new partnership, the duo is hosting a bao and juice tasting at Harvest Juicery on July 26 at 11:00 a.m. Chef/juicer Krissy Sciarra will lead attendees on a tasting tour of the shop, lending expertise on how to craft wholesome juices at home. Following the juicing, the Bao Mobile will dole out complimentary lunch. Tickets.…………CONTINUE: 


For more about Chicago Steaks see:


When used to refer to any generic alcoholic mixed drinkcocktail may mean any beverage that contains two or more ingredients if at least one of them contains alcohol
The origin of the word cocktail is disputed.The first recorded use of the word cocktail not referring to a horse is found in The Morning Post and Gazetteer in London, England on March 20, 1798:[2]

Mr. Pitt,
two petit vers of “L’huile de Venus”
Ditto, one of “perfeit amour”
Ditto, “cock-tail” (vulgarly called ginger)

The Oxford English dictionary cites the word as originating in the U.S. The first recorded use of the word cocktail as a beverage (possibly non-alcoholic) in the United States appears in The Farmer’s Cabinet on April 28, 1803:[3]

Drank a glass of cocktail—excellent for the head…Call’d at the Doct’s. found Burnham—he looked very wise—drank another glass of cocktail.

The first definition of a Cocktail by Harry Croswell

The first definition of cocktail known to be an alcoholic beverage appeared in the May 13, 1806, edition of The Balance and Columbian Repository, a publication in Hudson, New York, in which an answer was provided to the question, “What is a cocktail?”. The editor Harry Croswell replied:

Cock-tail is a stimulating liquor, composed of spirits of any kind, sugar, water, and bitters—it is vulgarly called bittered sling, and is supposed to be an excellent electioneering potion, inasmuch as it renders the heart stout and bold, at the same time that it fuddles the head. It is said, also to be of great use to a democratic candidate: because a person, having swallowed a glass of it, is ready to swallow any thing else.[4]

Eight Reasons to Get Excited About The Promontory Chicago

The Promontory Chicago:

The Promontory Chicago

The Promontory Chicago

The Promontory Chicago’s much awaited debut is finally here, marking a new era of chef-driven dining in Hyde Park.

If recent history repeats itself, Hyde Park is in for a major culinary surge a la Logan Square. The long awaited debut of The Promontory is finally here, marking a bold new era of chef-driven dining in the South Side ‘hood. Considering the owners are also behind Longman & Eagle, the red-hot gastrobar that ignited a gentrification boom in Logan Square, this is big news for Hyde Park and the city at large. Here’s why you should be excited about The Promontory.…………CONTINUE: 


For more about Chicago Steaks see:


From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Hyde Park is a neighborhood and community area on the South Side of Chicago. It is located on the shore of Lake Michigan seven miles (11 km) south of the Chicago Loop.

Hyde Park’s official boundaries are 51st Street/Hyde Park Boulevard on the north, the Midway Plaisance (between 59th and 60th streets) on the south, Washington Park on the west, and Lake Michigan on the east.[4] According to another definition, a section to the north between 47th Street[5] and 51st Street/Hyde Park Boulevard is also included as part of Hyde Park, although this area is officially the southern part of the Kenwood community area. The area encompassing Hyde Park and the southern part of Kenwood is sometimes referred to as Hyde Park-Kenwood.[6]

Hyde Park hosts the University of Chicago and two of Chicago’s four historic sites listed in the original 1966 National Register of Historic Places (Chicago Pile-1 and Robie House).[7] In recent years, Hyde Park has received national attention as the longtime home of U.S. President Barack Obama.




Steakhouse Menus: See Menus From Chicago’s Best Steakhouses

Chicago Steakhouse Menus:

U.S.D.A Prime Steak

U.S.D.A Prime Steak has a complete listing of Chicago’s great Prime steakhouse’s. lists only Chicago’s Top Steakhouse Restaurants that feature U.S.D.A. prime steak

These steakhouse menus include viewing by the following categories:

Dinner, Lunch, Brunch, Dessert, Bar, Wine and Children’s.

Many of these great restaurants feature several other menu options which are also listed on’s website.

The word “prime” is a quality grade given by the U.S. Department of Agriculture to describe the highest quality beef and other meats (veal and lamb) in terms of tenderness, juiciness and flavor. Thus, “prime beef” is the favored term to describe the best beef for your steak.

This meat quality grade is given based on a combination of marbling and maturity. Marbling (or flecks of fat within the meat) adds flavor, and younger beef produces the most tender meat. Thus, “prime beef” comes from the youngest beef with the most abundant marbling, visibly so.

As noted in a number of places on this website, less than two percent of all beef produced in the United States will earn the prime designation. It is unlikely that you can pick it up in your local grocery store (although on another page we have identified several places where you can); so, you will in all likelihood need to go to a high-end Chicago steak houses to experience the best beef, again the so-called “prime beef”.

Cooling Off With New Mid-summer Menus

Mid-summer Menus:

Summer (Ice cream sandwich at Chicago Restaurant Unite Urban Grill)

Summer (Ice cream sandwich at Unite Urban Grill)

With mid-summer upon us, restaurants are freshening things up with a slew of new menu additions.

In the heat of summer (or as some misleading news outlets will call it, the “polar vortex” of summer), cravings shift to cooling dishes and drinks that provide solace from the seasonal humidity. No better time for restaurants to freshen things up and cool things off with a bevy of new menu additions. Here’s a tasty roundup of vigorous new dishes to dig into right now.

Unite Urban Grill: This neighborhood stalwart in West Town is embracing summer with new dishes such as watermelon salad with arugula, red onion, heirloom tomatoes, feta, and mint; farro with grape tomatoes, red onion, mozzarella, olives, and honey balsamic; and marinated shrimp skewers with garlic, herb, lemon, and mango salad. To drink, plunge your mouth into the.…………CONTINUE: 


Nickel and Dime Tea Service Returns

Nickel and Dime Tea Service Returns

(Tea service at The Langham, Chicago)

Tea service



The Langham, Chicago is soon accepting reservations for their next batch of $.15 tea services.
When was the last time you paid 15 cents for anything? Probably a pack of gum 10 years ago, right? Nowadays, the idea of something costing a nickel and dime seems an antiquated notion. Even the little girl at the sidewalk lemonade stand is gauging customers with $1 cups. Take the Nickel and Dime tea service at The Langham, Chicago as a breath of fresh, aromatic air. Hot on the heels of last month’s much-loved 15-cent tea service, the hotel is bringing it back for July 24. Get those pinkies ready.…………CONTINUE: 





From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

The accepted history[1] of the tea set begins in China during the Han Dynasty (206-220 B.C.). At this time, tea ware was made of porcelain and consisted of two styles: a northern white porcelain and a southern light blue porcelain. It is important to understand that these ancient tea sets were not the creamer/sugar bowl companions we know today. Rather, as is stated in a third-century A.D. written document from China, tea leaves were pressed into cakes or bricks. These patties were then crushed and mixed with a variety of spices, including orange, ginger, onions, and flower petals. Hot water was poured over the mixture, which was both heated and served in bowls, not teapots. The bowls were multi-purpose, and used for a variety of cooking needs. In this period, evidence suggests that tea was mainly used as a medicinal elixir, not as a daily drink for pleasure’s sake.

Historians believe the teapot was developed during the Song Dynasty (960-1279 A.D.) An archaeological dig turned up an ancient kiln that contained the remnants of a Yixing teapot. Yixing teapots, called Zi Sha Hu in China and Purple Sand teapots in the U.S., are perhaps the most famous teapots. They are named for a tiny city located in Jiangsu Province, where a specific compound of iron ore results in the unique coloration of these teapots. They were fired without a glaze and were used to steep specific types of oolong teas. Because of the porous nature of the clay, the teapot would gradually be tempered by using it for brewing one kind of tea. This seasoning was part of the reason to use Yixing teapots. In addition, artisans created fanciful pots incorporating animal shapes.

The Song Dynasty also produced exquisite ceramic teapots and tea bowls in glowing glazes of brown, black and blue. A bamboo whisk was employed to beat the tea into a frothy confection highly prized by the Chinese.

Chinese Yixing Tea Set[edit]

Weekday Planner: Salmon is Served, Tequila Day, Cider BBQ

Salmon is Served, Tequila Day, Cider BBQ, and Coppervine’s Special Wine Dinner

Salmon is Served at Kinmont

Salmon dinner at Kinmont

Salmon-lovers, listen up. Here’s a dinner you won’t want to miss. On Monday, July 21, the Bristol Bay Regional Seafood Development Association, Chefs Collaborative, and Fortune Fish & Gourmet are teaming up for an Alaskan dinner like no other at Ampersand inside Kinmont. Over the duration of the multi-course Bristol Bay sockeye salmon dinner, guests will have the chance to truly embrace the pristine fish. Author Paul Greenberg will also be in attendance discussing his new book, American Catch: The Fight for Our Local Seafood.…………CONTINUE: 






Where to Play (And Eat and Drink) After Work Near the Loop

Where to Play In The Loop:

Where To Play In The Loop

(Pearl Tavern oyster goodness)

Where to Play In The Loop:

All work and no play make Loop office-workers go stir-crazy. The central business district is notorious for offices and after-hours solitude, but part of that has changed over the years as more downtown workers have professed their needs for after-work drinks and dining. It certainly helps mitigate the commute when there’s legit dining and drinking to be had by the office. Help numb yourself from the drudgery of the work week with this handy guide to after-work fun in and near the Loop.…………CONTINUE: 


Brunch Bites: Troquet River North and The Dawson

Troquet River North and The Dawson

Troquet River North and The Dawson

Start your weekend the French way with Troquet River North’s new brunch menu. The casual neighborhood French nook, nestled inside the Hotel Felix, offers an enriching taste of Paris

with dishes sweet and savory, plus the potential for bottomless mimosas. Never a bad idea. Courtesy of chef de cuisine Tim Davidson, French-inspired fare includes Benedicts heaped

with ham and cider bearnaise, Gruyere-filled crepes, Brie-packed omelettes, croque madames, and pain perdu…….


The Dawson implemented weekend brunch a couple months ago, and with promises of Templeton Rye cinnamon rolls and French toast terrine, I paid the West Town restaurant

a visit this past weekend. I always appreciate when a restaurant offers a focused menu, as is the case with The Dawson. It makes me feel comfortable knowing the restaurant

is so assured with themselves that they can hone in on a few.…………CONTINUE: