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David Lissner
for restaurants

Chicago makes cheesey history

James L. Kraft, a Canadian immigrant, began his wholesale cheese business in Chicago in 1903, peddling cheese to grocers from a horse-drawn wagon. The J.L. Kraft & Bros. Co. started producing its own cheese in 1914. Kraft was an innovator in increasing the shelf life of cheese, at first packaging it in small jars or […]

It’s National Pizza Month! Enjoy some Chicago style

In October, National Pizza Month, it seems fitting to take a look at the origins of the hometown specialty. The pizza nationally known as Chicago-style began when Ike Sewell, a World War II veteran who’d served in Italy, opened Pizzeria Uno with Ric Riccardo of the legendary Riccardo’s in River North in 1943. An authentic, […]

Go behind-the-scenes at Chicago restaurants

Get a look behind the scenes at some of Chicago’s most distinctive restaurants Saturday and Sunday, Oct. 13 and 14, during the Chicago Architecture Foundation’s second-annual Open House Chicago, when over 150 city buildings will open some not-regularly-seen spaces to the public. Among the buildings open: Harry Caray’s Italian Steakhouse in River North. The landmark […]

Happy Birthday, Oreos!

Oreos, the iconic sandwich cookies, are 100 years old this year. Introduced by the National Biscuit Company in 1912, the cookies are still produced by Nabisco, now a division of Northfield-based Kraft Foods. Originally called the “Oreo Biscuit,” the name changed to “Oreo Sandwich” in 1921, then the “Oreo Creme Sandwich” and in 1974 to […]

Eat this! Lobster thermidor, a theatrical dish

What it is: Lobster thermidor, a luxurious dish, features grilled lobster meat served in the shell with a rich sauce. The sauce varies, ranging from bechamel to cream sauce to brandy sauce to hollandaise. It is sometimes topped with grated cheese and broiled. Where it comes from: Marie’s, a Parisian restaurant near the Comedie Francaise […]

Celebrating the history of drink in India

Wine and Indian food? Yes! The Eneri Access Series, with Indian Harvest Chef/Owner Sanjeev Pandey presents a dinner pairing wine and Indian fare at 5 p.m. Sunday, April 29, at the Naperville restaurant. Colleen Taylor Sen, author “Curry: A Global History” and other books, will speak on the history and changing attitudes towards wine and […]

Chicago beer has a political past

Learn about local beer, past and present, and its political impact when the Public Square presents “What’s Brewing in Chicago? The Politics of Beer with Pete Crowley and Liz Garibay” at 6:30 p.m. March 27 at Haymarket Pub and Brewery in the West Loop. The talk covers Chicago’s brewing history from its status as onetime […]

More love for canned beer

“Don’t struggle with trading your pint glass for a can — just think of it as a mini keg and tap up!” says Timothy O’Toole’s Pub in Streeterville and Gurnee. Canned-beer celebrations continue this week, with National Beer Can Appreciation Day tomorrow. Canned beer first debuted on January 24, 1935, thanks to a process invented […]

Chicago pop sweetens life for dieters

“It’s like a fudge sundae in a can.” If post-holiday dieting is on your list of New Year’s resolutions, you might want to stock up on a Chicago-made drink. Arthur Canfield began producing soda pop in a plant on Chicago’s South Side in 1924, but the A.J. Canfield Co. remained a little-known local producer until […]

Eat this! Chicken Vesuvio, Chicago’s native bird

What it is: Chicken Vesuvio is chicken on the bone, first sauteed with generous amounts of garlic, oregano, white wine and olive oil, and then baked till the skin browns and crisps. It’s served with savory skin-on wedges of potato, treated likewise, and, usually, a few green peas for color. Where it comes from: The […]