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David Lissner
for restaurants

XOCO Bistro: First Taste

XOCO Bistro: First Taste Rick Bayless has achieved demigod status in the restaurant world; he’s a chef who seamlessly commands a Mexican dining empire as well as respect and admiration from peers and diners near and far. In River North, Topolobampo and Frontera Grill are timeless keystones that draw customers from all over the country and beyond. […]

Mercadito Meets Deli With Mercadito Counter

Mercadito Hospitality expands its modern Mexican empire later this season with the opening of its most casual endeavor to date, a deli called Mercadito Counter.   Mercadito Hospitality loves to keep people guessing. The avante garde restaurant group does a masterful job of reinventing itself with each new concept, from the taco-centric Mercadito to the tapas-based Tavernita, and […]

Quartet of Mexican cuisine’s top chefs to gather in Chicago

Mexico City chef Jorge Vallejo (Quintonil) and New York City’s Alex Stupak (Empellon) join Chicagoans Carlos Gaytan (Mexique) and Rick Bayless (Frontera Grill and others) for a two-day celebration of contemporary Mexican cuisine, “Mod Mex,” Saturday and Sunday, Sept. 15 and 16, at Frontera Grill in River North. Saturday’s event, “Mod Mex: The New Face […]

Friday food porn: Blossoming!

Summer pleasures: For these seasonal flores de calabaza at Salpicon! in Old Town, Chef Priscila Satkoff stuffs fresh, delicate squash blossoms with goat cheese and drizzles them with epazote-poblano cream sauce, $10.

Friday food porn: Cheap date

From 3 to 5 p.m. daily, Taco Joint Urban Taqueria and Cantina in River North offers a new taco “happy hour.” Select any three tacos of Chef Edgar Torres’ tacos for $5 Choices include a variety of braised and grilled meats, such as barbacoa (beef brisket); cochinita (Yucatan style pulled pork) garnished with pickled red […]

Masa: Not Just for Tamales Anymore

Masa is not just for tamales anymore. This staple item in Mexican cuisine has gone beyond the bounds of taquerias and tortillerias and into the dexterous hands of masa-curious chefs. Once upon a time, masa was used almost exclusively in Mexican cuisine. Made by soaking dried hominy in lime solution and grinding it into a […]

Seven great ways to celebrate Cinco de Mayo in Chicago

Cinco de Mayo, the Fifth of May commemorates the Mexican army’s victory over France in the Battle of Puebla, which occurred during the 1862 Franco-Mexican War. In Mexico, it’s not nearly the celebration it is in Chicago, which makes it a festival kicking off the spring season. Of course, most Mexican eateries are offering May […]

29 last-minute Chicago ideas for Valentine’s Day 2013

Uh oh, you forgot to make Valentine’s Day reservations! We’ve got you covered. As of today, these restaurants were reporting they still had openings. You can make reservations right from within Dining Chicago, too. But hurry, we don’t guarantee they’ll still have openings. Aquitaine, French bistro, Lincoln Park. Bin 36 global, River North. Branch 27, […]

Friday food porn: Something to stay up late for

The City That Works goes to bed early. But though Chicago isn’t much of a late-night town, we do have a few eateries that stay open till the wee hours. Among them is Mexican hot spot Mercadito in River North, which serves a midnight brunch from the stroke of 12 till 2 a.m. Fridays and […]

Five ways to celebrate Cinco de Mayo in Chicago

In Mexico, the Fifth of May is a relatively laidback holiday commemorating the Mexican army’s victory over France at the Battle of Puebla during the Franco-Mexican War in 1862. But in Chicago, it’s a great excuse for a fiesta. Here are a few ways to celebrate: Chicago Sones de Mexico Ensemble. At 6 p.m. Saturday, […]