Dining Chicago

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Hottest New Brunch in Chicago

Brunch is a booming business in Chicago, with new restaurants and menus emerging seemingly every week. Especially lately, the city has seen a surge in reputable brunches debut, each offering a stylistic and innovative approach to the weekend pastime. From internationally inspired dim sum to morning fare rooted in culinary traditions of France and Spain, […]

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May 24, 2018 11:51 PM
The Perfect Day of Eating in Chicago’s West Loop

In Chicago, dining and drinking is a full-fledged tourist attraction in and of itself,  Eating in Chicago’s West Loop Right up there with other world-famous institutions like the Bean, the Willis Tower and Navy Pier. Eating in Chicago’s West Loop Considering this, strategy is important when planning out a day of dining in the big city, as coordinated […]

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May 19, 2018 02:41 AM
Cinco de Mayo Guide, 2018 to Dining and Drinking

Cinco de Mayo: Where to dine and drink on Mexican cuisine and cocktails for May 5. One of the liveliest and most colorful food- and drink-filled holidays of the year is almost here, and all over Chicago, restaurants and bars are gearing up to celebrate Cinco de Mayo. From cocktail specials to full-blown parties, here’s where […]

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May 09, 2018 04:21 AM

LondonHouse Chicago Gives Banh Mi a Chicago Makeover

This summer, the iconic Vietnamese banh mi sandwich soars to new heights, literally, as part of a tartine flight at LondonHouse Chicago’s LH Rooftop. The rare dish photogenic enough to distract from the Downtown views, this isn’t just any banh mi either. Rather, it’s a banh mi inspired in part by grandma and mashed up with a Chicago-style hot dog, all courtesy of executive chef Jacob Verstegen. 

 

LondonHouse
Banh mi at LH Rooftop

As he was conceptualizing the open-faced sandwich flight, one idea that came to mind for Verstegen harkened back to early lunch memories. “When I was a kid, my grandma made this ham spread sandwich that was awesome,” recalls the chef. “My grandma lived on a farm, and she’d always have ham hocks in the freezer, so she’d boil them, whip them and make a spread out of it.” Considering ham hock spread is similar in flavor and texture to the pork pâté traditionally smeared on banh mi sandwiches, it triggered a lightbulb for Verstegen. 

Rather than layer his banh mi with conventional accompaniments, the chef opted to put a Chicago-style spin on it, fusing the Vietnamese sandwich with flavors and components from a Chicago-style hot dog. Using a mini poppy seed bun as the base, he fills it with ham hock spread, pickled carrots, pickled daikon, cilantro and chili aïoli. There’s even neon green relish, which he makes by pureeing dill pickles and setting the juice like a jam before folding in pickled cucumbers, preserving that bright green color familiar to local hot dogs. Even the daikon radish gets a neon hue, thanks to an acidic pickling infused with fresh turmeric. “It goes really well with the ham; the acid really balances it all out,” says Verstegen.

 

LondonHouse
View from LondonHouse's LH Rooftop

“This whole dish is kind of like a combination of all the different styles I’ve cooked,” explains the chef, whose experience includes stints in Japanese cuisine, American fare and classic French training. Combined with a few other open-faced sandwiches as part of a flight, including a cheese bread spread with ‘nduja and a savory “pop tart” made with ham, absinthe and mustard, this neoteric banh mi perfectly exemplifies the eclectic career of an inspired chef. 

Neighborhoods:

Experience the rooftop venue of Chicago’s first and only tri-level rooftop bar offering views of the Chicago River and Mag Mile. Located atop the newly opened LondonHouse hotel at the...




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