Sunday, December 2, 2007

Best new bar poll

Thanks to all who voted in the Best New Restaurant Poll. Sepia (123 N. Jefferson St., 312-441-1920) won, and no other restaurant was even close.

There's a new poll up. Just scroll to the bottom of the page and choose your favorite new bar of 2007. Or if you think I left one out, feel free to comment below. You've got until the end of the month to vote.

Prosecco off to a good start

Blackbird's (619 W. Randolph St., 312-715-0708) 10-year anniversary party on Sunday brought out all the local rock star chefs and restaurateurs, but Mark Sparacino was probably in the most celebratory mood.

His long-awaited Prosecco (710 N. Wells St., 312-951-9500) debuted during Saturday's wild snow and ice storm, yet he managed to have a great night and almost a full house. With his third venture (he also owns Sparacino at 6966 W. North Ave. and Traveling Fare Catering), he's partnering with Kathryn Sullivan-Alvera, who's best known for co-owning Narcisse and Domaine.

The Italian-focused eatery highlights cuisine from all 20 regions of Italy and features Chicago's largest selection of Prosecco, or Italian sparkling wine.

Bleeding Heart Bakery strikes back

A Chowhound poster who tried to diss the pastries at the new Roscoe Village Bleeding Heart Bakery (1955 W. Belmont Ave., 773-327-6931) got shut down by its owner on Sunday.

The poster wrote, in part:

"The loaf of bread seemed stale - so dry, heavy, and hard that we abandoned trying to chew it and decided to use it as a weapon instead. The two muffins were the best items of the lot, by far, but they were just adequate (and the 'tea cake' muffin had a strange chemical-ish aftertaste). The two croissants were practically inedible - so dry that we worried they'd burst into flames if we rubbed them together."

And, in response, the owner struck back:

"I try very hard to stay off these sites as I see them biased and without responsibilty, however, I have always liked chowhound and was very surprised to see this post today. We are delighted to be in Roscoe Village and have been welcomed by most with open arms. All of our products are the same we have always offered but with many new choices, which is what boggles me about this post. All of our products are within Europen style (not bought at many places'd be suprised how many costco croissants you've consumed thinking they were homemade) With that being said, most of our flaky pastries..such as croissants are as such...flaky. They are not meant to be doughy or chewy and we are not trying to go for that. Everyone has there own taste and there are bakeries all around Chicago that cater to all of these tastes. Our bread is levain based bread, it is made with a fermented dough and is meant to be very hearty and have a thick, dense crust. It is not meant to be fluffy or squishy or soft for that matter. I cannot understand a 'chemical taste' as we are certified orgainc and cannot use any type of chemical even in our cleaning methods, everything here has to be environmentally friendly and biodegradeable.

In the end I am sorry that you had a bad experience, I would invite you back in hopes you would have a better time the next time around, however it seems as though the problems you had are not really problems at all, but a matter of taste, which I both understand and respect, though there are many who would disagree (keep in mind that we moved to roscoe village because our business grew so big and we became so busy that we needed a bigger space, our chicago ave location was outgrown in two years..not very long at all)

One last ting, although it may be 'cute' to use extreem sarcasm when reviewing a place it really is not. Reviews in that manner are hard to take seriously and seem very personal, very attacking, which is the only reason I have become so defensive. We have recieved bad reviews, everyone does, we can take it (learn from it) but little is learned from the sarcasm."

Wow, just wow. Finally, an owner who's turned the tables on those anonymous types who get off on posting vicious comments on these dining/nightlife message boards. Personally, if it was me and I had such an experience, I'd just tell the manager while I was actually in the store. But that's just me.

On a related note, Bleeding Heart's original location at 2018 W. Chicago Ave. reopened last Friday as the Painted Lady Organic Eatery.