Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Fat Cat's fans come out strong for Nightlife Poll

Uhmmm, just yesterday Crimson Lounge (333 N. Dearborn St., 312-923-2473) was waaaay ahead in the Nightlife Poll for "2007's Best New Bar" at the bottom of the page. But I just checked it a few minutes ago, and Fat Cat (4840 N. Broadway, 773-506-3100) is back in the lead.

Agree? Disagree? Click on your favorite bar at the bottom of the page. You've got 19 more days to vote!

North Pond chef to demo at Green City Market

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He's got a quirky sense of humor and he's one of our hometown heroes when it comes to supporting small local farmers.

And now Bruce Sherman, chef/partner of the esteemed contemporary French-American North Pond (2610 N. Cannon Dr., 773-477-5845), will take his turn as the demonstrating chef for the day at Green City Market, tomorrow at 10:30am.

His Lincoln Park eatery is known for its innovative, seasonal cuisine, so expect his loyal followers to come out in full force.

As always, Green City Market occurs every Wednesday and Saturday (through Dec. 22) 7am-noon at the Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum's North Gallery at 2430 N. Cannon Dr. Free admission.

Fahrenheit turns up the heat in St. Charles

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Chef Peter Balodimas' duo of organic Berkshire pork grilled belly and confit shoulder served with six-year cheddar grits, shaved apple and Blis 30-year sherry

Every once in a while 312 Dining Diva will kick it to the suburbs, and last night's venture to the 630 didn't disappoint.

New American eatery Fahrenheit & Celcius Lounge, with chef/owner Peter Balodimas at the helm, has only been open for a month and is already getting plenty of local and national buzz.

The 27-year-old Balodimas picked up his skills in the kitchens of such well-known spots as Spiaggia and Heaven on Seven, and it shows. In his new St. Charles restaurant, he's dabbling in different flavors and presentations, so many of those dishes have unexpected twists.

Take, for example, the amuse he served last night of a truffled beef tartar "burger." The tiny, flavor-packed delight—that you popped in your mouth in a single bite—made Minnies' sandwiches look like Burger King's Whoppers. Also, the organic Berkshire pork grilled belly paired with six-year cheddar grits was a brilliant combo, especially when dipped in the 30-year sherry drizzled on the plate.

And how could we forget the "BBQ" Kobe beef brisket, which was marinated in Guinness and Balodimas' secret "BBQ" sauce and complemented by the tiniest portions of corn bread I had ever seen in my life. Somehow he made it work.

The wine list here is pretty good too (with a nod to Balodimas' Greek heritage), but the by-the-glass selections are pretty steep, ranging between $12-$28.

Fahrenheit & Celcius Lounge: 1890 West Main St., 630-444-1350. Open Tuesday-Sunday; lunch service begins today.

Deal of the day . . .

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Cozy little BeviAmo Wine Bar (1358 W. Taylor St., 312-455-8255), tucked away in Little Italy, doesn't have a huge menu for food, but they've got nice small plates for when you just want to nosh.

Every Tuesday they're hosting a wine tasting event featuring wines from different regions for $25. 7-11pm.