Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Publican gets BIG props from NYT

(Photo: Bob Briskey Photography)

Awwww, man.

Publican's truly hit the big time now.

New York Times restaurant critic Frank Bruni anoints the West Loop eatery "an outstanding newcomer" in his review and continues to gush:

"What is ultimately striking about the new generation of restaurants like Publican, which appeal as much to the glutton as to the gourmand in you, isn't their informality. It's their gaiety, an emotional tone much different from the subdued rapture so many chefs once asked you to feel."

Absolutely fantastic!

Twenty-four hours to go . . .

Hot Chocolate's Mindy Segal (Photo: Mindy Segal)

Let's get it crackin', people!

The Swan Creek Live Auction ends 9pm tomorrow (May 28), so you've still got a shot at bidding.

Who wouldn't want one of Chicago's hottest chefs cooking at their homes?! Peep the list for stars like Mindy Segal (Hot Chocolate), Koren Grieveson (avec), Randy Zweiban (Province) and Jason Hammel (Lula), who are all going for big bucks . . .

Good things come in threes

Beef & Blue Cheese Wrap, one of the offerings at Café at Wild Things! in Lincoln Park Zoo (Photo: Levy Restaurants)

OK now, we're getting closer to high tourism season in the city, and you're certain to have guests visiting.

C'mon, suck it up, you're going to have to go to places you would never go to this time of year. Luckily this summer's a little bit different, with some new dining offerings that'll make your trip as special as theirs:

Café at Wild Things!, the seasonal spot inside Lincoln Park Zoo, returns for the second year in a row. Managed by Levy Restaurants, the cafe specializes in locally grown and organic ingredients in sandwiches, salads and wraps. They're whipping up healthy tastes like the Beef & Blue Cheese Wrap, Go Bananas Pressed Sandwich and a Roasted Cauliflower and Chick Pea Salad. The restaurant's open through Labor Day weekend.

For shopaholics who find themselves along the tony Rush Street strip, a trip to Fred's at Barneys New York is inevitable. The stylish, sixth-floor restaurant feels like it's right out of New York with ultra-trendy crowds, clean lines and a simple menu of original flatbreads, pastas and entrees. And if you get there at the right time, you just might be able to snag one of those coveted seven tables on the outdoor terrace.

And speaking of outdoor dining, there's no worries getting one of the 60 tables on the terrace at Terzo Piano, Tony Mantuano's casual Italian eatery inside the Modern Wing of the Art Institute. The award-winning chef from the glamorous Spiaggia has toned down the menu here with whole wheat pasta dishes and a wonderful burger entree, Uno, Dos, Tres Burgers (mini beef burger, lamb burger, shrimp burger), paired with housemade organic fries. Open for dinner on Thursdays only. Through June, it's reservations only.