Monday, August 17, 2009

Zagat interviews Greg Hall

Greg Hall (left) with Carlo Petrini, founder of the International Slow Food Movement. (Photo: Greg Hall)

Goose Island head honcho Greg Hall talks to Zagat about the ascendance of U.S. brewers, as well as his role in New York’s Craft Beer Week, for which he's organizing a multi-course beer dinner:

"When I try to match up beer and food, the first, and really only, rule is to match flavor intensity. There’s no 'ales with meat,' 'lagers with fish' or silly rules like that. A well-seasoned dish deserves a flavorful beer and a more delicate dish really works better with a more mild-flavored beer. The difference between beer and wine – and I’d like to clarify that I’m not an anti-wine guy – is that wine is for little flavors that sometimes you have to hunt for.

"Beer is full of big, aggressive flavors, and because of that I think that beer works especially well with cuisines that have really assertive flavors. You always think of spicy cuisines, like Mexican, Southeast Asian and Indian, as being beer food, and they absolutely are. Beer has a little bit more residual sugar that really absorbs the heat and allows the flavor of the spice to come through instead of just the heat of the spice."

BLT Bonanza is something to squeal about!


We cannot hide our glee that BLT Bonanza is finally upon us.

Through Sept. 20, as part of the annual Tomatofest, some of your favorite restaurants will feature their versions of the delicious old-school sandwich, but the twist is that they're doing them up with heirloom tomatoes and pigs.

Need an idea for lunch today? Head over to Blackbird for a sandwich at the bar, where chef de cuisine Mike Sheerin whips up mounds of cured bacon and juicy tomatoes.

Sixteen's Frank Brunacci's behind the creative BLT that's made with Slagel farm pork belly and Nichols Farm heirloom tomatoes on grilled French boule. And you'll find two different BLTs on the menu at Cafe Spiaggia. For lunch, indulge in a "PLT" pizza, with house-made pork pancetta from Becker Lane Farms (Iowa) and Nichols Farm heirloom tomatoes; dinner time will offer a grilled crostini with Nichols Farm heirloom tomatoes, house-made lamb pancetta, Capriole goat cheese and arugula.

Other participants include The Signature Room at the 95th, Green Grocer (offering City Provisions' BLTs to go), Carnivale, Webster's Wine Bar, Osteria Via Stato, The Gage, Publican, avec, Socca, Lockwood and more coming soon.

Mado makes Bon Appetit's Top 10 List

Allison and Rob Levitt of Mado. (Photo: Rob Levitt)

Wicker Park's edgy Mado is the only Chicago restaurant to make Bon Appetit's list of best new restos of the year:

"Husband and wife Rob and Allie Levitt are fanatical about local and sustainable ingredients.

"A chalkboard in the dining room lists all the farms that the restaurant works with, and every two weeks Rob receives a 180-pound pig from Slagel Family Farm, butchers it himself, and uses every bit in dishes like ciccioli (pork cracklin's), charcuterie, and the restaurant's signature porchetta (spit-roasted pork loin and belly)."

Here's also a recipe for Mado's Clam and Calamari Seafood Stew with Salsa Verde.

Weekend Tweet Beat

Michelle Garcia (left) of Bleeding Heart Bakery and her mom, Sharon (Photo: Bill Lambert/Erickson Design)

What were Chicago's top chefs up to this weekend?! 312DD checks out their Twitter accounts:

David Beran (Alinea): "Drove a Maserati tonight... I'm in love! Elegant, well mannered and powerful. Enamored, to say the least."

Phillip Foss (Lockwood): "Daughter wanted me to give her doll boobies. Tried explaining, she insisted, I obliged and am now in need of a shrink."

Michelle Garcia (Bleeding Heart): "Hhmmm, what a day. Wow. music fest...crazy deliveries during the air show...I need a nap."

Troy Graves (Eve): "Planned on making fried chicken for dinner but power went out. Went to Urban Belly instead. Wonderfully delicious."

Rob Levitt (Mado): "Pretty cool when wood-roasted pig head with pickled white peaches and wild amaranth out-sells the green salad."

Stephen McDonagh (HEARTY): "California Pinot Noir and Fudgesicles, 'cause that's how we roll."

Ina Pinkney (Ina's): "Love hate relationship with Air/Water Show."