Sunday, April 29, 2012
Notes From . . .
Master Mixologist Bridget Albert's "Smoking Jacket" cocktail was served at The Gage. (Photo: 312 Dining Diva/Additional Photos: Illinois Restaurant Association/Chicago Gourmet)
. . . Chicago's Culinary Crossroads Trolley Tour Kickoff.
• To celebrate the nations represented during the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) Summit, the Illinois Restaurant Association hosts the first-ever Chicago's Culinary Crossroads May 1-25.
• The dine-around initiative includes more than 200 restaurants throughout Chicagoland that will feature special tasting menus, desserts, wine selections and cocktail creations inspired by the NATO nations.
• A select group of food journalists were invited to the Chicago's Culinary Crossroads Trolley Tour Kickoff and visited Mexique, Piccolo Sogno and The Gage.
• Chefs Carlos Gayta (Mexique), Tony Priolo (Piccolo Sogno) and Dirk Flanigan (The Gage) were gracious hosts at each location.
• Highlights from the tour included Mexique's Chocolate Tamal (a corn husk filled with chocolate ganache, spicy chocolate sauce); Piccolo Sogno's Guanciale di Vitello (slow braised veal cheeks over soft semolina pudding with wood-roasted spring mushrooms); and The Gage's signature Scotch Egg of housemade sausage, quail egg and mustard.
• Master Mixologist Bridget Albert ended the night at The Gage (assisted by Clint Rogers) with her Smoking Jacket cocktail of Maker's Mark, Laphroaig 10-year, "drunken" berries, mint and rosemary.
• Chefs from visiting nations will team up with executive chefs from the likes of Bistronomic, The Gage, Keefer's and Signature Room at the 95th for special menus in the first two weeks of May.
• Those who dine at a minimum of three of Chicago's Culinary Crossroads' participating restaurants will have a chance to win a pair of tickets to Chicago Gourmet, which happens later this fall.