Wednesday, May 16, 2012

So Much Good Stuff Happening Right NOW

Tad Carducci and Paul Tanguay of the Tippling Bros. (Photo: Mercadito Hospitality)

Those busy guys from Mercadito are at it again.

This time they've taken over the first-floor space in the Talbott Hotel for a restaurant that's due out in the fall. In the meantime, they're doing an ambitious pop-up project called PT at the Talbott that should finally bring some energy to that little corner.

The menu features daily all-you-can-eat treats (Taco Tuesday, Fried Chicken Friday), and, as always, the award-winning Tippling Bros. (Paul Tanguay and Tad Carducci) are behind the cocktails. Accordingly, the menu changes daily, but here's a sampling of what to expect:

Pineapple Cobbler (vodka, fresh pineapple, mixed berries, prosecco and Peychaud's bitters)

Basil and Grapes (dry gin, white grapes, fresh basil, lemon and tonic)

Whiskey Smash, (American whiskey, fresh lemon, mint and sugar)

Top Cat (Averna amaro, fresh strawberries, lemon and San Pellegrino Aranciata)

Ginger Daiquiri (white rum, fresh ginger, sugar and lime)


Also hot around town is the new menu at People Lounge in Wicker Park. They're known best for delicious pitchers of sangria and tapas, so it's great to see them exploring new territory.

Executive Chef Ralph Steinberg has spruced up the menu with offerings like the Lamby Sammy, which is a pulled lamb shoulder slider with Iberian three-milk cheese and crispy shallots; quinoa of Tempranillo-marinated currants, hemp seeds, mushroom broth and asparagus; a grilled Wagyu skewer of quinoa with hemp seed and Tempranillo-marinated currants and beef jus; and the Pollo Diablo, a mojito-marinated chicken breast, mango orzo and diablo sauce. The new menu starts on May 18.

A trio of Telegraph's desserts: gooey almond butter cake (from left), pineapple custard pie and ice box cake. (Photo: 312 Dining Diva)

Telegraph's executive chef John Anderes has been getting all kinds of props, but now it's time to pass on some love to pastry chef Katie Wyer.

Her dessert menu not only reads like a fat kid's wildest dream (ex. ice box cake with chocolate sauce; pineapple custard pie with saffron-pepper ice cream; gooey almond butter cake), but it has been carefully planned to complement dessert wines. And what's super cool is that for an extra five bucks you can get a half pour of the suggested wine.

Speaking of dessert, David Burke's Primehouse pastry chef Jove Hubbard is back with his innovative ice cream pop-up shop at the adjacent JBar.

Each Friday he creates different flavors for the rush-hour crowd from 3-5pm. They're $5 a scoop (cash only), and previous delights have included Chocolate Stuffed French Toast, Margarita Grande and Mexican Hot Chocolate.

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