Thursday, April 18, 2013

So Very, Very Hot Right Now.

The Lobby at the Peninsula adds ramps to its signature whole roast chicken. (Photo: Peninsula Chicago)

This incredibly gloomy weather needs some brightening up, which is why we're completely obsessed with the arrival of ramps on menus all over town.

At the Lobby at the Peninsula Chicago, for example, Chef de Cuisine Lee Wolen incorporates the seasonal, onion-like ingredient into his signature roast chicken dish that's been a hit on the menu since it debuted last fall. It also comes with juicy morels and marbled potatoes.

Siena Tavern's wild grilled ramp risotto is available for a limited time. (Photo: Siena Tavern)

You'll also find ramps for a limited time at the smokin' hot Italian eatery Siena Tavern. Executive Chef David Blonsky's hooking up his creamy risotto with wild, grilled ramps. Check out how other chefs are using ramps on their menus.

(Photo: Union Sushi+Barbeque Bar)

Through Saturday, Union Sushi+Barbeque Bar's featuring an Asian-inspired Surf+Turf Burger that's made with Wagyu beef and fried oyster. It's on the menu for this week only, but perhaps they'll keep it on longer if it sells well.

Smoke Daddy's iron skillet blueberry cornbread (Photo: Smoke Daddy)

And this is a big weekend for Smoke Daddy, which unveils its new expansion. The owners have doubled the size of the venue to accommodate more people. And that'll be a good thing when brunch launches Saturday. I'm certain folks will flood in like crazy for new dishes like the iron skillet blueberry cornbread served with hot maple butter; smoked brisket hash topped with poached eggs; and the house-smoked, pulled pork Benedict with bacon-chipotle Hollandaise over poached eggs and English muffins.

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