Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Lite Bites: What Your Favorite Chefs & Mixologists Are Up To Around Town This Week

Charles Joly with Sumi Robata Bar owner Jessica Kato at his launch party for Crafthouse on Tuesday. (Photo: Jessica Kato)

It's been a big year for Charles Joly, the beverage director at the award-winning The Aviary.

Earlier this year, the ground-breaking West Loop lounge won a James Beard Award for Outstanding Bar Program. Last weekend, Joly was named Best American Bartender of the Year at Tales of the Cocktail—the international bartenders' convention held annually in New Orleans.

And this week marks the official launch of Crafthouse, an impressive line of bottled cocktails he collaborated with Matt Lindner of The Drawing Room. A private industry event Tuesday evening introduced three classic cocktails (Moscow Mule, Paloma and South Side), which will be sold at select retailers soon.

Congrats to Joly on all his success!

Edward Kim of Mott St. (Photo via Time Out Chicago)

Time Out Chicago gushes over Edward Kim's Mott St.: "The pork butt–stuffed cabbage, made with sticky rice and kimchi broth, gives the Eastern European staple a brilliant Asian twist. The multitextural udon is a tangle of al dente noodles tossed with bonito flakes, kimchi and spicy cod roe that pop when you bite into them." Sounds like a place you should be checking out.

• Tickets for the second-annual A Magnificent Taste are on sale now. It's hosted by Art Smith (Table Fifty-Two) and Rick Bayless (Frontera Grill), and the lineup of chefs serving signature bites includes Ryan Poli (Little Market Brasserie), Lee Wolen (The Lobby at The Peninsula Chicago), Rick Gresh (David Burke’s Primehouse) and David Blonsky (Siena Tavern). The event takes place 6:30-9:30pm August 27 at Pioneer Court (401 N. Michigan Ave.).

• Speaking of David Burke’s Primehouse's Rick Gresh, he tells 312DD the plan for the former adjacent bar known as J Bar. The space will be broken into three sections—Burke's Bacon Bar in the front; a modernized, 1970s-styled lounge in the center; and Billy's, a tiny, invite-only cocktail lounge similar to Grant Achatz's The Office, in the rear. It's set to open in late August.

Bands, Beats & Brews is the name of the event happening at Three Aces at 3pm Sunday. It's a pretty good deal with the proceeds benefiting the Rock For Kids charity. Six top local chefs will roast meats: John Manion (La Sirena Clandestina), Chris Curren (Homestead), Rob Leavitt (Butcher & Larder), Mark Steuer (Carriage House), Michael Dean Reynolds (Bread & Wine) and Matt Troost (Three Aces). It's $35 per person and includes food, live music and one beer or cocktail.

• Here's a hysterical Eater Chicago interview with Eleven City Diner's Brad Rubin.

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