Thursday, March 5, 2009

Sticking a fork in Tapas Valencia already?!


ABC's "Hungry Hound" Steve Dolinsky did not like his experiences at just-opened South Loop spot, Tapas Valencia, according to his latest Facebook Status:

"Steve Dolinsky went to Tapas Valencia twice tonight: his first and last time."

Hmmmmmmm, wonder what went so wrong there . . .

Yikes. He also snubbed a new Ital spot on his Twitter:

"First Tocco, now Tapas Valencia..ugh. Two nights in a row of lackluster food."

Bad dining week, man?!

Foie Gras Cupcakes?!

(Photo: Courtesy of Urban Daddy)

First, the Chicago-Style Lobster "Haute" Dog at Lockwood, now More has gone and done this, according to Urban Daddy:

"You'll also be the first (on March 6) to inspect their latest masterstroke, the Foie Gras Cupcake, a sour-cherry-filled chiffon cake iced with rich foie gras mousse."


What they're saying on Facebook . . .

David Richards, of Sweets & Savories, is creating "Bacon Waffles" for brunch service this weekend. (Photo: Sweets & Savories)

Rodney Alex (Owner/Juicy Wine Co.): "Waiting to taste some new Goose Island Beers with (owner) Greg (Hall). Maybe we will sit on the deck."

Jimmy Bannos (Owner/Executive Chef Heaven on Seven): "Had a great meal at Publican last night I can still taste the awesome Duck Hearts."

Jesse De La Pena (Deejay/Producer): "Spinning @ Junior's on Cermak tonite."

Elizabeth Palmer (Wine Director/Carnivale): "Taking inspiration from this weather, Spring wine list changes on the brain."

David Richards (Executive Chef/Sweets & Savories): "Working on recipe for Bacon Waffles for Sunday Brunch."

Shin Thompson (Owner/Chef Bonsoiree): "Will be cooking at the historic James Beard House June 22nd."

Ben Walanka (Executive Sous Chef/Rhapsody): "Excited about Hells Kitchen tonight!!!........Did someone say asian fusion?"

Jon Young (Executive Chef/Kitsch'n On Roscoe): "Getting ready for the Chili Cook-Off this Saturday!"

Chefs on FIRE!

Ben Walanka (at very top), of Rhapsody restaurant, is competing on chef-driven show "Hell's Kitchen." (Photo: FOX)

So, I'm gonna give props to Ben Walanka again.

He's the only Chicago chef (from the Chicago Symphony Center's Rhapsody) competing on Gordon Ramsay's "Hell's Kitchen," which airs at 8pm tonight on FOX. He caused a lot of drama last week by getting into it with a couple of teammates, so if you've missed episodes, you can check them out here.

Another Chicago chef shaking things up is Lockwood's Phillip Foss, whose Chicago-Style Lobster "Haute" Dog is making mouths water all over town.

And finally, Chicago Chef Week continues through Friday.

Here's what else is going on:


Goose Island head honcho Greg Hall gushed a couple of days ago on Facebook that he was releasing a new beer today. Night Stalker is the third beer in the Fulton Wood Series, and also pays homage to the Chicago-based television show from the 1970s. It's a jet black, dry-hopped Imperial Stout that's extremely rich and full flavored with malt and chocolate followed by a bright dry hopped aroma. You can also get it at the Wrigleyville location.

Café Ba-Ba-Reeba! kicks off Orange Festival with Craft Beer Bodega. You'll get 20 beers for $20, along with passed Pintxos appetizers. 6-8pm.

If vino's more your thing, head to Vivo for the weekly wine tasting. Twenty dollars will get you a number of well-selected varieties from 5-7pm. And if you decide to stay for dinner after the event, you'll get 20 percent off the dinner bill.

We told you a few weeks ago about Lincoln Park newcomer Faith & Whiskey's Thursday night live music series. It launches tonight with local cover band The Walk-Ins. Check 'em out while enjoying $1 domestic bottles. 9pm-1:30am. No cover.

Mario Romay is the man behind Groove Parlor, and his monthly after-hours party, "Soul Joy," happens at The Silver Room Saturday. (Photo: Groove Parlor)


Tonight's the last night for Chicago Restaurant Week, so check out some places you've always wanted to try like Crofton on Wells, Klay Oven or Old Town Brasserie. More than 130 local spots are participating with deal-icious three-course, prix-fixe lunches ($22) and three-course, prix-fixe dinners ($32).


How excited are you about the thought of the 10th Annual Jack Daniel’s Chili Cook-Off?! Happening at Sidetrack, the daylong event will include 20 competing restaurants, including Kitsch'n On Roscoe. 2-6pm. $10 cover benefits the Chicago Area Gay & Lesbian Chamber of Commerce.

Live out your "American Idol" fantasy at the Nicklebee Idol Charity Fundraiser Sing-Off, happening at Globe Pub. Winner of contest gets an all-expense paid trip to Vegas, but you get two comped cocktails. 7-10pm. $20. To find out more about Nicklebee, go here. 7-10pm.

Motel Bar is four years old, so stop by for comped drinks and food (8-9pm), then keep the party going until 3am. Deejay spins "funky" beats. No cover.

Late-night party people need to be at Groove Parlor's monthly fete happening at Silver Room. The Soul Joy party includes hot deejay performances by Vick Lavender, Mario Romay and Celeste Alexander. 10pm-4am. No cover. BYOB.


The Hearty Boys are back with brunch! 312DD and The Daddy went on opening day a few weeks back and the line was out the door. And who could blame them?! We got piping hot biscuits and waffles to tide us over before our entrees arrived. Highlights include a Breakfast Shepherd's Pie (layer of creamy chive scrambled eggs topped with crumbled sage breakfast sausage and shredded hash browns) and Lemon Ricotta Pancakes with lingonberry compote. Oh, and don't miss the Tang Mimosas and Bloody Mary Flight (Bloody Mary, Bloody Bull and Bloody Caesar). 9am-2pm. Everything's a la carte and not over $12.