Monday, May 3, 2010

Can He Pull It Off?!

(Photo: Grant Achatz)

Two thousand ten is officially The Year of Grant Achatz.

Just last week, the much celebrated owner/chef of Alinea nabbed the honor of being named the best restaurant in North America (placing at No. 7) by the prestigious San Pellegrino World's 50 Best Restaurants Awards.

On Monday in New York, before hundreds of the country's top culinary bigwigs in media and restaurants, he won yet another big-deal honor at the James Beard Awards: Outstanding Service.

All this happened before Alinea's fifth anniversary—Tuesday, May 4—but there's soooooo much more to come.

Three major projects, all set for 2010, are coming up fast:

STAGE BITES: The Weekly Dining & Drinking Guide

The Hypocrites' production of "Cabaret" at Storefront Theater. (Photo: The Hypocrites)

Every Monday look for the week's top performances paired with the best deals before and after the show:

Cabaret at Storefront Theater. The Hypocrites's rendition of the provocative musical taking place in Nazi-ruled Berlin. Most performances have sold out; the live band makes it even more exciting. 7:30pm Thursdays, Fridays, Saturdays; 3pm Sundays (through May 23). Get tickets here.

China Grill: Known for its notoriously large plates of exotic Asian fare, China Grill recently revamped its menu for those with smaller appetites. You can now order diminutive portions of signature dishes like the Lobster Pancakes or Sake Marinated “Drunken” Chicken. And after all these years—it's been around for six!—they've finally added some tantalizing new dishes: Spiced Crispy Pork Belly; Char Siu Baby Back Pork Ribs; and Miso Grilled Vegetables & Udon Noodles. Share if only you care.

Say Hello to the 'Best Chef in Great Lakes Region!'

Koren Grieveson, chef de cuisine at avec. (Photo: Jessica Tampas Photography)

In New York on Monday, avec chef Koren Grieveson won the James Beard Award for the Best Chef in the Great Lakes Region.

Whooo hoooo!

Say 'Opa!' to These Great Greek Meatballs . . .

Athena's "Kestebdakia," or pan-fried ground beef and lamb meatballs. (Photo: Peter Riskind)

Now that it's finally getting warm outside, we can head outdoors for some great alfresco dining.

Greek Town's home to a number of lively spots where you can chill out on some of the most beautiful outdoor patios in the city.

Athena Greek Restaurant, with its picturesque, Mediterranean setting for about 220 diners, is one hot property when the temps hit the 70s. Plus, it's a great place for budget-friendly and authentic Greek cuisine, particularly their meatballs!