Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Bits & Morsels

The view from the John Hancock Building. 12:30 pm. 10/30/07.

"Bits and Morsels" by Jordana Z, is an ongoing collection of information from the world of the foodies and foodblogs:

Come fly with me. After reading about DPC and JH’s Abu Dhabi adventure, I felt like I needed to take a trip. Abu Dhabi was not in the cards, but Chicago was. And so, for the next two columns I will focus on my Chicago adventure.

In 1871, The Great Chicago Fire burned most of the city down to the ground. As a result, the streets and the buildings all feel very clean and modern. My favorite way to see the city is on a horse and buggy ride.

My first eating stop was for dinner at the just-opened Table 52. Located at 52 West Elm Street, Table 52 is the creation of Chef Art Smith, and everything about the restaurant reflects Art's personality; comfortable and unpretentious.

The restaurant is small and the delicious aroma (arising from the brick oven in the back of the dining room) reaches every table. The décor is straightforward and the dining room has a tin ceiling, giving the room a warm glow.

Everyone that comes to Table 52 is treated to complimentary deviled eggs and goat cheese biscuits. I don’t like goat cheese but I LOVE these biscuits. Generosity abounds as all of the food is served in large portions. Try going on Sunday when they offer Art’s famous fried chicken.
Goat cheese biscuits.
Deviled eggs.
Mac and cheese.
Honey mashed sweet potatoes.
Catfish with beets.
The main dining room at Table 52.
Biscuits in the oven.
Squash Risotto with apple.
Fried chicken and mashed potatoes.
Chocolate layer birthday cake.
The Drake is to Chicago what the Waldorf-Astoria is to New York. I went to have what turned out to be a very enjoyable afternoon tea. It’s a great place to people watch and savor the social history of the hotel, which opened in 1920.

It’s impossible to come to Chicago
and not sample some deep-dish pizza. There are pizzerias on almost every corner. I indulged in some deep-dish at Giordano’s, which was extremely cheesy with a thick buttery crust. What can I say? The pizza was good but I prefer thin-crust New York-style pizza. [Giordano's]
Tea service at the Drake with Asparagus tea sandwiches.
Giordano's Restaurant & Pizzeria.
Happy and Healthy Halloween! Check out these useful tips for making Halloween trick or treating a much healthier endeavor. Instead of dishing out the oversized candy bars, go for chocolate covered raisins, which have fiber, or peppermint patties, which are low in fat. These tips are realistic and can make a difference. [Well]

Breakfast of Champions. When the weather begins to cool off my favorite breakfast food is steel cut oats. These oats are different from rolled oats in that they are the not overly processed besides being cut. Oatmeal made with steel cut oats is hearty, satisfying, and loaded with nutrition. Check out the Slow Cook for a recipe. [The Slow Cook]

I will dearly miss Friedman Paul Erhardt a.k.a “Chef Tell.” He died Friday of heart failure at age 63. Chef Tell was a jolly and gregarious chef and culinary educator. He was a regular guest on “Regis and Kelly” among other shows. [AP]

Broccoli Benefits. This week a study reported that rubbing broccoli extract on your skin provides significant protection against ultraviolet radiation. The extract triggers your skin to increase the production of a protective enzyme. The effect takes a few days to develop but will continue to work after the broccoli is washed off. [The New York Times]

Till we eat again,

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