Hey guys, here’s a quick post about an awesome restaurant I found: Cité Chicago. Thanks to Groupon (and my 2 year anniversary), I was able to enjoy the French cuisine on the very top floor of the Lake Point Tower (the weirdly-shaped black building by the Lake Shore? Yeah!).
We enjoyed their Escargot Francois which, if you’ve never had Escargot before, was an awesome appetizer. The rich flavor of the sauce it’s cooked in really warms up your palate for the rest of the dinner.
For our main dishes, we got their Fruit de Mer Risotto and Duck a l’Orange. The seafood risotto tasted like it came straight out of the ocean - the risotto was creamy, and that giant scallop, crab, and blue crab were the perfect complement. The duck was something I really wanted - it’s a classic duck dish I have always wanted to try, and I’m glad I did! The orange reduction was really good with the tender duck breast.
Sometimes, we like to get classy with our dinners. And Cité definitely gave us a meal we won’t forget!
When you do Filipino theatre, you get “eating” as a part of the rehearsal and performance scheduling. And such was the case when we performed for our playwright at a quaint coffee shop and diner in Chicago’s South Loop (a little northeast of Pilsen) at a place called Station E Café. The company I worked for was the first catering event they did at their place, and I’d say it was a success. Why? Because of this little gem:
This is their homemade molé sauce, and it’s probably the best molé in the world. It’s a lot sweeter and thinner than usual molé, but poured over rice and your choice of pan-seared tilapia or pork lumpia rolls… Holy crap. I had two plates. I tell you, that night, I’m sure the chef saw before his eyes the epitome of “a starving actor.” I’m not sure if they have this dish on their daily menu, but based on their Yelp page, a lot of people love their sandwiches and breakfast menu as well! If it wasn’t so far away from me, I would come all the time! If you need a place to go when you’re in that part of the city, be sure to stop by! Tell them RJ from CIRCA Pintig says hi!
Okay, this is WAY long overdue, but this summer I went to New York for a few days. Literally an eating marathon. Here were some of my favorites from that amazingly delicious trip!
My friend told me I had to come eat at a ramen house named Ippudo—and he even told me that I should expect at least a 20-30 minute wait because there’s always a line outside this place. We go as soon as they open, and we lucked out on having no wait line.
Now, you guys know how much I love Japanese restaurants. What you might not know is that I have always wanted to experience an authentic ramen house—like in Japan. And this place was very authentic—even with the Japanese shouting from the workers in the background, to the shared dining spaces. My dream came true that lunch.
The house special that night was too perfect to not order—their classic pork shoyu soup with black squid ink ramen noodles (which is a culinary feat of excellence by the way!) topped with pork slices, cabbage, “menma” which is bamboo shoot, a slice of “naruto” fish cake, and scallions. I’m telling you—I guzzled every bit, drank each drop, and licked that bowl clean. It was probably the best bowl of soup I have ever had. I’m telling you—you guys are missing out on a culturally immaculate experience if you haven’t had authentic ramen before.
Fancy dinner time? I think so. By fancy, of course I mean Bacon Wrapped Salmon.
For this, just take some bacon and wrap it on a seasoned salmon fillet (I like using Old Bay for seafood and chicken, but you can just stick to salt and pepper too). Then, sear both sides on a pan—preferably one that you can stick in the oven. As soon as the bacon has rendered a little of its fat on the pan, put the whole pan in the oven and let it cook at a high oven temperature (400 is usually my bacon-cooking temp). Let it cook for about 10-15 minutes, or until you see the bacon cooked to your liking, and the salmon opaque and flaky. Serve with some rice, or like me, a spinach salad with a lemon vinaigrette.
Being back in college means a lot more cooking on my part. And by cooking, I mean “what can I put together in a bowl and call dinner?” I’d like to think that this is my specialty because I can work with almost anything and find a way to make it a good meal. And I like to think I can make something seemingly boring into something with a little more class. What do you think?
When I’m feeling fancy, I usually make some Shrimp Linguini—simple enough. You can basically make your pasta, and then slowly saute garlic and red pepper flakes with some shrimp, and you have an easy pasta dish.
And when I feel extremely lazy, I make my Kid’s Meal Mac & Cheese—I make mac & cheese from the box mixed with some frozen veggies (green beans and corn), and then top it with some chicken nuggets.