The Festival Floor
Lots of happy people gettin' their groove on with some serious food.
Let's Start the Party!
NBC 5 news anchor Allison Rosati did all the introductions. She's even more lively and energetic in person. I grew up watching her on television, here in Chicago.
Don Welsh is the President and CEO of Choose Chicago, an organization dedicated to spreading the word that we're the greatest city ever. He even gave Serious Eats a shoutout (I cheered).
Paul Kahan came out to express thanks that everyone came to enjoy the food. It was a good night.
Someday, when I go to heaven, this is what I'll eat every day. And some other stuff. But a lot of this.
A beautiful salty mortadella with flecks of pistachio for flavor and texture. Mmm.
Polenta and tuscan sausage topped with porcini mushrooms.
Phil Stefani's 437 Rush
Tortellini, anybody? This is braised tortellini from Phil Stefani's 437 Rush.
Bacon wrapped dates, anyone? Lots of bacon wrapped dates? All of my dates should be wrapped in bacon. Not sure she'd like that, though. Zing!
This lady was slingin' tacos like crazy from Big Star.
A delicious and flavorful lamb taco from Big Star. It was packed with flavor.
Look at the baby quiche lorraines! I just want to pinch their cheeks. Then eat them. Which is what I did.
Tavern on Rush
This was a beautiful crabcake from Tavern on Rush. Very little filler, and lots of crab.
Little Market Brasserie
So, there's something about me you might not know. I'm terribly addicted to deviled eggs. I could eat them all day. I had to tear myself away before I ate all of them and made everyone else sad.
This beggar's purse was made of mozzarella, and it surrounded a poached quail egg. I've never seen anything quite like it.
El Barco Mariscos
Ever been to that wacky restaurant on Ashland, just south of Division? They repped with a tart and delicious octopus ceviche. Huge portions, too.
Pork meatball from Bar Pastoral. Just like momma used to make! But not my mother. I'm Korean.
Think anybody would notice if I slipped this into my pocket?
This was one huge scallop from Gallery Bar.
Roy's Restaurant made a unique Maine lobster dumpling that showcased the delicate flavor of one of my favorite shellfish.
Yes, they spell GRID in all caps. They also served a perfectly cooked veal heart.
Even though chia seeds have an interesting texture, they make for a cool pudding. Chia seeds are all the rage now. Watch out, Chia Pets.
This is a piggy. It wasn't food.
The Chicago Firehouse Restaurant
Good thing they served this lobster bisque in tiny cups, because it was so rich. It had a deep creamy and lobstery flavor. Decadence in a tiny cup.
Summer House Santa Monica
Newcomer Summer House Santa Monica brought little bites of ahi tuna tostadas. I wish I was in Santa Monica right now.
Magnolia Bakery's famous banana pudding is delicious. An elevated version of that Nilla Wafer classic.
This is what an orange creamsicle looks like in cake form.
Bread and Wine
The coconut panna cotta (I like to call it "jiggly milk") was simple and elegant with a beautiful streusel on top. That one was a winner.
Little soldiers of butterscotch bread pudding skewers, awaiting deployment into hungry mouths.
Mon Ami Gabi
What's a dinner party without a little chocolate mousse?