Slideshow: Scenes from Chicago's First Bites Bash 2014

The Festival Floor
The Festival Floor
Lots of happy people gettin' their groove on with some serious food.
Let's Start the Party!
Let's Start the Party!
Allison Rosati
Allison Rosati
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.
Paul Kahan
Paul Kahan
Paul Kahan came out to express thanks that everyone came to enjoy the food. It was a good night.
Seafood Tower
Seafood Tower
Someday, when I go to heaven, this is what I'll eat every day. And some other stuff. But a lot of this.
Mortadella
Mortadella
A beautiful salty mortadella with flecks of pistachio for flavor and texture. Mmm.
Phil Stefani's 437 Rush
Phil Stefani's 437 Rush
Tortellini, anybody? This is braised tortellini from Phil Stefani's 437 Rush.
Cafe Ba-Ba-Reeba!
Cafe Ba-Ba-Reeba!
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!
Taco Assembly
Taco Assembly
This lady was slingin' tacos like crazy from Big Star.
Bistronomic
Bistronomic
Look at the baby quiche lorraines! I just want to pinch their cheeks. Then eat them. Which is what I did.
Tavern on Rush
Tavern on Rush
This was a beautiful crabcake from Tavern on Rush. Very little filler, and lots of crab.
Little Market Brasserie
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.
El Barco Mariscos
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.
Bar Pastoral
Bar Pastoral
Pork meatball from Bar Pastoral. Just like momma used to make! But not my mother. I'm Korean.
Black Truffle
Black Truffle
Think anybody would notice if I slipped this into my pocket?
Roy's Restaurant
Roy's Restaurant
Roy's Restaurant made a unique Maine lobster dumpling that showcased the delicate flavor of one of my favorite shellfish.
The GRID
The GRID
Yes, they spell GRID in all caps. They also served a perfectly cooked veal heart.
Beatrix
Beatrix
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.
The Chicago Firehouse Restaurant
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
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
Magnolia Bakery
Magnolia Bakery's famous banana pudding is delicious. An elevated version of that Nilla Wafer classic.
Bread and Wine
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.
ZED451
ZED451
Little soldiers of butterscotch bread pudding skewers, awaiting deployment into hungry mouths.
Mon Ami Gabi
Mon Ami Gabi
What's a dinner party without a little chocolate mousse?