I'll repeat what I've said in the past: in terms of sweets, Chicago is a blessed city. In no particular order—because it was hard enough to pick my favorites—here are my top ten for the year.
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When Dana Cree invited me into her world of desserts at Blackbird, I was obviously excited, but I had no idea the outrageous experiences in store for me. Not only was I serendipitously around for a 15th anniversary toast before the start of service, but I also got to talk to Dana during a staff meal.
Yes, some people may think of rhubarb as more of an ingredient to cover up or ignore rather than feature, but I found eight restaurants in Chicago not only brave enough to spotlight this spring and summertime vegetable, but places that do it so well that I am now craving rhubarb.
Here are the ten most popular A Sandwich a Day posts from out short stint here in 2011. Turns out I completely underestimated Chicago's sandwich scene, as there are great sandwiches in just about every neighborhood. The diversity was also striking. Sandwiches were overloaded and excessive, or sleek and minimal.
What happens when one of the best restaurants in Chicago plays with sandwiches? If it's at Blackbird and the sandwich in question is the organic pork belly, then your mind is going to be blown.