Butter Sizzles

Made our way to Butter in the Chicago’s West Loop neighborhood. Formerly of Le Francais, Mango’s, La Broche in Madrid, and the French Laundry in Napa Valley, the chef, Ryan Poli was expected to have some chops. This meal was really a celebration of spring. They started out with upscale bar food, a pre amuse if you will of Truffled Popcorn with the freshest early spring chives, hand cut fresh potato chips with herbs and sea salt, and Oyster crackers in a sprinkling of salt and dill. The popcorn was a hit, totally redolent with truffle, and the sweet freshness of spring chives. We accompanied these courses with a Moet and Chandon Brut Imperial Rose. Very sweet…they definitely kicked in a bit of dosage with the red wine grapes. It was not a demi sec, but had a very overt sweetness. The amuse was chilled pear/parsnip soup with a dollop of olive oil. While I didn’t taste any pear, it had a nice milky sweetness with a hint of pepper. Very clean, but not particulary memorable. Advertisements

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Down in the Dumplings

Blame it on my babcia (Polish for “grandmother”). Every addiction begins with a gateway, and my culinary marijuana to ethnic comfort food was my babcia’s pierogi, moon-shaped dumplings of potato and cheese pan-seared in a lake of scalding butter and topped with a porky hash of caramelized onion and bacon.

Tapsilog At Iba Pa

This restaurant’s namesake, tapsilog, is like a Filipino hangover helper. Featuring dried or cured beef (tapa), a mound of rice (sinangag) and fried egg (itlog), it’s a comforting treat sure to sop up the stomach slosh of a late-night bender. While fast-food joints like McDonald’s feature it on their breakfast menus in the Philippines, the dish has generally been tough to find stateside. Thanks to a partnership between Filipino immigrants Cristina Navata and Rodney Clamana (pictured below), you can now get your fix in Chicago.