Paris in Chicago

Through eating, we sometimes seek, crave, and desire transport, a mental whisking toward another time and location, to places of comfort, the spots which may now not be near, but where we once were when we experienced profound happiness. For you, this may be your mom’s kitchen, the state you grew up, in or the European city that changed your life. We are not always physically able to return to those places, but in a local bite, we might still experience a reasonable mental facsimile. Advertisements


Maison Parisienne Macarons

I didn’t know it, but I’ve waited all my life for this. And by this, I mean a real French person saying the words “Mountain Dew.” First, I want to apologize for America. No one from the land of champagne should even be aware of the neon-green soda.

Chicago’s Best Croissant?

Having written about restaurants for a while now, I’ve developed a system of indisputable rules. One of the most rock-solid principles I’ve observed is this: Restaurants that feature their address—either numerals or street—in their name usually aren’t very good.

The Essentials: North Pond

North Pond might be the only restaurant in the country that went from a homeless shelter to serving haute cuisine. Built in 1912, the Arts and Crafts-style building located in the heart of Lincoln Park on the edge of the North Pond nature sanctuary was originally a warming hut for ice skaters. Over the years, it also served as a storage shed, a hot dog stand and a city shelter for the homeless

Mixed Bag

If you’ve ever wondered what it’s like to dine like a dictator or an imperial ruler, then the newly reopened, upscale French-Vietnamese Pasteur in Edgewater is probably just the ticket.


It’s a thin line between a nondescript riblet-slinging chain restaurant like Applebee’s and BLT American Brasserie, a new River North restaurant from international super-chef Laurent Tourondel. BLT falls on the right side of that line, but only barely.

Reflections in the Pond

I’m no culinary Luddite. In the last year, I’ve eaten and relished bacon ice cream, tortilla foam, Rice Krispies with strawberry Pop Rocks, pineapple sponge, Dover sole with dehydrated banana powder and a chocolate-raspberry-and-foie-gras milkshake.

La Sardine, Offally Good

La Sardine’s Bouillabaisse I never met an organ meat I didn’t like. This has become my eating mantra. It makes me sound like a culinary bad ass and makes the chicks swoon. Food network chicks anyway.