A vision of bro-bar bottle service is not the reverie chef Stephen Gillanders is trying to invoke with the name of his new Pilsen restaurant, S.K.Y.. Rather, the name is a sweet commemoration of his wife, Seon Kyung Yuk’s initials. But, it is hard for me not to hear S.K.Y. and think of the cerulean-colored Skyy vodka bottle, a 1990s-era talisman for things like blue-shirted consultants booty shaking to the former Fresh Prince of Bel Air’s #1 hit “Gettin’ Jiggy Wit It”.
“The Chipotle of …” is quickly becoming a ubiquitous phrase used by food entrepreneurs. What it usually means is the chefs or business people behind the venture have so many stars and dollars signs blocking their eyes in the quest to become a fast-casual sensation by serving quick versions of international foods that they forget the food actually has to taste good.
How many civil engineers does it take to build a great Vietnamese sandwich? Judging by the excellent banh mi served at Lotus Cafe in University Village, the answer is at least one.
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.
A.A. Gill is not a nice guy. Over his career as a restaurant critic for “The Sunday Times,” a UK newspaper, he has offended gays, Germans and the Welsh. He was once thrown out of a Gordon Ramsay restaurant because he’d written that the sauté-Satan of TV’s “Hell’s Kitchen” was a “second-rate human being.” In one review Gill decried the citizens of the Isle of Man as “hopeless inbred mouth-breathers.” Still, when it comes to food criticism, Gill, as foul and hard as a writer can be, has nothing on my boy. When last I wrote of my son’s food adventures, he was a grinning eight-month-old happily gnawing pieces of Manny’s pastrami, one of the first solid foods we’d ever given him. We thought we’d hit the jackpot. The kid sucked up ratatouille, curried cauliflower and purees of organic vegetables I’d dutifully procured from the farmers’ market. Pretty soon, I figured we’d have him on to sushi and Indian. By age two maybe we’d convince Alinea to serve him a five-course toddler pre-fixe. He was a foodie. It was ordained. One thing they don’t tell you in the baby books is that most kids between six months and a year-and-a-half…