The Robert Johnson Proposition

12.02.18

Hotel restaurants are like a mash-up of The Twilight Zone and the Bermuda Triangle. Weird stuff happens. Models eat carbs in sweatpants next to dudes in Beats headphones making music on Macbook Pros, while ingenues like Scarlett Johansson fall in love with washed up old men. Ok, that last part was a movie, but you know what I mean. Hotel restaurants also swallow up chefs’ careers like the Triangle claims ships and airliners. Advertisements

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At Last?

11.27.18

Aaat Laaast! You’ve heard it a thousand times, probably in the background of a jewelry commercial where some rich lady’s self-worth is confirmed by the receipt of a humongous diamond necklace. There’s the string section swell followed by the dusky croon of relief from Etta James that her lovelorn days are finally over. It is an earworm of the first order.

Doctor, My Eyes

07.29.18

Thomas was a third-grade thug. He was the kid who got paddled by the principal monthly for infractions ranging from taking nips of art class mucilage from Elmer’s rubber orange nipple, to contorting his face grotesquely and eliciting guffaws from fellow classmates behind the teacher’s back.

The Rise of Dad Food

08.03.17

In the last few years, “dad rock” has been used as pejorative shorthand for critics to dismiss bands or music of a certain ilk. Such music is usually plaintive, nostalgic, seemingly simplistic, maudlin or sometimes just fringe complex and weird.

Monteverde

12.02.15

What does a reality TV chef from Houston who started out cooking Creole cuisine know about Italian food?

Bar Siena

08.20.15

Welcome to the era of the bro-staurant. A bro-staurant is characterized by massive dining rooms, menus that rival the length of a “Harry Potter” novel, flocked wallpaper, brick and reclaimed wood elements, celebrity chefs, a hefty collection of vinyl records and at least one massive flat-screen TV at the bar so you don’t have to miss the Cubs when that pasta craving hits. Dineamic Group and its partners David Rekhson and Lucas Stoioff, founders of Siena Tavern, Prime & Provisions, Bull & Bear, Public House, Mercato and the defunct Stone Lotus, are Chicago’s masters of the form. Bar Siena, their newest project located in the West Loop, might be their greatest bro-sterpiece yet