S.K.Y. is the Limit


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”.

Dumpling Dynasty


I think that I shall never see a poem lovely as a dumpling. Apologies to Joyce Kilmer for bastardizing the opening lines to his famous poem “Trees,” but I do love stuffed comfort food. If I were one of the people they eventually chose to colonize Mars and had to choose one earthly delight to take with me, it would probably be a lifetime supply of dumplings.

Imperial Lamian


I screwed up. I showed up at a hot new restaurant in the middle of dinner rush hour looking for a table for six without a reservation. You see, I thought I’d made one, but it turned out I mistakenly booked a table a month out at Imperial Lamian in River North. The lobby filled with people. The open kitchen was a flurry. Steam poured from bamboo pots, and hand-pulled noodles thwacked against the counter. The restaurant buzzed, and I panicked. But the host smiled and said there was no need to worry—they’d have a table ready in 15 minutes. We were seated 10 minutes later