windyfoodie's Profile

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Chama Guacho - Downers Grove

Dinner price is comparable to other Brazilian steakhouse chains. Their sides and salad bar items are standard: not exceptional, but not bad. Meat is where they shine. I find their meat offerings better in both quality and execution than the other chains. Nothing frustrates me more than overcooked meat, which is not a problem here.

Nov 13, 2014
windyfoodie in Chicago Area

Michelin Predictions for 2015

Interesting to see that you mentioned Travelle. I haven't been, and haven't heard too much about it. I do wonder if hotel restaurants like Travelle will make a entrance/re-entrance to the star list to join Sixteen (NoMI, Lockwood?).

I also wonder if Michelin will surprise us with a small, neighborhood spot, like A Tavola, or Ruxbin.

Nov 10, 2014
windyfoodie in Chicago Area

Michelin Predictions for 2015

I too really like Owen & Engine and scratched my head when it got removed from Bib Gourmands; their food certainly hasn't slipped. But at the same time, I just don't think they are being starred. Their food is comforting and good, but not at a higher level than, say, Publican or Lula Cafe. Another possibility is that they've priced themselves out of the BG range, as a couple restaurants did last year.

Other than 42 grams and possibly Brindille, care to opine on who else is among the 4 newly starred? Do you think Michelin finally changed its mind about Next, Les Nomades, or Arun's? Or do you think there are some other dark horses to watch out for (like Nico, Baffo, or someone in the burbs)?

Nov 06, 2014
windyfoodie in Chicago Area

Michelin Predictions for 2015

I agree with what you said re Moto, Boka and 42 grams. Your comments on Moto was spot on.

Personally I don't see 3 stars in Grace. But I know many people who would agree with you.

I can't disagree with you more re: Juno. In the context of Chicago Japanese restaurants, I think it is top notch. But it's not saying much at all. I think Juno sources well and knows how to cook sushi rice (although a bit more vinegar would be nice); but the knife work and the nigiri-pressing technique are quite inconsistent in my experience (even in the limited context of Chicago Japanese dining scene, Katsu does better in said techniques). Can't imagine Michelin awarding a star to Juno unless it feels some kind of imperative to recognize more Asian restaurants in Chicago guide.

Re Embyea, I agree with you that it serves Michelin-worthy food but might not be what Michelin is looking for. I feel similarly about Kim's Parachute, which is one of my favorite new restaurants in 2014.

I'd add Brindille as a one-star contender. I was very impressed by Brindille's food in my recent visit. In fact, I felt its food was stronger than that of Naha.

My experience with the new Spiaggia was actually quite disappointing. I had the tasting menu and walked away only liking the risotto dish. The rest was a mess. The food just seemed too fussy and the ingredients not up to par (had a piece of wagyu rib eye from Japan with zero marbling). Perhaps it was an off night. I just wouldn't be surprised if the makeover didn't impress Michelin in the right way.

Nov 03, 2014
windyfoodie in Chicago Area

Source for smoked salmon?

I see that someone mentioned Calumet Fisheries, which I agree is quite a trek. A similar alternative closer in the city is Hagen's Fish Market. Dirk's Fish is another option.

Dec 23, 2013
windyfoodie in Chicago Area

Breadfruit in Chicago

I got breadfruit from Armitage Produce once (by far the most well-stocked boricua supermarket in the city), but the quality was not quite there. Perhaps I just picked a bad one.

Dec 23, 2013
windyfoodie in Chicago Area

Michelin Predictions for 2014

Here are my two cents.

More Likely to Happen
- New
o 1 star: Elizabeth, Brindille, The Lobby, Senza
o 2 stars: Grace
- Changes
o promotion: Sixteen, Moto

Less Likely to Happen but Still Possible
- New
o 1 star: EL ideas, Masaki
- Changes
o promotion: Tru
o demotion: Mexique

Personally, I really hope EL ideas gets a star. They deserve it.

Oct 17, 2013
windyfoodie in Chicago Area

Chicago = Overrated?

The Lobby's food has improved dramatically after the arrival of Lee Wolen. The bread and wine service have also improved. Although it doesn't have the panache of a tasting-menu based fine dining restaurant, the execution is certainly at Michelin one-star level.

For brunch, I also really like Yoshi's Cafe for its Japanese breakfast on Sunday.

May 03, 2013
windyfoodie in Chicago Area

Indian Food in Chicago

In addition to the many places on Devon, I think Sankalp and Priya in Schaumburg (a NW burb) are also quite good. Both specialize in South Indian food.

Jan 25, 2013
windyfoodie in Chicago Area