chicgail's Profile

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Worst Cooks in America

Given that it's a "Reality" show, reality is the last thing you would expect.

Jan 22, 2015
chicgail in Food Media & News

Be Careful Who You Invite to Your Party....Or Accept Your Invitations From...

Bloody ridiculous. (and I never say "bloody")

If you are really having a children's party that costs $24/person don't be that a big a jerk. Or include in the invite the "small print" that if you don't show, you'll get charged. Would she have invoiced for a child who got sick and didn't make it? Methinks the host mom might expect some unpleasant comments or sideways looks when she shows up at the next PTA event

Jan 22, 2015
chicgail in Food Media & News

Worst Cooks in America

It's not even really about cooking as much as it is about how eccentric and weird you can show up on camera.

Jan 22, 2015
chicgail in Food Media & News

Top Chef Boston – Ep. #12 – 01/21/15 (spoilers)

Neither George nor Gregory seemed to step up to the challenge. This could well be the all-girl championship that Michelle keeps predicting. Which raises the question of what happened to Gregory. He was a star for most of the early challenges and then seemed to just quietly step aside. I wonder if the pressure is getting to him or if he used up all the good stuff early and hasn't got much left.

Jan 22, 2015
chicgail in Food Media & News

Ramen

Dying to go for good ramen. What's your favorite ramen in Chicago?

Jan 20, 2015
chicgail in Chicago Area

Party platters north side of Chicago

I've always done well (for both personal and business parties) at Michael's A Tray to Remember. Reasonably priced, good food, excellent service.http://www.atraytoremember.com/

Jan 19, 2015
chicgail in Chicago Area

What happened to Top Chef?

What's Knife Fight?

Jan 17, 2015
chicgail in Food Media & News

What happened to Top Chef?

It's called "jumping the shark."

According to Wikipoedia, "Jumping the shark is an idiom created by Jon Hein that was used to describe the moment in the evolution of a television show when it begins a decline in quality, signaled by a particular scene, episode, or aspect of a show in which the writers use some type of gimmick in an attempt to keep viewers' interest, and which is taken as a sign of desperation. The phrase is based on a scene from a fifth-season episode of the sitcom Happy Days when the character Fonzie jumps over a shark while on water-skis."

Texas was the worst offender, but I think they've dialed back. I love watching talented people do what they do well. I just think the producers feel obligated to keep putting new twists on it and it gets harder and harder to do that without a total loss of dignity and the original intent.

It may also be that really great relatively unknown chefs are less inclined to want to play if it includes PeeWee Herman or ice picking food out of an ice block. They have to balance the silliness against the exposure. I just can't imagine chefs of the talent of the Voltagio Brothers doing that nonsense.

Jan 16, 2015
chicgail in Food Media & News
1

Lulu's and Taco Diablo will return to Evanston -

That is great news. They've been missed.

Jan 16, 2015
chicgail in Chicago Area

Top Chef Boston – Ep. #11 – 01/14/15 (spoilers)

Random Thoughts:
I'm so jealous that they're going to San Miguel d'Allende. One of my favorite places on the planet. I have many friends there. Do we know if that's been shot yet?

Mai's brother may have been clueless in the kitchen, but she was pretty unpleasant with him. Notably so and in contrast with everyone else and their families. She may be a good chef but my estimation of her went down a bit.

Good for Melissa. She showed up. Maybe it was removing the pressure of not worrying about elimination. And that same factor made it ok that Gregory's blew it with his entree.

Nice dynamic between George ad his dad. Of course he had a Greek diner, Love it.

I loved Melissa's mother. She was warm and funny and I'd love to hang out with her.

Anyone else notice that Mai was the only one who wore a life jacket on the boat? I wondered if she is afraid of the water or can't swim. It was a pretty small boat.

Anyone Tried Momotaro?

Momotaro is the new Japanese restaurant from the Boka Group. We have reservations for late February.

Who has been there?
What did you think?

Jan 14, 2015
chicgail in Chicago Area

Coppervine Report

As much as I love to taste <<everything!>> I'm growing a bit bored of the "small plates" concept as well. That's why I mentioned it.

I did think that every dish we tasted was both creative and beautifully presented - and much of it was very good. I also liked the pairings of wine, beer and cocktails of various sizes.

Rock on.

Jan 13, 2015
chicgail in Chicago Area

Coppervine Report

Posting per Masha's request:

We have season's tix to Steppenwolf and we almost always wind up at Boka or Balenia or Vinci. We wanted to try something different. And I'm glad we did.

Coppervine is about a block and half north of the theater. It was a cold walk, but I had Mr. CG get the car after the theater and come by to pick me up.

This place was a find. They do something interesting with wine, beer and cocktail pairings for every course. I loved having a teeny weenie little cocktail with my hors d'oeurve course and then wine with the rest.

Their menu follows what has become pretty standard around town: small plates, medium plates and large plates. I had had a late lunch (and this was an early dinner) so we shared one item from each category.

For our small plate, we ordered a "root to stalk" beet salad. Both red and golden beets, but also beet greens, smoked beet stalks (called beet bacon), and blue cheese. We enjoyed it. They recommended it with a sauvignon blanc, a sidekkick pale ale or gin drink with St. Germain, lemon and egg white, which I had. Very good.

Our medium plate was the star of the meal. It was a salmon sashimi with a ridiculously soft and sexy coconut rice pudding, shaved pineapple curls and a Thai basil oil. Perfect.
By now we had moved on to a pinot noir which was also one of the recommended pairings.

Our last course was a little disappointing. It was a duck breast with duck pate served with (and here's the disappointing part) a cranberry marshmallow fluff (way too sweet for either of us) Even the tart cranberries barely cut through it.

They brought us the "wrong" dessert (although delicious) and comped us because we didn't have time to get what we wanted.

It was early Sunday night and the place was relatively empty. I hope they're doing better later or other nights because they're doing a lot of things right.

Jan 12, 2015
chicgail in Chicago Area

Board Consensus on Sable?

I assert that it's precisely what you are referring to as the echo chamber concern that keeps other people from posting. I used to be a regular poster, but the overwhelming tide of the same handful of posters with the same recommendations day after day (along the unpleasant push back at anyone who has a different opinion) - has kept me from reading, much less contributing to this board on a regular basis.

And Chowhound Chicago is no longer a go-to place for me to find places I want to try. Recently, I have discovered some really notable restaurants that no one has ever suggested (e.g. Embeya - and Coppervine just last night). It's really too bad.

Do the mods have any control over this? Surely they are aware of it.

Anyway, hooray for this thread. It's nice to hear someone say that the Emperor isn't wearing any clothes.

Board Consensus on Sable?

I think the reason there is so much "controversy" over Sable is that there is a poster who really, really loves it and mentions it often.

In my very humble opinion, Sable is fine. It's a great bar with amazing drinks. The drink menu has chapters. It's a pleasant place to hang out with friends. It has better than the average bar food. It is conveniently located for visitors. The chef was a Top Chef contestant.

It doesn't come close to the great restaurants in Chicago.

The likelihood, however, given some people's undying passion for Sable, is that this thread will turn into something of a cat fight - perhaps an interesting read, but not terribly productive. Expect serious push-back (it has already begun).

Jan 12, 2015
chicgail in Chicago Area

The Taste 1-8-2015 spoilers

Am I the only one who found it weird the Ludo stormed off, abandoning his team? Where did he go: for a smoke? The editing mad it impossible to figure out how long he was gone or where he went or really why.

Jan 09, 2015
chicgail in Food Media & News

Top Chef Boston – Ep. #10 – 01/07/15 (spoilers)

Melissa and Doug -- don't they make cute children's toys? Never mind.

Top Chef Boston – Ep. #10 – 01/07/15 (spoilers)

So glad to be back and able to see episodes as they are broadcast and so very grateful to you, Linda, for keeping me up to speed on what is happening during my move and while I waited to get TV up.

Like many of you, I was surprised and disappointed to see Doug go. I expected it to be Melissa. At this point she is a bit out of her element.

I loved the Andy Cohen camping and joking around in the Quickfire. He was funny and fun and the chefestants seemed to appreciate him. And now I am inspired to try something interesting with ramen.

Jan 08, 2015
chicgail in Food Media & News

You can’t detox your body. It’s a myth. So how do you get healthy?

I'm shocked. What about all those people who are "master-clensing" on cayenne and maple syrup and lemon? What about all those "super foods" like kale and blueberries and quinoa? Surely it has to be true if so many people are doing it! It has to! Right?

Just another one of those silly food fads like fruit only before noon or gluten-free or something like that. We are so gullible. Nice to see another bit of nonsense bite the dust.

Jan 02, 2015
chicgail in Food Media & News

Homemade, OH SO TASTY sauces to accompany unadorned chicken breast, and fish

Use the pan juices, add a little chicken broth and wine or lemon juice, toss in a few herbs and/or capers and voila.

I also love the idea mentioned here of siracha and honey. Have to try that one!

Jan 02, 2015
chicgail in Home Cooking

Dinner suggestion?!

David Burkes is a good steak house. That being said, I've had mixed experiences there. Even for a steak lover.

Girl and the Goat, while one of my favorites in town, might not satisfy your husband. It is a bit noisy and IMO, the best dishes there are vegetable-based rather than meat based.

Bistro Campagna in Lincoln Square might fit the bill perfectly. Excellent French bistro food, including an outstanding steak frites. Never had a bad meal there.

Another option are sister restaurants Le Bouchon and La Sardine. Both serve very good French bistro food, including steak frites.

Jan 01, 2015
chicgail in Chicago Area

French toast

I am a big fan of Meli, for their many savory options, but also for their very good pancakes and French toast, their fresh juices and homemade preserves.

Dec 29, 2014
chicgail in Chicago Area

Serious Bosch Issue - Design problem?

No problem. An honest mistake. I could have easily thought the same thing.

Dec 24, 2014
chicgail in Cookware

Serious Bosch Issue - Design problem?

Good question, rasputina. But, no. I didn't live there for 6 years before I ever used the oven.

It's all brand new to me. I moved in two weeks ago after I bought the condo. The stove had been there for 6 years.

Dec 24, 2014
chicgail in Cookware

Serious Bosch Issue - Design problem?

I have a Bosch HGS7282UC gas stove that came with my new condo. It's about 6 years old.

I used the oven for the first time this week (baking at 350-degrees) and both corners of the stove and the edges of the oven door were so hot I burned myself when I got close enough for my stomach to graze it.

It can't be designed that way, can it?

Maybe it's defective, but I'm concerned about it being a fire hazard and a real danger for children and pets in the house. On another thread, Bosch is highly recommended, but based on that experience, I am highly reluctant to consider Bosch and was surprised to see it recommended.

I am looking for recommendations for a new gas stove to buy. Five high-BTU burners desired. Induction is not an option I would consider. Duel fuel would be good, but it's an expensive option. Convection would be nice.

Ok, my CH advisors, what say you?

Dec 23, 2014
chicgail in Cookware

What stove would you buy?

I have a Bosch HGS7282UC gas stove that came with my new condo. It's about 6 years old. I used the oven for the first time this week (baking at 350-degrees) and both corners of the stove and the edges of the oven door were so hot I burned myself when I got close enough for my stomach to graze it.

Maybe it's defective, but it's clearly a fire hazard and a real danger for children and pets in the house. Based on that experience, I would never buy a Bosch and am surprised to see it recommended.

I am actually on this board because I am looking for recommendations for a new stove to buy. Induction is not an option I would consider. Duel fuel is a good, but an expensive option and convection would be nice.

Dec 23, 2014
chicgail in Cookware

Top Chef Boston – Ep. #9 – 12/17/14 (spoilers)

Do we know why Chow decided to paginate.? I, for one, find it annoying an unnecessary.

Mild Sauce - Only in Chicago?

Apparently this is something that we northsiders have been missing out on. What else is exclusive to the Sout-side? Or the Westside? Or that that Northside has that I take for granted that doesn't show up in other parts of town?

Dec 14, 2014
chicgail in Chicago Area

Top Chef Boston – Ep. #7 – 12/03/14 (spoilers)

Gregory has been very effective at staying under the radar when the odds are against him. He did it when he was partnered with Aaron and Katsuji on an earlier episode. It seems to be a good strategy for him. Cook well, keep you head down, and survive.

Top Chef Boston – Ep. #7 – 12/03/14 (spoilers)

My personal special thanks to you, Linda, for all you did. Makes me feel connected. Just moved to a new place and we don't have cable (or internet access) at all yet.