Recap: 30 More Best Bites of 2014

For the third year in a row, I’ve spent all December celebrating the rest of my favorite bites and sips from the past year. These are all dishes from 2014 that I didn’t have a chance to cover as Best Bites when I originally enjoyed them. You can check out all 30 below, listed in chronological order.

Chocolate with olive oil, sea salt, and toast
Chocolate with olive oil, sea salt, and toast

Iced mélange
Iced mélange

Paratha tacos
Paratha tacos

Banana biscoff pocket and coffee
Banana biscoff pocket and coffee

Savory almond crepe
Savory almond crepe

Grilled cheese flight
Grilled cheese flight

Blue Cubby Crunch ice cream
Blue Cubby Crunch ice cream

Mapo tofu
Mapo tofu

Spring vegetable orecchetti
Spring vegetable orecchetti

Fried chicken and waffles
Fried chicken and waffles

Goat cheese and fig jam crostini
Goat cheese and fig jam crostini

Smoked salmon bagel plate
Smoked salmon bagel plate

Potato pancakes
Potato pancakes

Salted caramel pretzel shake
Salted caramel pretzel shake

Breadsticks and goat cheese
Breadsticks and goat cheese

Elotes
Elotes

Bone marrow
Bone marrow

Portobello & avocado tempura
Portobello & avocado tempura

Passionfruit beermosa
Passionfruit beermosa

Tagliolini nero
Tagliolini nero

Red chile enchiladas
Red chile enchiladas

BBQ jerk chicken with mac & cheese
BBQ jerk chicken with mac & cheese

No. 21 juice
No. 21 juice

Skate wing
Skate wing

Southern Tier Crème Brûlée imperial stout
Southern Tier Crème Brûlée imperial stout

Turkey pot pie poutine
Turkey pot pie poutine

BBQ brisket bibimbap
BBQ brisket bibimbap

The Gobbler burger
The Gobbler burger

The Grill Club
The Grill Club
Fried brussels sprouts
Fried brussels sprouts

Here’s to another great year of eating and drinking!

As always, thanks for reading – see you in 2015!

Delicious event: Fête Night Market

Chicken sandwich from Pecking Order, butterscotch praline donut from Firecakes, and La Vida Rose cocktail from Longman & Eagle
Chicken sandwich from Pecking Order, butterscotch praline donut from Firecakes, and La Vida Rose cocktail from Longman & Eagle

Last night, I was thrilled to attend the kick-off event for Fête, the first food and design festival of its kind in Chicago. Fête is also distinctive in its curation: Fête’s founders, which represent past and present editors at Tasting Table, Daily Candy, and Time Out Chicago, are well-positioned to understand what’s really trending in the city’s dining and cultural realms, and it showed immediately when the creative four-day line-up of tastings, seminars, and tours was announced. A night market was a great way to open the festival, with an impressive list of chefs and artisans offering both edible and non-edible wares.

However, when you pack a market with that many outstanding vendors – including pop-ups from two not-yet-open-but-already-buzzed-about restaurants – you should expect a lot of people. With a line around the block to get into the building and attendees squeezing shoulder-to-shoulder between booths once inside, I don’t think the space was quite equipped for such a barrage, even with two floors. But, inconvenience aside, there was so much to savor. I loved my chicken sandwich from Pecking Order, with juicy, Filipino-style fried chicken and slaw, and was talked into buying their homemade banana ketchup as well (I have a soft spot for artisanal condiments). I was also able to support Lillie’s Q, who recently suffered a fire in their main Bucktown location, by picking up another bottle of their matchless barbecue sauce. And Firecakes, one of the newcomers to Chicago’s gourmet donut scene, definitely delivered with its butterscotch praline donut, creamy in the center with crunchy praline bits atop its sticky glaze. I’m a little sad I didn’t get to try anything from Mott Street or Parson’s Chicken and Fish, the two aforementioned pop-ups, but I’m planning to get the full experience of both restaurants once they open. My ticket also included two cocktails from Longman & Eagle and a glass of Virtue Cider, all of which were lovely to sip as I walked around.

I’m attending two more Fête events this weekend, and will share those on the blog soon as well. But for now, check out more photos of the night market below.

The chandelier-lit space at Room 1520, which was quickly packed on both floors
The chandelier-lit space at Room 1520, which was quickly packed on both floors
Roosters, banana ketchup, and more from Pecking Order
Roosters, banana ketchup, and more from Pecking Order
Array of barbecue sauces from Lillie's Q
Array of barbecue sauces from Lillie’s Q
Luxemi jewelry from India
India-sourced jewelry from Luxemi

The details: View the market’s full list of vendors. Shown here: Pecking Order, Lillie’s Q, Longman & Eagle, Firecakes, and Luxemi.

2012 Best Bite #13: Kentucky-fried quail, Longman & Eagle

Each day in December, I’m celebrating my best bites (and sips) in 2012, posted in chronological order.

Kentucky-fried quail
Kentucky-fried quail

Why it’s a Best Bite: It’s tough to pick just one dish from Longman & Eagle, one of my very favorite restaurants, but this one especially wowed me. The Kentucky-fried quail was nicely battered and juicy, covered with just the right amount of peppery country gravy, but it was really the crumbles of foie gras-enriched corn bread that put the dish over the edge. That unlikely union of two of my favorite flavors made every bite sing. And let’s face it: everything tastes even better at an outdoor table on a perfect early-summer evening.

The details: Longman & Eagle, 2657 N Kedzie Ave., Chicago.