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.
Here’s to another great year of eating and drinking!
For the third year in a row, I’m using each day in December to celebrate the rest of the best bites (and sips) that I didn’t get to blog about in 2014, posted in chronological order. Browse all of this year’s Best Bites, or look back at year-end Best Bites from 2012 and 2013.
Why it’s another 2014 Best Bite: It shouldn’t be too surprising that a dish from Lula has landed on this list for the third year in a row, since I go there more often than nearly any other restaurant. This brunch special stood out for both its striking appearance and its comforting flavors. Crispy lamb, sweet potato, and cheese were ensconced by the fluffiest of crepes, with greens and walnuts to balance out the richness of the egg on top.
Why it’s another 2013 Best Bite: It’s no surprise that Lula popped up as another one of my favorites this year; I go there frequently (I often acknowledge how spoiled I am to live so close by) and am impressed by dish after ultra-seasonal dish. This breakfast-slanted risotto was an especially glorious taste of summer’s bounty: toasty cauliflower, roasted corn, golden tomatoes, leeks, and slow-cooked 60-minute egg, with a protein boost from local lamb and topped with parmesan cheese and bread crumbs. I savored each creamy bite as I read my Bon Appétit August issue and soaked up some rays at my patio table.
Each day in December, I’m celebrating my best bites (and sips) in 2012, posted in chronological order.
Why it’s a Best Bite: I feel very fortunate that Lula is the closest restaurant to my apartment, and that I have enjoyed so many wonderful dishes there in the past year. I chose to highlight this french toast because it exemplifies what I can always expect from brunch (or any other meal) there: the season’s best sustainable ingredients prepared with consistent, exacting technique. The brioche took on more of a bread pudding consistency, crunchy on top and custard-soaked inside, which made the chantilly cream on top all the more decadent. With cranberry jam for acidity, pumpkin seed granola for crunch, and of course, the bed of sweet pumpkin underneath the toast, this dish screamed fall in the best way.
The details: Lula Cafe, 2537 N Kedzie Ave., Chicago.