Welcome to our bimonthly coverage of the Newcity Food & Drink section! No better time to start than now. We’re figuring every fortnight (as opposed to every two months, technically possible given the wording), we will take a look at articles of interest from the previous two weeks and comment on them in our typical manner, because the name of the game is *inclusion*.
Yesterday’s article, A Pie Worth the Drive by Michael Nagrant, is a rumination on…the lack of regional American pizza in Chicago? It’s not entirely clear why this is - Nagrant seems to blame the fact that Chicago is full of job-seeking Midwesterns and not enough locals, but his ultimate quarry is a Sicilian pizza from his childhood Detroit. Is Nagrant upset that the migrants from flyover country didn’t bring their pizza with them and he had to drive all the way to Michigan to get what he wants? We’re having trouble pinpointing the thesis. Anyone who has a better grasp and wants to share it with the world, please feel free to write in.
Last week, there were two articles. The first, by Jenny B. Davis, is about an indie wine store in Bucktown called Cellar Rat Wine Shop. Charming, right? It’s run by indie musician Dean Schlabowske, who rails against the corporatization of aesthetics in all fields. All the wine in the store is from small and independent wineries, which Schlabowske believes to produce better and cheaper wine. That is a fine opinion to have!
The second article is Nagrant’s review of The Gage, which he called “Mercury Falling (clever, right? Gage, gauge, etc.). Now, lots of people who’ve reviewed the gastropub before have really liked it, but Nagrant found that the tension between the comfortable neighborhood bar component and the fine dining component was hampering both. The drinks were too expensive, and the food and service weren’t delivering what one expects at the price point. The good news? If either of these issues were addressed, the other could probably be forgiven.
[Photo: Cellar Rat’s motto, which is also displayed in the front window]