Tribune & TOC: Taste Of Chicago, Road Trips, L2O-Mania

The very bestest time of the year is Taste of Chicago, which starts as soon as tomorrow! Phil Vettel reports that this year’s Taste will be the biggest, healthiest and greenest one yet, although probably only by the smallest of margins. To help you edit your Taste menu, the Trib’s dining staff put out a list of their recommendations, and published a map of the best booths according to Monica Eng’s heroic sampling of all 253 dishes at last year’s Taste.

All in all, a pretty light week for the Tribune. Seems like the center of gravity has shifted over to the Stew in recent months, where they report actual news like Alinea being named #1 in Zagat’s latest survey. The real story here may be located in the URL of that post, which is Judy (Hevrdejs, presumably), this is em…barrassing? Empathetic? Embellished a little? Empty and hollow? Empirically untrue? Each possible permutation is more delightful than the last.

Meanwhile, the main story in Time Out Chicago is about road trips for Midwestern specialty food, which is awesome. Back in the day, we drove six hours round trip to go to the Machine Shed in Davenport for their many preparations of pork and free cottage cheese, but gas only cost $2 a gallon then. Still, if you can get a car full of people in on it, any of the suggested trips would be worthwhile.

New openings include Perennial, a Lincoln Park hotel restaurant with some big names attached, and Angels & Kings in River North, the second branch of a bar co-sponsored by Pete Wentz of all people (the first one’s in New York), and not to be confused with the recently opened Wicker Park Mexican restaurant Angels & Mariachis. Or actually, please do confuse them.

Finally, David Tamarkin files a hell of a review for L.2O, the hottest new meal ticket in town. The various complicated and glorious seafood dishes are described in detail, and don’t get him started on the macaroons. One does wonder what it takes to get six stars out of six, though, if L.2O only earns five!

Alinea [MenuPages]
Alinea [Official Site]
L.2O [MenuPages]
L.2O [Official Site]

[Photo: skate wing at L.2O, via npinto/flickr]


Tribune & TOC: Taste Of Chicago, Road Trips, L2O-Mania