TOC, Digested: 100 Best Things They Ate This Year

The centerpiece of this week’s Time Out Chicago is a tremendously intimidating (at least, to this humble recapper) list of the 100 best things that Heather Shouse and David Tamarkin have eaten all year. Since they split up the reporting duties, it comes to only 50 each, which is a little less huge. But still! We can barely think of 100 anythings we’ve eaten lately, let alone 100 awesome things. [That is a blatant lie. You remember everything you have ever eaten. –Self]

Unsurprisingly, the stars of the list fall into three overwhelming categories: Pork, Comfort, and Asian. (If we drew a venn diagram of this, the epicenter of 2008’s delicious trends would probably be Urban Belly). There’s a strong showing by the non-pork fats: butter, notably, but also various sausages, rillettes, and livers. This list is a true omnivore’s hundred, and we have a shiny nickel (plus a shot of pepto) for whoever proves to us that they’ve eaten a dent into it. (Heather and David, you do not quality for this exciting offer.)

• But wait — there’s more! Heather Shouse pays a visit to the recently-opened Eve. Like the owners’ other restaurant, Tallulah, she finds that behind the beautiful interior design there is a maddeningly inconsistent kitchen. The luxe-heavy plates don’t seem to occupy any middle ground between insanely delicious and frustratingly overwrought. Shouse’s advice? Simplify, motherf***ers.

• David Tamarkin files on Antica, the new pizza joint in Andersonville that’s obsessively focused on a minimalist, perfect pizza. No whizbangs and fireworks — just a solid (not mindblowing, but solid) slice.

• Chris Pandel, chef at The Bristol, sits down in the hot seat and dishes that he’s into goat meat, and loves eating at The Publican.

[Photo: Crispy veal sweetbreads at Blackbird, one of the top 100 dishes. Photo by Anthony Tahlier]

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TOC, Digested: 100 Best Things They Ate This Year