CS magazine’s restaurant issue is out, but my quixotic quest to find it online hasn’t paid off yet; just pick up the free issue from a newsstand box somewhere (you’ll find that I wrote part of it). In the meantime, Lisa Shames reviewed Quiote, and liked it: “No matter where you sit, order the crab tostada. A crispy housemade corn tortilla, topped with radish slices and dollops of uni-spiked hot sauce aioli, serves as a shield of sorts for the crab underneath, delicately garnished with pickled mustard seeds. Give it a gentle whack with your spoon like you would with creme brulee. You’ll also need to order the chorizo verde, an Instagramworthy green—yes, green!—sausage paired with bits of crispy potato.”


Bloomberg goes gaga for the New York version of Grant Achatz and Nick Kokonas’ The Office, saying “the program by beverage director Micah Melton is simultaneously serious and entirely engaging, especially alongside the classically minded menu from Michelin-star chef Achatz.” Also interesting: Kokonas says the view wasn’t that great, so instead “they created windows with ambient light. ‘We wanted people to lose a sense of where they are.’” Then there’s this note about operating in Manhattan, 35 floors up an office building: “If those prices register as high, note the location. According to Kokonas, every food delivery to the kitchen commands a $50 charge.”

Meanwhile, for sheer zaniness/a depressing sign of where food writing is going, check out this bot-generated nonsense on this hot topic: “In Chicago, The Aviary is the Alinea for cocktails, with the staff throwing its Michelin energy into the structure of drinks, with accompanying meals. Chef-owner Grant Achatz boils it down by describing the interaction between the 2 bars as The Aviary being ‘the longer term’ and The Workplace ‘the previous.’” Couldn’t have said it better myself.


Can you be hot twice? The original Ruxbin, with its cool salvaged-from-a-school library decor, had its moment being recommended in the likes of Bon Appetit, rightly hailed as a hipster destination. A rehab made it more conventionally elegant, and that seems to be where the food is too, says Phil Vettel: “I liked the tender octopus, tossed with roasted grapes and fried chickpeas in an umami-rich fermented-bean sauce. Agnolotti filled with English peas, mascarpone and lemon zest, and arrayed with pea shoots, carrots and rhubarb curls, will be a treat for as long as the season permits (which is to say, not much longer).” (And again, let us express unreserved admiration that Vettel is on a kick of reviewing places that have been around a while and deserve a fresh look, something that doesn’t happen enough in this biz.)


In the course of pretty favorably reviewing Clever Rabbit, Mike Sula weighs in on the notorious $38 crudite platter, a Twitter controversy a few weeks ago: “Whether you think this a glorious way to enjoy nature’s love for us or an audacious rip-off might depend on precisely when in the season you eat it. I’m somewhere down the middle on the one I munched my way through last month. While the smoked mushroom mousse tasted almost of meat butter smeared on crunchy naan studded with hemp seeds, the ground-up black truffle sprinkled over watery white asparagus performed more like sawdust… I bet this spread gets better as the days get shorter. I’d definitely give it another shot, maybe in late July or early August, when our vegetables are at their best. (Reader)


Michael Nagrant has a great guide to the south side (to be more precise, the non-Chinatown, non-Pilsen south side, so there’s a lot of soul food here). Read it, act on it. I gotta go eat shrimp at Haire’s, which was recommended to me once by Connie at 5 Loaves Eatery, but I’ve never been. (I don’t know if Nagrant has been to 5 Loaves or not, as it’s not on here either, but he should!) (Redeye)


David Hammond has been a Oaxacan tamale fan as far back as the first thing he ever wrote about Maxwell Street, so it’s not surprising that after writing about Uptown’s Kie-Gol-Lanee for Fooditor, he takes another whack at the tamale in particular for the Tribune, including this piece of advice from one of the owners: “People don’t understand that the plantain leaf is the plate! You shouldn’t remove the plantain leaf; you should eat the tamale ON the plantain leaf.”


Last time I talked to the new restaurant group behind BLVD, the place was mostly conduit and two by fours. I can’t speak to how the food is, but they got the swanky old school glamour part down cold, as this slideshow shows. (Urban Daddy)


Josh Noel interviews a longtime Goose Island operations guy, Mark Kamarauskas, who’s now leaving, on how the brewery has changed over the years. He’s most interesting on the early days, but there’s good insight into the process of living within a big company (AB), too. (Tribune)


The Reader’s Ryan Smith checks out the Riot Fest popup (Riot Feast) that replaced Saved by the Max and, well, even moreso than with a TV show (which I never saw), you need some familiarity to get the jokes: “The menu from executive chef Brian Fisher (Schwa, Entente) is elevated fair fare: fried chicken plopped on top of a poppy-seed funnel cake, sausage corn dogs, massive turkey legs glazed with smoked honey, and for dessert cotton candy and fried Oreos. The cornbread comes with a John Stamos-shaped pat of butter, which references a bust of the actor made of butter that was displayed at the 2013 festival.” If that tickles you, Redeye has more of the jokes.


I’m fine with Dana Cree doing demos and sharing recipes any time, here’s the latest one: a killer chocolate chip cookie (the main secret is browning the butter). (AV Club)