It’s an odd situation the world of Chicago food finds itself in when people are protesting a political figure whose name is on a hotel that contains one of the city’s most admired restaurants (Sixteen). I’ve seen one prominent foodie call for a boycott of Jean-Georges in New York, in a Trump building, but so far no one has quite said that here. Still, I’d bet in a city where Trump got just 16% of the vote, we will see repercussions from this; boycotts of Chick-Fil-A proved to be a bust but the business dinner crowd will be more sensitive to not offending with the restaurant chosen, I suspect. Bad luck for good people there.

Me, I think if you want to work toward the ideals that you think are under threat, boycott if you want, but also support. Support immigrant family restaurants. Support gay-owned restaurants, and black-owned ones. Tip well the people who you think are vulnerable now. Help them make it in America, refuting the point of xenophobes that they’re a drain on this country.

At the same time, recognize that there are vast swaths of this country where politics looks very different than in the urban big city. I can think of at least a couple of farmers whose names are known from Chicago menus who probably voted for Trump; a lot of the farmers I’ve met who were iconoclastic enough to go organic in a commodity crop world, say, were a little cranky on lots of subjects. That’s why they live in the country! Should you boycott their chicken or beef or whatever for that? I won’t; I don’t presume to know their lives, but I have to think them coming here to deliver, and us meeting them at farmers markets and farm dinners and so on, is better for all of us than each of us closing ourselves off from the other. All of which is my longer way of saying something that one of our best chefs said on Twitter in his customary shorthand form, on Saturday:

I’ll keep living the change I want 2 c n the world,keep givng folks smiles&delicious food.Power n that —Rick Bayless


After the election GrubHub CEO Matt Maloney did a Shkreli—he made himself the latest Rich Young Startup Dude Who Said Something Clueless Very Publicly. He sent out a memo to his workforce advising that GrubHub stood for tolerance… good so far… and then he said if you didn’t share that tolerance, by say voting for a certain presidential candidate, you should quit and get the hell out. Some defended him by saying he didn’t say he’d fire people for their votes, too, and yeah that’s true—I think—but he could have made a positive affirmation of tolerance without crossing the line into hinting at political bullying by the boss, and he’s learning this weekend that Donald Trump’s not the only one whose business can be boycotted. Read the bulk of the memo and the hasty followup semi-apology at Crain’s.


“GT Prime is either the steakhouse you will avoid or the steakhouse you’ve been waiting for,” says Phil Vettel. He means it dials back the excess steakhouses are known for: “GT Prime turns its back on so many steakhouse conventions that ‘conspicuous by absence’ barely covers it. There is no raw bar, no plateaux de fruits de mer. No shrimp cocktail… Instead of massive slabs of bone-in meat, GT Prime offers beef, lamb, buffalo and venison in precisely trimmed, boneless slices, 4 or 8 ounces at a time and all medium-rare.” (Tribune)


Vettel also reviews the short-term truffle pop-up at Eataly, Il Tartufo, which Fooditor wrote about last year.  The chef explains how it’s evolved, though frankly this sounds more like have-it-both-ways corporate-speak: “Eataly executive chef Rob Wing has put together a menu that would be appealing in any season. ‘We did this (a truffle menu) last year, and it was a lot of fun,’ he said. ‘The dishes were good on their own but needed the truffle to bring them together. This year, even if you don’t order any truffles, you can still have a great meal.’” Let me make it simple for you: it’s called Il Tartufo, which means truffles. Have the truffles. (Tribune)


A new Oaxacan restaurant in Uptown, Kie-Gol-Lanee, sounds so interesting in Mike Sula’s description, from how the owners got from Oaxaca to working here (at Anteprima!) to the offerings, that the last paragraph that points out what it’s lacking is a bit deflating. Still, he had me at “There are a few other uncommon offerings, in particular, the tlayuda, aka the Mexican pizza, a crackly, superthin cornmeal flatbread smeared with black beans and loaded with cabbage, tomato, red onion, avocado, and the long white string cheese the state is known for, plus a choice of toppings, from mushrooms to chicharrones to skirt steak to the dried beef known as cesina.”


And in more regional Mexican news, Sula talks about a sports bar-looking place in Berwyn that does lamb barbacoa in the style of Hidalgo—and serves the mescal relative pulque: “In the mountainous central state of Hidalgo that meat is generally lamb, aka borrego, barely seasoned, wrapped in maguey, and cooked in a wood-burning oven with a catch basin to collect its juices for consomme. Typically that consomme is also thick with chickpeas… The tender, fatty, shreddable meat comes packed in an aluminum takeaway container along with a plate of onions, dried chiles, cilantro, and salsa for garnish, tortillas, and bowls of that savory consomme. There are a couple methods you can follow to consume this feast: drizzle the consomme over the borrego and pack it into tortillas, or pull apart the meat and throw it into the consomme.” (Reader)


“While I have great respect for new and innovative, I have even more respect for tradition and consistency. And when I find places that are new, I look for the elements that I think will sustain them and turn them into the ones with a long life,” says Ina Pinkney as she looks at two veterans, Frances’ Deli and Third Coast Cafe, and a newly expanded place, Hewn, in Evanston (subject of this Fooditor piece).


Crain’s is the third place to try to review everything at Revival Hall, so I’m out of good headline puns about “revival.” Anyway, check out the first of two parts here.


Sink/Swim, where we just recorded the Fooditor podcast about Michelin, is changing itself up to be more casual, reports Chicago mag. I like the place, but the crowds are at Giant next door, for sure: “Per partner and bar director Danny Shapiro, it will pivot toward a new vision: a ‘Scofflaw version of a seafood shack,’ complete with a revamped cocktail menu. ‘We figured out, based on the reaction of the neighborhood, that we wanted to step back to our core components,’ says Shapiro. ‘I think it’s a little more fun now. Plus, the average tab has come down a bit.’”


I wasn’t necessarily looking to Eater Chicago for commentary after the election, especially not in map form, but Ashok Selvam did a nice job rounding up 23 women in charge of kitchens (and hastily changing the intro when we didn’t get a woman president), from the well-known ones (Izard, Segal, Grueneberg etc.) to some you had no idea were out there.


The British do the best takedown reviews and this one in The Guardian, about an absurdly expensive clean food place, is choice: “It’s ‘healthy choice comfort foods’, we’re told, so there’s a ‘sourdough’ pizza with all the personality of an inflated Ryvita topped with spurts of lurid vegan cheese looking and smelling like burst boils. There’s a burger, a leaden wad of compressed black fibre that lives in the mouth long after swallowing. (Nice sweet potato fries, though.) And ‘Earth Bowls’, a key part of the trend, random items flung into bowls so they can be chugged with spoons. The infantilism.”


I hadn’t been to Lula Cafe for dinner for a long time, but after Maggie Hennessy mentioned it in the Fooditor Radio Michelin show as a place she’d elevate to one star, I decided it was time. Roast Gunthorp chicken was not the best I remember it being, though still plenty good; a roast squash dish was really good, though, and so was the pasta with cinnamon that I think has been on the menu for a long time. There’s a new pastry chef—Amanda Shepard—and we all very much enjoyed some simple desserts with complex accents on them, a butterscotch budino and a sort of chocolate-squash cake thing with coffee caramel. Give her a star!