The big news, of course, is that Wiener’s Circle beat Pink’s in the National League Championship Series.


GT Prime is less an attempt at reinventing the steak house than in subverting the whole idea of a restaurant built on beef, in part by moving the focus to other kinds of dishes, says Mike Sula: “One nod at the classics is a kale Caesar: surprisingly tender, finely shredded greens enrobed in sharp dressing, surrounded by a moat of fluffy grated Parmesan and topped with a precisely arranged grid of tomatoes, croutons, and anchovy fillets. The salad has an architecture that I’d describe as Trotterlike, though Charlie would never have dreamed of letting you reach over and scoop a spoonful onto your plate. That influence is also echoed in another reimagined standard, a dome of sweet blue crabmeat covered by a sheath of thinly shaved avocado dotted with gobs of mango and red-pepper puree. Same goes for a quartet of arancini filled with smooth mortadella mousse, carefully draped with julienned golden beet and stabilized on a base of stiff mozzarella ‘sauce.’” (Reader)


Remember when Time Out Chicago made big news by giving one of the only five-star reviews in its history to Lee Wolen at The Lobby for that glorious chicken? Back then the weekly magazine could make a chef’s name in this town. Elizabeth Atkinson doesn’t need to make Grant Achatz’s name but she gives Alinea five stars and making this interesting observation about the experience: “Somewhere in the second half of the meal I finally realized how absorbed I was with each and every dish. Almost every one is a singular experience, leaving few opportunities to share and engage your partner, an oddity when dining out. Outside of talking about the intricacy of the meal, you’re far too occupied with the meal for the person sitting across from you to be your main focus.”


Joanna Trestrail asks why nobody eats lunch at Enolo Wine Cafe: “We ate there twice recently and found the dining room underpopulated but the food enjoyable—tasty, smartly executed, a little out of the ordinary and modestly priced. Staffers are friendly and efficient. The kitchen performed as if for a large and discerning crowd—no ingredients were subbed in; no ‘Sorry, we’re out of the salmon, the soup and the vegetable panini.’… In short, the food is delightful, the room appealing, the location good. Maybe too good? Just south of the Naha-Ema-Xoco-Roka intersection of Clark and Illinois streets, you’re never more than a few inches away from a good meal on this block.” (Crain’s)


Many wondered if that Sun-Times/ABC 7 investigation of food trucks several weeks back—which revealed, shockingly, that many weren’t strictly following the city’s impossible to follow rules—would result in a crackdown further dampening our meager food truck scene. And it did! The Trib reports: “Truck owners and their supporters say a media investigation in late summer that found food trucks were violating the ordinance without penalty brought heightened attention from the city… ‘We’ve never seen something like what’s happened in the last few months,’ said Austin Berg of the Illinois Policy Institute, an advocate for the food trucks’ cause. The institute started an online petition and social media campaign to get customers involved in the fight against the crackdown.” Among those who have hung it up is Eastman Egg Company, which is sticking to its successful brick and mortar locations now.


Mike Sula continues his personal quest for Detroit style pizza, which for me is a quest to find something that’s distinctly Detroit and not just what Chicagoans all know as pan pizza, at Union Squared in Revival Hall: “It’s lighter and airier than at Paulie Gee’s and Jet’s, and the somewhat thinner edges lead to a more delicately caramelized rim. Still, it’s regrettably missing that distinctive butteriness characteristic of the style.”


Well, this is a bummer; a year ago one of Fooditor’s first stories was ostensibly about how The Radler was getting rid of tipping but also about how what seemed like a good idea, The Radler, was underperforming due to the neighborhood not really wanting the upscale farm to table German food it was offering, versus just having a beer bar. And now chef Nathan Sears has left the restaurant he co-created with Adam Hebert to take a job with The Wit hotel and find better work/life balance. Sous chef John Crue will take over, better luck to him and best wishes to Sears, who was the guy behind the guy at Vie for many years and one of my favorite youngish chefs. (Tribune)


Heather Schroering thinks gluten-free spot The Little Beet is a little bit of a botch: “The beets and caramelized fennel ($12) were incredibly underwhelming for a restaurant with ‘beet’ in the name, and the acidity from the pickled onions and thyme-mustard dressing totally overpowered any anise flavors from the lifeless overcooked fennel. While scallions and thyme, common in Jamaican curries, added a welcome earthy balance to citrusy lime juice in the wild pink shrimp curry ($14), the chickpeas in the dish were unpleasantly undercooked.” (Redeye)


The objective of this Thrillist list is just to find sandwiches under $6, but the result is to highlight a bunch of great old school Chicago places, which proves an old point of mine… good joint food is usually actually cheaper than chain fast food, no matter that they buy meat by the container shipload. (On the rare occasions I pick up McDonald’s for one of the kids, I’m shocked at how expensive it is now, except that no large institution becoming inefficient and expensive ever shocks me…)


Plate does its annual Chefs to Watch issue, and the national list includes four Chicago restaurant chefs or teams: Ryan McCaskey (Acadia), Cameron Grant (Osteria Langhe/Animale), Noah Sandoval and Genie Kwon (Oriole), and Brian and Jennifer Enyart (Dos Urban Cantina), with worthwhile profiles of all four.


Everything sounds more pretentious when you add “Paris” to it, and this week is national Eater’s “Eater Goes to Paris” week. The one that’s getting all the attention is Ryan Sutton taking down Alain Passard’s L’Arpege, which seems to have been chosen just for the opportunities it offered to write one of those social media-ready Per Se-type takedowns. (Trotter closed, and Alinea reconcepted, just in time, I suspect.) That said, despite Passard’s God of Vegetables reputation (his book is the cutest thing, illustrated in roughly the same style as this board book), it does sound like there are real problems there, read it for yourself and decide.


So we’re all curious about Baja what with Leña Brava having opened, right? Fooditor contributor Titus Ruscitti went there and checked out a million bazillion places.


Fooditor contributor Sarah Freeman’s Sauced Market returns in time for turkey day on Tuesday, November 15 from 6 to 11 at Emporium Arcade Bar, 2363 N. Milwaukee. It’s its two year birthday, and here’s an interesting participant: “We’re bringing with us our friends at The Field Museum who will be inking guests in a 1963 VW split window bus-turned temporary airbrush tattoo parlor.” (They have an exhibit on tattooing right now, that’s the tie-in.)