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Have a Taste for Italian? Who doesn’t!!!

25 Jul

One of the most popular cuisines that today’s restaurant industry has to offer is Italian, which also just happens to be the “apple of my eye”. I say that it’s the “apple of my eye,” because I grew up eating Italian food 6 out of 7 days a week and enjoyed each different dish with each different day. It didn’t matter if my ma /grandmother made it at home, or if I went out to grab a bite to eat with my old man. Who has literally been to every Italian Restaurant within a 20 mile radius of Chicago! Highly unlikely but I like to think he has.  So for those of your who have an INDECISIVE BITE about going out for Italian. Here are my two highly reccomended Italian Restaurants in the Chicago Land Area.   The Rosebud on Taylor Street and Buona Terra off of California Ave.  Here to help turn that INDECISIVE BITE into a DECISIVE BITE!!!

The Rosebud or Buona Terra

THE ROSEBUD  is one of Chicago’s most well-known Italian Restaurants and has been around for over 30 years!! Located right in the heart of Little Italy, owner Alex Dana has the nick for getting the perfect blend of flavors from the authentic Italian culture consistently throughout the years.  Parking is easily assessable being that on the street there is metered parking and if you do not like looking for a parking spot you also have the option of valet.  Upon enter the restaurant you can not help to think that, “Wow, now this is what I call a classic Italian Restaurant!”  It’s breath taking how beautiful the interior of this restaurant really is……

One of the best attributes about this restaurant is the quick service.  I am the kind of guy, that when I sit at a table for more than 5 minutes without one of the employee’s walking over to take at least a drink or to say that they are sorry there slammed.  I’m outta that joint quicker than Michael Phelps’ world record times at the Beijing Olympics.  At The Rosebud, that is far from the case, because as the manager and waiter are greeting you while helping you take off your jacket and pushing in your chair in.  They have already placed a wine list in front of you with a nice refreshing glass of water.  Guess what? You don’t have to ask or get charged for the water!!!!

I started off with the Italian Sausage and Peppers, which I might say was extremely the right choice.  The fennel in Italian Sausage is in my opinion what makes their sausage the way it is.  The sweet peppers were cooked perfectly, to wear they did not feel like just canned peppers in your mouth they had nice a “backbone” to them.  Along with the white wine and garlic sauce, this app is one that you will not regret!

Now our to the star of the post the Brick Chicken, which I had as my entrée.  Not going to lie I have been to the restaurant a good couple hands worth of times, and have had the Brick Chicken the majority of the dining  experience.  I mean you can’t go wrong with it!  They serve you a whole boneless chicken that is mouth-watering flavored by a blend of lemon and oregano, that is then pressed and roasted until the chicken is cooked though and irresistibly crispy.  Served along with crispy “Vesuvio” potatoes and sautéed rapini in oil olive, garlic, hint of lemon juice.  The rapini is something that is requested, it is side that my father also asked to have as a sub.  Rapini if you don’t know what it is, is a green vegetable that looks like spinach on a broccoli stem.  It has a little bit of a bitter taste, but when cooked like the way The Rosebud does, it is AWESOME. Seems to be that Alex Dana’s motto of  “Keep it Simple. Keep it good. And keep it coming,” has to be working the right way.

BUONA TERRA is one of the most underrated Italian Restaurants in Chicago.  Chef Jose “Chepé” Garcia, is among the elite executive chefs and owners of the Italian cuisine.  His previous stint was as the Head Chef for Tuscany’s, where he developed the idea to start his own place.  In 2003, Buona Terra was mentioned in Chicago’s Magazine as 1 of Chicago’s Top New Restaurants.  In the restaurant business that is not an easy notch to grasp under your belt.  Not to mention that the there prix-fixe special on Thursday Night’s includes an app, entrée, and desert for only $21.95!  Come on people $21.95 for a 3 course meal in one Chicago’s finest Italian Restaurants, and it’s not a hoax or a scam like Sear’s did while they pretending to charge $70 bucks for an Ipad 2 just to get in the public eye! Chepé means business boys and girls and he always has the freshest ingredients!

Don’t ya hate when you are going out to eat, and the joint that your are looking for is nowhere to be seen and it “doesn’t” show up your GPS?  Well you caught a break this time, because this local spot is right off the Kennedy Expressway on California Ave.  There is no parking on the streets till 6 but that is not a problem for most people.  They also offer valet parking when you pull up in front of the restaurant, but ill park on the side street and walk.  Your seated pretty quickly in a very elegant bar room, with a fully stocked bar. The roasted garlic, parmesan cheese, and oil olive spread served with warm bread or as I like to call it “heaven on earth.”  Is worth you getting your own individual serving and eating it with your spoon and ditching the bread.  I’m telling ya that dip is worth coming back for by itself without even getting anything else.

I started off with getting the grilled squid and the Carpaccio both which knocked my socks off with.  The squid was grilled the right way which basically means it wasn’t just mush in your mouth.  He serves it along with some leafy greens and radicchio beneath an oil olive and balsamic mixture, everything just flows in each and every bite.  The Carpaccio, being my first time having it wasn’t exactly what I expected it to be.  The presentation of it was eye-catching and made me want to bite into it that much more. So I did.  You have to have a surgeons hand to carefully remove th extremely thinly sliced beef, that was topped with a sliced portabella mushroom, capers, shaved parmesan cheese and then dribbled with truffle oil.  Guess what? It was it didn’t lack anything it was full of flavor, and at the end when it’s all gone  it doesn’t make you have a guilt trip because the dish was pretty light.

After eating the Carpaccio and grilled squid, I began to get the butterflies as I ordered my favorite dish of all time THE FRUTTI DI MARE!.  If you love seafood this is the “Holy Grail,” of all FRUTTI DI MARE’S.  The combination of mussel’s, chunks of white fish and salmon, calamari, scallops, baby shrimp are enough to make my jaw drop right there yet that‘s not all.  The chef prepares al dente linguine pasta then mixes the pasta into a settling spicy tomato sauce.  Then plates the mixed pasta in a large bowl adds the all the seafood, most likely pours another ladle of sauce onto everything and finally tops it with some chopped parsley and freshly grated parmesan cheese. WOW.  I’m not expecting any teenage readers really? SO I’LL SAY THIS IS AN ORGASISM IN YOUR MOUTH, hands down best in the city.

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My First Post….

23 Jul

Seems to be a little cliché to have my first title as “My First Post,” but it really is….I have never once before tried to branch out into the literary world, thought about it but never really gained the balls to do it till now.  I am doing this for one reason and one reason only….To earn that fucking paycheck!!!! I’m just kidding!!! The reason that I wanted to start this blog was to try to reach out to as many people as I can and try show them all the amazing aspects of food that they are missing!!  Just bare with me and I promise that when you continuously  read this blog you will soon come to find your new safe haven…

I don’t want to leave the good ole blog blank for the first day so here is what I made for dinner!"Tradeoff"

Parmesan Crusted Pork with a Whitesala Wine Sauce

1 Cup Panko Bread Crumbs
1/2 Cup Parmesan Cheese Grated
1/4 Teaspoon Old Bay Seasoning
1 Teaspoon Granulated Garlic
1/2 Teaspoon Pepper
Salt to taste
1 Teaspoon Oregano
3 Tablespoons Butter
4 Bone in Pork Chops about an Inch
2 Teaspoons Paprika
2-3 Shallots Sliced
1/3 White Wine
1/3 Cup of Chicken Broth
Splash of Lemon Juice
1 1/2 Teaspoons A-1 Sauce
1 Tablespoon Olive Oil

Combine the Panko Bread Crumbs, Parmesan Cheese, and all the spices together in a bowl. After all the ingredients are mixed together transfer them to a plate. Then take your pork chops and dip each side into the Panko to thoroughly cover each side then set aside. Take a large saute pan turn to medium high add 2 tablespoons of the butter and the olive oil. When the butter is melted and begins to slightly bubble, add the pork chops and brown each side approximately 2-3 minutes a side. While this is happening preheat your oven to 400 fahrenheit.

After you have browned all the Pork Chops place them in the oven for 15 minutes for a Medium rare. Take that same pan and add the remaining butter. From there begin to saute your sliced shallots for about 5 minutes, keeping your eye on them because they cook faster them normal onions! After your shallots have carmelized, deglaze your pan with the White Wine, Marsala Wine, and the Splash of Lemon Juice. Reduce that to half and when that has reduced add the chicken broth and the A-1 and simmer for about 10 minutes. Finally serve on top the Pepper Jas Rice and Enjoy!!!!

Pepper Jas Rice

1 Cup of Jasmine Rice
1 1/4 Cups of Water
1/4 Cup of White Wine
2 Tablespoons of Non-Salted Butter
7-8 Pepperoncini’s Sliced
2-3 Medium Sized Shallots Sliced
1 Teaspoon of Dried Basil
1 Teaspoon of Dried Oregano
1 Teaspoon of Celery Salt
Pepper To Taste

Take 1 Tablespoon of the butter and melt on medium heat. Then add your rice make sure to coat every grain of rice with the melted butter while stirring for about a minute and a half. Following that, add the water and all the spices, bring to a bring then cover and simmer for about 20 minutes.

While the rice is cooking take a small saute pan and add the remaining butter. Once the butter has melted add your sliced pepperoncini’s and sliced shallots to the party and saute those bad boys for about 4-5 Minutes or until your liking. Once the sauteing process is done add the veggies to the rice, stir it up and finish the remaining cooking time. Serve beneath the Pork Chops!!!