Monday, May 14, 2007

Chicago No. 2 on Best Restaurant Cities List

"Today ... most major cities in the U.S. have the kind of gastronomic diversity and regionality that is rich in every department, and even if you’ve visited recently, you can be sure that next time you go, there’ll be more new and enticing restaurants than you could possibly visit," writes Donald Burnam in a recent piece, "America's Best Restaurant Cities." "It’s getting hard not to have a great meal anywhere in the U.S.." Burnam continues.

Forbes' Top 10 Restaurant Cities:
1. New York City
2. Chicago
3. San Francisco
4. Los Angeles
5. New Orleans
6. Houston
7. Washington, D.C.
8. Atlanta
9. Boston
10. Las Vegas

Rankings were based on: Overall number of restaurants above the fast food level; Number of fine dining restaurants with national and international standing; Solid representation of regional American food; A wide segment of second-tier restaurants that would include seafood, steakhouses, and independently chef-owned restaurants; Breadth and depth of ethnic restaurants, especially if the city has neighborhood such as a Chinatown; A significant number of neigborhood restaurants where the locals tend to eat out regularly; A well-traveled clientele that regards eating out in that city one of the real pleasures of going there.

Bobtail on Top Ice Cream List
Just in time for summer, Mark DeCarlo, host of Travel Channel's Taste of America, lists his favorite 10 ice cream and frozen confections joints in USA Today Pinkberry, Los Angeles; Angelo Brocato's, New Orleans,; Graeter's, Cincinnati (with other locations in Dayton, Columbus, Louisville and Lexington, Ky.),; Leon's Frozen Custard, Milwaukee,; Ghirardelli, San Francisco (for the hot fudge sundaes),; Otto, New York; Ted Drewes, St. Louis,; Bobtail Ice Cream Co., Chicago,; Valentino's, Las Vegas,; Waiola Shave Ice, Honolulu.

IN THE NEWS: Penny Pollack and Jeff Ruby of Chicago magazine's Dish column report: Dale Levitski will be Chicago’s lone contestant on the upcoming season of Bravo’s Top Chef, which begins June 6 ... There are seven question for Jon Young (Volo), on his upcoming pub-inspired restaurant in River West, Paramount Room (415 N. Milwaukee Ave.), launching in June ... Michael Dean Hazen, chef of Ristorante We (W–Chicago City Center), will leave the Tuscan steak house on May 19 ... Hi Tea (14 E. 11th St.), a cafĂ©/store dedicated to tea, opened in March in the South Loop ... Helen Cameron, co-owner of Uncommon Ground (3800 N. Clark St.), a Wrigleyville coffee ship, says she and her husband, Michael, plan to open Uncommon Ground on Devon in the old Speakeasy space (1401 West Devon Ave.). ... Bluprint, a modern restaurant/lounge from Blue Plate Catering (Rhapsody), is to open in the Merchandise Mart (222 Merchandise Mart Plaza, Suite 135) in July. ... Chicago Tribune Buzz columnists Chris LaMorte and Terri Mooney report on the new Cordis Brothers Supper Club: Mike and Dan Cordis, the brothers behind Wise Fools Pub, have gutted the Biasetti's address in Lakeview to create a more modern--but still comfy--destination. It opens Friday night (May 11). "The only thing we're keeping is the ribs," says Dan. (He says to look for a new lineup of pastas and steaks too.) So what makes it a supperclub? "Supperclub has two definitions," he explains. "One is the '30s-'40s nightclub thing …where you can picture Carey Grant. The other is the Wisconsin supperclub where your meal is all-inclusive--you get a relish tray, soup or salad, vegetable and potato with your entree. That way you don't get the sticker shock at the end." Want entertainment? Stick around for DJs after dinner." ... LaMorte compares and contrasts two "humongo" restaurants that opened recently: Room 21 in the South Loop and Alhambra Palace in the Warehouse District ... Trib critic Phil Vettel blogs about the tripe at Riccardo Trattoria and his visit to Chaulkboard in Lincoln Square ... The Sun-Times' Pat Bruno visits an old favorite, Yoshi's Cafe, 3257 N. Halsted. .. The Chicago Reader features Hoosier Mama Pie Company and rounds up the area's top dessert spots ... TimeOut Chicago reviews: The Gage, 24 S. Michigan Ave. between Monroe and Madison Sts; and The Republic, 58 E. Ontario St. at Rush St. ... The magazine also visits the new Gloria's Cafe, 3300 W. Fullerton Ave. at Spaulding Ave. .. Blogger visits Wells Street's Xel-Ha (pronounced "shell-ha"), which serves spicy Latin fare from the Yucatan Peninsula. ... Crain's Chicago Business reviews Catch Thirty-Five, 35 W. Wacker Drive.
Compiled by Pat Embry,

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