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About ad.mich

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  1. You're goddamn right there is. It's nowhere near the wine world in it's sophistication (and budgets) but it's absolutely there and growing rapidly.
  2. ad.mich

    Chicago, IL

    That neck of the woods is kind of tourist central so the food closest to there is generally what you'd expect. Two places very close to you that are worth checking out are Tortoise Club (a buffed up, downtown Chicago restaurant doing Milwaukee Supper Club food) and Beacon Tavern (although maybe too similar to Publican). Your three picks above are all rock solid. I'd do Spiaggia over Sogno (and be very happy with it) but I'd do Monteverde over both. Imperial Lamian is pretty close and does high end dumpling focused Chinese. It's good if you don't have sticker shock. There's not really a ton of nose to tail going on in Chicago proper right now, but Purple Pig and Girl and The Goat always have it going on, and both are delicious consistent standbys I'd happily recommend for anyone. For lunch I'd think about Revival Food Hall (it has an absolute murderer's row of food options, branches of some of my favorite spots in Chicago all executing well) or Tempesta, which makes some of the best salumi in the city and then stuffs their own sandwiches full with it. I haven't had a bad thing there yet.
  3. ad.mich

    Orlando, FL

    I had a wonderful meal at the Il Mulino in the Swan a few years back as well and forgot to ever mention it here. The Swan/Dolphin is the hotel with the highest floor of all the WDW properties. I've been to all their fine dining restaurants at this point, every one was certainly pretty good, and I've never had a bad meal at any of them. Very few WDW locations can make that claim. Still makes me chuckle that one of the few competent Todd English restaurants in the country would be in a theme park hotel, but credit to where it's due - Bluezoo and Il Mulino are easily two of the best meals I've had on the properties in my last few trips.
  4. Not only do I object to this as the premise for an article, but she wasn't even particularly successful at being able to speak to anyone. What was left was a few conversations at Graffiato, and then several paragraphs of navel gazing and casting judgment. I don't blame the author for submitting what was essentially a failure of an idea, but an editor with some self respect would have spiked this story.
  5. Reading this all reminds me of when, many years ago, Don posted a less than flattering account of his first impressions of Graffiato. Sometime around midnight that night, Isabella went on a belligerent and spiteful twitter rampage in Don's direction that these days we'd consider nothing less than presidential. It was all taken down before morning and generally escaped the public eye, but I saw it and it always stuck with me (and made it pretty easy to find other places to eat). Independent of the result of the lawsuits, business fallout, and ego hits, I hope Mr. Isabella gets himself the help it appears he needs.
  6. ad.mich

    Asheville, NC

    The overestimation definitely happened to me last weekend. Got quoted 30 minutes and barely had enough time to order a beer next door before I got a text. As for the food... I'd say it was hit and miss but the highs definitely topped the lows. The whole hog was light on smoke and absent outside brown, hush puppies were undercooked and chewy. For a BBQ restaurant those are high crimes. That being said, the fried chicken sandwich bathed in pimento cheese and white bbq was a damn good time and really benefited from that crisp, thin coating they fry their birds with in this part of the country. Hash and rice is my jam, and this version really popped with a real balance of sauce, smoke and mineral tang from all the nasty bits. I could have eaten a second bowl. Not having it left me more stomach space for a second bourbon and Cheerwine slushie. Those slushies are Carloina in a tall glass and probably the best thing I tasted all weekend. So as long as I keep forgetting Buxton Hall is a pure BBQ restaurant and instead consider it a hash and slushie delivery system, consider me a fan.
  7. In a country with constantly expanding fancy-person ice cream options, Jeni's remains one of the best in the country. They really shine with their summer flavors, too. The peach jam and buttermilk biscuits flavor is take-down-the-whole pint good, but I fell in love with the buttermilk frozen yogurt options this summer. The blueberry-lemon and (especially) watermelon flavors were bright, fresh, and pleasantly tart. Not a lot of things like this on the market - it has the consistency and sharp flavor like what my brain wants me to think a Flintstone Push-Up used to taste like, but I know never did.
  8. Those Southside Market sausages (especially the garlic or 1882 hot varieties) are my plutonic hot guts. Just a perfect 3 napkin sausage that needs no accompaniment. They are located in Elgin, which is ground zero for the style. They mail order, but shipping is pricey. If you have the option to swing through Elgin, do it. It's a short hop from Austin and nearly as much a part of the story of Central TX BBQ as Luling or Lockhart. Central TX Barbecue tour
  9. ad.mich

    Chicago, IL

    You can buy Avec's chorizo stuffed dates (and pequillo sauce) to go at Publican Quality Meats. Much better to just eat them at home. My wife can blow an air horn in my face if I want to replicate the atmosphere.
  10. ad.mich

    Chicago, IL

    Co-sign on North Pond. Just a lovely space and great food. If you want to feel *super chicago* I'd actually look at the Publican Anker, which is the second restaurant from the same group. Same general concept but a little more veggies and a more local feeling location (the bustling main intersection of wicker park instead of the scene-y west loop). Plus afterward you can go around the corner to Big Star for drinks. A tallboy with a bourbon back on the Big Star patio while the el rumbles by across the street is about as damn Chicago as it gets.
  11. ad.mich

    Chicago, IL

    That rules out a ton of options but you can still do this. Cassava has empanadas made with cassava so gluten free (not sure if this is ok on your scoring system or not). Aloha Poke is about 6 blocks south and is the best poke spot in the city. Tango Sur is a similar distance NW of the stadium and is a popular BYOB Argentinian steakhouse. Crosby's Kitchen is a perfectly serviceable neighborhood bistro. The cheap spots in Evanston that come to mind are burgers (Edzo's) or pastry (Hoosier Mama Pie) so I'm guessing they're off you're approved list.
  12. ad.mich

    Chicago, IL

    What a sad way to spend a meal in this town. Sorry Don! Getting good BBQ in this town is a tricky proposition at best. If you must: Northside: Smoque or Rub's (in that order right now) Southside: Lem's or Honey1 (in that order right now) On the subject of Smoque, in the loop a new food hall called Revival opened a few months back and it's a godsend for us loop worker bees. That being said, it's one of the best loop options for lunch, period. It's also a great chance for people staying downtown to try branches of some beloved northside spots all in one spot. Smoque is there (and smoking on site at the same level of quality) along with institutions like Hot Chocolate, Antique Taco, and Danke (offshoot of Table, Donkey and Stick). Trend chasers will find Budlong doing Nashville hot (but even if you aren't into that it's got a strong argument for the best fried chicken in town right now), poke, and ramen... and there several other spots on top of that. It's basically like if Union Market had plopped itself on K street.
  13. Agreed. There's always been a real Je Ne Sais WTF about the place. Not sure it would be the same if you weren't totally sure it wasn't a house of horror.
  14. I can't speak to the business plan here or how often MM plans to be onsite, but... I can speak to the Chicago location mentioned in Shahin's article above. He is there in name only - it's a Todd English situation. Early reviews were harsh and my one visit gave me no reason to feel contrarian. Maybe it will be different in Old Town but be wary folks.
  15. Thank you Franch for the detailed review. I'm not a wine expert, but I do drink a little bit of the brown. if a taste of that Col. Taylor Tornado Survivor was included as part of the drink pairing, that was probably the most expensive pour of the night. It's damn good stuff and goes for pretty obscene prices on the secondary market.