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CHICAGO NEIGHBORHOOD NEWS - SOUTH LOOP, NORWOOD PARK, RIVER NORTH, EVANSTON, RAVENSWOOD
SOUTH LOOP

 

Just opened, Kurah, located at 1355 S Michigan Ave, is a new place for cozy Mediterranean tapas in the South Loop.

 

Located on the first floor of a new modern high-rise—all glass and shiny steel on the outside, you’ll be pleasantly surprised once inside by a cozy nest with high ceilings, exposed concrete, accent pillows and wooden arches. It’s not exactly Morocco, but there are fig martinis here.

 

Perfect for a date, you will probably feel most comfortable in the mezzanine, a perch where you can watch over the rest of the room. Enjoy platters of brick-oven-baked flatbreads dipped in tasty hummus, and the whispering of words like “za’atar” and “kubbeh,” as well as “braised Colorado rack of lamb” and “rose flan.”

 

NORWOOD PARK

 

The perfect new food item can be delivered right to your comfy home. The humble muffin has been spiced up and stuffed with delicious fillings such as fried chicken, mac and cheese, and more. Xtra Good Corn Muffins (312-450-1865) is a new company that delivers muffins filled with all kinds of Southern foods, taking orders now for Friday deliveries.

 

The woman behind this much-needed service relies on her Alabama-born great-grandmother’s corn muffin recipe. She would scoop out the center of her muffins and plop in things like jerk tilapia and red beans and rice. She has expanded that idea into things like, corn muffin packed with rice and chicken that’s been sautéed in peaches and whiskey. Hop on their Facebook page and to make an ordert, or just call/text the phone number. Don’t forget to check out their other offerings as well - a kiwi lemonade and some sweet potato ice cream.

 

RIVER NORTH

 

Three Dots and a Dash—probably the most important tiki den ever to open underneath a River North country-western bar, has now launched at 435 N Clark St (entrance in alley between Illinois and Hubbard) Look for a blue light in a doorway and listen to the tender strains of surf rock luring you downstairs.

 

You’ll find all the usual Polynesian bar exotica down here: giant tiki idols (salvaged from Trader Vic’s), a bamboo-and-white-onyx bar and skull-shaped punch bowls billowing dry ice. The bearded man in the Hawaiian shirt is Paul McGee, the mixologist who will introduce you to the joys of 150 rums at the ready for his various flaming punches, and a banana carved into the shape of a dolphin for your banana daiquiri.

 

EVANSTON

 

Fresh meat and produce from Wisconsin, Illinois, Indiana, and Michigan form the mainstay of the menu of Evanston’s newest downtown restaurant, Farmhouse Tavern, located at the old McDonald’s space at 703 Church St., at the south end of the Hilton Orrington Hotel.

 

“The people here are educated, ecologically aware, and contain an excitement for really good, locally sourced food,” said owner T. J. Callahan. “It was a perfect match.”

 

The farm-to-tavern concept includes 36 craft beers on tap, four types of Midwestern wine, and locally grown, specially crafted meals, such as Indiana duck breast, roasted Amish chicken, and grilled stuffed river trout. Non-alcoholic beverages include house-made sodas, such as root beer, ginger ale, cream soda, and cucumber basil. For vegetarians, there’s the Forest Mushroom and Poblano Pepper Old World Grains Burger that comes with garlic mayo on a toasted Challah bun with tavern cut fries.

 

 RAVENSWOOD

 

Soon, the neighborhood will have access to the stuffed snack on-the-go. A Ravenswood couple is bringing Pierogis to the city. A new business, inspired by two Ravenswood residents, Damian Warzecha and Jessica Whitney, are about two weeks away from opening Pierogi Wagon, a food truck serving the stuffed dumplings. The two successfully raised more than $15,000 through a Kickstarter campaign and have built the truck while keeping their day jobs at a marketing company.

 

"Right now, we're on the last phase of building our four-compartment sink and then we’ll be applying for licenses," he said. "We are going to try to be slowly building clientele where we live,"

 

Pierogis were a natural choice for the couple’s heritage, Polish and Ukrainian, and the two have several family recipes. The menu will change, but initial portions come in snack and regular sizes with options of beef, mushroom and kraut, and potato and cheddar.

 

"We want to modernize them a little bit and serve them with a sauce like jalapeño aioli or applewood smoked bacon ranch and maybe even eventually expand into pierogi flavors like bacon and egg or chorizo," Whitney said.

 

CATHY MALLERS & DEAN’S TEAM CHICAGO

 

 

Posted: Thursday, August 01, 2013 3:48 PM by Dean's Team

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