Monday, July 19, 2010

People Lounge

Queso de Cabra: goat cheese, tomato sauce, garlic crusted bread

Ceviche -seasonal choice with citrus cooked fish
Mushrooms with a cream sauce and garlic 
 Patatas bravas: potatoes, roasted red pepper aioli
People's skirtsteak: braised skirtsteak, cornichons, capers, aged manchego
 pastel de chocolate: molten chocolate cake, house made crema dulce ice cream

     A very happy birthday to my gorgeous big sis! The weekend was celebrated throughly, to the point of exhaustion on the couch all day Sunday. Alas, the birthday dinner was celebrated at People Lounge in Wicker Park. I am in love with this place. The music, the vibe, the accented servers, and the tapas. I love tapas because it gives you the option of a tasting menu with the perfect portions to share. How fun is the vibe when you can dabble in eachothers plates. I think the best thing about People is the unique combinations. For instance the skirtsteak with a cornichons, capers, aged manchego. The sauce was just as tasty as the melt in your mouth steak. The combo of salty potatos and roasted red pepper aioli was a great salty and spicy contrast. I think next time I'll try some new options maybe the lamb lollipops: rack of New Zealand lamb, fried creamy polenta.
   We also ordered the sangria, a little weak but we didn't mind after the weekend assortment of watermelon puree vodkas, mojitos, and shots gallore. Happy birthday sis.

People Lounge on Urbanspoon

Thursday, July 8, 2010


"Southern Galz"
"Oh my God"
"El Fuego"
Close up of El Fuego

Green tea ice cream tempura

     Last night was a return trip to Toro Sushi in Lincoln Park , my old stomping grounds. I really miss this place not only because of the great fresh sushi but my fondness of the space. The tiny restaurant, which hosts maybe twelve tables, is located across the street from my old apartment. And although my address had changed not too long ago it feels like a life time since I've been here. Not to get all nostalgic, but isn't it amazing how the atmosphere of a restaurant can have that effect?

Toro has a reputation for their no-reservation policy (expect a long wait), unique house rolls (don't expect me to detail ingredients because they are strictly hush-hush), and the one and only heart of this place- Mitch Kim, chef and owner. You can find plenty of positive reviews on yelp - and local Chicago websites. And you might find the occasional brat complaining about service ( get over it, its about the food). But all in all a great local find!

     It is BYOB, and between Sanaz and our new friends Johara and Nadia we weren't bothered by the new limits on bottles per party. I brought a bottle of Dancing Bull Cab. Johara brought a bottle of Riesling and a few Sapporo's. I found out that Johara's knowledge of beer might be a premise for her new blog (I'll keep you posted!). With two pairs of sisters, drinks and Sushi - you can't go wrong.
     The food: fresh as always. Johara and Nadia shared the sashimi, Sanaz and I started with salads with ginger dressing. We got four rolls (all pictured above - minus the Taco roll ). I have to admit, before moving to Chicago I knew little about sushi, thus I won't go into the different types of rolls. For a great glossary of terms check out Toro's website.
     All I can say is wow - Southern galz- was a deep fried spicy and very filling roll. The Oh my god with crispy eel on top was a mouthful of delight. The Tako Roll wasn't listed on the menu and although it looked a hot mess it had tasty octopus! El Feugo, was a spicy roll with jalapeƱos and cilantro- a unique twist. Complete with green tea ice cream tempura, sparkler and all (a prelude to Sanaz's birthday coming up) it was a perfect night of sushi!

The recent return to Toro was a nostalgic trip to my old life as a Lincoln Parker and I miss it dearly. Complete with the LP mom's fetching sushi to-go for their families, Pocket Puppies across the street, and Molly's cupcakes next door - I can't picture this space anywhere else in the City. On the list of top ten Chicago finds this fits the bill. Enjoy.