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Reality CheckIt's the night before Thanksgiving, and I'm watching Top Chef by myself this week. (Mary went home for T-Day. She'll pitch in later.)I've been looking forward to this episode since last week's teaser. This week's episode gets an A --......
Dining@LargeSometimes something needs to be said and it's nice when one of you says it so eloquently, more eloquently than I could have said it. EL Paul W and Donny B, you are technically correct about Baltimore's food traditions of......
Matthias Merges worked at Charlie Trotter's for 14-odd years, and he was the man for most of them, serving as chef de cuisine, corporate chef and finally director of operations. "He was the glue to that place," one restaurateur says, admiringly. That...
I visited Next looking for greatness, and I found it. Next, the sequel restaurant from Grant Achatz of Alinea, is all of 19 days old, but it hums with the grace and confidence of a veteran. Which isn't completely surprising; Achatz, partner Nick Kokonas,...
Next, the shape-shifting restaurant by Grant Achatz and Nick Kokonas (the principals at world-famous Alinea), dazzled diners with its inaugural "Paris 1906" menu. For an encore, the kitchen went about as far afield as possible. To Bangkok, in fact. "We...
For its latest menu, Next restaurant invested in a special piece of cooking equipment. A Weber kettle grill. Standing alongside the recirculating thermal circulators, Anti-Griddles, Sonicpreps and other high-tech gizmos that populate Next's high-tech...
Dale Levitski's career arc is like that of most top chefs. In reverse. After running a couple of modest Chicago restaurants, Levitski found himself thrust into the spotlight as the surprise pick to succeed Grant Achatz at four-star Trio, and, just as...
The good news is that Next, the sequel restaurant by Grant Achatz and Nick Kokonas, is living up to its sky-high expectations. The bad is that it has been excruciatingly difficult to get into this restaurant in its first few weeks. Here are the answers...
Phil VettelMan, I wish I'd gotten this assignment two years ago. The task of matching Oscar-nominated films to appropriate restaurants is challenge enough, but it's even harder these days, thanks to the Academy's esteem-building decision to expand the number of...
Alinea, Chicago's most acclaimed restaurant, has used Open Table in the past to manage — though not take — reservations, but co-owner Nick Kokonas isn't shy about anticipating and working toward the service's demise. Kokonas, partners with...
Two of the most acclaimed chefs in the nation have embarked on an extraordinary, unprecedented switcheroo. By the time you read this, Grant Achatz of Alinea will have completed a five-night stretch of cooking his food at Eleven Madison Park in New York....
Charlie Trotter says he first thought of closing his namesake restaurant after his plane sat on the tarmac at LaGuardia Airport on the morning of Sept. 11, 2001. “I realized really how fragile the world is,” he reflects. “I love what...
Nov 27, 2008 |Blog| Baltimore Sun
Oct 3, 2009 |Blog| Baltimore Sun
Mar 1, 2012 |Column| Chicago Tribune
Apr 25, 2011 |Column| Chicago Tribune
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Aug 30, 2012 |Column| Chicago Tribune
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