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Leena Eats: Trencherman restaurant in Chicago

By on Jan 10, 2013 in Chicago, Leena Eats, With Friends | 0 comments

Oh Chicago. How I’ve missed your food! Don’t let the Bay area know, but I secretly think your restaurant scene is the best in the country. So innovative, so delicious, and every restaurant so different from the last (something the Bay area does NOT do well). So when I planned a visit over Thanksgiving 2012, I knew I wanted to check out one of the many new restaurants that have popped up since I left in late 2009. I consulted my local food peeps, and decided to try out Trencherman, a New American restaurant in Wicker Park. More photos of food after the jump! In the end, it was a creative and fun meal. If Trenchermen can hang around until my next Chicago visit, this could become a regular haunt. ~LTG! *************************** Trencherman restaurant 2039 W North Ave. Chicago, IL 60647 773-661-1540 Their...

Leena Eats: The Guide to Chicago food

By on Jan 26, 2011 in Chicago, Leena Eats | 0 comments

I had the pleasure of growing up in and around Chicago, so you better believe I’ve tasted my fair share of hot dogs and steaks. In honor of the 4th birthday of Leena Eats This Blog, I thought it would be fun to compile a list of links to all of my Chicago-related restaurant reviews. So if you like to eat and live in the Windy City (or plan on visiting it soon), this guide might just be for you. Enjoy the guide to Chicago eating after the jump! Chicago Restaurant Reviews Avec Blackbird Bleeding Heart Bakery 1 Bleeding Heart Bakery 2 The Bristol Browntrout 1 Browntrout 2 Chalkboard Chelsea Grill 1 Chelsea Grill 2 Custom House Dinkel’s Bakery Dorado Drew’s Eatery Frontera Grill Goddess and The Grocer Handlebar 1 Handlebar 2 Hema’s Kitchen Hoosier Mama Pie Company Hopleaf Bar Hot Chocolate Hot Doug’s Ian’s  Pizza 1 Ian’s Pizza 2 Katy’s Dumplings Lula Café 1 Lula Cafe 2 Lula...

Leena Eats: Upscale Indian Cuisine

By on Mar 24, 2010 in Berkeley, Chicago, Leena Eats | 4 comments

See that in the photo? THAT was not scallop. That was a freaking perfectly cooked revelation from the sea, otherwise known as the tandoori scallop at Ajanta restaurant in Berkeley, California. This is a perfect example of a (sort of) new restaurant trend across the country, upscale Indian cuisine. Technically speaking, upscale Indian cuisine can go by many names, anything from fusing Indian ingredients and recipes with another country’s cuisine, modernizing traditional Indian recipes, or using Indian ingredients with non-Indian cooking techniques. Examples? So glad you asked… Starting in my hometown of Chicago, a great example of upscale Indian cuisine is Vermillion Restaurant in the River North neighborhood. Vermillion focuses on fusing Latin cuisine with Indian cuisine and does a pretty damn good job of it. Their cocktails are a huge hit, and heavily incorporate Indian...

Leena Eats: Lula Cafe with my food twin

By on Dec 28, 2009 in Chicago, Leena Eats | 2 comments

Bobby, looking pissy his cocktail has yet to arrive, and me blissful with my hot cider. When I first arrived home from Australia, I had one thing on my mind: brunch at my favorite restaurant in Chicago with my best pal and food twin, Bobby. You might remember it from this post. I recently moved from Chicago to California, and I knew I needed a repeat. Because when you are leaving a town that you grew up in on a quite permanent basis, one needs a great meal with a food twin. Enter Bobby (Bobert, Bobby Magoo, etc.) and Lula Cafe’s Monday night Farm House dinner. Hot damn, some bitches gonna be eating a storm up in HERE! Every Monday, Lula Cafe hosts a farm dinner, a three course, preset meal, for a mere $28 a person. On this occasion, Bobby went with the farm dinner, and I ordered off the menu. First course: soup Bobby: Pork Belly Consume Pork belly consume @ Lula Cafe. I believe...

Leena Eats: Nightwood, Lula Cafe’s kick-ass little brother (Chicago)

By on Dec 10, 2009 in Chicago, Leena Eats | 0 comments

Nightwood’s raclette with roasted vegetables. If melted cheese and homemade bread doesn’t get you excited, well, that just makes me cry. And eat your portion. Being the gastronomic slut that I am, restaurants with unbelievably delicious food in a comfortable atmosphere are the peanut butter to my jelly, the Vegemite to my butter-schmeared toast. If you’ve had the pleasure to dine at Blackbird in Chicago’s West Loop or Lula Cafe in the Logan Square hood, you know what I mean. These restaurants are everything I never knew I needed and more. After eating there, you sort of want to spoon with the restaurant to thank it for such an awesome time. Yeah. THAT good. Take Lula, for example. I have written no less than four posts about the place in the past year! Two post (this and this one) on their brunch, and two (this and this one) about their Monday night farmhouse...

Leena Eats: Chalkboard in Chicago’s North Center Hood

By on Dec 3, 2009 in Chicago, Leena Eats | 0 comments

Look! An actual chalkboard at Chalkboard! Yay! Shortly before I left Chicago, I had the pleasure of dining at Chalkboard, a slightly upscale restaurant focused on local, sustainable comfort food. Fair warning–the photos do not do the food justice. I was en route to a wicked cold during this dinner, and sort of crapped out on good photography. I had been wanting to dine here for a while, especially when I learned that there was literally a chalkboard in the dining room that listed the specials, which change daily. Holla. We started off with their scallops, one of the only mainstays on the menu. It had seared dry pack scallops, sugar cured Kalamata olives, vanilla bean “mayo”, pumpkin oil, sage and roasted walnuts. Chalkboard’s signature seared scallops with vanilla bean “mayo” and kalamata olives. This…was an interesting dish. First off, it...