Chicago’s Lost Restaurants

An invitation from the Bethany Retirement Community to us:

Many of Chicago’s greatest or most unusual restaurants are “no longer taking reservations,” but they’re definitely not forgotten. From steakhouses to delis, these dining destinations attracted movie stars, fed the hungry, launched nationwide trends and created a smorgasbord of culinary choices. Noted author Greg Borzo dishes out course after course of fondly remembered fare, from Maxim’s to Charlie Trotter’s and Trader Vic’s to the Blackhawk. Continue reading

Overrated Tradition? Why Fresh Perspective Will Save the Jewish Deli

Presented by Aaron Steingold, proprietor
Steingold’s Deli, Chicago

Who doesn’t love Deli food? From the cornucopia of Jewish food delights that include corned beef on rye, chopped liver, chicken matzo ball soup, and lox and cream cheese on a bagel, Chicagoans have been relishing Deli food for generations. While there were hundreds of delis in the first part of the 20th century, today, not so many. Continue reading

Paris à Table, circa 1846

Presented by Joe Weintraub, PhD

Paris à Table: 1846 is the first English translation of an essential text in the literature of gastronomy. Written by the journalist and critic, Eugène Briffault, the book takes readers from the opulence of a meal at the Rothschilds’ through every social stratum down to the student on the Left Bank and the laborer eating on the streets. The author surveys the restaurants of the previous generation and his own–from the most elegant to the lowest dive–along with the eating habits of the bourgeoisie, the importance and variety of banquets, and even the plight of “people who do not dine,” offering the reader, according to Le Monde, “the richest view of Balzac’s time seen from the table.” Continue reading

Midwestern Food—What is it?

Presented by Abra Berens, chef, farmer, author

It is true that we are a region known for steak houses, pizzas and pot roast, but what exactly is Midwestern food? Could it also be a dinner at Alinea? Is it the German chocolate cake made by Stephanie Hart’s Brown Sugar Bakery on 75th St? Is it the melting pot that gives us Cornish pasties from Michigan’s upper peninsula, as well as the roast duck from Chef Kelly Cheng Sun Wah? Continue reading