Last week Mike Sula wrote about underground distillers. In this week's Omnivorous he looks at several regional craft distillers who are going the legit route, among them Paul Hletko, whose Few Spirits will be the first distillery in the history of Evanston. Other locals looking to set up shop are Miriam Matasar and Brenton Engel, both of Lula Cafe, who are planning to open Let There Be! Distillers in Ravenswood, just south of the pioneering Koval Distillery.
Julia Thiel and Michael Gebert, the team behind Key Ingredient, appeared on on Nick Digilio's WGN show Friday night, discussing the column and video series, which kicked off in early December with Grant Achatz and so far has featured Paul Virant of Vie and the forthcoming Perennial, Curtis Duffy of Avenues, Mike Sheerin of Three Floyds Brewpub and the forthcoming Trencherman, Chris Pandel of the Bristol, and many more. In this week's challenge Greg Biggers, Martial Noguier's replacement at Cafe des Architectes, takes on beef tendon. Next up is Jared Van Camp of Old Town Social, who’s known for his charcuterie. "That guy—all he does is meat," said Biggers. "So I wanted to give him a little bit of a curveball, and see if he can work with it."
In What's New Rob Lopata rues the dearth of traditional Japanese restaurants and dedicated ramen joints in town, finding Logan Square's Wasabi yet another spot offering something for everyone—sushi, small plates, yakitori, ramen, tempura, teriyaki—just nothing very special, despite the presence of longtime sushi chef Hiromich Sasaki.