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Mike Sula profiles Rowie’s Bakery, formerly a popular underground Filipino bakery that has now opened its doors in a brick-and-mortar storefront on North Lincoln. Rowie Reyes and her husband, Mike Ramos, specialize in chiffon cakes—the original recipe for which was devised by Reyes’s mom back in the Phillippines in 1964—cupcakes, and French macarons, which Ramos mastered after hundreds of failed batches.
Sula also reviews Logan Square’s new Telegraph Wine Bar, an upscale spot from the partners behind Webster’s Wine Bar and the Bluebird, where sommelier Jeremy Quinn has assembled a varied Old World wine list and Avec vet John Anderes has put together an interesting, spare menu with some adventurous offerings like cinnamon-scented frog legs and bucatini with sweetbreads and rhubarb sauce.
In Key Ingredient Mark Mendez, the former Carnivale chef who’s opening Uva, a Spanish restaurant and wine bar in the West Loop come October, tackles tomato leaves, which he was none too excited about. Nevertheless, he put them to use in a light, vibrant red gazpacho. “I think you taste something,” he said. “Like when you eat an herb and you get that herby sort of aftertaste on your tongue. It kind of tastes like a weed.” Next up is Rob Levitt of the Butcher & Larder, working with abalone.
In our Cocktail Challenge former Violet Hour mixologist Stephen Cole, who’s planning to open the Barrelhouse Flat, a bar in Lincoln Park, in October, came up with a tequila-based cocktail, the Boston G, served in a martini glass rimmed with “chartreuse fizzy powder,” made with his ingredient, cream of tartar, which was also deployed in the drink itself, combined with baking soda to create a mini explosion.