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In Cocktail Challenge, mixologist Paul McGee of the Whistler was handed beef stock by Stephen Cole of the forthcoming Lincoln Park bar the Barrelhouse Flat. "He knows I'm a vegan and thought it would be funny," McGee said. So he came up with a drink he called A Dick Move, using gelatin to make a rye-based jellied cocktail served in a cow femur a la bone marrow. Both he and photographer Andrea Bauer, a vegetarian, hazarded a taste. Their verdict: “This is sick.” Next up is Sterling Field of Sable Kitchen & Bar, challenged with nutritional yeast.
Mike Sula reviews Roots Handmade Pizza, the Ukrainian Village restaurant where partners Scott Weiner and Greg Mohr—who also own the Fifty/50—are serving up Quad Cities-style pizza. And what might that be, you ask? The regional specialty is distinguished in part by its uncommon toppings, for example, taco pizza with sausage, lettuce, tomato, and Doritos (it’s served with packets of taco sauce). The dough is made with malt, which gives the crust a puffy lip and makes it crispy on the outside, airy on the inside. Slices are scissored into strips, and toppings like sausage come underneath rather than on top of the cheese. In addition to pizza, Roots has a large menu with items like build-your-own-salads, house-made sausages and cheese sticks with house-made mozzarella, and an extensive midwestern beer list.
In Key Ingredient, Arami chef B.K. Park was challenged by Jason Vincent of Nightwood with chufa, groundnuts used in Spain to make the drink horchata. He decided to go with what he knows best, and so he boiled and soaked them, then ground them up and used them in place of rice in four types of sushi. Park says he’s considering doing a chufa special sometime soon: “I have a lot left over.” Next up is Shin Thompson of Logan Square’s Bonsoiree, working with burdock root.
In the listings are six more spots in Ukrainian Village, among them Kasia’s Deli, Hoosier Mama Pie Shop, and Ruxbin Kitchen, which is currently closed for vacation but will reopen Thursday, September 15.