In this week's Food & Drink
, Sam Worley
takes the second of two red doors at Troy Graves's new Bucktown gastropub, the Red Door
, entering a large enclosed patio that provides a convivial setting for seasonal cocktails and globally inspired pub fare. The kitchen, he finds, has a way with veggies, from simple greens with beets, Wisconsin's Bohemian Blue cheese, and a "killer" buttermilk-dill vinaigrette to the kimchi and pickles that accompany fried oyster ssam with with tasso ham and remoulade. But at the apotheosis is a "perfect lemongrass chicken thigh" with grilled spring onion, mint, and roasted peanuts—an "easy, internationally flavored plate that lands just where it aims to."
In Key Ingredient, Frog N Snail sous chef Ian Rossman, challenged by Nebraska boy Dave Ford with cattails, wrestled with lots of ideas for the marshy plant, only to find himself throwing the stuff out: "I was like, I don't think I want to taste that again." In the end he brined and coated a pork chop with herb mixtures that included cattail, also adding it to a blueberry mustard and a relish with pickled fennel and blueberries. "Aside from the cattail," he said, "it's kind of a classic French dish." Next up is Blair Herridge, the sous chef at Browntrout, working with Bailey's Irish Cream.