Chef Diana Davila at a Cantina 1910 preview event
Almost a year ago I talked with
chef Diana Davila and Mark Robertson, co-owner of a few Uptown bars, about Cantina de la Granja, an ambitious farm-to-table Mexican restaurant that would have an impressively large rooftop garden (1,400 square feet) and a preservation kitchen, as well as a commitment to using local foods in a Mexican-midwestern fusion way. I've wondered since then whatever became of the idea, but now I know: it has an opening date, and also a name change. Cantina 1910 is named for the era of the Mexican revolution, but otherwise the restaurant remains the same—when it opens on September 16 it will live up to its earlier promise of buying 70 percent of its produce within 200 miles, growing lots of its own and preserving it for the winter, as well as making serious Mexican-fusion food utilizing Mexican ingredients and techniques. It will be at 5025 N. Clark (the former Mr. T's in Andersonville).
• Speaking of modern Mexican food, about a year ago
I also covered ModMex, an annual symposium on the direction Mexican food and flavors are headed, hosted by (who else?) Rick Bayless and featuring top chefs and mixologists working with Mexican ingredients. Well, it's back on September 12 with a demo and tasting at Kendall College, the chefs include Beverly Kim and Johnny Clark of Parachute
, Javier Plascencia of Tijuana's Misión 19, and Jose Ramon Castillo of Mexico City's Que Bo!; that part is $85 (and yes, you get to eat and drink everything). On September 13, there will be a dinner at Topolobampo; it's $195, wine included. Everything benefits Kendall students through the Frontera Scholarship and the Illinois Restaurant Association Educational Foundation; get more info and tickets here
• But that's way far away, like fall. You can still enjoy one of the last great summer events, the WXRT Rockin' Lobster Bash. Thirty chefs (including some cool out-of-towners, like Jonathan Brooks of Indianapolis's Milktooth, which just made that Bon Appetit
list Parachute is on), lots to drink, lots of rock spun by WXRT's Lin Brehmer, and it all benefits the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation. It's at Revel Fulton Market on Wednesday, September 2; get tickets and info here
• The Windy City BBQ Classic, not to be confused with the Windy City Smokeout a few weeks back, has some big news: it's now a Kansas City Barbecue Society-sanctioned event, which means the winner goes on to the American Royal World Series of Barbecue. The other big news is that it's now selling VIP tickets which allow you to taste barbecue from around the country and see the competing teams in action. Get more info here
; it's Saturday, September 12.
• And you don't have to go to Three Dots and a Dash
and sneak their mugs out in your purse any more—you can order them
from the comfort of your own Tonga hut.