Tuesday, November 26, 2013


HAN 202
$35 fixed price
Four courses plus a little something to start
Good ratings

The menu :)
(I've made an executive decision- new for 2014 - to start with the comments before the photo)

A little something to start (raw fish, pastry and ?). The amuse bouche always makes me receptive - "free" food!


Beef salad - it didn't really need the beef (underneath it all). Delicious.

Beet salad with shrimp. Wow!

Quail. Good but the banana was weird. I ate the pickle, smeared the quail around in the salt and pepper then ate the banana. Mr. Chef was over reaching with the pickle and banana but I liked the idea of putting the seasonings on the side.

Squid - perfect (seasonings - not sure what they were - was kind of odd here).

Shrimp and diver scallops. This was familiar territory for a Chinese restaurant and fairly ordinary. Duck breast beyond... much better. The expectations for the previous courses was high but this part was...
fairly ordinary.

Walnut torte with blueberry ice cream. This needed sauce because the ice cream couldn't make up for the dryness of the walnuts and crust.

Chocolate souffle- (some sauce here would also have been appreciated).

Some of the comments may sound negative but I look forward to going back. Sweet people that are trying really hard in a nice, slick (and very clean) space with delicious food and a great price. It's good to support something like this - they are so close to being really good.

Friday, November 8, 2013


Federlegno Arredo - the Italian Federation of Wood, Cork, Furniture and Furnishings paid (mostly) for 40 US architects to visit the vast and inspiring Milano Architects and Designers Expo (MADE). Three of us from my office, went along with our fantastic, local hostess from the Italian Chamber of Commerce (Loredana). Ciao baby!

Milano has the reputation of being the business capital of Italy - true. Not so wonderful as Rome or Venice for instance but - for me - more interesting. A real city, where real people live and work.

First meal (lunch at the hotel)

Some champagne and nibbles before dinner

Dinner! Just a local "diner" but perfectly delicious

Lunch in the park - grilled cheese (panini)

Hotel dinner - this was veal

I had a pasta

Prix fixe lunch

Prosciutto and melon

Pasta and cheese and that's all - perfectly cooked

Steak salad

Chicken and potatoes - kind of boring in taste and looks


Three gelato: chocolate, black olive and I forget the white one - the former two were great, the latter was boring

Biscuits to finish

Take away dinner - check out the hotdogs and french fries (we took these back to the hotel)

Trade show lunch - it doesn't get much better than this!

Hotel dinner again (better photos this time)

Prosciutto :)

Filet mignon - Waz said that it was the best he ever had

Risotto Milanese (rice with saffron)

Dessert 1

Dessert 2

Trade show lunch #2

Snacks before dinner (this really is what they served - house made potato chips and olives)

Pasta and mushrooms - it was mushroom season

Thursday, November 7, 2013


My sister Martha has a dinner club in Indianapolis and they thought that it would be fun if I came down and did a night. Many things make me nervous but cooking for six strangers (and four family) isn't one of them. It's like speaking in public. Give it your best, have fun and remember that everyone is glad that you are doing it.

Mart and I shopped in the morning (she paid for everything so that was fun), Becky (my other sister in Indy) was a HUGE help and her husband, Craig, made dessert. How cool is that?

I really enjoy planning something like this and spend way too much time on the menu. First it was going to be the four seasons (the first date would have been solstice but I had to postpone to travel - see next post). 

Then Chicago chefs. 

Finally, not much of a theme. :) 

I'm always critical of myself but was happy with the dishes (not so happy with the hens but never mind, they were fine):


This is an old favorite in my family. My dad calls it Gunkazetti (aka American Chop Suey). I had totally forgotten about it until last weekend when I saw my sister give it (leftovers) to her kids. I then had a craving but had to mix it up.

Onion, garlic, fresh rosemary and olive oil:


Canned tomatoes and rice (I missed a photo - the macaroni should be here):

The "traditional" recipe doesn't allow for garlic or rosemary. The macaroni goes in with everything else but I upset that apple cart. From a Girl and the Goat chicken soup recipe, I boiled the macaronis briefly and then deep fried them. The crunch was knock down, out of the park delicious. I mixed them in (as you can see) but it would have been better to sprinkle them on top. All in all - an A for a week night dinner.


I mean mussels. :)

For $4.88 you can buy (in Chicago) a bag of mussels that are very satisfying with some (big) croutons and a salad. Pour in white wine with a friend of my sister's dried herbs (who gave them to me last weekend), add the mussels and simmer until they open. Add a little cream (or half and half in this case). Even better, add pasta - but not this night.

We couldn't wait to eat them so there are only a few left in this photo (and consumed shortly after it's taking).