14 (or More) Things We Resolve to Eat and Drink in 2014
From pub food in Beverly to edible flowers from Chinatown, here’s the new and the weird that the Groupon Guide staff will be savoring this year.
* Eat the Next (953 W. Fulton Market) steak-house menu, even if it means selling my blood. Nothing on the typical steak-house menu is particularly exciting. That’s all the more reason to see what insane games Grant Achatz and company play with that format.
* Make something with the dried lily flowers I bought in Chinatown two years ago. I think I dreamed that they were poisonous if cooked incorrectly, which isn’t true as far as I can tell, but I’m still scared of them.
* Become wealthy. I’m sure having money has a lot of perks, but I only made this decision when I saw the inventory at Eataly (43 E. Ohio St.) for the first time. I’m off to get an MBA.
* Eat some shakshuka. I haven’t tracked down a Chicago restaurant that makes the Israeli breakfast dish yet, but I did take a shaky cell-phone shot of the recipe in my friend’s copy of Jerusalem: A Cookbook, so I’m good to DIY.
* Repay my Hyde Park friends for all their northward visits by taking them out to A10 (1462 E. 53rd St.).
* Check out the new brunch at Honey Butter Fried Chicken (3361 N. Elston Ave.). Being mildly allergic to hype and long lines, I slept on this much buzzed-about Avondale eatery in 2013. That’s a little shameful, considering that it’s practically walking distance from my house. Now that they’re serving up delish midday dishes like this, I feel like I’ve got a second chance. I only hope that the fried-chicken gods forgive.
Aimee Algas Alker:
* In light of 2013’s cocktail trend and my new trend of being a mom, try to make Kiddie Kocktails happen.
* Figure out how to make all of my favorite Filipino comfort foods myself, mostly using a slow cooker.
* Spend work-from-home days at a classic coffee shop, such as New Wave Coffee (3103 W. Logan Blvd.), just like they did on Friends. Except the Friends never really worked, did they?
* Now that the kid should be regularly eating grown-people food, find kid-friendly restaurants where no one would look at me funny if I mashed everything together on the plate.
* Drink a beer (or a growler) at Horse Thief Hollow (10426 S. Western Ave.). It's a new brewpub that's popped up in Beverly on Western Avenue, a street I used to march down as a child in the South Side Irish Parade. Having a craft brewer is a big step for this stretch, where Miller Lites concealed in McDonald's cups is much more normal to-go beer packaging than a glass growler of craft beer.
* Find more kid-friendly restaurants that do not begin to conspicuously turn down the lights and turn up the music at 7:30 p.m.
* Drop into more scary dive bars along Western Avenue (truly the city's greatest thoroughfare) before they're all changed into cool cocktails places like Sportsman's Club (948 N. Western Ave.), which I would also like to go to.
* Visit Epic Spices (1725 W. Chicago Ave.) to discover what I can zest (nutmeg?) with the microplane I bought my wife for Christmas.
Melanie Zanoza Bartelme:
* Become a regular at a neighborhood bar. I want the bartenders to know my name without judging me for how often I visit. Will’s Northwoods Inn (3030 N. Racine Ave.), you’re a prime contender.
* Enjoy a farm-to-table dinner on an actual farm.
* Rediscover Evanston. It’s changed a lot since I went to school there, and the only new thing I’ve tried is the Dollop/Hoosier Mama hybrid. Edzo’s Burger Shop, Found, Union Pizzeria—there’s a lot of delicious ground to cover up north.
* Stop by The Bedford (1612 W. Division St.) on a Thursday for half off champagne or sparkling wine.
Photo credit: Andrew Nawrocki, Groupon