Late Spring Food News

| May 13, 2015 | Food & Drink The Latest National

The latest in Chicago dining news.

Eloise Karlatiras aims to get sports teams to create long-term sustainability plans as she and GCRC have done with hundreds of area restaurants, like Michael Jordan’s Steakhouse.

Green Queen
Eloise Karlatiras has put her passion for the environment to good use ever since her college days working at Piece Pizzeria & Brewery, where she helped divert 400,000 pounds of the restaurant’s food waste from landfills—and caught the attention of Green Chicago Restaurant Coalition (GCRC) in the process. Since becoming GCRC’s CEO in 2011, Karlatiras has led partnerships with hundreds of restaurants (think Topolobampo, Blackbird, and Lou Malnati’s) to reduce waste and create long-term sustainability plans. Next, the environmentalist has her eye on the professional sports world (a fitting partnership, considering Soldier Field boasts the world’s largest green roof) through this month’s Sustainable Chicago Sports Project to identify teams’ sustainability practices while engaging fans. Says Karlatiras, “We want to leverage the excitement and competitive nature of sports to increase Chicagoans’ awareness and encourage participation in conservation.”

Wansas tequila is available in Silver, Reposado, and Añejo.

Smooth Operator
“Tequila is as versatile as vodka,” says Benjamin Greenfield of Chicago based 312 Spirits, which recently introduced its Wansas tequila to Windy City imbibers. “Playing off the sweet and vibrant fruitiness or the spicy and mineral essences, there are limitless flavor combinations.” Sold in a striking pyramid-shaped bottle, the estate-grown Jalisco tequila is available in three varieties, ranging from translucent, double-distilled Silver (a gold medal winner from the International Review of Spirits) to rich Añejo, aged for 18 months in charred French oak. Available at Mariano’s

Lamb chops from The Estate, by Gene & Georgetti.

Something Old, Something New
This month, Chicago foodies welcome a notable newcomer and two refreshed classics to the city’s dining scene. in the West Loop, old-school cocktail salon The Betty serves cocktails like Life During War Time (genever, green tea syrup, fennel bitters) but is also gaining renown for creative plates like clams with uni butter, charred squid, and lightly fried caulifower with pomegranate. River north classic Rockit Bar & Grill celebrates 10 years with a glamorous new interior designed by Vogue-approved Chicago designer Kara mann. Lilac marble and sleek, monochromatic black and white accents make for a fresh look, but fear not: Staples like Rockit’s Kobe burger and truffe fries will remain on chef Amanda Downing’s new menu. and chicago’s oldest steakhouse is opening its second location with a 340- seat ballroom at The Estate, by Gene & Georgetti. Live weekend entertainment accompanies the same wet aged steaks and veal Parmesan that won the original outpost the chicago classic award at the 2015 Jean Banchet awards. The Betty, 839 W. Fulton Market, 312-733-2222; Rockit Bar & Grill, 22 W. Hubbard St., 312-645-6000; The Estate, 9421 W. Higgins Road, 312-527- 3718

Lemon blueberry cupcakes by Swirlz.

Treat Yourself
For those who think the cupcake trend has faded, Swirlz Cupcakes co-owner Pam Rose begs to differ. “Our product is not just a cupcake,” says Rose. “It’s edible art. Every one of our cupcakes is made fresh daily from the finest ingredients we can get our spatulas on.” Whole Foods Market has taken notice, recently tapping the Lincoln Park mainstay to deliver hundreds of fresh-baked cupcakes in a dozen different flavors each morning to the newly opened Streeterville Outpost, where whipped Italian buttercream frosting and raspberry truffle filling are upping the dessert ante in the grocer’s bakery showcase. Swirlz Cupcakes (705 W. Belden Ave., 773-404-2253; Streeterville Outpost, (255 E. Grand Ave., 312-379-7900

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