Kiss Kiss Bang Bang
The husband-and-wife team Dave and Megan Miller launched the food truck Bang Bang Pie & Coffee Show on July 1 with the dream of opening a storefront someday. Someday came quickly. The Millers have sold the truck and hope to open Bang Bang Pie (2051 N. California Ave.; no phone yet) November 20. Although the business is named after lyrics from a Nancy Sinatra and Serge Gainsbourg song, another Bang Bang will emerge with the opening of the store. “One of the ideas that we haven’t been able to incorporate yet into our marketing is that we have kind of a vintage circus theme,” Dave Miller says. “We have a character who is a bearded lady. We decided to name her Bang Bang.” Pies will change seasonally, with apple pie for the fall, sweet cream pie and grapefruit curd pie for the winter, berry pies in the spring, and specialties such as plum brûlée in the summer. Megan Miller developed many of the recipes from her great-grandmother’s onetime pie shop in Athens, Illinois. The Bang Bang space seats about 25, and a large backyard, which the Millers hope to make all-season, will accommodate maybe 60 more. It’s nice to see that dreams aren’t just pie in the sky.
Rice Rice Baby
Thursdays, Fridays, and Saturdays at least through November 15, the Bia for Mia space (1147 W. Grand Ave.) houses the pop-up Indonesian restaurant The Rice Table, an offshoot of the catering company of the same name. Christopher Reed and his mother, Priscilla-Jane, prepare dishes such as lumpia (fried chicken-vegetable egg rolls) and rendang daging (beef in coconut curry) from family recipes. Once a month, they will serve a rijstaffel—a special dinner created for Dutch colonialists to sample Indonesian cuisine by tasting many small dishes and several preparations of rice—and include Balinese dancers and gamelan music. The first rijstaffel is tentatively scheduled for October 23, and reservations can be made via e-mail. Sounds like a Dutch treat.
“The discovery of a new dish does more for human happiness than the discovery of a new star.” —Jean-Anthelme Brillat-Savarin (1755–1826), French lawyer, politician, and gastronome
The menu at the new incarnation of Glenview House (1843 Glenview Rd., Glenview; 847-724-0692) was born when the owner, Steve Podjasek (Bar on Buena), gave the chef, Grant Slauterbeck (One North Kitchen & Bar, Pinstripes), his vision of the drinks program, which offered 100 beers and 100 whiskeys. Totally revamped from the previous Glenview House, the restaurant opened this past spring. Slauterbeck described two dishes for us.
• Pot roast nachos. Beef shoulders are braised in Allagash White Ale, guajillo, achiote, and Latin aromatics. After eight hours, the beef is pulled and served on handmade tortilla chips. Fire-roasted corn salsa comes on the side.
• Roasted banana bread pudding bites. Bananas are roasted and puréed, then combined with dried brioche and a sweet, creamy egg mixture. It’s then baked into bread, cut into finger-shaped pieces, dredged in a cinnamon–raw sugar mixture, and deep-fried. It’s served with lavender-honey anglaise and strawberry coulis. “It’s delicious and really easy to eat,” Slauterbeck says.
He Said It
“[The sous chef] had never butchered, and so I called Louis John Slagel, and he brought me a goat. I showed the cooks here how you take apart a goat, and on Friday it was a special: curried goat over Tracey Vowell [of Three Sisters Garden] grits with some puréed squash folded in. [This week] I’ve got a suckling pig coming in. We’re also putting rabbit on the menu.” —John Manion, temporarily the chef at The Southern (1840 W. North Ave.; 773-342-1840) while Cary Taylor, the permanent chef, gets his latest venture (The Southern Mac & Cheese Store) up and running.
With a name that surely will set a record for density of double letters, Beezzee (2807 N. Sheffield Ave.; 773-525-3570), a quick-service spot, is scheduled to open within the next two weeks in Lake View. The name derives from “busy,” and the menu sounds like it keeps the cooks busy: crêpes, custom salads, rotisserie meats, and fresh-pressed juices, as well as Lavazza coffee and Rishi teas. “We thought we should put together something to accommodate all types of cravings,” says Ania Swiderska, one of the owners and a native of Bialystok, Poland. The other owner is George Avgousti, a Greek from Cyprus and an architect who has worked on Yolk in the South Loop and Venus in Greektown. So the food isn’t really Polish, Greek, or Cypriot, or any combination of those. We’ll have to keep looking for that gyro pierogi we’ve been searching for.
The Song of Pollard
“We are going to have a culinary program. It’s not going to be tied to the bar or the roof. We will be making everything in-house. Burgers will be ground in-house. The bun will be made in-house. Ketchup, the pickle. [We’re] having a program with our pastry department, bread baking, pickling, charcuterie.” —Mark Pollard, the new chef at Epic (112 W. Hubbard St.; 312-222-4940). Pollard’s menu includes scallop-topped seafood cassoulet with rock shrimp, white beans, smoked paprika, and Spanish chorizo ($15, an appetizer); Berkshire pork chop with Gruyère spaetzle, braised bacon, and salt-roasted pears ($28); and braised lamb shank with dates, dark chocolate, and pumpkin purée ($29).
Ten years ago, Tony Kammaty attended DePaul University, seeking a master’s degree in marketing. He ran low on money, so he quit to open a business. Now, along with his brother, Tommy, Kammaty owns Old Town’s Shiso, Edgewater’s Blue Elephant, and Nori, by the Diversey Brown Line stop. Two more Noris are planned for the next two months: at 1393 North Milwaukee Avenue, to open October 6, and at 1235 West Devon Avenue (next door to Blue Elephant), scheduled for November. The new Noris will follow the first’s lead as BYO neighborhood sushi-and-noodle spots. Tony Kammaty never finished that degree—his businesses were too successful.
- It’s soup weather, and Chez Joël Bistro ladles up a winner.
- Pollack swaps Angus for ahi at Jake Melnick’s Corner Tap.
- The indulgent garlic bread is a slam dunk for Michael Jordan’s Steak House.
- Pollack gets the scoop on what’s next for Il Mulino and uncovers what else Fred Latsko has up his sleeve.
Follow Pollack on Twitter.
Things to Do
1. Celebrate World Vegetarian Day at the most unlikely of places: the burger joint The Counter (666 W. Diversey Pkwy.; 773-935-1995). On October 1, any other burger purchase entitles diners to free mini veggie burgers topped with provolone, red peppers, and Dijon-balsamic dressing in honor of the herbivore holiday.
2. Check out the first-ever Cultivate Chicago (Lincoln Park; N. Stockton Dr. at W. LaSalle Dr.), a free bash—created by Chipotle and running Saturday from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m.—that merges food, farms, chefs, and musicians, and aims to educate festgoers on the importance of responsibly grown local ingredients. The shindig includes an artisans’ hall with tasty morsels from spots like Local Folks Foods and Rock ’n Roll Noodle Company; a chef’s tent where heavy hitters such as Tony Mantuano and Paul Kahan will perform demos using ingredients from Dietzler Farms, Nichols Farm, and others; a music stage where Calexico and White Rabbits, among a myriad of performers, will regale the crowd; and a slew of additional diversions.
3. Pop in to a pop-up. (We couldn’t help but notice an abundance of these transient restos this week.) If you crave café fare, hit the grand opening of Miko’s Flipside Café (1846 N. Damen Ave.; 773-645-9664)—an October-through-April bakery and coffee shop in the space that hosts Miko’s Italian Ice during summer—on Saturday from 4 to 8 p.m. and sample free treats, including brown sugar–topped curry snaps and hot chocolate made with Valrhona cocoa. Or get tickets to the premiere installment of the twice-monthly Shift Series, held this Monday from 6 to 9 p.m. at 694 Wine & Spirits (694 N. Milwaukee Ave.; 312-492-6620) and featuring dishes from the husband-wife duo behind Pilsen’s S&M’s Underground. The dinner is called “Roots” for two reasons: The five courses feature root vegetables, and the food gestures to the chefs’ Indian and English roots, with dishes such as a Wellington of rogan josh goat curry and mushroom pâté baked in puff pastry. Finally, if you’re feeling nostalgic, check out the second run of Gypsy, popping up this time at Le Bouchon (1958 N. Damen Ave.; 773-862-6600) on Sunday from 6 to 10 p.m. Chefs Scott Jambrosek and Oliver Poilevey of Le Bouchon and La Sardine promise a whimsical six-course menu of childhood eats (anticipating Next’s next menu, perhaps), such as “Baby Food” (pea purée, baby scallops, and lardons). The dinner is BYOB (serving booze with baby food doesn’t seem right) and costs $50. Call 312-421-2800 for reservations.
Dot Dot Dot . . .
At long last, the NYC-based sweets shop Magnolia Bakery opens Saturday at 10 a.m. in the Block 37 Shops. . . . Mayor Emanuel has spoken: Tomorrow shall hereby be known as Chef Priscila Satkoff Day, in honor of the ¡Salpicón! chef’s impending induction into the Chicago Culinary Museum and Chefs Hall of Fame. . . . As reported by Eater, Webster Street Cafe, the neighborhood spot that took over the former Kith & Kin space after it shuttered in May, has gone the way of its predecessor. Moe and Ash Taleb, who owned both restaurants, have decided to focus their efforts on delivery and catering. . . . This week, we also bid adieu to The Original Mitchell’s and Leo’s Coney Island.
When this week’s Dish was originally posted, we failed to mention that Cary Taylor is and will remain the chef at The Southern. We regret the confusion this may have caused.Dining & Drinking