Put An Egg On It @ Au Cheval – West Loop

Stepping into Au Cheval I instantly thought, “If Maude’s Liquor Bar had a boyfriend, this would be it”. French, cozy, dark, and mysterious. Not necessarily the words that come to mind when you think of a diner. The only thing in common with a diner is the floor plan; long counter with bar stools facing the open kitchen with ample grill space. Comfortable leather booths line the perimeter and go nicely with the relaxed atmosphere. Good to note, they do not take reservations and showing up early pays off (we got there at 6pm and only had to wait about 15 minutes).

Given this is a diner Continue reading

Colombian Dinner in Germany – Willkommen to Corazón Latino

Last year I posted about zum AckerbürgerL’Osteria and Cavos Taverna during my trip to Germany. My birthday was also during this trip and I wanted to try something a bit different. Enter Corazón Latino, a Colombian restaurant in Stuttgart. Upon entering you feel like you stepped into some kind of vortex and landed in another world/country.

The restaurant itself is more like entering a home. There is a waiting area in the front with a small bar behind it.  The dining room is basically a big living room with communal tables and Botero paintings fighting for wall space with maps and various posters.

Image via Corazon Latino Facebook Page

It is really warm, cozy and bursting with activity and Latin American music playing. Is it kind of loud? Yes, but you are at a party not a restaurant so you expect nothing less. The owner, a Colombian woman by the name of Erika Marina, is larger than life. She seems to be able take food orders, deliver drinks and chat with everyone at the same time. Make no mistake, you will get your drink almost right away but you will have to wait for your food. This doesn’t matter because you might as well be in Colombia where people take their time to eat and are only in a hurry to have a good time.  This is probably part of the appeal to the German clientele where order and softer voices are more the norm in most restaurants.

The mojitos were nice and fresh and they did not skimp on the alcohol. We did have two rounds before the main courses came out but hey; it was my birthday so seemed natural.

The empanadas were light, flaky and full of flavor.

The menu is pretty extensive with dishes from various Latin American countries and even beers from several different countries. Unfortunately since it has been over a year and I have lost my notes I do not have the name and descriptions of the entrees so I am sure I am leaving some things out.  My dish was fried chicken, rice and beans, plantains and a fried egg. The meal was worth the wait and a very generous portion.

The other entrée was BBQ chicken, red beans with pork, rice and black beans. The sauce on the chicken was a bit spicy and very tasty. I also enjoyed the extra flavor the pork added to the red beans.

Full of mojitos and food we didn’t even dare order dessert. Joining in on the party that is Corazon Latino was such a rich experience you don’t even miss dessert. I am sorry to report that since eating there, Corazon Latino has closed. They hope it is only a temporary closing so if you are ever in Stuttgart you should look them up to see if they are back in business! ¡Buena suerte, Corazon Latino!

Image via Corazon Latino Facebook Page

Davanti Enoteca – University Village

It’s good to be back in Chicago after a trip abroad; however, the jet leg is not treating me well. I want to go to bed at 5pm but will myself to stay awake, go to bed at a reasonable hour only to wake up at 2:30am. Hoping to be back on a regular sleeping schedule soon. I will be posting a series of food and travel blogs from my trip in the next few weeks but wanted to give my Chicago peeps something local in the meantime.

I don’t get down to University Village very often but wanted to go to Davanti Enoteca. Getting there early on a Wednesday night assured a seat right away. I would describe the interior as rustic, quaint and cozy. Perfect for a date but also great for dinner with friends.

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Imbibe: 5 Election Day Cocktails

Image via Huffingtonpost.com

I’ll be missing the election this year (don’t worry, I voted early) so I won’t be apart of the drama that unfolds every four years on Tuesday night. I’ll be on hiatus for the next couple of weeks but wanted to share this Election Day Cocktails article with you.

With all of the election coverage, calls and tv ads here’s something a bit more fun for you decide on. Which cocktail will you vote for? If you are having an election night party why not try El Presidente or Reforma?

Imbibe: 5 Election Day Cocktails.

Here’s the recipe from Imbibe Magazine for El Presidente to get you started:

El Presidente

This classic rum cocktail is refreshing and full of flavor. Be sure to use real grenadine for the best-tasting results.

1½ oz. rich white rum
1½ oz. Dolin Vermouth Blanc (Martini & Rossi or Cinzano Bianco are fine substitutes)
1 barspoon orange Curaçao or Grand Marnier
½ barspoon real grenadine
Thinly cut orange peel
Cracked ice
Tools: barspoon, mixing glass, strainer
Glass: cocktail
Garnish: maraschino cherry (optional)

Stir ingredients well with cracked ice and strain into a chilled glass. Twist a swatch of thinly cut orange peel over the top and drop in or discard as you prefer. Garnish, if desired, with a cherry.