Joffrey Ballet in Chicago celebrates upcoming Swan Lake

More than 200 guests joined The Joffrey Ballet Women’s Board to celebrate the upcoming Joffrey premiere of Christopher Wheeldon’s Swan Lake in Chicago on Wednesday, October 1, 2014. The Luncheon raised more than $75,000 to support The Joffrey Ballet’s performances and programming.

The elegant luncheon began with a champagne reception at the newly opened RPM Steak located at 66 West Kinzie Street, Chicago. President Obama was spotted later in the evening dining at the venue.

Co-chaired by Women’s Board members Kathleen Henson, of Henson Consulting and Ellie Forman, of Mesirow Financial,  the afternoon featured “Stories of a Leading Swan” — an intimate conversation with Joffrey dancer and leading Swan, Victoria Jaiani and the Joffrey’s Artistic Director Ashley Wheater led by Hedy Weiss, Theater and Dance Critic for the Chicago Sun-Times.

Guests, comprised of Chicago’s foremost business and civic leaders and philanthropists were treated to a special gift from Burberry’s new cosmetic line and had the chance to win luxurious prizes from Fabbri Furs, Jewelry by Rosalina, The Joffrey Ballet, Leah Chavie Skincare Boutique, Maria Pinto’s M2057 collection, Neiman Marcus Michigan Avenue, RPM Steak, Southwest Airlines and Tory Burch.  Floral designs were provided by A Perfect Event and the co-chairs and Joffrey dancers were adorned with Jewelry by Rosalina.

Spotted at the luncheon included notable names such as: Martha Melman, Suzy Friedman, Linda O’Keefe, Sonya Y. Jackson, Rochelle Trotter, Maria Pinto, Nancy Reinsdorf, Coco Meers, Molly Melman and Tarrah Cooper.

The Joffrey Ballet is Chicago’s premier ballet company committed to artistic excellence and innovation, presenting a unique repertory encompassing masterpieces of the past and cutting-edge works of today.  Founded by visionary teacher Robert Joffrey in 1956, guided by celebrated choreographer Gerald Arpino from 1988 until 2007, The Joffrey Ballet continues to thrive under Artistic Director Ashley Wheater and Executive Director Greg Cameron.  The Joffrey is also committed to providing arts education and accessible dance training through its Joffrey Academy of Dance and Community Engagement programs.

For more information on The Joffrey Ballet and its programs visit www.joffrey.org.

Abby McCormick O’Neil, Martha Melman, Suzy Friedman, Noren Ungaretti

Abby McCormick O’Neil, Martha Melman, Suzy Friedman, Noren Ungaretti

Ashley Wheater, Hedy Weiss, Victoria Jaiani (2)

Ashley Wheater, Hedy Weiss, Victoria Jaiani

Back Row- Sebrina Beyer, Nancy Reinsdorf, Tina Berto, Hillary Thomas, Front Row - Lisa Nucci, Julie Adler, Beth Esler, Susan Goodenow

Back Row- Sebrina Beyer, Nancy Reinsdorf, Tina Berto, Hillary Thomas, Front Row – Lisa Nucci, Julie Adler, Beth Esler, Susan Goodenow

Brooke Hubbuch, Maria Pinto

Brooke Hubbuch, Maria Pinto

Carol Stone, Laura Kofoid

Carol Stone, Laura Kofoid

Elizabeth Yntema, Noren Ungaretti

Elizabeth Yntema, Noren Ungaretti

Ellie Forman, Kathleen Henson, Taylor Townsend, Tarrah Cooper

Ellie Forman, Kathleen Henson, Taylor Townsend, Tarrah Cooper

Ellie Forman, Victoria Jaiani, Ashley Wheater, Kathleen Henson

Ellie Forman, Victoria Jaiani, Ashley Wheater, Kathleen Henson

Greg Cameron, Mary Galvin

Greg Cameron, Mary Galvin

Sonya Jackson, Rochelle Trotter

Sonya Jackson, Rochelle Trotter

The Best of Chicago: Tre Soldi

Tre Soldi restaurant in Chicago by restaurateur Jack Weiss has remained a popular spot to enjoy Roman-style cuisine since opening last year.

It’s a bright and inviting space, modeled on a trattoria, which captures the Roman experience and completes it with true Italian comfort food. Fresh and earthy meat, seafood and vegetables play an important role, and Roman pizza comes hand-tossed, with thin, crisp crust and tender edges. Rich pastas are crafted for peak flavors, including carbonara, Cacao E Pepe, or Bucatini all’Amatriciana.  House-made gelati and an ever-changing rustic crostata make Tre Soldi’s menu one of a kind.

The exquisite menu is the work of executive chef, Frederico Comacchio. Born in Italy, Federico started cooking when he was in his early teens, inspired by his mother’s family feasts. Frederico is passionate about the clean, clear flavors of Tuscany. His early hands-on culinary education took him through Italy including Genoa and Milan where he worked for two Michelin Star restaurants, and after moving to Chicago in 2001 he worked as executive chef at Phil Stefani’s 437 Rush.

Tre Soldi, meaning “three coins”, garners inspiration from the Trevi Fountain, made famous in the 1954 movie Three Coins in the Fountain. Murals of the iconic fountain and the rooftops of Rome bring a warm ambiance to the casual, contemporary atmosphere.  Glass tiled pillars, an open kitchen and large windows that open to the neighborhood create a lively surrounding that’s perfect for gathering with friends.

Tre Soldi is located at 212 East Ohio Street, Chicago, IL 60611.

For more information visit http://tresoldichicago.com/

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The Best of Chicago: Japonais by Morimoto

Japonais by Morimoto in Chicago offers a seamless blend of Japanese and Western cuisine that celebrates the vibrant essence of the Asian culture.

The restaurant, which is located in River North, is a dynamic dining experience due to the culinary creativity of critically acclaimed Chef Masaharu Morimoto, and upholds some of the freshest fish and shellfish options in the city. Speciality dishes include the Toro Tartare, which is served cold, with wasabi nori paste, avocado and sour cream; the Marimoto Sashimi, which is seared toro, smoked salmon, eel, tuna, Hamachi and fives sauces; and the Wagyu Surg & Turf, a 12oz American wagyu new York strip and whole roasted lobster  masala.

Chef Marimoto, who is known as the star of Japanese television show Iron Chef and the Food Network’s Iron Chef America, has garnered acclaim for his restaurants in Philadelphia, New York, Napa, Honolulu, Boca Raton, Mumbai, New Delhi and Mexico City. He also produced an award-winning cookbook entitled, ‘Morimoto: The New Art of Japanese Cooking’.

The newly designed space, by Jeffery Beers International, features an elevated sushi bar, on which sushi cases display a breathtaking view of some of the freshest fish and shellfish options in the city.  The Blue Room and Garden Terrace, which were opened in May this year, add to the restaurant’s modern and sophisticated feel. The Blue Room features local and national artists’ work in a revolving gallery which changes every couple of months.

Exclusive private tasting rooms, which can accommodate parties from eight to 24, fill the romantic space separated from the dining room, along with a lounge area and a shochu and sake bar. The bar also features Chef Morimoto’s own line of shochu, sake and craft beers, as well as the largest selection of Japanese whiskey in Chicago.

For more information visit www.japonaismorimoto.com/

Follow Japonais by Morimoto on Twitter (@JbyMorimoto) or Facebook (Japonais by Morimoto) or call 312.822.9600.

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Tanta in Chicago highlights the most authentic flavors of Peru

Peruvian restaurant Tanta has cemented itself as a not-to-be-missed hotspot in Chicago since its opening in River North last year.

Seen as one of the most exciting and eye-opening restaurants to open in 2013,” Tanta features a vibrant menu that highlights the best and most authentic flavors of Peru.

Tanta is the work of Peruvian chef Gastón Acurio, who has created an international empire with 33 restaurants worldwide. Described as a “modern food shaman” by the Washington Post, Acurio is known for his passionate dedication to the promotion of Peruvian culinary arts as a renowned chef, writer and businessman.

The well-crafted menu displays the creative work of Acurio and his collaboration with talented chef, Jesus Delgado. It features dishes like the mouth-watering Pollo a la Brasa – Amish roasted chicken, Peruvian style, with cannellini beans, arroz con choclo, criolla salad, rustic potatoes and aji sauces.

From the Pacific Ocean, through the Andes, to the desert, to the Amazon, Tanta celebrates the diverse landscape and ethnicities that make up Peru’s culture. Emigrants from China, Japan, Spain, and Italy melded their respective dishes with the native Peruvian cuisine to create the unique melting pot of Peruvian cooking that keeps boiling to this day.

Tanta’s reviews have been consistently positive, distinguishing it from other restaurants in the city. RedEye Chicago’s Michael Nagrant said, “While most Peruvian spots in Chicago serve heavy carb- and meat-laden home-style plates, Tanta’s fare–which is balanced with acidity and features the pleasing interplay of crisp and soft textures–is the inspiring work of an accomplished gourmet chef.” Mike Sula, of the Chicago Reader, described Tanta’s cebiches as being in a class of their own – “each a distinct rendition of the form, each intensely acidic, but seasoned and brightly colored with a variety of flavors.”

Set in a multi-leveled, modern and sleek setting, Tanta boasts a 120-seat rooftop pisco and cebiche lounge where guests can enjoy downtown city views, pisco cocktails, cebiche with fresh fish sliced to order and a menu of small bites.

Tanta is located at 118 W Grand Ave, Chicago, 60654.

To read more on Tanta, click here

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TÊTE Charcuterie: The new flavor of Chicago – with an old French twist

French restaurant TÊTE Charcuterie is part of the dazzling array of restaurants that have turned Chicago’s Randolph District into an irresistible magnet for the most passionate of foodies searching for new culinary attractions.

Since opening its doors, TÊTE Charcuterie has been serving up classic French delicacies and delights, with all the traditions and ambiance of Europe.

It was in the old cobblestone, charming streets of Paris that Executive Chefs Thomas Rice and Kurt Guzowski found their inspiration for their restaurant. They realized that even amongst all the sleek French bistros, sushi bars, trattorias, roadhouse-chic taquerias that dot Chicago’s famed Randolph District, there was nothing like a true to tradition French Charcuterie.

With help from Managing Partner Daniel Goodman, chefs Thomas and Kurt are taking diners on a free trip to Paris, via their palates, without ever leaving their tables.

And when it comes to the menu, if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it. So Thomas and Kurt are meticulously staying with the same time-proven formula of the real French charcuterie: using only the freshest, daily supply of fresh produce and meats to serve the best food money can buy. All from local Midwest farmers.

The charcuturie, naturally, is the signature offering of a restaurant proudly bearing “charcuterie” in its name: an assortment of delicious fare personally chosen by the chefs, and presented on a traditional French wooden serving board.

But there is also a full menu featuring the same delicious fare in a more conventional and comtemporary plate setting, with a broad choice of the chefs’ ingredients and sauces.

And the effect on your palate is guaranteed to be a delicious culinary treat to remember, whether you choose the traditional charcuturie or a dish from the expansive menu. Among the many, varied choices are house cured saucissons, composed fresh sausages, terrines, pâtés and seasonally driven casual fare, accompanied by both old and new world wines, seasonal handcrafted cocktails and local craft beers.

Recommended dishes include Rosette de Lyon and Fromage de TÊTE, a house specialty; fresh sausages inspired by the best recipes from around the world, including Longanisa of the Philippines, with sweet shrimp fried rice and fresno chili marmalade; Pork Belly Rillons with bacon xo sauce; Spring Garden, a cocotte of seasonal vegetables, fruits and herbs, and Spice & Nut Crusted Halibut, with porcini mushrooms, black olive gnocchi and tamarind-brown butter.

But while you may be able to take a little of Paris out of France, you can’t take it all. And so, TÊTE Charcuterie remains firmly planted in old Chicago. It is housed in a former meatpacker facility, and was designed by John Kelly Architects, who drew inspiration from the historic Randolph Street Markets, utilizing all of the existing and defining exposed steel beams, timber ceiling, reclaimed old growth walnut, and exposed brick walls to enhance TÊTE Charcuterie’s industrial chic aesthetic, giving TÊTE Charcuterie what you might call Paris a la Chicago.

TÊTE Charcuterie is located at 1114 W. Randolph St., Chicago, IL 60607.

TÊTE will extend dinner service Mondays through Saturdays. For more information, please visit tetechicago.com or follow TÊTE on Facebook and Twitter.

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TETE Facuterie partners

TETE Facuterie partners

Tony Mantuano’s River Roast Restaurant: A rare taste of rustic England

Since restaurateur extraordinaire and award-winning super chef Tony Mantuano unveiled his latest surprise creation, Chicago’s River Roast, guests have lined up to enjoy this unique and succulent dining concept.

River Roast is a rare taste of old rustic England, transported to America’s beloved Second City, where diners can feast on the finest of classic roasted meats as they look out from a coveted perch in the beautiful Reid Murdoch building over picturesque views of The Chicago River and the glittering city skyline.

The exciting concept was cooked up by Tony, his longtime friend and executive chef John Hogan and general manager Terry Kane, in association with Levy Restaurants, and was inspired by Tony’s many trips to England and his close observations of the old country’s traditional and time-proven roasting techniques.

“John and I have wanted to do something together for years,” says Tony. “River Roast is the perfect opportunity for us to combine creative forces and produce something truly unique to the Chicago culinary scene.”

Tony and John offer a menu showcasing contemporary American tavern fare with roasts of chicken, whole fish and beef; all hand carved tableside and served with crisp potatoes.  Starters include John’s signature charcuterie board, oysters and lobster sliders along with table snacks like bourbon caramel corn and house pickles. The menu will also offer side dishes, such as John’s peas with pearl onions, bacon and bibb lettuce and turnips au gratin with housemade ricotta.

The highlight of lunch are the meats from The Roost, River Roast’s quick serve carving stand open daily starting at 11am. The weekend brunch menu offers the best of both the kitchen and the bar with innovative dishes and hand-crafted brunch cocktails.

Actually, make that two bars, offering a large selection of local beer, craft cocktails and wine. Beverage Director Jecha creates beer cocktails alongside cold drafts, wine, cocktails and tea.

And there’s more than enough room for parties of any size. Six private event spaces are available to accommodate groups from 10 to 1,000 for corporate events, wedding receptions and celebrations.

If Tony’s credentials are anything to go by, it’s no surprise River Roast has been such a success.

As well as numerous prestigious awards, Tony is the author of three celebrated cookbooks, was a popular contestant on TV’s “Top Chef  Masters,” and has numerous other successful restaurants to his credit, including Spiaggia, one of the country’s leading restaurants and Chicago’s only four-star Italian restaurant, along with Bar Toma, Terzo Piano, and Mangia Trattoria, a classic Italian restaurant in his hometown of Kenosha, Wisconsin.

Partner John Hogan was executive chef at Kiki’s Bistro, which was named the favorite restaurant of Chicago chefs in a survey conducted by Chicago magazine, and opened Savarin, a unique French/Parisian restaurant that was named one of America’s Top 50 Restaurants by Travel + Leisure, one of the Best New Restaurants in Chicago magazine, and Best Restaurant of The Year in 1999 by Esquire magazine.

River Roast is open daily for lunch, dinner and weekend brunch. It is located at 315 N. LaSalle, and is taking reservations on Open Table and via phone at (312) 822-0100.

To find out more about River Roast, click here

Tony Mantuano © 2014 Galdones Photography/Taste Network

Tony Mantuano © 2014 Galdones Photography/Taste Network

Executive Chef John Hogan © 2014 Galdones Photography/Taste Network

Executive Chef John Hogan © 2014 Galdones Photography/Taste Network

The River Roast Team © 2014 Galdones Photography/Taste Network

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