. . . and restaurants editor Kate Schmidt chimes in with some best bites of her own:
Seared scallops at Marigold. Diver scallops dusted with garam masala, seared, and served with grilled asparagus in a coriander vinaigrette; the sprinkling of marigold blossoms on top just gilded the lily.
Chicken sausage with Carlos’s mole and manchego cheese at Hot Doug’s. And this is based on just one bite of my friend’s. Holy mole about nails it.
Gordita at an unnamed booth in the Maxwell Street Market. Hand-formed by a mamacita, flecked with cilantro, and served up with a spot of crema, this masa patty turned me on to the pleasures of good griddle grease.
1960 Graham port The Miro hanging in the foyer of the high-rise apartment was something of a tip-off that the wines to come at this tasting weren’t going to be from Jewel, but even after a number of superior Bordeaux, this intoxicating, plummy, figgy port was so good I felt unworthy and after a second stunning sip offered the rest of my glass to a more qualified oenophile. I see online that it’s $194 a bottle or so, which is a lot less than I would have expected.
Sticky rice at Sticky Rice Thai. Why in god’s name did it take me so long to try glutinous rice? Served up in its own little lidded straw bowl, it’s both festive and comforting, the perfect complement to the excellent and shockingly cheap northern Thai fare.
Worst bite Hands down, a pallid, toothless bratwurst in the Bud Lite Bleachers at Wrigley Field. And they say the Cubs suck.