“You eat with your eyes first.” Yes there is smell, and taste, and feel, and sometimes even noise, but as your dish is coming out of the kitchen and set down in front of you, it is often our eyes that are the first sense to appreciate a dish. Chef’s know this, and go to great lengths to appease our sense of sight. Herbs are known to give a flash of green and bring brightness to the plate, giving a sense of freshness. Smears of sauces can turn plates into a canvas for art, only to be dipped in throughout the meal. With all of that being said, here at Chicagoandfood, we have been lucky enough to taste a few dishes that popped with such color that they stand out from all of the rest. If you ever happen upon any more colorful dishes, be sure to let us know by #chicagoandfood on Instagram!
Imperial Lamian, nestled in the hustle and bustle of River North, offers diners authentic and refined Chinese cuisine in a hip and entertaining environment. As you enter, you are greeted by elaborate handmade Oriental screens and one of our favorite foyers that we’ve come across. This place is known for their noodles, which are hand tossed/pulled fresh to order. The dining room gives a great view into the kitchen where you can see chefs twisting, turning, slapping, and magically creating delicate noodles from mounds of water and flour. The menu is large, jumping from starters, to soup, salad, dim sum, poultry, seafood, pork, beef, lamb, and then finally the wide selection of noodles. However, our money is on the soup dumplings. They come in 6 flavors which are conveniently color coded for easy eating: yellow = gruyere, red = spicy Szechuan, orange = crab, green = duck, black = truffle, and the normal colored dumpling is well, normal, but still delicious. This has definitely been one of our favorite experiences where we got to taste the rainbow.
Warm Belly Bakery is a bakery that puts cookies front and center, and that is our kind of bakery. These cookies are augmented by Dark Matter coffee and Bobtail ice cream (so there is something for everyone), but the cookies are what really shine. With over 40 varieties, there are plenty to choose from, and we highly suggest buying a dozen and sharing amongst your group. The hazelnut chocolate chip cookie makes us wonder why we ever ate plain chocolate chip, but then there is also a Nutella-stuffed brown butter chocolate chip with pretzel salt cookie… you can guess how delicious that one is based upon the length of the name alone. Amidst all of the deliciousness, it is impossible not to be distracted by the cereal milk – fruity pebbles cookie. Its rainbow colored flecks called to us as we struggled to make our selection. This cookie manages to balance the sweetness of the cookie, with the tartness of fruity pebbles, with the surprise element of cereal milk. These cookies are dense and heavy and everything a cookie should be.
Roister is our editor’s current favorite restaurant in Chicago. Their website proudly proclaims that “The restaurant is the kitchen. The kitchen is the restaurant.” You get immersed in the magical dance that is food preparation, and the music envelops you and makes it all seem like one big party. The restaurant is from the Alinea group (yes… that Alinea), and the food does not disappoint. Definitely get the chicken. You must trust us on this… But the chicken, while deserving of its own article, is not what we are here to right about. Instead, it is the dessert simply named “Watermelon” that was the hit during our last meal. Simply described as “sorbet, gummies, pickled rind” you are greeted by a bright pink and fun dish where you are unable to discern where the sorbet ends and where the watermelon begins. Using one color, Roister plays with flavors and consistencies to delight and enliven the taste buds. It ends the meal on a light and refreshing note, and a desire to come back for more.
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