Saturday, July 7, 2007

#32: The Whole Tree

Okay, attempting to "taste" #32 The Whole Tree on Food and Wine's 100 Tastes to Try in 2007 was impossible for me. AND it cost me a fortune.

32 The Whole Tree

It’s the herbivore’s version of head-to-tail eating. Consider how three Chicago restaurants are using various parts of the peach tree:

Peach Leaves MK the Restaurant infuses ice cream with peach leaves.

Unripe Fruit It flavors a salsa for smoked trout and a vinaigrette at HotChocolate.

Wood Osteria di Tramonto smokes pork shanks over peach wood.

When I went to HotChocolate the restaurantaurs had no idea what I was talking about. I went for brunch on a weekend and we still had an amazing brunch, but I didn't get to taste any part of a peach tree. I will say that their tea was amazing even though that they must be know for their Hot Chocolate, based on the name. We were asking so many questions I think they knew we were going to write something about them because they offered my friend and I each complimentary hot chocolates. They were the BEST we ever had. Homemade marshmallows! I had the mexican version and she had the traditional version. We will definitely be headed back there when it turns cold.

We later went to MK which is a very expensive restaurant. Unfortunately, the menu changes seasonally and there was no peach ice cream anywhere on the menu. So I did attempt it, and we did end up with an AMAZING dinner, but didn't accomplish my goal.

Over all, I spent over $200 and never got to taste any part of a peach tree :(

Friday, July 6, 2007

#1: Langoustines

I came into Chicago to go to The Police Concert at Wrigley Field with my friend Tiffany. We were tried to go for a Chicago Power Meal, but they were closed for lunch by the time we got there. Next we tried to eat The Whole Tree at HotChocolate but they were closed too! So we wandered to a Mexican restaurant down the block and much to my surprise I was able to order Langoustines which are #1 on the F&W 100 Tastes to Try list!

Langoustines are very similar to shrimp and are also known as Norway Lobster, Dublin Bay prawns or Scampi "found in the north-eastern Atlantic Ocean and North Sea as far north as Iceland and northern Norway, and south to Portugal". Normally I would not have ordered these because they came with the shells on and I do not like doing the peel and eat thing. However, they just happened to be on the menu so I went for it. They were very good. Sweeter than shrimp and it seemed that most of the meat was up in the head area which might gross some people out.

Tuesday, July 3, 2007

#16: Great Canadian Wines from the Okanagan Valley

#16 on Food & Wine's 100 Tastes to Try in 2007 is Great Canadian Wines from the Okanagan Valley and I think it was my favorite "taste" of all. I got to sample many wines on our trip to the Pacific Northwest earlier this year. We spent a long weekend in Vancouver and every place we went I asked for wine from the Okanagan Valley. Luckily, there were several chardonnay and other white wines. This was great because it was warm in Vancouver and a cold glass of white wine hit the spot every time we took a break.