Let’s Dish: Best of 2014

Another year has come and gone and for Binge Magazine, this year was more than just our first in existence. 2014 was full of amazing experiences, wonderful people and delicious dining. With the New Year comes new trends, new hot spots, and new bucket lists. We decided to do a quick round-up of the best of the best that we got to witness first hand in 2014. All of these restaurants are worth adding to your 2015 food bucket list, not only because of the cuisine, but the great service and all around experience. Enjoy!

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#1: Chicago Cut Steakhouse
This beautiful restaurant, situated on the Chicago River, is bound to catch anyone’s eye with it’s crisp and clean decor. Whether you step into the vibrant bar area for a glass of wine, or slip into a cozy booth for dinner, you are sure to remember the experience. Chicago Cut’s modern flair truly redefines the traditional steakhouse experience. It’s the only steakhouse in the city to exclusively serve USDA-certified prime steaks, which are butchered and dry aged on the premises.

Chicago Cut Steakhouse provides exquisite service and fare, not only catching the attention of locals and tourists, but a variety of A-list celebrities and athletes as well. In 2014, just to name a few, those celebrities/athletes included:
President Obama
Beyonce and Jay Z
Mark Wahlberg
Ryan Seacrest
Kate Upton
Cindy Crawford
Drake
Robin Thicke
Sean P. Diddy Combs
Charles Barkley
Country legend Kix Brooks of Brooks and Dunn
Oprah Winfrey
John and Joan Cusack

Our two recommendations are just two of the reasons you need to stop in for a meal. Thanks to the owners, you will not have any problem picking out a glass of wine as they have introduced an iPad wine list, which offers guests a wine selecting experience unrivaled by their peers. With 40 iPads providing video, images and detailed information about each wine and their origins, Chicago Cut Steakhouse ensures a memorable and unique dining experience at every level.

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Maine Lobster Tail Pieces in Garlic Butter with Melted Havarti and Crostinis
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Bone-In Rib Eye
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With accolades ranging from “Michelin Guide Recommended 2015,” to “America’s Top Ten Steakhouses in USA TODAY,” Chicago Cut, which opened it’s doors in September of 2010 thanks to industry veterans David Flom and Matt Moore, is continuing to amaze patrons. Don’t miss even more to come from Chicago Cut Steakhouse in 2015!
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{Pictured Below: Charles Barkley with Chicago Cut Steakhouse Managing Partner David Flom}
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#2: FIG & OLIVE
In July of 2014, FIG & OLIVE opened it’s 10,000 square foot beautiful Oak Street location in Chicago’s premier Gold Coast neighborhood. Step into Fig & Olive on Oak Street and in the blink of an eye you’re taken to another place, perhaps what you imagine Italy to be like? The aura, quality and sense of peace that surround you while you dine here is that of a dream. The comfort allows you to enjoy and savor every aspect of your Fig & Olive experience. With luxury locations on both the East and West Coasts, Fig & Olive brings their staple, elegant décor and design to Chicago’s Gold Coast. The staff is warm and welcoming, which highlights the exquisite ambiance of the entire two-floor fantasy dining space.

“FIG & OLIVE embodies a passion for the best olive oils, flavors, and cuisine from the Riviera and Coastal regions of the South of France, Italy, and Spain. The menu highlights the unique olive oils, paired with each dish and used in place of butter.”

Must try items:
TRUFFLE MUSHROOM CROQUETTE:
Cremini mushroom, parmesan, béchamel
Truffle Olive Oil aioli
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ROSEMARY LAMB CHOPS:
Grilled, smoked à la minute with a bouquet of Herbs de Provence, goat cheese & chive gnocchi
roasted honey, thyme eggplant – Rosemary Garlic Olive Oil
rosemary chops
THE FIG & OLIVE cocktail:
Cucumber infused vodka, blood orange olive oil,egg white, simple syrup, celery, lime juice,blood orange puree– Don’t let the ingredients throw you off, this cocktail is light and refreshing. Perfect with any dish!
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{Check out our “Let’s Dish” feature on FIG & OLIVE here}
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#3: Bottlefork
Bottlefork was our very first “Let’s Dish” feature in July 2014 and has managed to keep a top spot on our list, for plenty of good reasons. The staff at Bottlefork, including Chef Kevin Hickey, may be the most personable in town. On top of big personalities, Bottlefork serves everything from Kale Salad to Hot & Gooey Cheesecake with Strawberry/Blueberry Compote and Graham Cracker Streusel…yes, that is a real thing! One of their staples, and our favorite, is the “Bag” of Crisps + Eggs made right at the table. We know that 2015 will be a huge year for Bottlefork and suggest adding it to your list ASAP. (Brunch is a MUST here!)

“Bottlefork, from Rockit Ranch Productions partners Billy Dec, Brad Young and Arturo Gomez, and former Four Seasons Executive Chef Kevin Hickey, is a comfortably stylish New American bar and kitchen offering modern interpretations of both familiar and new American dishes that feature local and global ingredients. The food and beverage programs work together seamlessly at Bottlefork with an emphasis on all things seasonal.”

Must try items:
Mediterranean Salad…this photo speaks for itself!
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Brunch Item; Braised Beef Cheek #Poutine with Kennebec French Fries and #Wisconsin Cheese Curds (and an egg!)
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Hot & Gooey Cheesecake with Strawberry/Blueberry Compote and Graham Cracker Streusel
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{Check out our “Let’s Dish” feature on Bottlefork here}
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#4:A Different Side of Lunch at GT Fish & Oyster
Whether your lunching with friends, clients or alone- we suggest giving GT Fish & Oyster a shot! A stimulating atmosphere and plentiful menu gears you up for the second half of your day. We suggest the following for lunch, but are looking forward to checking it out for dinner this year!

SHRIMP BRUSCHETTA
avocado, toasted pistachio, grapefruit, cilantro
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GT LOBSTER “MAC AND CHEESE”
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And of course: CLAM CHOWDER (8 oz)
nueske’s bacon, house-made oyster crackers
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#5:Make it a Day at Soho House Chicago
Nestled in the West Loop area of Chicago you find the old Allis Building, a historic five-storey industrial warehouse which is now the home of Soho House Chicago, a beautiful addition to the Soho House family which is exclusive in some of the most swanky areas worldwide. At Soho House Chicago you can take advantage of different restaurants and the Cowshed Spa that are open to the public.

We recommend the following:

Afternoon Tea at The Allis
The beautiful environment at The Allis, located in Soho House Chicago, is a perfect place for a Mother & Daughter day, a unique twist on Girls Night Out, or really any excuse to indulge in tea & finger foods. After all, who doesn’t want to feel like royalty? At The Allis, you will feel absolutely at home, the staff is friendly, prompt and welcoming. If you’ve never been to a traditional tea before, this is the place to take your first sip!
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Relax at Cowshed Spa
Choose from a vast variety of treatments ranging from massages, to waxing, to a mani/pedi (that you can pair with a glass of prosecco!) Bask in the natural products that Cowshed Spa offers and uses in their treatments, the aromas will transform you to wherever you imagine and leaving you feeling, looking and smelling fresh. Relax, unwind and make yourself at home!
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Finish with Dinner at Chicken Shop or Pizza East– Whatever you want, they got!

Chicken Shop
“A short strut from Chicago’s Restaurant Row, Chicken Shop is the home of rotisserie-cooked, free-range birds sourced from Pine Manor Farm in Indiana. Chicken Shop is dedicated to serving great rotisserie chicken in a space inspired by 1950s American general stores.”
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Pizza East
“Pizza East offers a modern take on a pizzeria. From our signature ciabatta-style dough, to the Italian mozzarella and locally-sourced meat, our passion for sourcing quality ingredients is at the heart of everything that comes out of our wood ovens.”
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Cheers to 2015!

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