ArtSees Productions celebrates Chicago in this "Simply Chicago" blogging portal. Join Mary E., Saturday Night Stever and her team of Chicago-lovers as they bring you their spin on the City across the Lake.

Thursday, August 28, 2014

"Noise," Snow City Arts

Imagine walking into a gallery fully adorned with artwork, development, film-making, poetry, multi-media presentation.  Imagine realizing that the creations before you are not some advanced class of a local institution of learning, but rather the heart and soul of children from four local centers of healing and care. Yes, that is exactly what you will experience when you attend the upcoming Snow City Arts' benefit. Imagine that the ticket you purchase will go to ensure a continuance of excellence in bedside delivery. Diverting from fear, pain, isolation to creativity and hope! Tune in and discover more of what Snow City Arts is doing to transform the lives of children. Healing through the arts.

New Art Internet Radio with ArtSees Diner Radio on BlogTalkRadio

Thursday, August 14, 2014

Plunder the Treasures of Chef Andrew's Tesori!

Dieting has never been more in danger of becoming a hopeless cause than since I discovered Tesori (Italian for "treasures") at 65 East Adams Street in Chicago last night. And, believe me, I'm not complaining!

I mean, talk about firing on all cylinders. From Chef Andrew's menu and preparation, dining room manager Mike's wine selection, the management and wait staff's helpful and sociable doting, right down to surprisingly reasonable prices, my experience was a finely tuned, high performance joy ride of taste bud pedal to the metal through culinary vistas I've never been. Vroom!

For my money, food out ought to be either best of class for classics, or entirely original. I could have thrown darts at Chef Andrew's menu while blindfolded and hit either bulls-eye every time, and sometimes hitting both simultaneously.

Take, for example, the "charred octopus, san marzano relish, caper, olive". The octopus was easily the best I've ever had, and the garnish completely original. The "veal cheeks, anson mills stone ground polenta" was by far best of class on both counts. The veal cheeks astonished with every bite. And the polenta was itself so amazing that, as crazy as it might sound, I can imagine wearing a disguise and starting out with a couple martinis to work up the nerve to shamelessly order nothing but a big bowl of the polenta.

The "white zucchini soup, carrot, herb olive oil" was a completely new taste experience, as was the "linguini, duck bolognese, confit, parmesan". I'd have not guessed I was eating bird - especially game bird - had I not known it was duck in advance. Fantastic.

I also sampled the "sugar beet [salad, with] baby spinach, white balsamic, asparagus, gorgonzola, marcona almonds", and a new item not yet on the menu, which was a pizza of b├ęchamel sauce, house-made ricotta, prosciutto, and arugula. Both won a cigar in ringing my newness bell resoundingly.

Despite being filled to capacity, I had my share of two dessert items. I failed to detonate the "spumoni bombe" that was the 4th of July to my tongue, and switchboard overload to the pleasure centers of my brain. And the pink grapefruit and mint sorbetti portion of the "trio of gelato & sorbetti" had me repeatedly uttering the words, "Oh my God! Can you believe this?!!", as though a new slot in the periodic table of elements had opened up before my very eyes. Chef Andrew, when it comes to cuisine, you've turned the phrase "there's nothing new under the sun" completely on its ear.

The service was swift and unobtrusive, yet socially engaging. Our server, Rachael, was adept at anticipating our needs. Used plates and utensils were removed without interruption. It was comforting to feel so appreciated that the dining room manager, Mike, and/or the general manager, Sean, were present when dishes were present, sometimes even presenting dishes themselves.

While I don't know if it was a consciously planned part of the experience, I was intrigued by feeling as though I were in a mode less about explicitly picking items from the menu than being presented with - and pleasantly surprised by - options that dining room manager Mike and Chef Andrew divined from our discussions with Mike. Picture miniature brainstorming sessions throughout the meal to hone in on exactly what would work best with respect to one's ongoing exploration. It was very much the dining equivalent of having a private trainer, or a tour guide in what would otherwise be a culinary maze. It bordered on an entirely new approach to dining.

You owe it to yourself to let loose your inner pirate and revel in the treasures of Tesori!

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Scottie Pippen and Giordano's, Does it Get Any Better?

The Aug. 17 event will be one to remember: Giordano’s fan and basketball legend Scottie Pippen will be in attendance, marking the start of Pippen’s involvement in promoting Giordano’s growth in the North Shore. (The Glenview restaurant will be primarily a carry-out/delivery location.) At the party, fans of Giordano’s will nosh on Giordano’s famous stuffed pie, along with other Giordano’s menu offerings, and will also get the chance to shoot some basketballs with Pippen himself! Throughout the celebration, Giordano’s fans will receive raffle tickets for the chance to “Win a Shot with Scottie.” Giordano’s will also giveaway other branded merchandise and prizes, and there will be Pop-A-Shot basketball games for attendees to play. Here are the event details:

Giordano’s Famous Stuffed Pizza 2540 North Waukegan Road, Glenview, IL (at the northern end of the shopping center) 4 to 7 p.m., Sunday, Aug. 17

In addition to Pippen, the event also will be attended by Yorgo Koutsogiorgas (President and CEO of Giordano’s), Barry Waterman (General Manager of the Glenview Giordano’s), and Richard Levy (Founder and CEO of Victory Park Capital), among others.