Katana Chicago

There is so much amazing food in Chicago that it is sometimes hard to figure out where to eat. I constantly ponder what is going to be my meal of the day, but sushi is usually at the forefront of my mind. Last night, we dined at this chic upscale Japanese eatery called Katana located in the heart of River North. The menu boasts upscale sushi and steakhouse quality beef as well as a wonderful selection of Japanese whisky. They also feature the robata grill which meats and fish are cooked over a special charcoal imported from Japan. Everything we had from the crispy rice to the Katana roll to the robata grilled Spanish octopus and sea bass were exceptional. I would highly recommend trying everything that they have to offer and make sure you sample the unique flavors coming off of the grill!

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Spicy Tuna||Crispy Rice
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Salmon Sashimi||Apple||Caviar
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Head On Shrimp||Sweet and Spicy Garlic Sauce||Fresh Herbs
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Spanish Octopus||Olive Oil||Sea Salt
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[L] Spicy Tako Roll|Spanish Octopus||Spicy Tuna||Jalapeño||Sweet Soy||[R]Katana Roll|Spicy Tuna||Tuna Sashimi||Jalapeño||Yuzu oil
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Gibsons Italia

When you think about old school Chicago charm, Gibsons Steakhouse should definitely be in the top 5. Now that they have a new restaurant concept called Gibsons Italia, my love for the group has  increased. On the first floor you will find a bar/lounge, the main dining room as well as private dining [amazing views of the Chicago River] on the second floor, and a retractable roof and bar on the third floor.

I was fortunate enough to be invited to the friends and family soft opening dinner, and had the chance to try almost anything on the menu! We enjoyed the Chef’s Crudo selection, 24 month aged San Daniele prosciutto, Italian meatballs, the Caserecce pasta, and finished with the grass fed Australian New York Strip and the bone in filet mignon. The quality was superb, service was precise and warm, and the presentation was classic and refined. I would recommend stopping in during the daytime for lunch on a sunny day or enjoying datenight on the second floor. Go to Italian steakhouse ✔️

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Bigeye Tuna||Ora King Salmon||Wild Striped Bass
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Prosciutto Di San Daniele||Compressed Cantaloupe||Grilled Bread
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Veal meatballs||Corso Ricotta||Pecorino Romano
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Gold extruded pasta||Asparagus||Parmigiana Reggiano||Corso Ricotta
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Grass fed Australian New York Strip
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Grass fed Australian bone in filet mignon

Salmon❤️

Anyone that has known me for a while knows that salmon is by far my favorite fish and tuna is a close runner up. I love salmon in all forms; Nigiri, baked, pan seared, as a burger patty, in a salad, in the middle of a rice ball, as a croquette, on a bagel with cream cheese….and thin sliced as carpaccio! The best thing about my extreme salmon intake is that it is high in protein, vitamins and minerals and helps promote healthy skin and hair. As they say, everything in moderation so I try to not eat as much as I dream of devouring. Either way, salmon is amazing for you and I love it….and I had to pay homage to it🍣

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Wild Isles organic Salmon Carpaccio||Roasted Tomato||Capers||Crostini|| @McCormick and Schmicks
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New Zealand King Salmon topped with pickled wasabi root @Arami Chicago
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Asian Style Salmon Croquette+Garlic Sesame Spinach+Crispy Sushi Rice Cake+Agave/soy/sesame/ginger/ponzu sauce @feedthepeach101 creations
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Honey Mustard Glazed Salmon+Sweet Potato+Quinoa @Southern Cut Bbq

Steak & Eggs

Good morning! I woke up dreaming about the time that my girlfriend and I made steak and eggs for breakfast. My eggs were scrambled and hers were over easy, however I cooked both ribeyes to perfection! My preferred/foolproof method of cooking steaks is simple:

+Preheat oven to 400°

+Let seasoned or marinated steaks come to room temperature

+Heat cast iron skillet for at least 20 minutes prior to cooking

+Add oil that can withstand high heat (canola, corn, grapeseed, safflower, sunflower) Do NOT use olive oil

+Gently add steaks (They will smoke and sizzle, and that’s what we want)

+Sear for 2-3 minutes each side

+Put skillet in oven for 8-10 minutes

+Make sure steak is between 130-135° for medium rare and 140-145° for medium using an instant read thermometer

+Remove from oven/heat and wrap your steak with foil for 7-10 minutes and let it REST so the juices have time to redistribute (nobody wants a dry steak)

🍴Bon appétit!

I would also love to hear what kind of eggs you prefer with your steak!

Matsuhisa||Denver

If you have never had the experience of Omakase, better known as traditional Japanese coursed dining, do it! Especially if you find yourself at one of Chef Nobu Matsuhisa’s restaurants. The restaurant itself is located in Denver’s glamorous Cherry Creek area and it boasts a beautiful Japanese inspired dining room. Our 8 course meal included the following:

  1. Toro tartare+caviar
  2. Salmon+Yellowtail sashimi
  3. (L-R) Tuna, Mackerel, Fluke, Seared Scallop nigiri
  4. Warm mushroom salad+ yuzu vinaigrette
  5. Miso glazed Sea Bass
  6. Japanese barbecued Colorado lamb w/ cauliflower
  7. Japanese egg custard+King crab+Black Truffle
  8. Lemon ginger panna cotta+vanilla marshmallow+fresh berries

I highly recommend all Nobu & Matsuhisa restaurants for an exquisite meal you won’t forget.

Linger||Denver

Next on our journey through Denver’s food scene, we stopped by the former site of the historic Olinger mortuary. This site is now home to a new bar and restaurant called Linger. Our dinner consisted of delicious foldables as well as finger foods and every plate was more exciting than the next. We ordered the Pork Belly & Mongolian BBQ Duck Baos, the Tempura Ginger Chili Shrimp, Colorado Lamb Kebabs and the Hawaiian Yellowfin Tuna Tacos. If you still have it in you after dinner, stop next door and get some ice cream from LittleMan and you are winning.

The Journey Begins

The best place to start is from the beginning, so hello! I just got back home to Chicago from Denver and I am excited to share all of the delicious food we had along the way. I am a sucker for loaded tostadas with fresh mariscos and this tostada from @elcamaronlocoinc topped with octopus, shrimp, white fish, avocado, tomato, cilantro, jalapeño and lime was killer! If you are in Denver anytime soon, check out this yummy mariscos truck because you are in for a treat!