Wednesday, January 17, 2007

Cab's Bistro on Main St., Glen Ellyn, Spanish Wine Food Pairing

Can you ever have enough wine and food? Of course not! I've been receiving more announcements about wine-food pairings, and here's another one. Cab’s Bistro on Main St. in Glen Ellyn, just south of the train tracks, is a great restaurant to spend an evening having dinner or just stopping by to enjoy a glass of wine at the bar.

But, on Tuesday, January 23, Cab's is hosting their "Spanish Wine and Food Match!", which will feature a special four-course dinner paired with wines from Spain. The menu is still in the planning stages, but I wanted to give all of you a heads up on this event because it will sell out. Cab's is fabulous, cozy and afffordable.

The Spanish wine and food pairing event is only $65 a person (plus tax and gratuity) ... that's a bargain. A reception will start at 7:00 p.m., with dinner beginning shortly thereafter.

Call for reservations at 630/942-9463 for reservations, and visit for a peek at the menu. Cab's is located at 430 N. Main Street, Glen Ellyn, IL 60137.

Also, here's a lineup of other events during January and February at Cab's not to be missed:

CABS is pleased to celebrate the nomination of Zora Young as "Female Blues Artist of the Year" by presenting a special show this Saturday, January 20 at 10 p.m.. "Zora Young UnPlugged" features this exciting blues singer in a special night of acoustic music "in the round". Don't miss this show that includes Mike Rizzman (Uncle Boogie Pants) on lead guitar and a number of great musicians. Zora's nominated album "Tore Up From the Floor Up" will be featured and available Saturday night. Reservations suggested.

Also mark your calendars for Saturday January 27 for the return engagement of Uncle Boogie Pants.

February 2 and 3 brings crowd favorites Lost Identity back for a weekend of great music featuring Crosby, Stills, Nash, the Eagles, and their blend of harmonies and music from the Woodstock era. Call ahead for reservations as these nights fill up very fast.

Tuesday, January 16, 2007

Door County Road Trip Dining Suggestions

Ron "Hungry in Lincoln Square" asked me about places to stop and eat on his way to Door County this coming weekend. Here are few of my favorite rest stops.

1. The Brat Stop in Racine on Hwy 50 right off of 1-94 (exit 344). This big bar setting offers the finest in native Wisconsin bar food from burgers to fried fish to steaks to salads ...

2. The Port Hotel in Port Washington. You have to drive a few extra miles off of I-43 into Port Washington, but the extra minutes is worth the drive ... The menu is a mix of land and sea, and the dining room is very nicely appointed. (This is a good half-way point from Chicago, too).

3. The Kohler Club in Kohler, which is right off of I-43. There are 11 restaurants at the Kohler Club, from fine dining to casual to pub ... all of them are first rate ...

4. The Inn and Cedar Crossing in Sturgeon Bay, right at the onset of Door County. This restaurant (and hotel, too) is very warm and inviting - and it's on the National Historic Registration. The menu is full of steaks and seafood ...

Please call the restaurant to double check on their hours ... they should be open for lunch, but be on the safe side.

If there are other suggestions, please post them in the comments section.

I hope this helps, Ron. Enjoy Door County!

Happy Eating, and safe travels! Mr. Foodie.

Monday, January 15, 2007

Making Smashed Potatoes ... Which potato is the best?

Todd B. from Glen Ellyn sent me an e-mail asking which potato was the best to make mashed - I prefer to call them smashed - potatoes?

Guess what? There is no one ideal, perfect recipe to make smashed potatoes ... just a bunch of different recipes and personal preferences.

The key ingredient is the potato ... there are ones that are high in startch (russets and Yukon Gold), and there are less starchy ones like the round white ones and waxy potatoes. My preference is the high starch potatoes because the more starch, the fuller the actual cells of the potato resulting in a fluffier texture. I think they tend to be creamier than other potatoes, too.

On the other hand, some chefs I've talked with like to you use the low starch potatoes because they absorb less water and hold up better when cooking. They also think they have more flavor and less "starchy" taste.

So, there's really no right or wrong answer, Todd.

One thing I do is not to peel the potatoes before I boil them. I like the rough appearance of the smashed potatoes and the skins give a contrasting texture and mouthfeel against to the creamy potato. My favorite ingredients to add is unsalted butter (lots of it), kosher salt (not table salt), freshly cracked pepper (I toasted my peppercorns first and then add them to my peppermill, which gives them added flavor and aroma), and whole milk (don't use 1% or 2% milk ... you might as well just add water).

Hope this helps. If you have any food questions, send them to me and I find an answer.

Happy Eating! Mr. Foodie