What's on the menu lately- BellyQ, Green Grocer, Cassava

 Someone asked me if I could please update my What's on the Menu page, but it's hard because I've been eating out a lot. Like way too much. Partially because of moving and partially because I still do not have my furniture delivered to my new place and can't have anyone over. I also stopped telecommuting and now have a separate office, which I felt I had to do for productivity reasons, but now I've ended up in an apartment that has an extra room. Wow, that is a sentence I never could have written in NYC. Yikes. 

Anyway, I also got a lot of questions about this cocktail I posted on instagram:

It is from the amazingly talented bartenders at BellyQ on Randolph. It's a Sudachi Sochu, coconut vinegar plum infusion, and cucumber cocktail called the Serpentine. Later I had their drinking vinegar, which is so much better than it sounds and was very similar to the Som drinking vinegar from Seattle.

I ate there on opening day and I was sufficiently impressed. They told me there are one of only two restaurants in the US that have infrared tabletop grills. The other one is in NYC and it happens to be my old favorite, Takashi. Unfortunately BellyQ, unlike Takashi, doesn't have any offal on the menu. 

But I can't complain though. My rice puff and spinach salad was very good and my grilled BellyQ beef was fantastic. The space is also just amazing, with the sparse industrial naturalistic aesthetic that characterizes the neighborhood. 


If you are in Chicago and you are gluten-free/paleo/whatever, another interesting development is that there is a new gluten-free restaurant called Senza. I bet you thinking "Ugh, great, so I can have sandwiches made with overpriced inferior gluten-free breads and pastas made with crap processed ingredients." Because honestly, that seems to be the gist of most gluten-free restaurants, which is frustrating since I have some friends who can't have any gluten at all and can't go to regular restaurants, but the menu seems to actually contain real food. I'll report back when I've eaten there.

Chicago also has Cassava, which makes fairly delicious gluten-free cassava puffs called Pão de Queijo. If you read Perfect Health Diet you might remember they blogged a recipe for them there, but these are nice because you can buy them frozen and have them on hand to heat up in the oven. 

But my latest haunt has been Green Grocer, which is a small grocery store right down the street from me that stocks all kinds of great local stuff. They roasted a pig from Gunthrop Farms last week and that was a blast.

Also if you are in the West Loop, there is a small new cafe called Fulton Market Cafe on Racine & Fulton that seems to have some good lunch options