ML - Michigan Avenue

Michigan Avenue - 2015 - Issue 8 - Winter - Sandra Lee

Michigan Avenue - Niche Media - Michigan Avenue magazine is a luxury lifestyle magazine centered around Chicago’s finest people, events, fashion, health & beauty, fine dining & more!

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photography by anjali pinto (CafÉ ba-ba-reeba); grant Kessler (the blanChard) "Our winemaker friends think we are crazy to do two vintages a year," says Michael Kush, who cofounded wine label Chasing Harvest with his wife, Jennifer, in 2009. But the grape-loving Andersonville residents wouldn't have it any other way. After 23 harvests across fve continents and eight countries, they homed in on Portugal's Douro Valley and New Zealand's Central Otago regions to make vino for their own label, fying from Northern to Southern hemispheres and thus "chasing" the harvest season every year. "New Zealand and Portugal completely captured our hearts," enthuses Jennifer. "Portugal is the oldest organized winemak- ing region, and we were the only Americans there." In Portugal, the Kushes make both a Douro DOC Vinho Tinto red blend and Vinho Branco white blend with indigenous grapes, working with 130 -year-old vines. New Zealand is the opposite, as Central Otago is the world's southernmost wine region and one of the youngest. They've worked with different vineyards for each vintage of their Pinot Noir, capturing various subregional expressions of the same grape. "Winemaking is very humbling," Jennifer says. "Mother Nature… well, you're at her mercy. You're deciding when to har vest and press, but you don't actually get to try the wine until much later. It's like catching up with an old friend." Available at In Fine Spirits, 5420 N. Clark St., 773-506-9463; MA A ToAsT To TApAs Beloved for its festive vibe, Café Ba-Ba-Reeba celebrates a major milestone this winter, marking three decades as a Lincoln Park institu- tion. The Spanish hot spot—which has plated 1.3 million patatas bravas and 6.7 million bacon-wrapped dates for hungry Chicagoans since opening in 1985—fêtes its 30th anniversary January 18–27 with original 1985 happy hour prices, as well as a San Sebastian Pintxo Crawl kickoff on January 19. 2024 N. Halsted St., 773-935-5000; Cold ComforTs "The colder it gets, the more I braise," says chef Jason Paskewitz. That means it's cassoulet time at The Blanchard, Paskewitz's buzzed- about new Lincoln Park brasserie, where he creates the signature winter dish by simmering duck conft, pork shoulder, ham hocks, bacon, and sausage with duck fat and beans, topping it off with a crunchy herb crust. Other winter-worthy dishes on the Gemini Bistro alum's menu include blanquette de veau and duck à l'orange. Says Paskewitz, "It's my favorite time of year to cook." 1935 N. Lincoln Park W., 872-829- 3971; frenCh TwisT Croissant, anyone? Throughout the city, pastry chefs are deliv- ering intriguing new takes on the faky French staple. Chris Teixeira goes autumnal with his pumpkin butter-stuffed sourdough version, which is slowly fermented, then lami- nated with sage butter at West Town Bakery & Diner (1916 W. Chicago Ave., 773-904-1414; At The Langham (330 N. Wabash Ave., Second Fl., 312-923-9988;, Scott Green pays homage to that American classic, the PB&J, with a Skippy-and- Smucker's jam-flled croissant, and also crafts a savory herb and cheese variety featuring chive compound butter and a cream cheese pecorino flling. And Lincoln Park gem Floriole (1220 W. Webster Ave., 773-883-1313; is always full of sweet surprises, with white miso-laminated croissants complete with favors like caramel apple, bub- blegum plum, and Manchego and poached quince. A World of Wine The husband-and-wife duo behind ChiCago- based vino Chasing harvest Travels The globe To CreaTe The perfeCT pour. Michael Kush, along with wife Jennifer (below), chases the youngest and oldest vines to produce two vintages each year. A tapas spread at Café Ba-Ba-Reeba. The Langham's peanut-butter- and-jam-flled croissant reimagines an American classic. Duck à l'orange at The Blanchard. The Kushes embrace the rich vineyards of Portugal and New Zealand for Chasing Harvest. roundup TasTe spotlight 100

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