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Betsy Kennedy

Betsy Kennedy

Betsy Kennedy is freelance writer.

Articles (1)

Bitters-based cocktails to curl up with this winter

Bitters-based cocktails to curl up with this winter

Your bartenders' row of bitters bottles is their very own spice cabinet. They can use it to add a touch of this and a dash of that to bring complexity to your cocktail. But sometimes they go further to make a bitters-focused drink—one with a strong backbone, intensely spicy or bitter. We’ve been seeing this trend all over the city, which is perfect, because we’re tired of our dusty Angostura bottles—and our other bitters—not getting the love they deserve. Here are four cocktails to try. RECOMMENDED: Our guide to cocktails in Chicago Bitters 101: Bitters are infusions of roots, spices, fruits and other ingredients, and were originally made as medicine: Even today, you may find a few shakes of Angostura into some tonic water to be a stomach settler. There are two types of bitters: potable (called amaro) and non-potable. Amaro bitters like fernet, Campari and Cynar are designed to be great in a cocktail or solo. Sip some Fernet-Branca with your after-dinner coffee or splash a glug of Cynar into your Coca-Cola. Alone, non-potable bitters like Angostura can taste medicinal and barky, but when dashed on top of or mixed into a cocktail, they bring a trace of excitement. 

News (5)

Chefs Erling-Wu Bower and Cosmo Goss reveal their go-to spots in Chicago

Chefs Erling-Wu Bower and Cosmo Goss reveal their go-to spots in Chicago

Cosmo Goss (The Publican) and Erling Wu-Bower (Nico Osteria) are about to change the way you think about River North. The friends will be co-executive chefs at their mysterious new project, Pacific Standard Time—a River North spot with a light, California-inspired menu promising lots of action in their custom-made wood-fire ovens. There is no doubt that these guys get along—most of Goss’s Instagram feed is pictures of Wu-Bower, or as he calls him, his “Wu thang”—but they also take their craft very seriously. “We really want our food to speak to our childhoods in California,” Goss told Time Out Chicago. We chatted with the duo about their Chicago summertime favorites. Here’s what they had to say between laughs.  Favorite new restaurant: “Sumi Robata Bar (702 N Wells St). Just write that three times. It’s probably the best restaurant in the city,” says Goss. The spot gets a second vote from Wu-Bower: “It’s precise, simple and clean. Also, Leña Brava (900 W Randolph St) is annoyingly good.” Go-to drinking destination: “On my couch… and Matchbox (770 N Milwaukee Ave). Oh! And Rainbo Club (1150 N Damen Ave) is the best bar in the world,” says Goss. Best patio scene: Wu-Bower likes Big Star (1531 N Damen Ave) and Spacca Napoli (1769 W Sunnyside Ave). “I like Sportsman Club’s (948 N Western Ave) patio for drinking rosé,” Goss says. For weirding out: Both guys gushed about the tripe at Sun Wah BBQ (5039 N Broadway St). Off the beaten path: For a hole-in-the-wall find, Wu-Bower and Go

Chef Abraham Conlon of Fat Rice shares his favorite Chicago spots

Chef Abraham Conlon of Fat Rice shares his favorite Chicago spots

Abe Conlon, of Logan Square’s Fat Rice and its cocktail lounge, the Ladies’ Room, grew up in the kitchen at his grandmother’s hip and watching Julia Child and Emeril Lagasse on TV. Since then he’s become a world traveler, author and famed Chicago chef who serves spunky Macanese and Portuguese dishes inspired by his travels. He hasn’t stopped learning. “I opened Fat Rice so I could learn and grow and progress,” says Conlon. Where else does he draw inspiration these days? From all around Chicago. Favorite new restaurant: “Giant: It’s unapologetic. They’re doing a lot of different styles of food there, and it comes together in an unpretentious and cohesive way: great classic technique presented in new ways.” He also recommends Momotaro for the omakase and fun cocktails. On his radar: Elske—“I for sure need to check them out!”—and Bad Hunter: “I can't wait.” Postshift drinking: You’ll find him at a number of Logan Square bars, but Conlon has a soft spot for Billy Sunday and any drink that Land & Sea Department’s Paul McGee pours (at Lost Lake, Cherry Circle Room and elsewhere). Favorite neighborhood spot: Lula Cafe—not just for brunch. He tells us it has the best quesadillas in the world. “Anyone who doesn't think Lula is the best restaurant in the city is a fool!” Down and dirty: Cafe Orchid for a home-style Turkish change of pace; Nha Hang Viet Nam (1032 W Argyle St) for fish broth pho; and Bai Cafe (3406 N Ashland Ave) for whatever borscht it has on that day. Springtime bevera

Chef Jeff Mauro of Pork & Mindy's shares his favorite wintertime food and drinks

Chef Jeff Mauro of Pork & Mindy's shares his favorite wintertime food and drinks

Jeff Mauro may be Chicago’s very own Disney prince. He’s charming, handsome and makes a mean sandwich. The Food Network Star alum and Sandwich King host’s fast casual spot, Pork & Mindy’s, is settled in the heart of Wicker Park, a neighborhood the Chicago native spent much of his twenties in. With plans for an Irving Park location, groceraunts and a Wrigley Field menu on the horizon, Mauro has been busy making Pork & Mindy’s a new Chicago classic. When we sat down with the celebrity chef, he told us where to find him when he isn’t busy popping tots, building sandwiches or catching swooning fans. A Christmastime treat: Mauro loves Edelweiss German American Cuisine (7650 W Irving Park Rd, Harwood Heights, IL). “To me, there is nothing better than their hearty spaetzle and schnitzel with shots of apple brandy and a giant beer to get you through the winter months.” Favorite drink: Anything with tequila or mescal, especially if Rick Bayless is doing the pouring. Night off haunt: If there’s a game on, he’ll be watching it over craft beer at Tiny Tap (7648 W North Ave, Elmwood Park, IL) and then around the corner at Armand’s Pizzeria (multiple locations) for a slice.  Family friendly spot: Every week, you’ll find the Mauro clan out and about at 5:30pm for Friday family date night. Their most recent favorite? “Parachute (3500 N Elston Ave) is the best for the families. Their kids menu is the amazing! They give you a bento box full of different colors, flavors and textures.” For when

4 matcha drinks to try right now

4 matcha drinks to try right now

Whether you’re a card-carrying matcha veteran who can't get enough of that floral grassiness, or you’re just in it for the Instagram likes, Chicago knows a thing or two about what to do with those stone-ground green tea leaves. Hunt down these yummy green drinks and hop aboard the trend train, because we’re going to Matcha Town. Cinnamon Maple Matcha at Beatrix: Meet pumpkin spice’s cool older sister. The drink's mild cinnamon flavor is warm and just spicy enough. Maple takes a backseat to the matcha itself—a happy little surprise of not-too-sweet sweetness only present enough to make you really want that next sip. You’ll forget all about your silly little pumpkin spice and want a refill. On that inevitable yet strange 85-degree October day, try the Matcha Iced Latte, which tastes like you’re slurping up melted green tea ice cream in the best way. Military Latte at Sawada Coffee: The most Instagrammable drink of the bunch might also be the most palatable for you matcha trend skeptics. The Military is earthy and milky like a traditional espresso latte with a distinctive and sweet matcha taste. Pair it with a donut and an early morning West Loop stroll, and you’ve got yourself a good morning. Sweet Matcha Lemonade at Goddess and the Baker: Lemonade isn’t just for August anymore. The earthiness of the matcha flavor grounds its tart lemony kick. A regular suggested I ask for extra matcha in mine—a good decision, as without it the drink would be too sweet. Sip this one for a pucke

Chef Sarah Grueneberg of Monteverde shares her favorite spots for fall

Chef Sarah Grueneberg of Monteverde shares her favorite spots for fall

Sarah Grueneberg is a traditionalist with a flair for breaking the rules. As the chef behind Monteverde Restaurant & Pastificio, the West Loop Italian spot that’s winning the hearts of Chicagoans, she wears her heart on her sleeve—you can taste it in her dishes that honor family, like her Acqua Pazza, on the menu for her late uncle. Even if your childhood wasn't spent catching red fish off the Texas coast with your uncle (like Grueneberg), you'll still feel all the feels.  Recently, the Top Chef alum and self-proclaimed lush told us where we can find her when she isn’t firing up the oven in her Italian kitchen. Here are some of her favorite fall-inspired fares along with some year-round musts:  To warm the belly: Grueneberg loves Asian soup, especially anything at High Five Ramen or Urbanbelly.  On the autumn classic, pie: If she can’t get her hands on her grandmother’s homemade dewberry pie, Bang Bang Pie and Biscuits will satisfy her sweet tooth. She also loves the royal meat pies at Pleasant House Pub. Spot to kick back after a long shift: “Beer Bistro. It’s right down the street, they are so nice and really hospitable.”  Favorite drink: “Anything! Especially anything with green chartreuse.” Off the beaten path: Xi’an Cuisine for a cheap flatbread while watching Asian soap operas. Classic night off hang: “The oyster bar at Shaw’s Crab House. The service there might be some of the best service in the city. If you go, watch your water glass—it will never go below three-quart

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