Atwood Cafe' Reservations

Please call us at (312) 368-1900 and speak to our reservationist

Atwood Cafe
1 W. Washington Street
Chicago , IL 60602
Phone: (312) 368-1900
Fax: (312) 357-2875
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Atwood Cafe Press

Zagat.com

3-19-2014  |  

Tater Tot Poutine at Atwood As part of the restaurant’s new menu and new makeover, chef Derek Simcik uses tater tots as the base for his poutine, which is then smothered with shredded pork, cheese curds and gravy. 1 W. Washington St.; 312-368-1900

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Chicago Sun Times

3-12-2014  |  

While dessert certainly can be the highlight of dining out, it’s also easy, in the hazy digestion aftermath, for that course to fall into the cranial sea of forgotten sweets. How many souffles/death by chocolates/tarts/tortes/trifles have you lost? But then there’s candy. Candy brings whimsy to a table in a way that few plated desserts can. I recently dined at Sepia, and enjoyed a meal of many delicious courses, each dish better than the last. But you know what I tweeted about on the train ride home? The house-made gummies. Presented gratis at the end of the meal, they were whiskey flavored and magical, a tiny taste of perfection in a genre too often associated with half-hardened bears in a plastic bag. “They are a favorite,” says Cindy Schuman, pastry chef at Sepia, who says the gummies were fashioned after a recipe from Heston Blumenthal, owner of the United Kingdom’s Fat Duck. She says she’s experimented with flavors, filling the candy with port, cocktails and other booze, but, personally, she prefers the whiskey. “They’re pretty, a little something fun.” Across town, candy brings out the creativity of chefs and pastry chefs, whether the items are on the menu year-round or a special occasion creation. Atwood Cafe Chef Derek Simcik has made a number of candies (with meat themes, no less), including bacon pop rocks, bacon and bourbon gushers, bacon pixie sticks (all were for Baconfest) and even a foie gras “Twix” bar. Over at Sable Kitchen and Bar, Executive Chef Heather Terhune offered a homemade “Almond Joy” bar throughout February, in honor of Chocolate Month. And throughout the year, Goosefoot Chef/Owner Chris Nugent serves his own handpainted chocolates. Many of the chefs who serve candy began making it for purely self-indulgent reasons. Kevin Cuddihee, chef de cuisine at Two Restaurant and Bar, said that last summer, he and the restaurant’s team were talking about desserts to add to the menu. That led to a discussion about the old “Seinfeld” episode, where Elaine’s boss eats a Snickers bar with a fork and knife, and other characters quickly join in the trend. Inspired, they decided to create their own “Snickers” bar, made with bourbon caramel sauce, homemade marshmallow nougat, peanuts and chocolate. Cuddihee says that about half of the customers loved it and the other half weren’t exactly sure what to do with a candy bar that was served with a fork and steak knife. “You don’t realize how hard these things are,” he says. “Obviously, in a restaurant setting, you can’t just pick it up and grab it with your molars.” Now, the candy bar is on the menu from time to time and offered on special occasions. Chef Ji Yoon, executive pastry chef at Henri and The Gage, makes a number of different candies, knowing something so simple can take you back to childhood. “Growing up, people would give you a piece of candy, and you’d be the most happy little girl or boy in the world,” she says. “That memory, it hasn’t dissipated from my mind.”

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Tastingtable.com

2-25-2014  |  

Atwood Chef Derek Simcik has dropped the label "café" from the former Atwood Café and overhauled the menu with new dishes like butterfish with gooseberries and funnel cake.

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drinks.seriouseats.com

2-25-2014  |  

"Dewar's Honey. It's great for a quick and instant hot toddy—just add hot water and lemon juice." — Ray Anguiano

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Zagat.com

2-21-2014  |  

Big changes are happening at Atwood. It dropped the “café” in its name and rolled out a new sharable menu divided into “grow,” “graze” and “swim” sections - essentially, vegetables, meat and seafood. The new format has allowed chef Derek Simcik's creative cooking to shine with inspired dishes like frog legs confit with green strawberries, gooseberries and golden sage, as well as curry chicken sausage with red Fuji apples, pickled onions and broccolini. One of the stars of the new menu is Simcik’s interpretation of simple scallops. He takes the standard to a new level by adding a Greek influence. The seared scallops are served on a creamy parsnip purée and joined by a take on dolmades, or stuffed grape leaves. The delicate leaves are filled with rice and Greek yogurt, then rolled and sliced to accompany the tender scallop. The dish is served on one of the rustic new plates that tie in with the shifting concept. Simcik even threw his own creative touches into the servingware by carving Atwood's shortened name into wood blocks that are used for cheese and charcuterie service. The restaurant will be revealing more changes in the near future, including a new nameplate and website.

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Chicago Tribune

2-20-2014  |  
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Eater

2-20-2014  |  

Some changes are on the way to Atwood Cafe. Ownership has dropped the word "cafe" from the name and chef Derek Simcik has dropped and changed over many menu items. More changes are on the way soon. [Crain's]

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Crain's Chicago Business

2-19-2014  |  

Atwood Cafe has received a partial overhaul. The restaurant, part of the Hotel Burnham in the Loop, dropped "cafe" from its name and introduced a new dinner menu Feb. 11. Executive chef Derek Simcik, who has been at Atwood since 2010, pared down the menu and placed dishes under three categories: "grow," which focuses on vegetables, fruits and cheeses; "graze," featuring meats and small plates; and "swim" highlighting — you guessed it — fish entrees. Gone from the menu are the venison, rabbit and gnocchi dishes. New are a mackerel smothered with uni and chia seed pudding and a butterfish dish featuring gooseberries and funnel cake. Even the dinnerware has been replaced. More changes are to come starting in April with a new logo and website.

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Dining Out

2-18-2014  |  
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Chicago Reader Online

2-13-2014  |  

• Atwood Cafe, which has recently reworked its menu, will have a four-course heart menu including hearts of palm with crab, artichoke hearts, and—you didn't think it was all going to be metaphorical—a pig heart and pork tenderloin main course. It's $55 per person, plus $20 for pairings.

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Chicago Reader Online

2-13-2014  |  

Atwood Cafe Chef Derek Simcik's four-course "Beats of the Heart" menu features hearts of palm, artichoke hearts, pig heart with pork tenderloin and sausage, and a boozy cake with Koval bourbon, made from the heart cut of the distillate. $55, $75 with pairings. 1 W. Washington, 312-368-1900, atwoodcafe.com.

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DNAinfo Chicago

2-13-2014  |  

CHICAGO — Nothing says love quite like eating a pig's head. Matt Troost, the chef at Three Aces, 1321 W. Taylor St., will serve roasted pig head for sharing on Valentine's Day. The $48 special, actually half a head, comes with blood sausage, braised cabbage, spaetzle and a scallion-and-herb salad to cut through all that fat. It serves two. Since tweeting about it last weekend, Troost has booked two orders for it. Troost had a customer in mind when he came up with the dish. "A couple of years ago, we had a guy on Valentine's Day who asked us to bring out a flaming pig skull for his wife," he said. Troost uses every bit of meat off the pigs he gets from Slagel Family Farm in Fairbury, Ill., and usually has extra skulls laying around in the kitchen, so fulfilling the diner's request wasn't a problem. "We took high-proof alcohol, doused it and set it on fire. It was a special moment for them. ... So apparently, we have clients who go for this stuff." Eating a pig's head is something of a primal experience. There's meat to be ripped off the jowl and around the eye. "The servers will take a second to explain where to find all the good meat," Troost said. It may not be for the faint of heart — but if it's the pig's heart you and your sweetie are hankering for, you can get that at Atwood, 1 W. Washington St. Atwood chef Derek Simcik is preparing the pig heart pastrami-style, "a play on the classic Reuben sandwich," he said. After a few days of marinating the hearts, Simcik will apply a rub and slowly roast them. He'll serve thin slices of the heart with pork sausage, caraway spaetzle and endive marmalade. The dish is part of a four-course "Beats of the Heart" menu ($55) available Friday through Sunday at Atwood. "If you can overcome the mental block of eating a heart, I bet you will be surprised by how delicious it is," Simcik said. In keeping with the heart theme, Kabocha, 952 W. Lake St., is serving beef heart tartare as part of its six-course Valentine's dinner on Friday and Saturday. It's a bittersweet gesture — the restaurant announced it is closing after dinner service on Saturday. And then there's the "Jaded Hearts" dinner at EL Ideas, 2419 W. 14th St. The meal will cater to those unlucky in love, with an accompanying playlist for the 16-seat restaurant of "only songs about cheap sex and breaking up (nothing mushy)," the restaurant's website read. Chef and owner Phillip Foss won't divulge the full menu but said "we will be allowing the guest to stick a skewer through a heart" — likely a lamb heart. He's working on a dessert to be served "inside an ice cream pint container with a box of tissues on the side." The dinner at EL Ideas is on Feb. 20, not Valentine's Day. Related Items Valentine's Dayphillip fossMatt TroostDerek SimcikThree Acesel ideasKabochaAtwoodchicago restaurantsChicago dining Next in Chicago O'Hare Employee Accused of Stealing iPad Air CHICAGO — Nothing says love quite like eating a pig's head. Matt Troost, the chef at Three Aces, 1321 W. Taylor St., will serve roasted pig head for sharing on Valentine's Day. The $48 special, actually half a head, comes with blood sausage, braised cabbage, spaetzle and a scallion-and-herb salad to cut through all that fat. It serves two. Since tweeting about it last weekend, Troost has booked two orders for it. Troost had a customer in mind when he came up with the dish. "A couple of years ago, we had a guy on Valentine's Day who asked us to bring out a flaming pig skull for his wife," he said. Troost uses every bit of meat off the pigs he gets from Slagel Family Farm in Fairbury, Ill., and usually has extra skulls laying around in the kitchen, so fulfilling the diner's request wasn't a problem. "We took high-proof alcohol, doused it and set it on fire. It was a special moment for them. ... So apparently, we have clients who go for this stuff." Eating a pig's head is something of a primal experience. There's meat to be ripped off the jowl and around the eye. "The servers will take a second to explain where to find all the good meat," Troost said. It may not be for the faint of heart — but if it's the pig's heart you and your sweetie are hankering for, you can get that at Atwood, 1 W. Washington St. Atwood chef Derek Simcik is preparing the pig heart pastrami-style, "a play on the classic Reuben sandwich," he said. After a few days of marinating the hearts, Simcik will apply a rub and slowly roast them. He'll serve thin slices of the heart with pork sausage, caraway spaetzle and endive marmalade. The dish is part of a four-course "Beats of the Heart" menu ($55) available Friday through Sunday at Atwood. "If you can overcome the mental block of eating a heart, I bet you will be surprised by how delicious it is," Simcik said. In keeping with the heart theme, Kabocha, 952 W. Lake St., is serving beef heart tartare as part of its six-course Valentine's dinner on Friday and Saturday. It's a bittersweet gesture — the restaurant announced it is closing after dinner service on Saturday. And then there's the "Jaded Hearts" dinner at EL Ideas, 2419 W. 14th St. The meal will cater to those unlucky in love, with an accompanying playlist for the 16-seat restaurant of "only songs about cheap sex and breaking up (nothing mushy)," the restaurant's website read. Chef and owner Phillip Foss won't divulge the full menu but said "we will be allowing the guest to stick a skewer through a heart" — likely a lamb heart. He's working on a dessert to be served "inside an ice cream pint container with a box of tissues on the side." The dinner at EL Ideas is on Feb. 20, not Valentine's Day. Related Items Valentine's Dayphillip fossMatt TroostDerek SimcikThree Acesel ideasKabochaAtwoodchicago restaurantsChicago dining Next in Chicago O'Hare Employee Accused of Stealing iPad Air It may not be for the faint of heart — but if it's the pig's heart you and your sweetie are hankering for, you can get that at Atwood, 1 W. Washington St. Atwood chef Derek Simcik is preparing the pig heart pastrami-style, "a play on the classic Reuben sandwich," he said. After a few days of marinating the hearts, Simcik will apply a rub and slowly roast them. He'll serve thin slices of the heart with pork sausage, caraway spaetzle and endive marmalade. The dish is part of a four-course "Beats of the Heart" menu ($55) available Friday through Sunday at Atwood. "If you can overcome the mental block of eating a heart, I bet you will be surprised by how delicious it is," Simcik said. …a …a

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GapersBlock.com

2-13-2014  |  

Atwood You both met at a rock concert, find dissecting frogs cool and spend your Friday nights watching reruns of Walking Dead, but you still like to eat a proper meal. Head to Atwood, where Executive Chef Derek Simcik will be preparing a special "Beats of the Heart" four-course tasting menu inspired by everything heart themed with one course actually including a carnivorous heart. Cost is $55/person and $20/person additional with wine pairing. Get the below, a bottle of champagne and a night at the Kimptom Hotel with the "My Heart Skipped a Beat" package. Book online or call 877-294-9712 and mention rate code HEART. 1st Course: Hearts of Palm butter-popcorn, crab 2nd Course: Artichoke Hearts scallops, cauliflower, mushroom and artichoke oil 3rd Course: Pig Heart pork tenderloin, sausage, caraway spatzle, endive marmalade 4th Course: KOVAL Bourbon smoked loganberry cake, malted brown-butter "dirt," loganberry glass

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WindyCityMediaGroup

2-13-2014  |  

On Feb. 11, Atwood Cafe will reveal an entirely new dinner menu format and retire "Cafe" from the restaurant's official name. In an effort to reflect the restaurant's more playful spirit, Executive Chef Derek Simcik has also developed a "social plates" menu concept with new dishes ( served on new plateware ) that will fall under three categories: Grow, Graze and Swim. New items will include offerings such as frog legs confit with pickled green strawberries, and mackerel smothered with uni and chia-seed pudding

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Michigan Avenue Magazine Online

2-5-2014  |  

Eat Your Heart Out Paying homage to the organ associated with love, Atwood’s executive chef Derek Simcik prepares a special menu dubbed Beats of the Heart. From hearts of palm to artichoke hearts to a pig heart tenderloin with sausage, caraway spatzle, and endive marmalade, this dinner will have you falling in love all over again. $55/person, $20/person additional with pairing. 1 W. Washington St., 312-368-1900 Read more at http://michiganavemag.com/living/articles/5-creative-ways-to-celebrate-valentines-day#rv0oJkf5K1iyATei.99

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DiningChicago.com

2-5-2014  |  

For Those Who Really "Heart" Valentine's Day (and Offal) Hearts of palm, artichoke hearts, and pig hearts comprise much of the heart-themed Valentine's Day menu at Atwood Cafe. The ever-so-clever executive chef Derek Simcik has fun with the theme, complementing his hearty creations with butter-popcorn, scallops, pork tenderloin, and caraway spaetzle. For dessert, there's a KOVAL Bourbon-smoked loganberry cake with malted brown butter "dirt," and loganberry glass, an apropos finale considering KOVAL exlusively uses the "heart cut" of the distillate. GET IT? The menu is $55 per person, plus $20 for wine pairings if desired.

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ChicagoNow.com

2-5-2014  |  

This Valentine’s Day, Executive Chef Derek Simcik of Atwood will be preparing a special “Beats of the Heart” Four-Course Tasting Menu. Each of the courses is “heart themed” and actually includes one carnivorous heart. The cost is $55/person and $20/person additional with pairing. Since VDay falls on a Friday this year, couples can really keep their romance alive by staying overnight at Atwood’s adjacent hotel, Kimpton’s Hotel Burnham, following dinner. Burnham has a special “My Heart Skipped a Beat” package that includes: × Overnight accommodations × “Beats of the Heart” Four-Course Tasting Menu for two at Atwood × Welcome bottle of champagne × Starting rates of $279/night (not inclusive of alcohol, tax or tip)

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Metromix.com

2-5-2014  |  
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Poorgirlsguidechicago.com

2-5-2014  |  

Atwood’s Beats of the Heart- Four Course Tasting Menu 2.14 Atwood Cafe Atwood Cafe This Valentine’s Day, Executive Chef Derek Simcik of Atwood will be preparing a special “Beats of the Heart” Four-Course Tasting Menu. Each of the courses is “heart themed” and actually includes one carnivorous heart. × 1st Course: Hearts of Palm butter-popcorn, crab × 2nd Course: Artichoke Hearts scallops, cauliflower, mushroom and artichoke oil × 3rd Course: Pig Heart pork tenderloin, sausage, caraway spatzle, endive marmalade × 4th Course: KOVAL Bourbon smoked loganberry cake, malted brown-butter ‘dirt’, loganberry glass (KOVAL only uses the “heart cut” of the distillate) The cost is $55/person and $20/person additional with pairing. Since VDay falls on a Friday this year, couples can really keep their romance alive by staying overnight at Atwood’s adjacent hotel, Kimpton’s Hotel Burnham, following dinner. Burnham has a special “My Heart Skipped a Beat” package that includes: × Overnight accommodations × “Beats of the Heart” Four-Course Tasting Menu for two at Atwood × Welcome bottle of champagne × Starting rates of $279/night (not inclusive of alcohol, tax or tip)

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Serious Eats

2-4-2014  |  

"Definitely homemade ginger syrup." — Ray Anguiano (Atwood Café)

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Restaurant Hospitality

1-6-2014  |  
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Chicago Now

12-27-2013  |  
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Metromix.com

12-27-2013  |  
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Timeout Chicago

12-27-2013  |  
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Serious Eats

12-27-2013  |  
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Timeout Chicago

12-24-2013  |  
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SeriousEats

12-16-2013  |  
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Daily Herald.com

12-6-2013  |  
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Zagat.com

12-5-2013  |  

Atwood Café

The Hotel Burnham is the perfect escape from State Street shoppers. Settle down with one of eight loose-leaf tea options sweetened with cumin or chamomile-infused honey (or opt for a flute of bubbly). The drinks come with a tower of fresh cranberry scones, chocolate-covered strawberries, biscotti, chocolate mousse and petit fours baked in-house by executive chef Derek Simcik, along with savory housemade sandwiches. Afternoon tea is served from 2 to 3:30 PM for $35.

1 W. Washington St.; 312-368-1900

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Zagat.com

12-5-2013  |  

This play on Turkey Day concoctions uses Wild Turkey Rye in a cocktail that can take the edge off pre-Thanksgiving weekend. Sip one of these before triple checking the grocery list or playing a game of tourist-dodging on State Street, and everything will go smoothly, we promise. Or at least you will be too tipsy to care. The stirred cocktail is made with rye, Luxardo Amaretto, Punt e Mes and ginger clove simple syrup and is served over an ice ball with shaved cinnamon garnish at Atwood Café. Sneak away from holiday chaos for a quick cocktail at the downtown hotel’s bar.

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Dining Chicago

12-5-2013  |  


Make a reservation


Contemporary interpretations of classic American cuisine, served in a richly decorated Art Deco room inside the Loop's Hotel Burnham. The structure, the 1895 Reliance Building, designed by architects Danial Burnham, John Root and Charles Atwood, revolutionized architecture with radical steel and glass design, which set the precedent for the modern skyscraper.

Atwood Cafe's Halibut-cheek meringue and fava puree recipe.

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Examiner

12-5-2013  |  

Holiday tea at Atwood Cafe

Holiday tea at Atwood Cafe
Holiday tea at Atwood CafeAtwood Cafe

Located in the heart of downtown Chicago’s shopping district at State and Washington, high tea inside Atwood Café’s intimate and historic quarters, is a celebrated holiday tradition.

Sip your choice of eight loose leaf tea options sweetened with cumin or chamomile-infused honey or opt for a flute of bubbly (Prosecco, Gloria Ferrer or Scharffenberger Brut), for an additional cost.

Fresh cranberry scones, chocolate covered strawberries, biscotti, chocolate mousse and sweet petit fours are baked in-house by Executive Chef Derek Simcik and piled high and wide alongside savory house-made sandwiches varying between cucumber, salmon and chicken salad.

Afternoon tea served 2-3:30pm; weekends starting November 16 and daily in December, except Dec. 25 & 31; cost is $35 per adult, $20 per child under 12 and $10-12 extra for bubbles. Reservations are required; please call (312) 368-1900 or visit the web site.

Atwood Café is located adjacent to Kimpton’s Hotel Burnham at 1 W. Washington St.

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CBS Chicago

11-26-2013  |  

In addition, Atwood Café, located adjacent to Hotel Burnham and a ½ block from the market, will be offering complimentary Mulled Wine Mug refills with purchase of an entrée.

To book reservations and learn more, check out www.kimptonhotels.com.

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Michigan Avenue online

11-19-2013  |  

Holiday Tea at Atwood Café: Atwood Café reinstates its weekend tea service (2-3:30 p.m.), offering the perfect respite on a chilly day of holiday shopping. Guests can choose between tea—the café offers eight loose tea varieties—or Champagne, and nibble on fresh scones, petit fours, and savory cucumber sandwiches from executive chef Derek Simcik. $35 adults, $20 children; reservations required by calling Atwood Café at 312-368-1900. 1 W. Washington St.


Read more at http://michiganavemag.com/the-latest/food-and-drink-news/postings/fulton-filet-flight-for-hunger-the-boundary-beer-tasting#E4Ar6awh6glICDOj.99

Holiday Tea at Atwood Café: Atwood Café reinstates its weekend tea service (2-3:30 p.m.), offering the perfect respite on a chilly day of holiday shopping. Guests can choose between tea—the café offers eight loose tea varieties—or Champagne, and nibble on fresh scones, petit fours, and savory cucumber sandwiches from executive chef Derek Simcik. $35 adults, $20 children; reservations required by calling Atwood Café at 312-368-1900. 1 W. Washington St.


Read more at http://michiganavemag.com/the-latest/food-and-drink-news/postings/fulton-filet-flight-for-hunger-the-boundary-beer-tasting#E4Ar6awh6glICDOj.99

Holiday Tea at Atwood Café: Atwood Café reinstates its weekend tea service (2-3:30 p.m.), offering the perfect respite on a chilly day of holiday shopping. Guests can choose between tea—the café offers eight loose tea varieties—or Champagne, and nibble on fresh scones, petit fours, and savory cucumber sandwiches from executive chef Derek Simcik. $35 adults, $20 children; reservations required by calling Atwood Café at 312-368-1900. 1 W. Washington St.


Read more at http://michiganavemag.com/the-latest/food-and-drink-news/postings/fulton-filet-flight-for-hunger-the-boundary-beer-tasting#E4Ar6awh6glICDOj.99
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GoChicago.About.com

11-19-2013  |  

Atwood Café. Adjacent to Hotel Burnham, Atwood Café offers tea service boasting chef-driven accents. Executive Chef Derek Simcik features a number of great house-made ingredients, such as chamomile-infused honey, to accompany a choice of eight loose leaf tea options. A selection of mini sandwiches, scones and pastries accompany, with choices such as petit fours as well as cucumber and chicken salad sandwiches. There are daily seatings through December (excluding Christmas and New Year’s Eve) with afternoon tea served 2-3:30 p.m. It’s $35 per adult; $20 per child under 12. Reservations required. 1 W. Washington St., 312-368-1900

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RACKED

11-12-2013  |  

Atwood Cafe's Holiday Tea Offers a Sweet Shopping Break

As part of Racked Travel Week, we'll be offering quick ideas for some quality Family Time this holiday season. Giving preference, of course, to activities near shopping.

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Choose Chicago

10-25-2013  |  

Pumpkins pop up everywhere around the city in the fall: Try the Pumpkin Soup with candied pumpkin seeds and ancho-crème fraiche at Atwood Café  or a sweet and spicy Pumpkin Chai at Argo Tea (locations all over Chicago). Even my favorite skincare salon, Leah Chavie Skincare Boutique in Lincoln Park, is offering a pumpkin clarifying mask!

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Chicago Eater

10-25-2013  |  

You won’t go wrong with a bowl of pumpkin soup here, but other in-season options include spaghetti squash with trout and roe; a ‘tamale’ of root vegetables, mushrooms and blueberries; and duck with butternut squash.
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Zagat

10-15-2013  |  

Pumpkin Soup at Atwood Café, Chicago, IL

Chef Derek Simcik infuses a fall staple - pumpkin soup - with a kick of ancho chile-crème fraiche and tops it with pumpkin seeds. Follow it with pumpkin crème brûlée - the caramelized custard is served inside a mini pumpkin with a side of pumpkin molasses cookies.

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Zagat

9-11-2013  |  

As Chicago serves the last few scorching days of summer, the time has come to retire tomatoes and look ahead to the bounty of fall. We asked several chefs which fall flavors most inspire them and how these seasonal ingredients will make an appearance on upcoming menus. So don't cry because summer is over: rejoice at all the delicious dishes we have to look forward to.

Atwood Café
Chef Derek Simcik channels Spain with a Spanish clambake filled with butternut squash, bell pepper, chorizo, clams, saffron fish fume, cornmeal oysters and saffron aïoli.

 

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Check Please

9-7-2013  |  

Mangalista Pig Dinner

Location: 
Two Restaurant
1132 W Grand
Chicago  Illinois  60642
United States
Event Date: 
Sunday, September 08, 2013 - 5:00 pm

Chef Tom van Lente of Two Restaurant teams up with Aaron Thebault of Girl and the Goat, Derek Simcik of Atwood Cafe, and John Manion of La Sirena Clandestina for an evening of pork, beer and cocktails to benefit UN86'd. 
$90/person including beer and cocktails. Call 312.624.8363 for reservations.
Near West Side. 

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Dining Diva

9-5-2013  |  

Four talented local toques gather at Tom Van Lente's TWO restaurant in West Town for a memorable, pork-focused feast. Van Lente, along with Derek Simcik (Atwood Cafe), Aaron Thebault (Girl & the Goat) and John Manion (La Sirena Clandestina), will create multiple courses from a whole Mangalitsa pig that will be paired with beer, wine and cocktails. Ninety bucks will get you smoked loin carpaccio, chile-smoked pork shoulder and pork fat buttermilk funnel cake. The event happens at 5pm Sept. 8 and a portion of the proceeds benefits charity.

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Timeout Chicago

9-5-2013  |  

Mangalista Pig Dinner Two Restaurant hosts a dinner to benefit UN86'd. Chef Tom von Lente of Two Restaurant teams up with Aaron Thebault of Girl and the Goat, Derek Simcik of Atwood Cafe and John Manion of La Sirena Clandestina to prepare a pork dinner as well as beer and cocktails. Two Restaurant. September 8, 5pm. $90.

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CheekyChicago.com

8-15-2013  |  

So you didn’t get to travel overseas this summer. Don’t be bummed! Instead, grab your passport and gear up for another adventure… of the culinary variety.

Kimpton Restaurants of Chicago is rolling out a fun contest for the month of August designed to get you to eat at some of the best spots in town! Go eat or drink at each of the five restaurants and get your passport stamped by your waiter or upload your dish or drinks to Foodspotting.com. Once you’ve hit every spot, hand in your passport at any restaurant or submit it to Foodspotting.com.

Anyone who orders food or drinks at Sable Kitchen & Bar, Atwood Café, 312 Chicago, South Water Kitchen and Encore Liquid Lounge and fills out their passport by the 31st of August will automatically be entered to win one of six incredible prizes. These prizes include such delights as dinner for four at 312 Chicago, brunch for four at Atwood Café, dinner for two at Sable Kitchen and Bar AND an overnight stay at Kimpton’s Hotel Palomar and more!

Who said you only had to choose one restaurant for dinner?! With Kimpton’s culinary adventure, you can have them all and the chance to win some pretty amazing prizes as well… eat up!

www.twitter.com/KimptonCHI

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Examiner.com

8-15-2013  |  
August 9, 2013

Take a culinary adventure with Kimpton Restaurants of Chicago and you may win a plateful of prizes.
Now through August 31, stamp your Kimpton Restaurants of Chicago Passport at each of Kimpton’s five Chicago-based restaurants and you will be entered to win prizes, including:

· Dinner for two at Atwood Café prepared by Chef Derek Simcik AND an overnight stay at Kimpton’s Burnham Hotel
· Dinner for two at Sable Kitchen and Bar prepared by Chef Heather Terhune AND an overnight stay at Kimpton’s Hotel Palomar
· Lunch for two at Encore Liquid Lounge AND an overnight stay at Kimpton’s Hotel Allegro
· Dinner for four at 312 Chicago, prepared by Chef Luca Corazzina
· Brunch for six at South Water Kitchen, prepared by Chef Roger Waysok
· Brunch for four at Atwood Café, prepared by Chef Derek Simcik

Here’s how it works:

1. Eat or drink at each of the five restaurants: Sable Kitchen & Bar, Atwood Café, 312 Chicago, South Water Kitchen and Encore Liquid Lounge
2. Ask your waiter to stamp your passport at each restaurant OR upload your dish/libation to Foodspotting.com
3. Give your completed passport to a waiter at any restaurant OR submit your virtual passport via FoodSpotting.com by August 31, 2013
4. You’re automatically entered to win one of six prizes, announced in September

Winners will be notified by email. Entrants must eat or drink at each of the five restaurants to quality; no minimum purchase necessary.

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HauteLiving.com

8-15-2013  |  

In yet another example of the Chicago food scene being the best in the world, the Kimpton restaurants of Chicago are offering patrons a culinary adventure. They are showing love to people who love their restaurants, all of their Chicago restaurants. Kimpton will be giving away prizes to guests who eat or drink at each of their five Chicago-based restaurants through August 31st. It’s kind of like a win-win, you get to eat amazing food and possibly win one of the incredible prizes including:

  • Dinner for two at Atwood Café prepared by Chef Derek Simcik AND an overnight stay at Kimpton’s Burnham Hotel
  • Dinner for two at Sable Kitchen and Bar prepared by Chef Heather Terhune AND an overnight stay at Kimpton’s Hotel Palomar
  • Lunch for two at Encore Liquid Lounge AND an overnight stay at Kimpton’s Hotel Allegro
  • Dinner for four at 312 Chicago, prepared by Chef Luca Corazzina
  • Brunch for six at South Water Kitchen, prepared by Chef Roger Waysok
  • Brunch for four at Atwood Café, prepared by Chef Derek Simcik

The best part of all this is that the food is good at the restaurants, winning would just be a pleasant bonus. But it is still nice to win things, free things are a little more enjoyable somehow. There is no minimum purchase, you just have to eat or drink at all five restaurants. I’m really hoping my readers win all the prizes so make sure you follow these steps:

1.       Eat or drink at each of our five restaurants: Sable Kitchen & Bar, Atwood Café, 312 Chicago, South Water Kitchen and Encore Liquid Lounge

2.       Ask your waiter to stamp your passport at each restaurant OR upload your dish/libation to Foodspotting.com

3.       Give your completed passport to a waiter at any restaurant OR submit your virtual passport via FoodSpotting.com by August 31, 2013

4.       You’re automatically entered to win one of six prizes, announced (by email) in September!

Passport

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HauteLifeChicago.com:

8-15-2013  |  

Kimpton will be giving away prizes to guests who eat or drink at each of their five Chicago-based restaurants through August 31st. It’s kind of like a win-win, you get to eat amazing food and possibly win one of the incredible prizes including:
• Dinner for two at Atwood Café prepared by Chef Derek Simcik AND an overnight stay at Kimpton’s Burnham Hotel
• Dinner for two at Sable Kitchen and Bar prepared by Chef Heather Terhune AND an overnight stay at Kimpton’s Hotel Palomar
• Lunch for two at Encore Liquid Lounge AND an overnight stay at Kimpton’s Hotel Allegro
• Dinner for four at 312 Chicago, prepared by Chef Luca Corazzina
• Brunch for six at South Water Kitchen, prepared by Chef Roger Waysok
• Brunch for four at Atwood Café, prepared by Chef Derek Simcik
The best part of all this is that the food is good at the restaurants, winning would just be a pleasant bonus. But it is still nice to win things, free things are a little more enjoyable somehow. There is no minimum purchase, you just have to eat or drink at all five restaurants. I’m really hoping my readers win all the prizes so make sure you follow these steps:
1. Eat or drink at each of our five restaurants: Sable Kitchen & Bar, Atwood Café, 312 Chicago, South Water Kitchen and Encore Liquid Lounge
2. Ask your waiter to stamp your passport at each restaurant OR upload your dish/libation to Foodspotting.com
3. Give your completed passport to a waiter at any restaurant OR submit your virtual passport via FoodSpotting.com by August 31, 2013
4. You’re automatically entered to win one of six prizes, announced (by email) in September!

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Midwest Living

8-10-2013  |  
Midwest Living Recommends

Midwest Living Review

Modern, global influences meld with classic American cuisine at this Art Deco cafe.

Executive chef Derek Simcik brings his commitment to fine ingredients and global culinary experience to Atwood Cafe, part of the Hotel Burnham in the historical Reliance Building (the herald of the Chicago School of Architecture). Greek yogurt has a place on the breakfast menu, cheddar grits accompany some entrees, and pan-roasted lake trout and pulled pork might share billing at dinner. The spirit of Oscar Wilde infuses the cafe's personality: The first page of the frequently changing menu references his quote "I can resist anything but temptation." And make no mistake, this eatery offers plenty of temptation.

Ahi tuna tartar ($11) gets a delightful zing from wasabi vinaigrette, and the hearty ribeye ($33) comes with a saucy red wine reduction and potato gratin. Comforting roasted acorn squash arrives in a lovely pool of cinnamon and tomato coulis and lavished with a crumbly topping of date and pistachio quinoa ($20). Crunchy pecan streusel covers sweet potatoes whipped through with maple ($5). For dessert, salted caramel sauce and vanilla bean gelato add flair to apple-walnut dumplings ($8).

Atwood's decor (huge windows, chandeliers with garnet red glass teardrops, cobalt blue glassware, dove gray love seats, stately hutches) recalls grand old Art Deco Chicago, but there's not a whiff of pretension. Located in the Loop, the cafe is just a few blocks from Millennium Park.

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Chicagoist

7-29-2013  |  

Pork tattooed with squid ink.Atwood Cafe throws some of the most creative special dinners in town. Last time we visited, they cooked up a menu inspired by the 1893 World's Columbian Exposition. This time, Chef Derek Simcik is celebrating his 30th birthday. He happens to have, well, quite a few tattoos. He's sharing his love of ink with his guests during this "Get Ink'd" dinner.

 

No, you don't have to get a tat to join in. But the dinner begins at South Loop Tattoo parlor
Code of Conduct, where guests can get temporary (or real, if you like) tattoos put on. After that, hop in a limo to Atwood for a five-course dinner. Tattooing is part of the culinary fun, too - Chef Simcik has spent the weekend tattooing pork with squid in. Expect some creative, tattoo-themed fireworks at this dinner.

The tattooing starts at 3:30. Dinner begins at 6:30. Tickets are $85, and they include dinner, drink pairings, taxes and tip. All proceeds go to the Greater Chicago Food Depository. Call 312-368-1900 to reserve.

Happy Birthday, Chef!

Atwood Cafe is at 1 W Washington Street.

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Cheeky Chicago

7-29-2013  |  
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Chicago Tribune

7-29-2013  |  

Ink, Drink and Dine at Atwood Cafe event Monday

Chef Derek Simcik's tattooed pork with squid ink

Chef Derek Simcik's tattooed pork with squid ink (Photo courtesy of Atwood Cafe)

Chef Derek Simcik of Atwood Cafe (1 W. Washington St.) is a bit of a tattoo connoisseur; he's inked in 10 places himself. So tonight's "Get Ink'd" dinner, which celebrates fine-dining and tats, makes perfect sense.

The five-course dinner includes a menu inspired by tattoos (including pork "tattooed" with squid ink); the $85 cost includes the dinner, cocktails, tax and gratuity. Starting time is 6:30 p.m. Monday.

But wait, there's more.

At tattoo specialist Code of Conduct (14 E. 11th St., 312-929-2073), you can get a pre-dinner tattoo from 3:30 to 6:15 p.m. (last tat starts at 5:45 p.m.), then hop a complimentary limo to Atwood Cafe in time for the meal. Tattoos are priced at $65; temporary tattoos (for those who wish to get in the spirit of things without the commitment) are $15.

Or you can skip the ink part and head straight for the dinner.

Call Atwood Cafe at 312-368-1900 to reserve a spot. Net proceeds will be donated to the Chicago Food Depository.

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Haute Living

7-24-2013  |  
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Executive Chef Derek Simcik

7-23-2013  |  

Zagat's 30 Under 30: Chicago's Hottest Up and Comers of 2013

2013 Certificate of Excellence Award by TripAdvisor

  • Businesses that maintain an overall rating of four or higher, out of a possible five, as reviewed by travelers on TripAdvisor, and have been listed on TripAdvisor for at least 12 months. Additional criteria include the volume of reviews received within the last 12 months
  • www.tripadvisor.com/PressCenter-i6015-c1-Press_Releases.html

Zagat

7-23-2013  |  

Dinner Might Hurt: Get Ink'd at Atwood Cafe

One of our very own 30 Under 30 is celebrating no longer being under 30 with one of the most extreme pairings we’ve ever seen. No, there will not be bugs or odd organs on the menu at Atwood Café for chef Derek Simcik’s 30th. Instead, the heavily inked chef welcomes his favorite tattoo shop, Code of Conduct, for a five-course dinner with cocktail and tattoo pairings.

Here is how it is going to go down on Monday. The party starts at the South Loop tattoo parlor at 3:30 PM. Take some inspiration the fork, knife and spoon on Simcik’s fingers or the eggs and bacon on his feet and get your own culinary-inspired ink. Real tattoos, the one with needles that hurt and don’t go away, will be done for a discounted rate of $65. Or opt for something less permanent for $15.

After getting tatted up, diners will be transported via a complimentary limo to the restaurant. Dinner starts at 5 PM with a cocktail reception followed by the seated meal at 6:30 PM. The menu is inspired by the vibrant color and bold designs associated with the art of tattooing. Tickets to the dinner cost $65 with proceeds benefiting the Chicago Food Depository.

Reserve your future tat and seat at the table by calling 312-368-1900.
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Chicago Eater

6-24-2013  |  

As one of the major world cities, Chicago is home to many fine hotels and by extension, hotel restaurants. The Eater Chicago Hotel Restaurants Heatmap will show tourists and residents alike the hottest spots in hotel dining. So if you find yourself spending a night downtown or just want to experience some of the best that fine dining has to offer, check our map out and see which places are doing the best for their guests. It sure beats having yet another meal of the same drab fare of yesteryear.

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TimeOut Chicago

6-7-2013  |  
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The foodchannel.com

5-20-2013  |  

There's nothing like Springtime to make you herald the return of the outdoor business lunch. We found a place in Chicago right in the Loop where you can relax, sit outside, and have a great lunchtime meal. The Atwood Cafe has the whole downtown experience: the guitarist on the street corner, honking horns, whizzing traffic, the babble of voices, and, best of all, amazing food.

We also encountered a Highly Knowledgeable Waitress, one who gets five stars in our book for her knowledge of the menu. She knew her personal favorites, and could beautifully describe the menu items to make them all sound mouth wateringly delicious. Her first recommendation was one our table was already eyeing--the Smoked Trout Salad, with pears, frisee, caramelized bleu cheese and a hazelnut vinaigrette. The second recommendation became--you guessed it--our second choice: the Mussels, with a sauce heavily influenced by beer, served with smoky tasso ham, a large wedge of grilled sourdough and pomme frites on the side. We topped it off with a simple Baby Beet Salad made with a goat cheese mousse and lemon vinaigrette, and can only say, "Our compliments to Executive Chef Derek Simcik!"

Other interesting menu items included a Duck Reuben made with duck prosciutto and caraway vinaigrette, and the newest addition to the menu, Whitefish served with asparagus, almonds, and coriander beurre blanc.

We ended our meal with the Caramel Salted Cheesecake, but were severely tempted over the Bacon-Root Beer Donuts and the Coffee Bread Pudding. So, next time.

It's a great place to talk business and have a little fun on the side (did I mention there is a Nordstrom Rack a few doors down?). All in all, the quintessential Chicago lunchtime experience.

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Grubb Street

5-14-2013  |  

Partying Like It's 1893 Last Night at Atwood Cafe

What a 19th century-sized president ate.

What a 19th century-sized president ate.Photo: courtesy Anthony Todd/Chicagoist

Next doesn't do the menu-inspired-by-a-time-and-place any more, but others do; we've often called your attention to Big Jones' moment-specific Southern menus, and Chicagoist has pics and a report on a cool one that Derek Simcik of Atwood Cafe (in the Daniel Burnham-designed Reliance Building) did last night. Per Anthony Todd:

What most people don't realize is that a true highlight of the 1893 World's Columbian Exposition was the banquets. At least for food history geeks, the zillions of special meals, menus and fetes that awaited dignitaries and regular guests alike are one of the coolest parts of World's Fair history... While Simcik didn't literally recreate the menu from the President's visit to the opening of the World's Fair, he took bits and pieces of the menu as inspiration.

Simcik's modern takes on the dishes, which included modern 2013 touches like pickled ramps, nevertheless provide a window into 1893 dining; check the slideshow out. [Chicagoist]

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Zagat.com

5-14-2013  |  

5/14/2013 12:00:00 PM

Photos: 1893 World's Fair Cuisine with a Modern Twist at Atwood Café

Two years after acting as chief consulting architect of the World’s Columbian Expedition, Daniel Burnham constructed The Reliance Building that would later house the Hotel Burnham and Atwood Café. It was only fitting that 120 years after the 1893 World’s Fair, the restaurant host a dinner that resurrected the cuisine of the landmark Chicago event. The meal was prepared by executive chef Derek Simcik and organized by members of the Chicago History Museum. Together, they scoured menu archives to uncover a Pullman Dining Car Service menu circa 1893 that was served during the Tour of the President to commemorate the opening of the World’s Fair.

Last night’s dinner was a modern interpretation of that exact menu. Simcik stayed true to the elements of each course, but tweaked them using current techniques and trends such as seasonal ingredients. Outdated dishes such as lobster croquettes with French peas and sweat breads in tomato sauce were modernized with a butter-poached lobster served with a delicately fried sweetbread over a no-fuss tomato sauce. Said modern techniques were seen in the halibut served with a 63-degree egg, fava bean puree and radishes. The 1893 dish was over-complicated, combining boiled chicken, halibut with egg sauce, potatoes boulette and boiled leg mutton with caper sauce.

Our favorite dish was Simcik’s reinterpretation of the classic strawberries and cream. Simcik dehydrated strawberries and crushed them into flour that was used in a cake served with cream and bourbon caramel. The flavor combination of sweet strawberries with light cream remained intact, while adding a new textual element thanks to the crisp chips of strawberry as well as an added layer of flavor from the caramel. Overall, the meal captured the extravagance of the 1983 World’s Fair, an event meant to impress and excite visitors from around the world. The meal too, filled with gluttonous potions of lobster and wine, impressed. See for yourself at the photos of the modern dishes compared to their old-school inspirations.
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Gapers Block

5-7-2013  |  

1893 World's Fair--2013 Style @ Hotel Burnham

It's the 120th anniversary of the World's Columbian Exposition, so head to the Atwood Cafe in the Hotel Burnham (how fitting!) tonight for a multi-course meal that reflects the food of the time, as well as a history lesson from Chicago History Museum staff (who is sponsoring the event). Tickets $85-95. Cocktails start at 5:30pm; dinner at 6pm.

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Eater.com

4-26-2013  |  

Atwood Café | 1 West Washington Street | 312.368.1900
Executive chef Derek Simcik gets creative and makes his own 'charcoal' out of unique ingredients to use for smoking dishes. His chestnut cake is actually smoked with chestnut 'charcoal' (which is made by smoking chestnuts for two days) to add a smoky chestnut flavor to the cake. While his lemon charcoal brussels sprout dish utilizes lemon 'charcoals' when smoking the sprouts to impart their flavor.

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Zagat

4-22-2013  |  
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Zagat

4-11-2013  |  
Although it does not feel like it, it is spring. And what does spring mean? RAMPS! Ramps in pasta, ramps in salads, ramps as garnishes, ramps in cocktails and ramps in desserts. Time to get our ramp on all over the city. Provide some ramps with our bill if you want a good tip. Leave some ramps on our pillow for a good night’s sleep. Fiddleheads also work, or a nice juicy morel. The spring produce frenzy spread to Twitter and Instagram with chefs proclaiming their excitement for spring by posting photographs of the bounty. Here are a few we turned into a rampy collage via (clockwise from the top left) chefs Joseph Heppe (Untitled), Iliana Regan (Elizabeth),  Jason Vincent (Nightwood), Derek Simcik (Atwood Café) and Matt Troost (Three Aces). Go ahead, put a ramp on it.
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Zagat

3-30-2013  |  

Match the Tat: Pair the 30 Under 30 Honorees With Their Ink

Name that arm
This year’s Chicago 30 Under 30 group are not only a particularly attractive bunch, but also have their share of skin art. We snapped some shots (including a shirtless one) of the honorees' tattoos. Now it is up to you to match the tat to the right person. Who has Alice in Wonderland on her arm? Who wears a tribute to El Bulli down his spine? Don’t worry - we will give you some clues.
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Chicago Eater

3-30-2013  |  

Some people enjoy brunch on Easter Sunday, some people enjoy an Easter egg hunt, some people enjoy celebrating the Easter Bunny with a hearty meal of rabbit. There are a few restaurants around town that allow people to indulge in this pastime, whether stuffed in pasta, baked in a savory pie, cooked on a rotisserie, or thin-sliced and pan-fried scallopini-style. Here are the places in Chicago to indulge in a Easter Sunday rabbit dinner.

The rabbit scallopini with haricot verts and fennel at Atwood Café, coupled with pleasant service and comfortable atmosphere, should serve diners seeking an Easter-appropriate meal well.
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Examiner

3-30-2013  |  

March 31st: Enjoy Easter Brunch at these various hot spots

Atwood Cafe will have Easter Sunday Brunch prepared by Chef Derek Simcik and his culinary team.

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Zagat

3-30-2013  |  

30 Under 30 Chicago: Hangover Cures

Derek Simcik, Atwood Café: "There are a few I've been privilege of being passed down to me. 1) asparagus prior to going out drinking to help your kidneys with filtering the "magic juice;" 2) bitters and ginger ale; 3) another drink."

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Zagat

3-26-2013  |  

3/25/2013 09:00:00 AM

30 Under 30: Chicago's Hottest Up-and-Comers of 2013
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Zagat

3-26-2013  |  

3/26/2013 11:21:00 AM

Chicago 30 Under 30: The Photos


Last night, we were in Chicago's trendy West Loop area to celebrate the 30 industry up and comers that made our 2013 30 Under 30 List. Everyone from the list turned out with their friends and families and some industry luminaries also made a point to drop by (hey Stephanie Izard!). Click through the slideshow above for a peek of the party action, and see a recap and a live video from the event here and see the full gallery of photos here.
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Chicago Tribune

3-26-2013  |  

Zagat, publishers of the reader-review based Zagat Guides, has released its second-annual “30 Under 30” list of Chicagoans in the restaurant and hospitality business.

The list, intended to recognize up-and-coming talents rather than established stars, embraces chefs and pastry chefs, but also bartenders, wine directors, general managers, as well as a coffee roaster and at least one CEO.

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Chicagoist

3-21-2013  |  

Earlier this week we attended the FEW Kids on the Block fundraiser, a five-course dinner with FEW Spirits-inspired cocktail pairings at the elegant Atwood Cafe. All drinks and provisions were courtesy of chefs and mixologists under 30 representing Sable Kitchen & Bar, Billy Sunday, Carriage House, Tortoise Club, Filini, Farmhouse, and the Atwood Cafe. Half of the evening’s proceeds benefited the Greater Chicago Food Depository, which made us feel considerably better in the morning about quaffing five successive cocktails. Our absolute favorite course? The cavatelli carbonara with egg, chorizo bacon, and fresh rocket by Chef John Vermiglio of Billy Sunday. Dish descriptions are in the captions.

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Chicago Parent

3-21-2013  |  
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Zagat Blog

3-20-2013  |  

The Best Thing We Ate Last Night: Cavatelli Carbonara at FEW Kids


Cocktail dinners are for seasoned pros only. If you never survived six to 16 courses of rapid-fire food with wine pairings, don’t expect to sit down at a meal paired with spirits and leave walking a straight line. Unlike their traditional cousin, the cocktail pairing is a boozy assault of assorted spirits and acidic cocktails. It is rough on the palate, but when paired with the right dish can be a beautiful thing.

Last night, executive chef of Atwood Café, Derek Simcik, welcomed a few of his 30-yeas-of-age-and-under friends to prepare a multi-course meal paired with cocktails made with FEW spirits. Hence the name of the dinner, “FEW Kids on the Block.” Chef participants included Simcik, of course, William Johnson (Filini), Eric Mansavage (Farmhouse) and John Vermiglio (Billy Sunday). Cocktails were designed by Sterling Field (Carriage House), Alex Bachman (Billy Sunday), Alex Renshaw (Sable), Ray Anguiano (Atwood Café) and Patrick Hunter (The Tortoise Club).

Which member of this boys club stole the show? We are awarding the title of “best thing we ate last night” to Vermiglio with his cavatelli carbonara. The creamy sauce covering the fresh-made pasta subdued the acidity of the kegged gin and tonic made with FEW gin and housemade tonic. This dish was not only delicious because of its texture, but also its execution. The beautifully plated paste was placed in a line through the bowl while a runny yet contained egg yolk sat adjacent. The pasta was lovely on its own with a cheesy flavor but when combined with the yolk got an added creaminess. A bit of crisp was achieved with 10-day aged chorizo bacon, pickled peppers and rocket.

Overall, the entire meal was a success, with fun pairings and the company of young chefs and bartenders. But the pasta dish left us begging for seconds.
You might like:
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Examiner

3-20-2013  |  

Atwood Cafe presents FEW Kids on the Block with multi-dinner and cocktails pairing at 6:30pm. Tickets are $75 a person and half of the proceeds go to the Chicago Food Depository

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Cheeky Chicago

3-20-2013  |  

Monday

Flutes_Atwood

FEW Kids on the Block

FEW Spirits and Atwood Cafe are teaming up to bring you a special dinner showcasing young talent in the kitchens and behind the bars of Chicago! Fifty percent of the proceeds benefit the Chicago Food Depository.

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ABC Local News

3-17-2013  |  
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Now You Know

3-15-2013  |  

FEW Kids on the Block

Enjoy an evening of amazing foods and drinks with FEW Kids on the Block on March 18 6:30pm at Atwood Cafe presented by FEW Spirits and Atwood Cafe. Spend the evening enjoying a multi-dinner and cocktail pairing that will give you the chance to taste wonderful and original dishes from Chicago’s most acclaimed restaurants executed by Atwood Cafe’s chef Derek Simck. Also enjoy drinks from the best bars of Chicago created by local bartenders! Tickets are $75 per person. Half the proceeds for the evening will be donated to the Chicago Food Depository. Call 312-368-1900 to make a reservation  and make sure you are tasting all the delicious things the evening has to offer. Buy Tickets Here.

Featured Chefs include:

  • Atwood Café, Derek Simcik
  • Filini Bar & Restaurant, William Johnson
  • Farmhouse Chicago, Eric Mansavage
  • Billy Sunday, John Vermiglio

Featured Bartenders include:

  • Carriage House, Sterling Field
  • Billy Sunday, Alex Bachman
  • Sable Kitchen & Bar, Alex Renshaw
  • Atwood Café, Ray Anguiano
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NowYouKnowEvents

3-13-2013  |  

FEW Kids on the Block

Enjoy an evening of amazing foods and drinks with FEW Kids on the Block on March 18 6:30pm at Atwood Cafe presented by FEW Spirits and Atwood Cafe. Spend the evening enjoying a multi-dinner and cocktail pairing that will give you the chance to taste wonderful and original dishes from Chicago’s most acclaimed restaurants executed by Atwood Cafe’s chef Derek Simck. Also enjoy drinks from the best bars of Chicago created by local bartenders! Tickets are $75 per person. Half the proceeds for the evening will be donated to the Chicago Food Depository. Call 312-368-1900 to make a reservation  and make sure you are tasting all the delicious things the evening has to offer. Buy Tickets Here.

Featured Chefs include:

  • Atwood Café, Derek Simcik
  • Filini Bar & Restaurant, William Johnson
  • Farmhouse Chicago, Eric Mansavage
  • Billy Sunday, John Vermiglio

Featured Bartenders include:

  • Carriage House, Sterling Field
  • Billy Sunday, Alex Bachman
  • Sable Kitchen & Bar, Alex Renshaw
  • Atwood Café, Ray Anguiano
  • Tortoise Club, Patrick Hunter
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Splash Magazine

3-12-2013  |  
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Metromix

3-10-2013  |  

FEW Kids on the Block Chef Collaboration Dinner

Mon., Mar. 18, 6 p.m.
Atwood Cafe
1 W. Washington St.
$75 | 312-368-1900
Enjoy drinks and a meal prepared by local chefs and bartenders age 30 and under. Featured chefs include Derek Simcik, Atwood Cafe; William Johnson, Filini Bar and Restaurant; Eric Mansavage, Farmhouse Chicago; and John Vermiglio, Billy Sunday. Featured bartenders include Sterling Field, Carriage House; Alex Bachman, Billy Sunday; Alex Renshaw, Sable Kitchen and Bar; Ray Anguiano, Atwood Cafe; and Patrick Hunter, Tortoise Club. Half of the evening's proceeds benefit the Chicago Food Depository.

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Chicago Eater

3-8-2013  |  

Gimme Some Skin Takes on New Meaning

Eater contributor Catherine De Orio is a blogger, writer, entrepreneur, and TV and radio personality. In her weekly Tasting Trends piece, she scours the city for what's trending on the dining scene and where you can taste the trend. Follow her culinary adventures on Twitter @CatCalls. This week's trend: Animal Skin.

6210_122087881994_4624339_n.jpg
Atwood Cafe [Facebook]

A majority of people would argue that the crunchy, fatty skin of fried chicken or Peking duck's crispy, crackly coating is the best part. Thus, it should come as no surprise that chefs have begun to utilize skin as a separate component in various dishes. At first glance, this might seem to be a trend derived from chefs' constant search for new, unique ingredients and uses for them. Skin, however, is actually a traditional ingredient that has been used in cuisines around the world for generations. One might find people in Japan snacking on chicken or fish skin, while many European Jewish cultures eat gribenes, crispy chicken skin, which is sometimes referred to as "Jewish bacon." In many Latin American countries, one would be hard pressed to not find a roadside stand serving chicharrones, commonly known here as pork rinds. And cracklings, "cracklins," are an American South staple. But whether its gribenes, yakitori kawa, cracklings, chicharrones or some other form of epidermal element, one thing is certain: Skin is in.

Where to Taste the Trend. >>

Born in Athens, Greece, but with strong familial ties to the American South, executive chef of Atwood Café, in the Burnham Hotel, Derek Simcik, enjoys incorporating skins into his dishes. Utilizing skin as an ingredient serves myriad purposes.

First there's the textural aspect. "When adding skin as its own element, you get crunch and crispiness without having to add in nuts or something deep fried to give the same textural pop," Simcik explains. A touch of creaminess, even when the skins are dry and crunchy, is added when using skin due to its fatty composition. From a flavor perspective, skin lends a dish a bit of savory, salinity--Simcik likens it to adding parmesan cheese to a risotto or sauce.

"It gives a bit of saltiness without adding salt." From a practical perspective, finding uses for the skin helps reduce kitchen waste. "It allows us to utilize a part we might discard," he says, "It allows me to use the entire animal." This philosophy falls in line with the recent movement towards nose-to-tail cooking. And lastly, for him, there's a nostalgic, approachable element with cracklings since he would enjoy them on family road trips through the South as a boy.

There are many ways to cook a skin: baked between two silpat mats, pan-fried, deep-fried, even applied to other ingredients using albumen-based 'meat glue' allowing a chef to adhere a skin from one animal to another and lend a flavor and textural element to a dish it would normally never have—think chicken skin wrapped lobster. Simcik likes his skins fried and crispy, whether he's preparing, or eating them.

"I know it's not healthy, but I can't stop, I keep wanting more," he laughs. When using duck or chicken, he confits the breast or thigh first, removes the skin, dries it and fries it off until it's crispy. "This adds a saltiness aspect from the confit method," he explains. Pork gets dehydrated first, chiffonaded (cut into long, thin strips) and deep-fried. These break apart, resembling popped rice and "create little bits of fatty deliciousness."

Are all skins created equal? "The differences lay in the texture and size between different skins," says Simcik. With duck, since there is so much fat, "you get more juiciness to it when you eat it." Chicken tends to be crispier, almost 'chip-like." With fish skins, a saltwater fish will take on the saltiness of the sea, whereas something like a brook trout will be less salty, more fragile, almost glass-like. And swine brings with it a 'sweetness.'

Playing off this sweetness, Simcik's Spring menu offers an interesting small plate comprised of compressed pork belly with a 'Fig Newton.' "Pork lends itself so well to sweetness, but I wanted to a touch of savory, saltiness without adding bacon."

The creative solution was to take a slightly less sweet tuile batter, layer it with crispy, chicken skin and then bake it to form the 'cookie' wafer within which he pipes a homemade fig puree. The chicken skin gives the cookie a sweet, savory, creamy, crunchy juxtaposition of flavors and textures. And keeping with his mission to waste as little as possible, any bits of leftover chicken skin are deep-fried and sprinkled over the top of the pork belly for an additional flavor punch.

Go have the chefs show you some skin, here's where to taste the trend:

Atwood Café | 1 West Washington Street | 312.368.1900
Chef Derek Simcik likens his salmon dish, which showcases all the different textures and flavors of the same protein, to 'chips and salsa.' He starts by making a cured salmon belly/creme fraiche, composed of salmon crudo, beets, herb purée and salmon tartar. The tartar is made of quail egg and crispy salmon skin that is baked between silpat mats to give it a chip-like texture.

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Eater

3-8-2013  |  

LOOP—An All-Star team of chefs and mixologists are coming together for "FEW Kids on the Block" on March 18 at the Atwood Cafe, where under-30-year-old chefs and mixologists will concoct food and drink pairings using FEW Spirits. Half of the proceeds will go to the Chicago Food Depository, tickets cost $75.

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Chicago Sun-Times’ “Splash magazine”

3-8-2013  |  

March 18: ‘F.E.W. Kids on the Block’

Evanston’s F.E.W. spirits teams up with Chicago’s hottest young chefs for a dinner benefiting the Chicago Food Depository. Participants are all under 30 years old — chefs Will Johnson (Filini), Derek Simcik (Atwood Café) and Eric Mansavage (Farmhouse) will create the five-course dinner, while mixologists Alex Renshaw (Sable) and Sterling Field (Carriage House) whip up the libations.

Time: 6 p.m.

Place: Atwood Café, 1 W. Washington

Cost: $75. Call Atwood Café at (312) 368-1900.

 

 


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Chicago.GrubStreet.com

3-8-2013  |  

"FEW Kids on the Block" Dinner March 18; Honey Butter Fried Chicken Collab at La Sirena March 24

One of our colleagues was just collecting chefs under 30 the other day; we know where a whole gaggle of them will be on March 18. That's when FEW Spirits and Atwood Cafe will host a dinner with young chefs and bartenders under 30, including chefs and mixologists from places like Farmhouse, Billy Sunday, Filini, Carriage House, Sable and Tortoise Club. It starts with welcome cocktails at 6 and a tasting menu with paired cocktails at 6:30, it's $75 including tax and gratuity— and half of the proceeds will go to the Greater Chicago Food Depository. Call 312-368-1900 or book here.

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Zagat.com

3-8-2013  |  

FEW Kids
Atwood Cafe's executive chef Derek Simcik is calling in a few of his 30-and-under industry friends for a culinary collaboration. All younger than 30…we wonder why this sounds familiar? The tasting menu with FEW Spirits cocktail pairings will feature food from Billy Sunday’s John Vermiglio and drinks from Carriage House’s Sterling Field among others. Tickets for the March 18 dinner cost $75 and 50% of the proceeds will be donated to the Chicago Food Depository (312-368-1900).

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CheckPlease.WTTW.com

3-8-2013  |  

Evanston-based FEW Spirits and Atwood Café are hosting “FEW Kids on the Block,” a dinner on March 18 that features a tasting menu and cocktails all made by local chefs and bartenders under the age of 30. The chefs are Atwood Café’s Derek Simcik, Farmhouse Chicago’s Eric Mansavage, Filini Bar & Restaurant’s William Johnson, and Billy Sunday’s John Vermiglio. Bartenders, who will be using FEW Spirits in their cocktails, are Carriage House’s Sterling Field, Billy Sunday’s Alex Bachman, Sable Kitchen & Bar’s Alex Renshaw, Atwood Café’s Ray Anguiano, and Tortoise Club’s Patrick Hunter. Fifty percent of the proceeds from the dinner will be donated to the Chicago Food Depository.

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ChicagoNow.com

3-8-2013  |  

FEW Spirits and Atwood Café have teamed up to create “FEW Kids on the Block,” a special dinner of unforgettable food, cocktails and shenanigans. Envisioned to showcase the young talent in the kitchens and behind the bars of Chicago’s renowned restaurant scene, each course will be prepared by a local chef, who is under 30 years old, and paired with a cocktail using FEW spirits created by a local bartender, also under 30. Tickets are $75 per person inclusive of tax and gratuity. Fifty percent of the proceeds will be donated to the Chicago Food Depository.

Chefs: Atwood Café,Derek Simcik, Filini Bar & Restaurant, William Johnson, Farmhouse Chicago, Eric Mansavage, Billy Sunday,John Vermiglio

Bartenders: Carriage House, Sterling Field, Billy Sunday, Alex Bachman, Sable Kitchen & Bar, Alex Renshaw, Atwood Café,Ray Anguiano, Tortoise Club, Patrick Hunter

March 18, 2013 - 6:00pm, welcome cocktails - 6:30pm, seated dinner. Atwood Café, adjacent to Kimpton’s Hotel Burnham (1 W Washington St) RSVP: Call 312.368.1900

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Chicago.MetroMix.com

3-8-2013  |  

FEW Kids on the Block Chef Collaboration Dinner

Enjoy drinks and a meal prepared by local chefs and bartenders age 30 and under. Featured chefs include Derek Simcik, Atwood Cafe; William Johnson, Filini Bar and Restaurant; Eric Mansavage, Farmhouse Chicago; and John Vermiglio, Billy Sunday. Featured bartenders include Sterling Field, Carriage House; Alex Bachman, Billy Sunday; Alex Renshaw, Sable Kitchen and Bar; Ray Anguiano, Atwood Cafe; and Patrick Hunter, Tortoise Club. Half of the evening's proceeds benefit the Chicago Food Depository.

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HauteLiving.com

3-8-2013  |  

 

“FEW Kids On The Block” Dinner Event

 

Atwood

Chicago’s restaurant scene has a huge pool of talent that extends across just about every known type of cuisine. The veterans are shaking things up by creating new concepts and opening new restaurants and it’s mostly because of the young chefs and bartenders coming up that are creating new and inventive drinks and dishes. There is an element of fun to a lot of restaurants in the city, a sort of serious fun where the chefs and bartenders are using their creativity and imagination to create great food and cocktails.

FEW Spirits and Atwood Café have teamed up to showcase some of Chicago’s young chefs and bartenders. The have created “FEW Kids On The Block,” an evening that showcases talented young chefs and bartenders from a handful of Chicago’s incredible restaurants. Each course for the evening will be prepared by a local chef, under 30 years old, and paired with a cocktail using FEW spirits created by a local bartender, also under 30. The event will take place at Atwood Café (1 West Washington Street) March 18, 2013 at 6pm.

The participating chefs are Derek Simcik (Atwood Café), William Johnson (Filini Bar & Restaurant), Eric Mansavage (Farmhouse Chicago) and John Vermiglio (Billy Sunday). The bartenders are Sterling Field (Carriage House), Alex Bachman (Billy Sunday), Alex Renshaw (Sable Kitchen & Bar), Ray Anguiano (Atwood Café) and Patrick Hunter (Tortoise Club.) It will be a fun night of great food and drinks prepared by the city’s talented young chefs and bartenders. Tickets for the dinner are $75 and that includes tax and gratuity. Half of the proceeds will be donated to the Chicago Food Depository. To RSVP, call 312-368-1900 or book online at www.opentable.com.

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Eater

3-7-2013  |  
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Sun Times

3-1-2013  |  

Gone are the days of boring old steamed cauliflower topped with cheese sauce (although for us cauliflower-philes, that’s delicious, too). Now you can find it mashed, fried, served as a “steak,” smothered in a cream and cheese sauce and so much more. The options unfurl before us, much like the head of cauliflower below its protective leaves. A glimpse at a few Chicago menus reveal crispy cumin cauliflower at The Boarding House, roasted cauliflower steak at Davanti Enoteca, cauliflower curry at Atwood Cafe, blackened cauliflower at Gilt Bar, slow-roasted cauliflower at Longman & Eagle, roasted cauliflower at Girl & the Goat, charred cauliflower at The Purple Pig, cauliflower gratin at Prasino, even cauliflower as a pizza topping (Renaldi’s Pizza, Pat’s Pizza, Sonny’s Restaurant and Pizzeria, Di Vita’s Restaurant & Pizzeria).

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Life is Suite

3-1-2013  |  

 

Executive Chef Derek Atwood and the team at Atwood Café in Chicago are no doctors. But they did come up with a cure for a case of the Mondays.

That cure is Fries & Flutes. Every Monday, from 5 p.m. to close, the downtown American bistro offers a fizzy flute of champagne accompanied by a trio of specialty fries and dipping sauces for just $10.

Derek’s just-crispy-enough frites will show you that not all fries were created equal. And those sea salt, parmesan and aioli flavors? They add up to happy hour heaven.

We promise you’ll leave in a bright, bubbly mood.

Raise your flute at Atwood Café, 1 W. Washington St., Chicago (312-368-1900 or atwoodcafe.com).

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Chicago Sun Times

2-22-2013  |  
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Colombus Monthly

2-14-2013  |  
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Zagat

2-12-2013  |  

The Best Thing We Ate Last Night: Sweetbreads ‘n’ Waffles at Atwood Café

We’ve had chicken ‘n’ waffles, sausage ‘n’ waffles, even rabbit ‘n’ waffles, but the combination we enjoyed last night was new to us. Chef Derek Simcik’s takes on the classic combination at Atwood Café serves sweetbreads with chive waffle triangles, bourbon strawberries and maple gastric.

Although, the word sweetbread is enough to ruin some people's appetite, our trick is to not think about the fact we are eating deep-fried offal and just enjoy the flavor. The meat was a hearty savory and combined with a crunchy exterior that complimented the herbal waffle. The perfect bite combined a bit of both along with the sweet strawberry and gastric.

This dish appears as a starter on their dinner menu and we enjoyed it with a round of their new special “Flutes and Frites” – a trio of fries and a glass of Prosecco for $10.
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National Culinary Review

2-7-2013  |  
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Chicago Eater

1-22-2013  |  

BaconFest 2013 Lineup Announced

2013_1_baconfest.jpgThe folks behind Chicago's favorite annual artery-clogging food event BaconFest have released the roster for the 2013 festival. Chefs from 125 restaurants across the city will gather on April 20 at the U.I.C. Forum to show off their best take on bacon. Per the release "There's nowhere else in the world where so many high-profile chefs devote so much culinary firepower to the celebration of bacon." Fact.

GA tickets for the lunch and dinner shifts ($100 each) will go on sale on February 20. Early VIP tickets have been on sale for a few weeks now. Without further ado, the lineup:

The lineup. >>

2 SPARROWS - Gregory Ellis
312 CHICAGO - Luca Corazzina
676 RESTAURANT AND BAR - Daven Wardynski
694 WINE & SPIRITS - Chris Dunstatter
ACADIA - Ryan McCaskey
ATWOOD CAFE - Derek Simcik (* 4 year BFC VET)

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Looky Tasty

1-22-2013  |  

Baconfest 2013 Restaurant, Chef Lineup

Cindy —  January 15, 2013 — Leave a comment

Baconfest Chicago has revealed the entire list of restaurants and chefs participating in this year’s festival on April 20 at the UIC Forum. Each of these exhibitors will present dishes celebrating the beloved cured meat, bacon:

2 SPARROWS – Gregory Ellis
312 CHICAGO – Luca Corazzina
676 RESTAURANT AND BAR – Daven Wardynski (* 2012 Golden Rasher Award Winner)
694 WINE & SPIRITS – Chris Dunstatter
ACADIA – Ryan McCaskey
ATWOOD CAFE – Derek Simcik (* 4 year BFC VET)

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Red Eye

1-22-2013  |  

Baconfest lineup announced

January 16, 2013|By Zara Husaini @zarhus | RedEye

It’s never too early to start thinking about bacon--which is why the lineup for this year's Baconfest should excite Chicago.

More than 120 chefs and restaurants are providing the goods for this year's event. The Greater Chicago Depository is a partner for the event, and a portions of the proceeds will go to their efforts to end world hunger.

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Huffington Post

1-22-2013  |  

DNAinfo Chicago:

NEAR WEST SIDE — The roster is up for the fifth annual 2013 Baconfest Chicago festival.

The event, held on April 20 at the UIC Forum at 725 W. Roosevelt, gives guests access to a “bacon-wonderland” featuring bacon cuisine, bacon-inspired cocktails and wine and “bacontrepreneurs” selling bacon products.

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Chicagoist

1-22-2013  |  

Baconfest Chicago 2013 is a few months away and the Baconfest Triumvirate is adding to the anticipation by announcing the lineup of chefs participating at the April 20 event.

Can you feel your blood congealing as you read this?

Baconfest's organizers even admit, in an oblique way, that they're selling the sizzle,

Why announce the roster so far in advance of General Admission sales? Because we want you to have as much time as possible to appreciate, admire and absorb the glory of the Baconfest Chicago 2013 line up! We’d be lying if we said we weren’t proud of how BFC has blossomed since its humble beginning in 2009. This year, more than 120 chefs and restaurants will come together to exhibit the bacon-creation of their choice.

The lineup includes chefs who have participated at multiple Baconfests including Red Door's troy Graves, The Trenchermen's Patrick Sheerin, Big Jones' Paul Feehribach and Chris Pandel of The Bristol and Balena. That's a lot of cured pork belly cooking at UIC Forum.

VIP tickets to Baconfest Chicago 2013 are still available and they're steep at $200. General Admission tickets will go on sale Feb. 20 and cost $100.

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Serious Eats

1-22-2013  |  

Baconfest Chefs Announced
April 20
125 restaurants will gather at the U.I.C. Forum to celebrate one thing and one thing only: bacon. The chefs for the event were just announced, so check out this list to see who made the cut. A portion of proceeds goes to Chicago's food banks. General Admission $100, goes on sale February 20. VIP $200, on sale now.725 West Roosevelt; event website

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Bite of the Best

1-22-2013  |  

CITY EDITIONS   

Flutes & Frites at Chicago’s Atwood Cafe

January 18, 2013

Atwood Café, a downtown American bistro, is now serving “Flutes & Frites” every Monday from 5 pm until close. For $10.00 per person, a fizzy flute will be accompanied by a trio of specialty fries and dipping sauces created by Executive Chef Derek Simcik. In addition to bubbles, patrons can expect to see (and taste) lots of sea salt, parmesan and aioli.

The Atwood Café is located adjacent to Kimpton’s Hotel Burnham, at 1 W. Washington Street, Chicago; 312-368-1900  For more information click here.

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Chicago Food and Fitness

1-21-2013  |  

Mon. Jan. 21, 5-9:30 p.m.
Atwood Cafe, 1 W. Washington St.

We’re loving this happy hour. Every Monday at Atwood Cafe, your bubbly comes with fries and a trio of dipping sauces.

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Chicago Magazine

1-17-2013  |  
  1. Perk up your Monday night with Flutes and Frites at Atwood Café (1 W. Washington St., 312-368-1900). Every week from 5 p.m. to close, get a flute of sparkling wine, three kinds of fries, and specialty dipping sauces for $10.
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Check Please

1-16-2013  |  
  • Atwood Café is offering a new post-work promotion: Flutes & Frites. Each Monday from 5:00 pm to close, the restaurant is offering a flute of bubbly plus a trio of frites and dipping sauces. Offerings will rotate, but you can expect sea salt and parmesan-topped frites.
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    LA Times

    1-4-2013  |  

    Atwood Cafe. Not as close as most of the others on this list, but I really like Derek Simcik's food, which veers from the usual suspects to include such items as lamb carpaccio, pheasant-ricotta crepes and sauteed mackerel with red curry sauce. 1 W. Washington St., 312-368-1900.

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    Red Eye

    12-11-2012  |  

    Chicago Tribune

    12-6-2012  |  

    "The Book of Mormon" opens next week in the Bank of America Theatre, drawing a couple of thousand people each day (except Monday) to the Loop.

    Quite a few of them will arrive hungry. Add in the multitudes with tickets for other Loop theater performances, and that's a lot of mouths to feed. Here are some of the close-by options.

    Atwood Cafe. Not as close as most of the others on this list, but I really like Derek Simcik's food, which veers from the usual suspects to include such items as lamb carpaccio, pheasant-ricotta crepes and sauteed mackerel with red curry sauce. 1 W. Washington St., 312-368-1900.

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    Dining Chicago . Com

    12-4-2012  |  

    The beloved tradition of holiday tea is back at Atwood Cafe in the Loop. The afternoon repast offers eight loose leaf tea choices, including black, green, white and herbal varieties, sweetened with cumin- or chamomile-infused honey; Chef Derek Simick’s tea sandwiches (tomato-cucumber, salmon and curried chicken salad); cranberry scones; biscotti; chocolate-covered strawberries; chocolate espresso cups; chocolate mousse; and macaroons, plus a flute of bubbly if you choose.

    Tea is served from 2 to 3:30 p.m. daily through December (except Christmas Day). The price is $35, $20 for children, with an additional charge of $10 for Prosecco. Reservations are required.

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    Michigan Ave

    12-4-2012  |  

    During the entire month of December, downtown bistro Atwood Café offers its lunchtime Holiday Tea Service (2-3:30 PM), a seasonal tradition. Located on the retail-centric corner of State and Washington Streets, Atwood is the perfect place to pop in between gift-buying trips to historic Macy’s (111 N. State St., 312-781-1000) and the dozens of other shops in the area.

    The tea service includes a selection of eight loose-leaf teas—black, white, green, and herbal varieties—and spiced toppings like cumin and chamomile-infused honey. Kids can enjoy the tea as is, while parents may opt to add a glass of La Marca Prosecco or Poema Cava bubbly. Organic English Breakfast, Organic Earl Grey, and Chamomile Citrus are some of the more common options, but we love the exotic Rose Silver Needle, a Chinese white tea scented with pink rose petals. Bombay Chai is another favorite, comprising black tea leaves, pepper, orange, cinnamon, cardamon, and clove.

    The service also offers a bit of light nourishment to revive your energy before more holiday shopping. Executive chef Derek Simcik put together a menu of specialty tea sandwiches such as tomato cucumber, salmon, and curry chicken salad. Biscotti, scones, chocolate mousse, and macaroons make for delicious teatime desserts. $35 adults/$20 children 12 and under. Reservations required. 1 W. Washington St., 312-368-1900


    Read more at http://michiganavemag.com/channels/home-page/insights/atwood-cafe-brings-back-its-holiday-tea-service#X6YWqGbdjPWfSePA.99
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    Mint Life

    11-26-2012  |  

    Candied Yam Bread Pudding

    No pumpkin pie left? No problem. Chef Derek Simcik, executive chef of Chicago’s Atwood Café, makes a dessert from leftover sweet potatoes and bread.

    First, butter a deep pan. Tear 12 ounces of leftover bread into chunks and place in a large bowl. Pour a quart of heavy cream over the bread and set aside until soft.

    Beat three eggs and five ounces sugar until smooth and thick. Add a half-ounce of vanilla, an ounce of melted butter, and two ounces of brandy.

    Gently toss together the egg mixture, the bread and four to five ounces of candied yams. Pour into pan and bake at 350 until browned and almost set, about 45 minutes.

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    Chicago Now

    11-26-2012  |  

    The Atwood Café, located on the busiest retail cross-section in the Loop (Washington & State Street), welcomes back Holiday Tea Service this year, an act that has become a holiday staple for hungry shoppers and loyal families.

    The historic bistro’s Holiday Tea Service includes a selection of eight Loose Leaf Tea options (black, green, white and herbal varieties) topped off with cumin or chamomile infused honey and a glass of bubbly (for an extra cost). Atwood Café (1 West Washington Street) - November 17 & 18; November 24 & 25; December (entire month, sans December 25), from 2-3:30PM - $35/adult and $20/child (12 and under); Prosecco is an additional cost of $10 per flute) Reservations are required; please call 312-368-1900 to reserve your table. www.atwoodcafe.com

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    Zagat Restaurant and Foodie News

    11-15-2012  |  
     

    Atwood Cafe

    This homage to salty and sweet features two sauces. The newest addition to the dessert menu is donuts covered with salted butterscotch and bacon-root beer reduction. Yes, please.

    1 W. Washington St.; 312-368-1900

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    Chicago Shopping

    11-15-2012  |  

    Holiday tea service returns to Atwood Café (1 W. Washington St., 312.368.1900), beginning this weekend. Guests choose from a selection of eight loose leaf teas topped with cumin or chamomile-infused honey. Tea is served alongside tomato-cucumber and curry chicken salad sandwiches, as well as cranberry scones, biscotti, chocolate-covered strawberries and chocolate mousse. It’s $35 a person ($20 for children 12 and under). Prosecco is an extra $10 per glass. 2-3:30 p.m. Nov. 17-18; Nov. 24-25; entire month of December except Christmas.

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    Check Please

    11-15-2012  |  

    Atwood Café launches a holiday tea service this weekend with your choice of eight different teas that are served with cumin- or chamomile-infused honey. While you’re sipping, indulge in chef Derek Simcik’s tomato cucumber, salmon, and curry chicken salad sandwiches, cranberry scones, chocolate-covered strawberries, mousse, macaroons, and other treats. Tea is available November 17, 18, 24, 25, and every day in December for $35 per adult and $20 per child.

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    Life is Suite

    11-1-2012  |  

    Rabbit Scallopini
    $27 at Atwood Cafe
    Executive Chef Derek Simcik knows this dish is usually made with veal and chicken. But he went ahead and jazzed it up with something different: rabbit. He breads and pan-fries thinly cut slices of saddles and tenderloins, plating them with haricot verts, fennel and a splash of cider.

    Chef Derek Simcik's Rabbit Scallopini

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    The Toronto Star

    11-1-2012  |  

    Atwood’s Restaurant is a bright, sunny spot looking out to the street. If Ray is working the bar, you’re in for a good show. He also can explain the difference between rye and bourbon or fill you on the history of the Sazerac. Try the French 75 with champagne, fresh lemon juice, simple syrup and gin.

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    OCEANA

    10-26-2012  |  

    Petition to Stop Seafood Fraud

    All Reports… 

    October 25, 2012

    More than 500 chefs, restaurant owners and culinary leaders are calling on the United States government to require that ‘seafood is traceable in order to prevent seafood fraud and keep illegal fish out of the U.S. market.’ The letter, led by sustainable chef Barton Seaver, has signatories from nearly all 50 states, including top chefs Mario Batali, Rick Bayless, Daniel Boulud, Thomas Keller, Jacques Pepin, Eric Ripert and Michael Symon, who are all ‘committed to serving seafood that protects our oceans, our wallets and our health

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    Chicago Tribune

    10-25-2012  |  

    In Chicago, Atwood Cafe chef Derek Simcik serves sliced veal heart over a bone marrow risotto. A year or so ago he served a bar-menu special dubbed "rabbit popcorn," which is dehydrated and deep-fried rabbit brains dusted with cheddar cheese powder. "That," he acknowledges, "was kind of pushing it."

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    HGTV Gardens

    10-23-2012  |  

    and at Atwood Café in Chicago, executive chef Derek Simcik uses chestnuts as charcoal to impart flavor into his roasted chestnut cake and charred chestnut ice cream.

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    Hotel Chatter

    10-16-2012  |  

    Satisfy Carnivorous Hankerings at Hotel Burnham and Hotel Palomar Chicago
    Bring on the bacon this fall with especially tempting eats from remarkable chefs at two Kimpton hotels in Chicago. At Atwood Café in Hotel Burnham , Executive Chef Derek Simick turns your typical veal or chicken scallopini upside down with a breaded and pan-fried rabbit scallopini served with haricot verts, fennel and splash of cider ($27).

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    Plate Magazine

    8-31-2012  |  

    Atwood Cafe's Executive Chef Derek Simcik loves food so much he wears his culinary heart on more than just his sleeve—also his neck, fingers, feet and more. He took us on a quick tour of his tattoos, which reveal Day of the Dead-inspired chefs, his "holy spoon" and an unfortunate accident with haphazardly flipped fried eggs.

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    Foodspotting

    8-30-2012  |  

    Small_thumb

    Bread Spread @ Atwood Cafe

     

    This meal was a prize redemption from a previous visit during Foodspotting Week at Atwood Cafe. They were giving away prizes for ordering certain secret dishes on the menu. One of the dishes we ordered (Chicken Liver Mousse) was the top "secret dish"! Our prize: a future Dinner for Two! And that's what it said on the certificate; no price, just: Dinner for Two! Absolutely amazing! Executive Chef and Foodspotter Derek Simcik himself delivered the news and the certificate! I remember at the time being thrilled at seeing his name tag because we had been following each other on Foodspotting. Unfortunately, Chef Simcik could not be here on this visit. But it was awesome getting to meet General Manager & Foodspotter Damien Palladino as well as Sous Chef & Foodspotter Nick Bajal. They, along with our server Patrick and host Sean, treated us to an incomparable evening full of delicious food and gracious hospitality. Mrs. Donkeykong and I would like to thank them all for their generosity and a truly special experience! Oh, and don't forget to ask for the "Foodspotting Table" when you make you reservation. The table is brightly lit just for us FSers! We began our meal with this delicious Butter, mixed with Sun-Dried Tomatoes and Herbs, served with Focaccia Bread.

     

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    Suntimes

    8-28-2012  |  

     

    Using watermelon in savory dishes? A sweet idea, say chefs

    “Sometimes spice can be nice, like adding some jalapeno,” Simcik suggests

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    Zagat

    8-28-2012  |  

    Restaurant: Atwood Café

    Dish: Foie gras dessert

    What he was thinking: A year ago, chef Simcik wanted to translate the fatty and buttery goodness that is foie gras into a dessert by serving it with a sweet fruit and white chocolate. His inspiration was a pairing of peaches and pork belly but he replaced the pork with the foie gras moose coated in white chocolate with peach semifreddo. The flavors worked, and he prepared 30 for that evening’s dinner service. At the end of the night, 29 remained; Simcik had eaten one. After the flop Simcek continued to push the envelope of ingredients, but learned to accept the limitations of his patrons.

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    Soapbox

    8-23-2012  |  

    Derek Simcik (Atwood Cafe, Chicago): I gotta say my favorite, lunchbox item when I was just a “wee lil’ lad” would have to be the times when my Dad packed my lunches (when mom was visiting family or at work) and he would pack them the night before and full of left over BBQ he cooked perviously. Lets just say I came home a mess!

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    Poor Grls Guide Chicago

    8-16-2012  |  

    5 Cocktails To Celebrate National Rum Day In The Windy City

     

    “Chicago Fizz” at Atwood Café : Banks 5 Island rum, port, lemon, simple syrup, bitters and soda

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    WBEZ Blog

    7-20-2012  |  

     

    The way to your heart: Green City Market BBQ 2012

    So many of the dishes were beautiful but a few truly stood out in not only their plating, but also creativity, including Atwood Café's warm corn, vanilla, tomato water, and tobacco gelée with crispy housemade guanciale

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    Hackknife Blog

    7-20-2012  |  

    Last Thursday night, Mrs. Hackknife and I attended what I was told to be one of the city's best annual foodie events: the Green City Market (GCM) BBQ fundraiser in Lincoln Park. GCM is the City of Chicago's farmer's market (taking place every Saturday either outdoors near Clark & Lincoln or inside the Notebaert Nature Museum during the cooler months), which has grown by leaps and bounds over the past few years as the farm-to-table cuisine movement has taken off. The annual BBQ provides the market with the funds needed to support the weekly event and, judging from the roster of restaurants that participated (more than 80), nearly all of the best and brightest chefs in town show up to get in on the action.

    Luckily for us, the weather cooperated as we ended up with a relatively cool evening (low 80s) given how dadgum hot it's been this summer. All told, the missus and I were really impressed with the proceedings and the turnout - good food and good booze flowed in abundance. Unfortunately, these convention-type dining events (Baconfest was another one) make it difficult to snap pictures of the dishes since one's hands are otherwise preoccupied holding things (hence the lack of visual documentation). Next year, we may follow the lead of some GCM BBQ veterans we saw that brought their own trays with attached cupholders, thus freeing up fingers to do other things. Anyway, I will share below the written descriptions of what we considered to be the event's top culinary creations, at least as far as what we managed to try before maxing out stomach capacity (no, we didn't sample everything - that would have been suicide).


    Atwood Cafe - Warm Corn Vanilla & Tomato-Tobacco (hee hee...makes me think of "tomacco" from the Simpsons) Gelee, Crispy Housemade Guanciale

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    Conde Nast Traveler

    7-20-2012  |  

    Savory Sweets: 20 Desserts with Sugar and Spice

    Dessert isn't all about sugar anymore. Today's forward-thinking chefs are putting fresh herbs, hot peppers, and plenty of salt in the final course…

     

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    ChicagoNow.com

    7-6-2012  |  
     
    Food Fun Friday

     Kimpton’s five Chicago restaurants invite you on a culinary journey across the city with the introduction of the Kimpton Chicago Restaurant Passport. Dine at Sable Kitchen & Bar, South Water Kitchen, Encore Lunch Club & Liquid Lounge, Atwood Café and 312 Chicago to receive a stamp for each entrée purchased. Once guests fill their passport with one stamp from each restaurant, they are entered into a sweepstakes for amazing prizes like a five-course dinner at Atwood Cafe with an overnight stay at Kimpton’s historic Hotel Burnham or brunch for six prepared by Bravo Top Chef alum Chef Heather Terhune at Sable Kitchen & Bar.

    Simply request a Passport upon the first visit to any Kimpton Chicago restaurant. At each subsequent restaurant visit, request a stamp for ordering one entrée. Once one stamp for each restaurant has been obtained, submit the completed Passport to a server, host or manager. Or go digital: simply post pictures of each entrée to the Foodspotting app for a digital stamp. Once one entrée from each restaurant has been “spotted,” the user will automatically be entered into the drawing.

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    Zagat

    7-2-2012  |  

    Passport to Dining
    Take a culinary tour de Chicago with Kimpton. Dine at Sable Kitchen & Bar, South Water Kitchen, Encore Lunch Club & Liquid Lounge, Atwood Café and 312 Chicago and receive a stamp for ordering an entree. After earning stamps from all five restaurants, the passports can be entered to win a meal at one of the restaurants. The contest begins on Sunday and runs through September 3.

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    Chicago Shopping News

    7-2-2012  |  

    Hit up some hot restaurants, support Chicago shops and sample an array of party-ready treats.

    Dine and dash: Spend your summer sampling the five restaurants located within Kimpton Chicago hotels and get rewarded! Dine at Sable Kitchen & Bar, South Water Kitchen, Encore Lunch Club & Liquid Lounge, Atwood Cafe and 312 Chicago now through Sept. 3 to take part in the Kimpton Chicago Restaurant Passport promotion. You'll receive a stamp in your passport for each entree purchased, and once your book is filled, you'll be entered to win one of nine coveted prizes, including brunch for six guests prepared by chef Heather Terhune (a Bravo Top Chef alum) and the grand prize: a five-course dinner for two at Atwood Cafe with an overnight stay at the Hotel Burnham.

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    Poor Girls Guide to Chicago

    7-2-2012  |  

    Kimpton’s five Chicago restaurants invite you on a culinary journey across the city with the introduction of the Kimpton Chicago Restaurant Passport. Dine at Sable Kitchen & Bar, South Water Kitchen, Encore Lunch Club & Liquid Lounge, Atwood Café and 312 Chicago to receive a stamp for each entrée purchased. Once guests fill their passport with one stamp from each restaurant, they are entered into a sweepstakes for amazing prizes like a five-course dinner at Atwood Cafe with an overnight stay at Kimpton’s historic Hotel Burnham or brunch for six prepared by Bravo Top Chef alum Chef Heather Terhune at Sable Kitchen & Bar.

    Simply request a Passport upon the first visit to any Kimpton Chicago restaurant. At each subsequent restaurant visit, request a stamp for ordering one entrée. Once one stamp for each restaurant has been obtained, submit the completed Passport to a server, host or manager. Or go digital: simply post pictures of each entrée to the Foodspotting app for a digital stamp. Once one entrée from each restaurant has been “spotted,” the user will automatically be entered into the drawing.

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    Chicago Sun Times

    6-29-2012  |  

    Chef Derek Simcik at Atwood Cafe was likewise trying to figure out what new dishes he could concoct with extra parts of rabbits that were lying around and hit upon the idea of rabbit bacon. He uses the loin and part of the back fat and treats it just like bacon, starting with a dry sugar cure and then a smoke. He describes his smoking process as “MacGyvering” the rabbit, since his kitchen isn’t set up for smoking and he uses a cast iron pot, wood chips and a convection oven.

    Simcik has served the rabbit bacon in several different ways, including a play on the traditional pairing of ham and melon that uses compressed watermelon (infused with Monster energy drink in a cryovac machine) topped with the rabbit bacon and a slice of hard cheese. Simcik’s slightly perverse wit led him to think up “The rabbit got caught in the garden” — a farm fresh salad with little pieces of rabbit bacon.

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    Life is Suite

    6-27-2012  |  

    Chef Derek Simcik of Atwood Café in Chicago has a classic pastry background. He also loves bacon. He loves bacon so much, in fact, that he’s made it a mission to find creative ways to incorporate it into desserts. The unlikely – and entirely tasty – results have appeared on Atwood Café’s menu and have made him a winner at Chicago’s Baconfest, a foodie event where renowned chefs use the addictive pork product in wholly innovative ways.

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    NBConline

    6-22-2012  |  

    Park Grill - Chef Michael Wallach
    The Gage/Henri - Chef Dirk Flanigan
    III Forks (last year's winner) - Chef Clark Grant
    IPO - Chef Trevor Hoyte
    Rhapsody - Chef Dean Zanella
    Atwood Cafe - Chef Derek Simcik
    Cantina Laredo - Chef Angel Blasco
    EPIC - Chef Mark Pollard
    City Tavern - Chef Kendal Duque
    Rosebud Prime - Chef Nahuel Rodriguez
    Rosebud Steakhouse - Chef Ben Walanka
    Markethouse - Chef Scott Walton
    ZED451 - Chef Patrick Justice

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    DiningChicago.com

    6-22-2012  |  

    June 17, 2012 -- On Wednesday, June 20, 2012, the Fifth Annual "Chefs on the Grill" chef competition takes place on the plaza at Park Grill in Millennium Park, just beneath the bean.

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    Dining Chicago

    6-22-2012  |  

    More than a dozen downtown Chicago chefs will show off their skill on the grill from 5:30 to 9 p.m. Wednesday, June 20, in the fifth annual “Chefs on the Grill” competition at Park Grill in Millennium Park.

    Each chef will cook a favorite grilled dish, and each participating restaurant will offer a paired cocktail. Diners will vote on who gets the trophies for best food and drinks.

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    Steve Dolinsky

    6-22-2012  |  

    As Chicagoans, we are predisposed to get excited about nearly any event that occurs “outside” or “on a grill.” In just a few weeks, a group of the city’s top chefs will get together beneath The Bean to help raise money for the Special Olympics-Chicago, and the byproduct means a lot of great grilled food. One of the reasons I wanted to let you all know about it is because I’ll be there as the MC.

     
    On Wednesday, June 20, more than a dozen chefs will compete in the fifth annual “Chefs on the Grill” event in the heart of Millennium Park.  Hosted by Park Grill restaurant, each chef will create a grilled dish of their choice and attendees will taste samples and vote for their favorite.  The winning chef will receive a “Chefs on the Grill” trophy and, of course, bragging rights until next year’s event.

     
    This year, a mixology element has been added to the competition. Each participating restaurant will also offer a creative cocktail. Guests will be asked to also vote for their favorite summer sipper.

     

    The Walk-ins band will perform live on The Plaza, starting at 6:00 p.m. A raffle and silent auction will be held, with all proceeds benefiting The Special Olympics.

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    312DiningDiva.Blogspot.com

    6-22-2012  |  

    Atwood Cafe - Derek Simcik

    Chefs will create a grilled dish of their choice and attendees will taste samples and vote for their favorite. The winning chef will get a "Chefs on the Grill" trophy and, of course, bragging rights until 2013.

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    Chicagonow

    6-21-2012  |  

    Atwood Cafe Derek Simcik, Atwood Cafe: Rabbit and bacon sausage with grilled sugar snap peas, morel mushrooms and pickled pine nut aioli. I loved that this dish had an edible flower as I just recently wrote a press release on how to preserve these guys for my "day job". The combo of bacon and rabbit was a perfect balance and the outside skin of the sausage perfectly crispy.

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    Vino Con Vista Italy Travel Guides

    6-16-2012  |  

    Kickoff summer with the ultimate grill festival with live music from The Walk-ins. Vote for your favorite dish and drink to crown this year’s Chefs on the Grill Champion.

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    Edible Ink

    6-15-2012  |  
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    SOAP BOX

    6-14-2012  |  

    Today, chefs still recreate some of their most memorable “dad foods.” Every so often, Matt Troost (Three Aces, Chicago) will replicate his dad’s standby of vanilla ice cream-filled cantaloupes drizzled with maple syrup. Jeremy Kittelson (Denver) keeps it simple, recreating grilled cheese and tomato soup, one of the things his dad made for him. Whenever he can’t get home to his parents, Derek Simcik (Atwood Cafe, Chicago) satisfies his cravings by making his dad’s chili. When Michael M. O’Connor (Vic & Anthony’s, Houston) is feeling homesick, he’ll revisit his dad’s hamburger mac & cheese casserole, while Steuer re-creates his dad’s “German mac & cheese,” aka spaetzle with melted Jarlsburg, charred onions and black pepper.

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    Wall Street Journal

    6-4-2012  |  

    At the Atwood Cafe in Chicago's Hotel Burnham, chef Derek Simcik recently added to his summer menu a chocolate bread pudding with smoked cherries served over a bourbon crème anglaise. "I love taking a dish that people love, something normal and straightforward, and twisting it as much as I can," he said.

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    Hotel Chatter

    6-1-2012  |  

    Atwood Café
    Speaking of great views, Atwood Café offers a golden opportunity people watch at the intersection of State and Washington Streets while soaking in rich Art Deco-inspired décor (think black-lacquered columns, brass chandeliers, Persian rugs) under 18-foot tall ceilings.

    There’s the amazing menu, too, from Chef Derek Simcik featuring freshly-spun American dishes. Try the BLCT (bacon, lettuce, soft shell crab and tomato), Duck “Reuben” Salad (duck prosciutto, grilled endive and Thousand Island dressing) and Sweet Potato Bread Pudding (with bourbon caramel and gelato). Atwood brings in a crowd all day long and you’ll understand why after one bite.

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    Plate Magazine

    5-23-2012  |  

    Lemon

    2 each

    Brussels sprouts

    10 Lb

    Instructions:

       

    1. Cut ends off lemons and halve vertically, then place on a roasting rack on top of a tray. Roast slowly at a temperature no higher than 225 degrees F for 6 to 8 hours, until there is no moisture left and lemons are black, but not burned (see note). Place in a dry area overnight.

       

    2. Blanch sprouts and place in a metal or heat resistant hotel pan or baking pan. Heat a dry cast-iron pan until smoking and add lemon charcoal. With either a torch or paper kindling, heat until charcoal is smoking.

       

    3. Add charcoal to sprouts container and cover with plastic wrap for a minimum of 20 minutes, or up to an hour, depending on desired smokiness.

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    Soapbox

    5-16-2012  |  

    Atwood Cafe (Chicago) resides within the Hotel Burnham in the historic Reliance Building, an architectural landmark that signaled the beginning of the Chicago School of architecture. Legendary architect Daniel Burnham, whose works can be seen gracing skylines around the world, is the man behind this revered hotel.

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    Concierge Preferred

    4-19-2012  |  

    You’ve walked by the Atwood Cafe and Hotel Burnham a million times. You may have even eaten there. But how much do you know about its history? The building was designed by architects Daniel Burnham, Charles Atwood, and John Root in 1895, and is thought to be one of the first true skyscrapers. Since the Kimpton Hotel group took it over in the 70s, it has flourished as both a boutique hotel and a dining destination.

    The young Executive Chef Derek Simcik has created a tantalizing menu to lure you off the streets. For this time of year, I’m always looking for some lighter dishes to hearken the coming of summer. Start off with his arugula salad. It’s tossed with fresh mint and basil, which adds great flavor, and is complimented nicely by the champagne vinaigrette. For the main meal, I’m partial to the trout. Simcik serves it with Brussel’s sprouts and artichoke, and tops it with a tangy citrus creme fraiche.

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    Chicagoist

    4-19-2012  |  

    As the world’s population grows, finding sustainable sources for food is becoming increasingly important. Skuna Bay Salmon, a Vancouver Island salmon farm, has recently started sending its fish to Chicago, and chefs at restaurants like Atwood Café, Fish Bar, Maude’s Liquor Bar, Perennial Virant, and many others are getting shipments of the pristine flesh. We recently spoke with Managing Director Stewart Hawthorn and Director of Marketing Dave Mergle about Skuna Bay and why they’re bringing their fish to Chicago.

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    Huffingtonpost

    4-18-2012  |  
    We couldn't leave without hitting up Atwood Cafe's "Willy Wonka meets Bacon" station. Three words: Bacon Pop Rocks. As a child of the '90s and also as a human being who really freaking loves bacon, the pop rocks had a surprisingly calming effect on my psyche. Chef Derek Simcik was pretty fun, too. He humored us with this slab of pork when we asked him to "look like he's having fun."
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    Serious Eats Chicago

    4-18-2012  |  

    I don't typically find myself dining down in the Loop for brunch, but when I do, I like to choose one of my go-to restaurants, the Atwood Café, which is located in the historic Reliance Building. Their dinner has always impressed me, so I was curious to see how their brunch stacked up.

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    Eater Chicago

    4-17-2012  |  

    Atwood Cafe took things to Willy Wonka-esque levels with bacon pop rocks and pixie dust. It was truly candy for adults.

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    The Taste Buds

    4-17-2012  |  

    But at the end of the day, the most interesting and fun dish, and I use the term lightly, came from chef Derek Simcik and my new favorite guys at Atwood Cafe. Their focus was the same as everybody else, bacon. But what this crew put together was a trip to the Wonka Factory. Titled “Willy Wonka meets Bacon – an array of Wonka-inspired candies done with bacon,” this really wasn’t a dish at all. It was a candy store, and children walked up, took disposable spoons and took scoopfuls of various pixie dust and, wait for it, bacon Pop Rocks. The stuff was like crack, and I stopped by to get my fix not once, but twice. On the second trip, though, the guys offered up a whole stash of the Pop Rocks concoction. Jealous?

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    Today MSNBC

    4-9-2012  |  

    In Chicago, chef Derek Simcik of Atwood Café makes his red velvet cake with beet puree. But the cake doesn't get its red hue from the beets; the color actually comes from a chemical reaction between cocoa powder and buttermilk (food coloring can also be used).

     

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    WBEZ - National Maple Syrup Festival

    3-9-2012  |  

    This past weekend, I saw Sable Top Chef Heather Terhune; Spiaggia Pastry Chef CeCe Campise; and Atwood Café Chef Derek Simcik. We were all judges at the Sweet Victory Challenge.

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    Chicago Sun Times

    2-8-2012  |  

    Atwood Cafe, (Hotel Burnham, 1 W. Washington, 312-368-1900, atwoodcafe.com) has chosen a 1920s theme for the occasion. The menu will reflect updated dishes originating from the late 1890s through the ’20s, servers will be wearing flapper dresses and zoot suits and guests will be encouraged to wear period outfits.

    “I was tired of the cliches — chocolate, shared plates,” said Derek Simcik, executive chef. It made sense to me to feature the 1920s, a romantic, glamorous, celebratory decade. And this building was here in the 1920s.”

    The fixed price menu includes Caesar salad, oysters Rockefeller, filet mignon, lobster Thermidor, tarte tatin and “ice cream parlor” choices for $96 plus $40 for wine pairing. Pre-Prohibition era classic cocktails, such as martinis, Sazeracs and sidecars, also will be available.

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    Chicago Eater

    2-3-2012  |  

    Another close race in Eater's Hottest Chef competition. Atwood Cafe's Derek Simcik had an early lead and held on until late Thursday night when the Purple Pig's Jimmy Bannos, Jr. took off. Simcik had a strong push this morning, giving him the lead and ultimately, with more than 1,000 votes, won and will now advance to the semi finals.

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    Foodspotting

    1-5-2012  |  

    Chefspotting in Chicago

    While we developed Foodspotting to help users find great dishes around the world, our community all contribute to this idea and expand on it, making Foodspotting an incredibly rich resource. It's one of the greatest things about our jobs: seeing the fascinating ways which you guys use the product.

    One emerging trend we love is chefs who spot dishes in the kitchen, allowing them to connect with fans and customers simply by launching our app or uploading a pic to our website. Chefs can showcase their creations in the best light, mere seconds after they finish it.

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    ConsumeChicago

    12-27-2011  |  

    First: Sweetbreads from Atwood Café (State and Washington in the Loop). When we dined there a few months ago, Chef Derek Simcik brought us a sweetbreads dish that changed everything for me. I’ve always liked sweetbreads but I think that was more because I felt like a bad*ss eating thymus gland than anything else. (What’s that? Thymus gland. Want to try? Wow, I’m not that daring.) Sure, they’re tasty if not a little chewy and, more often than not, overly fried. Eating the sweetbreads at Atwood, however, was completely different and so surprising that I can’t even remember what else was on the plate just that it was the best bite I’d had in a long time. They were light and so tender, almost juicy even. And the coating on them was perfect. Now, I order sweetbreads almost every chance I get but I’ll be honest: none come close to hitting that bar that Chef Derek has set so high.

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    What Chef's Want for the Holidays

    12-14-2011  |  

    Derek Simcik, Atwood Cafe:

    A spaghetti measurer--either a classic stainless steel model, or one with an adjustable camera-style aperture like this.

     

    Heather Terhune, Sable:

    Everyone should get the books "Modernist Cuisine: the Art and Science of Cooking" (http://modernistcuisine.com/buy/). I would love to get this as a gift. A gadget— a garlic peeler tube. I hate when the garlic skins stick to my fingers!

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    Chicago Reader

    12-14-2011  |  

    Executive chef Derek Simcik is offering a Parisian-bistro-themed four-course prix fixe, with choices including a crispy poached egg with house-cured sea trout "tartare" and caviar creme, a foie gras torchon with port gelee, butter-poached lobster raviolo with sauce a la creme de Homard and truffle, rib eye with foie gras and potato cake, and a flourless chocolate cake with tobacco-and-bourbon gelato. Wine pairings are available for an additional $20.

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    Dining Chicago

    11-30-2011  |  

    A similar dish is now on the menu at Atwood Cafe, on the first level of Hotel Burnham. Here, Executive Chef Derek Simcik had created Poutine Poulet of duck fat confit fries, foie cream sauce, braised chicken and Grayson cheese. Sinfully rich?! We think so!

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    Grubstreet

    10-13-2011  |  

    One chef who's switched from tuna to Hawaiian tombo on Galvan's advice is Derek Simcik of Atwood Cafe. "Every week, we get our price lists and I saw that it was going up steadily. At the same time, I was having issues getting deliveries," Simcik says. "And the quality— it was still decent, but I could see that it wasn't as good as it was a month ago. The flesh wasn't as red, or there would be the occasional spear gash, or white spots which mean the fish was caught too young. For me, it's better to just stop using tuna and give the population time to recuperate than to find ourselves in a situation where you can't get it at all for five years."

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    Sparked at Atwood Cafe

    10-11-2011  |  

    I am so proud of my apprentice, Carolyn, for taking time to "step out" and follow her dream of one day becoming a Chef. The Spark Program is new to Chicago this year and I could not resist the opportunity to mentor a student who has the passion for being a Chef. Take a look at the great clip of Carolyn and myself on The Today Show, and learn a bit more about the program.

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    The Today Show - Spark Program

    10-5-2011  |  
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    LunchChicago

    9-30-2011  |  

    The Atwood Cafe

    Yesterday, lunchicago checked out The Atwood Cafe at the southwest corner of Washington and State street. This historic building shares the space with the Hotel Burnham. "When Mr. Burnham, John Root and Charles Atwood revolutionized their world and downtown Chicago by creating the 14-story Reliance Building (Hotel Burnham) in 1895, they became fathers of the modern day skyscraper (http://www.atwoodcafe.com/chicago-restaurant-history.php)."

    The room is lovely, and very open and bright. My mom wasn't having a very good day, so this didn't feel like a proper lunch that we could focus on all of the particulars that we usually do.

    For starters, we split the Baby Beet Salad (goat cheese mousse, frisée, brioche log, lemon vinaigrette). I liked this salad a lot but I felt that the goat cheese mousse was lacking a bit of flavor. I should have opted for the fresh ground pepper that was offered, I'm thinking that would've made it better.

    Next we split an open egg salad sandwich - that is not listed on their site's menu. I loved this! It was on a toasted brioche bread and topped with a hollandaise sauce.

    We also had a nice treat at the end of the meal for my mom's birthday, a chocolate molten cake with rum whipped cream! YUM!

    I would definitely like to go back and try this place again. The wild mushroom orzo and amaretto creme brulee are calling my name.

    Here's a link to their lunch menu: http://www.atwoodcafe.com/chicago-

    Lunchicago

    Loopt Chicago

    9-30-2011  |  
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    Chicago Reader

    9-30-2011  |  

    Beverly Neighborhood Menu at the Atwood Cafe As part of his "Looping the Neighborhoods" series offering a prix fixe menu inspired by a neighborhood each month, throughout March executive chef Derek Simcik is focusing on Beverly, offering three courses for $40, $55 with wine pairings. Choices are as follows: cruibins (a fried trotter rillette with pickled cauliflower and mushroom compote) or fish-and-chips (cod brandade with a poached quail egg and potato lavash); bangers with root vegetables, potato puffs, and marrow emulsion or trout with mushroom and goat cheese mousse, bacon, and maple emulsion; and chocoate potato cake with creme fraiche gelato and Guinness syrup or cardamom-spiced pudding with burnt orange compote.  8-10 PM through 3/31, 1 W. Washington, 312-368-1900, atwoodcafe.com.

    Eater

    9-30-2011  |  

    Atwood Café Celebrates South Side Irish Neighborhood

    atwood_cafe.jpg The city may have put a stop to the St. Patty's day parade on the South Side last year, but Atwood Café is bringing back that Irish pride, even if it is in a more civilized way. This month they will feature a "Beverly" menu to pay homage to the South Side neighborhood known for its strong Irish-American heritage.

    Chef Derek Simcik took inspiration from some of the Beverly mainstays such as Quigley's Pub and the Chicago Gaelic Park to reinterpret Irish classics like bangers and mash and fish n' chips, adding his own New American twist. The three course prix-fixe will run from 8-10 p.m. every evening in March in addition to their regular menu.

    More Neighborhoods>>>

    If Irish food isn't your thing, and you prefer the cuisine of other Chicago neighborhoods, you are in luck. The Beverly dinner is a part of the "Looping in the Neighborhoods" series to celebrate the cultural diversity of Chicago. Up next is Ukrainian Village in April, followed by Pilsen in May (for Cinco De Mayo) and Taylor Street in June.

    Chicago Sun-Times

    9-30-2011  |  

    Community watch

    Atwood Cafe, 1 W. Washington. Chef Derek Simcik pays tribute to the city’s diverse communities with a monthly three-course ethnic-inspired menu, $40 ($55 with wine pairings). Beginning March 1, he salutes the far South Side Beverly neighborhood with an Irish menu available daily from 8 to 10 p.m. Call (312) 368-1900. Visit atwoodcafe.com.

    Zagat's

    9-30-2011  |  


    Atwood Cafe Offers New Ethnic-Inspired Prix Fixe. It’s easy for Chicagoans to become insular – there’s much in the way of neighborhood divide. That’s where Derek Simcik, executive chef at the Loop’s Atwood Café, comes in. He’s launching a new three-course dinner series inspired by the city’s ethnically varied neighborhoods, with options such as clam syce – razor clams with ground pork and oyster sauce – and nian gao, Chinese New Year cake (8–10 PM nightly through June; $40 per person or $55 with wine pairings; 312-368-1900).

    Culinary Travel

    9-30-2011  |  

    If you're already getting a little tired of all the Santa and Elves and By-Gosh-By-Jingle, here's something of a palate cleanser: the fabulous and historic Atwood Café, in Chicago's Hotel Burnham,  is offering A Mad Hatter's Tea every afternoon through December.

    The menu (PDF),  which is printed on the back of a playing card for extra Alice in Wonderland cred, includes a variety of tea sandwhiches -- I'd order the truffled egg salad and baby arugula sandwich on grilled brioche, myself -- as well as  cranberry scones, chocolate "mushrooms", and of course a full assortment of teas.  Reservations a must: (312) 762-3521

    Tattoo Spy: Derek Simcik's Epic Inkings

    7-31-2011  |  

    There are people with tattoos. And there are people with TATTOOS.

    We think you’ll agree that Derek Simcik deserves the capitol letters. The executive chef at Atwood Cafe in Chicago has five epic inkings that show his love of food and sense of humor.

    On his neck: a tattoo of a ginormous chili pepper. “I love spicy foods. The flames around the pepper are like those on an old-school hot rod. Cars are another passion of mine,” explains Derek.

    There’s also something sizzling on his foot. The tattoo of sunny-side-up eggs gives the illusion that they fell there from the pan. (We told you he had a sense of humor.)

    The artistry on Derek’s forearm is no joke; it features a tattoo of a Mexican Day of the Dead skull (wearing a chef’s hat, of course) and a realistic-looking heart “[because] I wear my emotions on my sleeve,” says Derek. On the back of his forearm is a tattoo of a wooden spoon wrapped up with rice grains.

    Last but not least, his bottom lip tattoo reads, simply, “D-Roc.” “It was my nickname since I was like 12 and has always stuck with me,” says Derek.

    Well, Derek, that’s probably because you rock. Wait. Make that YOU ROCK.

    Feast your eyes on chef Derek’s tattoos and fill up on his contemporary interpretations of classic American cuisine at Atwood Cafe, 1 W. Washington St. in Chicago 312-368-1900.

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