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DISH: SAVOR The Florentine; 'Bootycandy' beverages
Special to the online edition of Windy City Times
by Andrew Davis, Windy City Times
2017-03-28

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The lovely Italian restaurant The Florentine ( inside the J.W. Marriott Hotel at 151 W. Adams St.; The-Florentine.net ) has a chef, Zachary Walrath, who rarely brings back dishes once a new season's in play.

The bad news regarding that approach is that you're unlikely to see a dish you've really savored the following year. The good news ( at least in this case, thanks to Walrath's work ) is that patrons experience a constant culinary adventure.

Start off with the burrata and top-notch pancetta, and then choose from a slew of enticing entrees, including the branzino ( which is the only item that's never off the menu ), Berkshire pork chop ( my favorite ) and pasta dishes like caramelli—with the somewhat unlikely combo of celery root, red grapes, pecorino, rosemary and aged balsamic. Oh—and be sure to conclude with a light gingerbread panna cotta or apple-pie crostata.

However, The Florentine also has a ( not-so-secret ) weapon: sommelier Alexandria Sarovich. She's cool, sophisticated and extremely knowledgeable—and even contributes to the creation of dishes, such as the caramelli.

By the way ( speaking of alcohol ), don't skip the cocktails. The Ginger Earth was a wonderfully refreshing and relatively simple mix of Grey Goose vodka, ginger, pear, lemon and soda—although now there's a whole new slate of enticing drinks to greet spring.

'Bootycandy' beverages

Bootycandy ( at Windy City Playhouse at 3014 W. Irving Park Rd.; WindyCityPlayhouse.com/bootycandy/ ) is a sexually graphic—and very funny—production about a gay African-American boy.

However, the reason it's being mentioned here is because of the associated drink specials. Among the offerings are the tasty Freaky and Twisted ( basically, an espresso martini ) and, of course, The Bootycandy ( Jolly Rancher-infused vodka, lemon juice and simple syrup, with a lollipop garnish ). Add in the fact that you can take in the drinks while sitting in very comfortable chairs in the venue, and it's fun for all. However, get there quickly: The production ends Saturday, April 15.

Note: Restaurant profiles/events are based on invitations arranged from restaurants and/or firms.


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