Windy City Media Group Frontpage News
Celebrating 30 Years of Gay Lesbian Bisexual and Trans News
home search facebook twitter join
Gay News Sponsor Windy City Times 2020-05-27
DOWNLOAD ISSUE
About WCMG Publications News  Entertainment Features Donate Bars & Clubs Calendar Advertisers OUT! Guide    Marriage

Sponsor
Sponsor

  WINDY CITY TIMES

SAVOR MAD Social; Labriola
DISH Dining Guide
by Andrew Davis, Windy City Times
2020-03-03

facebook twitter pin it google +1 reddit email


Few Chicago restaurants capitalize on a thoroughfare like MAD Social ( 1140 W. Madison St.; MADSocialChicago.com ), which incorporates Madison Street into everything from menu items to, obviously, its name.

The spot—the first new restaurant from Phil Stefani Signature Restaurants in 14 years—recently marked its fourth anniversary by revealing a new menu. However, the menu ( featuring contemporary American cuisine ) still showcases the restaurant's inventiveness.

MAD Social is a casual, medium-sized restaurant with lots of dark woods and suitably dim lights—yet it's still inviting. The only issue with decor I saw was with space; for example, the distance between our booth and the table across the way wasn't enough to prevent servers from occasionally bumping our area.

Menu offerings were almost all incredible. Crispy Brussels sprouts ( under the "MADness" heading ) featured the vegetables shaved into a heaping mass of red cabbage, carrot, cilantro, toasted garlic chips, scallions, wonton strips and sesame seeds—topped with a couple serrano pepper slices. I could've eaten this all night; my guest ( not a sprout aficionado ) tried a forkful and liked it. Needless to say, I was the one who took that dish home.

The chicken drumettes were also winners. They're stuffed with jalapeño and cheddar, wrapped in bacon and topped with Louisiana hot sauce—but there's ranch blue cheese pickled celery dressing for those who need to call off a little. Speaking of spicy, the place's MAD hot sauce lavash is part of the lentil cashew hummus, which comes with green olive tapenade and baby carrots—and the presentation was pretty cool. Meatloaf cupcakes ( also wrapped in bacon ) may play with your mind with the presentation that includes mashed-potato "frosting," but they were undeniably delicious. The chicken and churro waffles made for a tasty mix of the savory and sweet, and were accompanied by maple syrup. (People are encouraged to add the house hot sauce for even more flavor.)

Then there were the shrimp and grits—a concoction of white corn grits, shrimp, and shallot-and-cherry tomato fondue in three parmesan baskets, and topped with kale chips. The cups looked really enticing. However, upon biting into one, my friend/guest immediately remarked, "Where's the seasoning?" I, sadly, had to agree; this dish had no taste—maybe cheese grits would work better.

Pivoting from that dish, the cocktail selections are high notes, especially Rosemary's Baby—a take on a Moscow Mule that utilizes Ketel One rosemary-infused vodka and real ginger beer, as opposed to ginger syrup. Other items include Pretty in Pink ( Tito's Vodka, muddled strawberry and basil, lemon juice and simple syrup ) and Guapo 2.0 ( jalapeno, pineapple tequila, vanilla syrup, lime and angostura bitters ). However, be aware that cocktails are $14 each.

Speaking of names and thoroughfares, was it pure coincidence that our server was named Addison—the daughter of a local TV news anchor who was named after a North Side street? One may never know—but she was incredibly sweet and attentive.

Labriola

In a city known for its deep-dish pizza, Labriola ( 535 N. Michigan Ave.; LabriolaCafe.com ) may have set a new standard.

The five-year-old casual Italian spot ( as well as the suburban La Barra restaurants ) marked National Pizza Day ( Feb. 9 ) by adding a unique pie: the white deep-dish pizza. This 14-inch version of this pizza ( $35 ) has bechamel Sauce, chicken, bacon, caramelized onions—and two pounds ( ! ) of cheese. ( The best part may be the caramelized cheese on the edge, called "fricka." ) My dinner companion and I could only eat one slice each, as they're thick and very rich. They were also undeniably delicious.

However, Labriola and La Barra offer far more than this soon-to-be classic pizza. Shareable small-plate dishes include grilled asparagus with fried egg, pecorino and extra virgin olive oil ( that my friend really enjoyed ); Prince Edward Island mussels; and toasted ravioli "nachos." I found the arugula ( with truffle honey, goat cheese, pears, black pepper and lemon vinaigrette ) absolutely sublime, and it's just one of several salad options that includes a Sicilian seafood version. Of course, there are loads of housemade pizzas, divided into categories such as artisan, thin-crust, deep-dish and DIY ) as well as entrees like filet sliders, Italian pepper steak, chicken Vesuvio and seared salmon. And don't forget luscious dessert offerings like the cheesecake. ( Also, Labriola has weekend brunch with pepper-and-egg sandwiches, Italian skillets, blueberry pancakes and other tempting items. )

By the way, here's a little backstory on Labriola. Rich Labriola ( who also owns a dozen's Stan's Donuts stores, including the one next door ) started the whole empire in 1993 with The Labriola Baking Company, with it eventually sold to J&J Snack Foods in 2017. Thankfully, he decided to expand into the restaurant business.

With the white deep-dish pizza, Labriola continues its tradition of outstanding Italian cuisine.

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


facebook twitter pin it google +1 reddit email





Windy City Media Group does not approve or necessarily agree with the views posted below.
Please do not post letters to the editor here. Please also be civil in your dialogue.
If you need to be mean, just know that the longer you stay on this page, the more you help us.


  ARTICLES YOU MIGHT LIKE

Gay News

NATIONAL 'Drag Fest,' eating disorders, journalist attacked, NCLR event 2020-05-27 - Political activist/New York City drag staple Marti Gould Cummings and The Only Productions announced the largest digital drag festival during Pride 2020, a ...


Gay News

2Bears Tavern Group prepares community meals 2020-05-13 - When you're here, you're family ... Twice weekly on Tuesdays and Fridays, the staff of 2Bears Tavern Group distributes community meals at ...


Gay News

Illinois Restaurant Assoc. opposes Pritzker plan 2020-05-09 - The Illinois Restaurant Association ( IRA ) is urging Gov. JB Pritzker to reconsider the timing provisions outlined in the Restore Illinois plan ...


Gay News

Restaurants and related businesses: COVID-19/LGBTQ news 2020-05-04 - —Music Box Theatre, 3733 N. Southport Ave., now has concessions to go. The packages include favorites from its concessions stand, including soda, candy, ...


Gay News

One in four LGBT people experienced food insecurity in the past year 2020-04-28 - Nearly 27% of LGBT people, an estimated 3,029,000 adults, experienced food insecurity in the past year, according to the Williams Institute at UCLA ...


Gay News

Restaurants and related businesses: COVID-19 and LGBTQ news 2020-04-20 - —Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot joined Chicago Cubs owners Tom and Laura Ricketts for a visit to a new Lakeview Pantry satellite site at ...


Gay News

Restaurants and related businesses: COVID-19 news 2020-04-14 - —Volunteer-run nonprofit The Puerto Rican Agenda and the Puerto Rican Cultural Center have teamed with Puerto Rican restaurant Nellie's, 2458 W. Division St., ...


Gay News

Lakeview Pantry, local groups address COVID-19 restaurant layoffs, hunger 2020-04-03 - CHICAGO — April 3, 2020 — Lakeview Pantry, Chicago's largest food pantry, has partnered with the Lavin Family Foundation and Cubs Charities to ...


Gay News

Restaurants: COVID-19 responses, tips and developments 2020-03-31 - With Illinois pretty much under lockdown through at least April 30, restaurants are doing what they can to help others—but it's also about ...


Gay News

COVID-19: LGBT Chicagoans weather pandemic's economic storm 2020-03-27 - Millions of U.S. residents will face uncertain financial futures as the coronavirus pandemic unfolds. Nearly 3.3 million people filed new unemployment claims the ...


 



Copyright © 2020 Windy City Media Group. All rights reserved.
Reprint by permission only. PDFs for back issues are downloadable from
our online archives. Single copies of back issues in print form are
available for $4 per issue, older than one month for $6 if available,
by check to the mailing address listed below.

Return postage must accompany all manuscripts, drawings, and
photographs submitted if they are to be returned, and no
responsibility may be assumed for unsolicited materials.
All rights to letters, art and photos sent to Nightspots
(Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago
Gay and Lesbian News and Feature Publication) will be treated
as unconditionally assigned for publication purposes and as such,
subject to editing and comment. The opinions expressed by the
columnists, cartoonists, letter writers, and commentators are
their own and do not necessarily reflect the position of Nightspots
(Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago Gay,
Lesbian, Bisexual and Transegender News and Feature Publication).

The appearance of a name, image or photo of a person or group in
Nightspots (Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times
(a Chicago Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender News and Feature
Publication) does not indicate the sexual orientation of such
individuals or groups. While we encourage readers to support the
advertisers who make this newspaper possible, Nightspots (Chicago
GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago Gay, Lesbian
News and Feature Publication) cannot accept responsibility for
any advertising claims or promotions.

 

 

 

TRENDINGBREAKINGPHOTOS

Sponsor
Sponsor
Sponsor


 



About WCMG Publications News  Entertainment Features Donate Bars & Clubs Calendar Advertisers OUT! Guide    Marriage


About WCMG      Contact Us      Online Front  Page      Windy City  Times      Nightspots      OUT! Guide     
Identity      BLACKlines      En La Vida      Archives      Subscriptions      Distribution      Windy City Queercast     
Queercast Archives      Advertising  Rates      Deadlines      Advanced Search     
Press  Releases      Event Photos      Join WCMG  Email List      Email Blast     
Upcoming Events      Todays Events      Ongoing Events      Post an Event      Bar Guide      Community Groups      In Memoriam      Outguide Categories      Outguide Advertisers      Search Outguide      Travel      Dining Out      Blogs      Spotlight  Video     
Classifieds      Real Estate      Place a  Classified     

Windy City Media Group publishes Windy City Times,
The Bi-Weekly Voice of the Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Trans Community.
5315 N. Clark St. #192, Chicago, IL 60640-2113 • PH (773) 871-7610 • FAX (773) 871-7609.