Archive for September, 2010

LUSH: Snacks

Thursday, September 30th, 2010

Ms. Kelly Cosgrove, Employee of the Years, has taken on a new title. That of Director of Snacks. Exciting news! Wine and food pairing, in the house of LUSH. We have been dreaming [yeah, food dreams] of this moment for quite some time and are thrilled to share with y’all!

LUSH Wine Bar, 1412 W. Chicago Avenue, Chicago, IL 60642.  312.666.6900.  [Tuesday-Saturday, 5-10pm].

LUSH West Town has launched the wine bar portion of the shop, and now has simple but delicious small plates available to nibble. Cured pig parts and fermented milk products are the focal point of the menu, along with indulgently delicious small bites of pork rilletes, duckfat popcorn, fried chickpeas with truffle oil, a daily sandwich, hummus, and other seasonal options.  Owner Mitch Einhorn and Director of Snacks, Ms. Kelly Cosgrove, crafted a menu based on much research and tasting and personal experience. Edited. Tasty.  Ms. Kelly will keep the menu fresh and popping with flavor, while following the seasons and fresh market produce.

Small plate prices range from $2 to $16. Perfect for sharing. Or all for you!

And, for the moment, the wine bar is BYOB.  Thus, you are welcome to grab a bottle of wine or beer from the LUSH shop and come on over to snack and sip.  As we move forward with licensing, the wine bar will have a small by the glass selection of wines and six brews on tap.  Wine and beer menu will rotate along with the snack menu.

We have 8 bar seats, a communal table for 12, and couches and leather chairs for an additional 10 seats.  Yummy and fun.

Ms. Heather Sperling of the Tasting Table popped in for an exclusive interview to get things kicked off.  Check out her initial impressions…  Please contact kelly@lushwineandspirits for any press or media inquiries. Or call 312.666.6900.

LUSH: Secret Wine

Monday, September 27th, 2010

I love contests. I am fairly competitive, and always love a good game and friendly challenges.  And, if wine is involved, all the better.  Thus, when Ms. Cara of Decant Chicago blog mentioned the Secret Wine contest, I just couldn’t resist.  Exhilarating!

The simple rules involved registering as one of the first 85 bloggers, eagerly awaiting 3 bottles of blind wine, and then voting.  At stake, a trip to France! Awesome. I am SO in. And game.

The wine arrived, re-bottled, re-corked, and labeled with ‘Secret Wine’ and a number.  Instructions were to guess the appellation. Just the appellation. Not the grapes, or the year, or the producer.  Seems simple, right?  Not so much.

After completing some very brief research into the host company, Clare de Lune, a French wine PR company, I surmised that the wines are most likely from the regions the company represents in France.  However, even with all that narrowing down and focus, it is still extremely difficult to pick just one. And, yes, I am also well aware that making assumptions when blind tasting is involved is risky business.

The contest is still running, but we have been encouraged to share, in detail, our tasting experience and reasoning process.  Much tasting.  Very fun.  And surprising.

One vote only. Apparently, all guesses thus far are not quite correct. So, the waiting continues while the remaining bloggers catch up and vote. Until then…the wines are still secret.


Geek Alert: Book signing and wine tasting

Friday, September 10th, 2010

The LUSHes are all nerded out…join in the fun, kids! Free.  Educational.  Books. An author. Wine. Winemakers!

Wednesday, September 15th, 7-9pm: Palmento: A Sicilian Wine Odyssey, by Robert Camuto.  Book signing with the author and wine tasting with Frank Cornellisen and Alberto Aiello Graci, winemakers from Mount Etna, Sicily.  Discover the flavors, the soil, the passion of the vine in Sicily.  Interactive tasting and education.  Free. Please RSVP to

LUSH West Town – 1412 W. Chicago Avenue, Chicago, IL 60642, 312.666.6900.

LUSH Interview: 10 Questions with Joncarl Lachman

Friday, September 3rd, 2010

Ten Questions With…

Joncarl Lachman

Chef/Owner, Home Bistro and Vincent

One of our favorite people in the world, Joncarl Lachman is currently the Chef/Owner of Home Bistro (HB), a unassuming but altogether spectacular BYOB in Boystown. Opening Vincent in Andersonville next week, Joncarl is making his mark on Chicago; there is great anticipation of this American/Dutch inspired spot. We at LUSH cannot wait, and we wish the bubbly and Burgundy-loving Joncarl the best of luck with his new endeavor!

1) What is the best thing you’ve drank in the last week? What about in the last year?

Best thing I drank, this week.—being the chef of a BYOB with lots of very friendly regulars (Jane [manager at LUSH, ed.] included), who are aware of my Champagne addiction, I am very well treated!!!…This week alone I got tastes of a ’95 Dom Perignon rose (from a group of lovely ladies from the green city market) and a demi of a delicious KRUG!
This year—another regular brought in a bottle of “OUDE TWAALF JENEVER”…a fantastic aged Jenever from Holland…don’t get me started in this!!!! YUM!!!

2) What do you think is the most underrated grape varietal or region? Overrated?

Overrated region…Bordeaux

3) Who are your favorite food and wine writers?

JodyRobbins as been a great friend to HB…
I am also a big fan of Anthony Bourdain’s approach to food.

4) What are your three favorite food cities?

AMSTERDAM…great street food…frites, herring, febo…plus the best Indonesian cuisine.
PHILADELPHIA…again, great street food…pretzels, water ice…and the best BYOB city in the country.
SINGAPORE…again with the street food….I had a fish ball soup that changed my life!!!

5) Top three restaurants you revisit all the time in Chicago?

Svea, for breakfast.
Taste of Peru….delcious byob in Rogers Park.
Avec…when I have some $ in my pocket…I always spend so much money there.

6) What is your most memorable dining or drinking experience?

Eating paella seaside, in Majorca with a group of good friends.

7) Between wine, beer, and spirits – when do you reach for each? If you HAD to do without one, which would it be?

Hands down I love my grape…wine, especially sparkling, is what I reach for….
If I had to go without one…I would probably chose beer….because going through life without tequila seems highly unfortunate.

8) What is the best thing about your job?

The wonderful support that we get from our regular guests at HB.

9) If you had to describe yourself as a certain wine, what would it be? (i.e. Australian Shiraz – spicy, bold, and seductive. German Riesling – sometimes sweet (but hard to predict if it will be), elegant, and requiring of patience.)

I am sparkling!

10) You’re on death row (sorry). What’s your final meal?

A  huge bowl of steaming cherrystone clams, with lots of crusty bread.