Whenever people find out that I am into food _ meaning I cook, we garden and I have a food blog _ they almost always ask what my favorite restaurant is. And then they tell me about all the swanky, famous places they’ve been. In Chicago, Rick Bayless and Grant Achatz’s names get dropped a lot.
But here’s the thing: G. and I don’t eat out much. We grow a lot of food, and I like to cook, so often, there’s no sense in going out when the food at home is as good as anything we could buy. And, I have a moral outrage at the fact that dinner for two at some famous restaurants cost nearly as much as my rent.
But, there are some restaurants we really love, and I want them to do well, so I have started a new restaurant section on my blog, with a short list of our favorite places in Milwaukee and Chicago. The list includes no big names (although I suspect some will be big someday) and reflects my personal criteria: the food is outstanding; the chefs grow their own food or buy from local farms when possible; the menus include items I can’t make myself (as yet); the specials often surprise me in being simple yet creative; and going there doesn’t break the bank.
Also, you can wear jeans to most of the places listed and not feel uncomfortable. That’s big in G.’s book.