Wine Enthusiast invades the Field Museum this Friday night with 500 wines and 45 restaurants for Toast of the Town 2012. And on the USA Character Approved Blog, Jeni’s Splendid Ice Creams keeps growing, but keeps it real.
We are serious museum geeks. Marion refers to the Field Museum’s annual Members Night event as “the happiest night of the year.” Not only do you get to go behind the scenes, talk to real scientists and poke around in their offices—you can do it with a drink in your hand. So when Wine Enthusiast asked us if we’d like to attend Toast of the Town Chicago at the Field, with 500 wines from nearly 60 wineries and foods from more than 45 restaurants, well, let’s just say we were excited.
Chicago is one of three Toast of the Town 2012 stops. New York’s Toast happened in early May; Washington, DC’s Toast is later this month. The wineries are a mix of Old and New World, representing both high-end and moderately priced wines. This offers the opportunity to taste exquisite pours and also discover new everyday favorites. And the line-up of Chicago restaurants includes perennial favorites and some new kids on the block. We’re hoping for some fresh restaurant discoveries too. You’ll find the complete list of participating wineries and restaurants on the Toast of the Town website.
Toast of the Town Chicago. Friday, June 8, 6pm – 10pm. For a 10% discount on tickets, use the promo code BK12. Order tickets here.
A splendid taste of Columbus—in a freezer case near you?
One of the charms of the artisanal food movement is that the foods are produced in small batches. That’s also one of the movement’s drawbacks. You find something you like and go back for more, and it’s gone. Jeni’s Splendid Ice Creams seems to be bucking that trend. I first sampled Jeni Britton Bauer’s indeed splendid ice creams last fall on a culinary press trip to Columbus, Ohio. Right away, I sensed a difference between it and many artisanal operations. First, her flagship “scoop shop” was, well, big. The freezer case looked like a Baskin Robbins store (in a good way), packed with a dazzling array of choices.
Except all of Jeni’s ice creams, frozen yogurts and sorbets are made by hand from real ingredients. And they include flavors like Wildberry Lavender, Whiskey & Pecans, and Juniper & Lemon Curd. Hiring a decidedly unconventional team of ice cream makers and using equally unconventional approaches to learning her business skills, Jeni is growing quite successfully. She has nine scoop shops in Ohio alone and is now carried in many shops across the country (including Provenance right here in Chicago, I am very happy to report). Jeni also has a growing online store, in case she’s not anywhere near you. Best of all, the flavors are every bit as wonderful. To find out more about Jeni’s unconventional success—and her cookbook of home equipment-tested ice cream recipes—check out my latest post on the USA Character Approved Blog.