the peasantry

9:39 AM sians 1 Comments

a lincoln park neighborhood restaurant, the peasantry that just opened early last year, promises elevated street food. their new american dishes lie in the foundation of farm-to-table concept and believing in making everything in-house including grinding only prime cuts of meat for their burger patties. the minds behind the peasantry are also the propietors of chicago favorite hot dog joint, franks 'n' dawgs.

the decor of the place was a interesting mix of rustic and modern contemporary. the grey wall on the right is adorned with grafiitti style art while the opposite walls are clunged by grade school style blackboards. at end of the restaurant, i was greeted by "fire place" where reflective jars held candles. while in one back corner of the restaurant, a chicago flag paints the wall. surprisingly, it also chipped in some southern vibe on  top of it all.

the reason why {xy} and i were there :: their menu was a rather interesting mix and i was interested in tasting their interpretation of elevated street food. we were seated at the back of the restaurant near the fireplace and next to one of the few communal tables they had available for table sharing and huge parties.

pasta :: rabbit pasta | red wine braised rabbit with homemade egg noodles, mushrooms, shaved ricotta salata and thyme ($15)

i've read many praises for this lean meat gamey pasta but was i in sync with the other food reviewers on their sentiments? the first thing i was noticed was the lack of seasoning on the pasta, which could have helped it a long way. but, the rabbit meat in contrast was flavorful with every biteful although a couple of pieces were a tad dry.

one of the positive points was that the fact that the egg noodle had a lovely al dente bite to its texture, only can be found in fresh homemade pasta. the mushroom were great sponges absorbing the delicious wine based sauce. the rustic bread was not toasted enough and the ricotta salata did not add any value to the dish in my opinion, both of which i could have done without. overall, the dish was fine but it wasn't amazing.

burgers :: lamb burger | onion lamb burger with olive aioli, green garlic, and asparagus pistou, red onion and parsley ($12)

{xy}'s choice: the grill marks were apparent on the lamb patty and the crusty bread.  {xy} mentioned that the bread was too dry and crusty that it hurt his lips. thank goodness that the meat was moist and they injected a good punch of gamey flavor leaning towards the mediterranean spice palate. good lamb patty sandwiched between not so good bread took away some of its potential to be out of this world.

salads & sides :: triple truffle fries | yukon gold waffle fries, truffle butter, truffle salt, truffle oil & parsley ($7)

as much as i liked truffle, i was a bit nervous when i chose something that called itself triple truffle fries - i'd expect a truffle overload! surprisingly, the truffle flavor was just right, mild enough to not overpower the fries itself but not so subtle that i could still taste the hint of it. while the seasoning was balanced, which resulted to pretty tasty fries, the crispiness wasn't close to what it needed to be :/

chalkboard specials :: macadamia nut churros | with white chocolate and hibiscus anglaise sauce ($6)

one word: disappointing. churros, they were not.... i am not quite even sure what to call them. they were overfried on the outside but undercooked on the inside. wasn't light nor airy encased in a crispy exterior like a good churro should be. the white chocolate and hibiscus anglaise sauce was a delight though.  i would definitely skip this unless these were an off night for their churros.

the peasantry offers quite a wide selection of their personal spin on elevated street food - while fascinating on paper but still has the room for improvement in their execution. perhaps i should be a tad more adventurous with my choices but i hope the people responsible for the success of the reputable and loved franks 'n dawgs will steer the peasantry in the right direction.

the peasantry | location

2723 n clark st, 
chicago, il 60614, 
united states

{yummy-ness | 3.5 forks out of 5 }
{worth trying | truffle fries}

disclaimer this is written based on personal experience and opinion. experiences and taste buds may vary for others.

The Peasantry on Urbanspoon


jeonju bibimbap in myeongdong, korea

6:16 AM sians 2 Comments

i realized i haven't quite been keeping up with my blogging resolution very well >< 
before you say anything, i can explain.... has been quite busy and honestly, after i get home from work, have dinner, check twitter, fb etc, i ended up falling asleep while doing that sometimes. 

regardless the excuse....i promise - i shall try harder updating my blog more often! 

now that is out of the way... let's get down to business, shall we?

besides being busy at work, i have just begun my beginner's korean part time classes just a few weeks ago. 

to commemorate my finally taking official korean language classes (i've been self learning before), i figured it might be nice to write about one of my favorite korean food, the bibimbap :)

if you missed my previous korean posts, i have mentioned before that bibimbap {비빔밥} was my first introduction to korean food. 'bibim' means mixed and 'bap' translates as rice which meant the way to eat it is to mix all the ingredients you have in the bowl together with a  generous amount of gochujang sauce. truthfully, i didn't even eat it right the first time (/facepalm) since i refused to mix it together. however, it still left a lasting delicious impression in my mind that bibimbap is one of my favorite korean dishes. rest assured though that i've corrected that mistake after my second time :)

i learned about this rather famous bibimbap restaurant from {lst}, my fellow hongkong homestay friend during my last trip to seoul, korea. and surprisingly, it was in the middle of myeongdong and i didn't even know about it T.T the place is called : jeonju jungang hoekwan {전주 중앙 흭관}

"where exactly?' one might ask.

despite how bustling it is in the huge maze of awesomeness that is myeongdong, two things you need to look out for when you are finding for this place. 

[one] the huge SPAO (most smtown kpop groups' fans would probably look for this place) would probably be a great landmark since there is only one of these in myeongdong. or smoothie king next to uniqlo if that might help you better.

[two] this cute ahjussi ^^

he actually advertises for the restaurant by holding a flag while acting as a marker for this rather hidden restaurant. 

once you've seen either/both of this/these (lol) there is an alleyway that leads to the restaurant on the right of spao (if you are facing the entrance)

if you see this, you're on the right track and the restaurant is located at the end of the alleyway. entering the restaurant, it was a lot quieter than i expected. perhaps it was too early for dinner.

its decor was of a typical simple korean restaurant. 

this restaurant offers a huge variety of dishes but since they are famous for the iconic bibimbap - the whole reason why i was here! they had quite a few renditions of bibimbap on their menu but the prices were a lil more expensive compared to other places (ranged from 10, 000 to 20, 000 won) 

we were first greeted with four complimentary side dishes {반찬} where one of them was the mandatory spicy & tart kimchi that i loved! i really enjoyed the eggplant side dish, which also went well with the bibimbap itself.

{lst} and i decided to try the unconventional pork bibimbap {제육곱돌비빔밥} served as dolsot bibimbap {돌솥비빔밥} priced at 10, 000 won each.  dolsot bibimbap meant that it was served in a hot stone bowl.  i've mentioned before that dolsot is not quite the way i'd usually go for because i am not a fan of crunchy rice >< but this was an exception.. besides i didn't really have a choice here lol.

our dolsot bibimbap came in a piping hot in the stone bowl. the dish was a beautiful burst of bright colors from the zucchini, mushrooms, daikon, seaweed sheets, purple cabbage, daikon, bean sprouts, spinach and ultimately crowned with a golden raw egg. very much like an art piece on a black canvas :) and it came with a bowl of bean sprout soup.

it was soooo hot that it it fogged up my camera lens lol. adding a generous amount of gochujang sauce, mixing all the ingredients together and doing it quickly so i could avoid having too much crunchy rice lol.

the first bite was sooo hot - actually, every bite after was really hot too. {lst} and i were very surprised and impressed that the vegetable rice remained warm throughout our whole meal yet every ingredient was perfectly cooked. which meant no crunchy rice, tough pork nor overly softened vegetable.

bite after bite of robust flavors blended well together yet still able to taste the individual ingredients. AND you get to add however much gochujang sauce you'd like. the key is to make sure all the ingredients are mixed thoroughly.

my friend {mh} visited seoul recently and i offered some suggestions and this place was one of them. the result? i've even gotten approving nods from her and her bf who tried this restaurant..worthy of thumbs up photo of them in front of the restaurant despite the very cold weather :)

definitely one of the best bibimbaps i've ever had even though it was a dolsot bibimbap - hence its addition to my list of  top 12 things i ate in 2012. :) so when you make it down to seoul, myeongdong will undoubtedly be on your to go list - while you're there, try dropping by for a yummy taste of jeonju jungang hoekwan's rendition on korea's iconic dish. ^^

jeonju jungang hoekwan | location

24-11 chungmuro 1-ga
jung-gu, seoul, south korea
{서울툭별시 중구
충무로 1가 24-11}
access:: myeongdong station
 (seoul subway line 4) exit 6

{yummy-ness | 4 forks out of 5 }
{worth trying | the bibimbaps}

disclaimer this is written based on personal experience and opinion. experiences and taste buds may vary for others.