City Winery Chicago Serves Up New Spring Menu!

We are thrilled to announce we’ve introduced our new spring menu at City Winery Chicago, after months and months of testing new recipes and experimenting with new flavors for spring and summer. The menu also lists new wine pairing suggestions for each new dish.

As warm weather approaches (it will be here eventually, right?), we replaced some of our heartier, heavier dishes with lighter, more refreshing items that are perfect for sharing and enjoying with a crisp summer wine.

New charcuterie plate on the City Winery Chicago spring menu.

Here’s the scoop on a few of my favorite new items:

• Green Gazpacho (green tomato, honeydew, cucumber, cubanelle peppers, Marcona almonds). This soup is perfect for those hot summer days and warm summer nights on our outdoor patio. The flavor profile includes cool and refreshing mint, fresh crisp cucumber, a touch of sweetness from grapes and honeydew melon, toasted notes from the Marcona almonds and a little heat from cubanelle peppers.

• Baccalao Fritters (served with orange-fennel aioli). These flavor-packed fritters are a light and fluffy combination of whipped salt cod and potatoes, lightly fried and teamed up with a creamy aioli made with fennel pollen and orange zest.

• Grilled Merguez (Aleppo pepper yogurt, apricot-almond couscous, grilled red onion). My hope is this dish inspires images of Morocco. Merguez is a spicy lamb sausage found throughout The Middle East and Northern Africa. We make ours in-house from lamb that is hormone and antibiotic free. The complex flavors come from a range of spices and herbs, most notably paprika, garlic, roasted red peppers and our own wine made in-house. Accompaniments add to the experience: lemon mint couscous to temper the heat, grilled red onions to bring out more of that “grilled on a street cart in Marakesh” vibe and a smoky Aleppo pepper yogurt sauce to add a complex zing.

• Cheese Plate – Three perfect cheeses make up our new cheese plate, Petit Billy (pasteurized goat, aged three weeks, France); Sartori MontAmore (pasteurized cow, aged 20 months, Wisc.); and Roelli Red Rock (blue-veined cheddar, pasteurized cow, aged two months, Wisc.). Each has its own voice but they come together in perfect unison. The “Petit Billy” has a chill lactic tangy flavor that brightens up the palate with hints of lemon with the texture of cheesecake. The MontAmore has a soft, creamy texture with the added bonus of a crystalline crunch. The “Red Rock” takes everything we all love in aged cheddar and introduces blue veining into the mix, giving the cheese a slightly musty and earthy finish.

• Charcuterie Plate – Our new charcuterie selection features three hand-crafted cured meats all made from humanely raised animals without antibiotics or hormones. Fermin Chorizo Iberico is an all-natural Spanish-cured pork with garlic, pimento and paprika. Smoking Goose “Gin & Juice” is lamb with juniper and orange zest. And no, this selection wasn’t made just because Snoop Dogg is one of the kitchen’s favorite artists but because of it’s a funky combination of flavors that mesh with the natural gaminess of the lamb. Creminelli Mocetta is beef with cracked black pepper that is a smaller version of bresaola and has no casing. It’s one of the few beef products in Italy’s salame arsenal. This recipe has been in the Creminelli family since the 1600s (according to family legend) and is made by drying the salted meat.

We’re really looking forward to having you join us and taste these and all the other great new items on our spring menu. Please share your thoughts and feedback!

- Executive Chef Andres Barrera

New cheese plate at City Winery Chicago.

 

Meet Executive Sous Chef, Kevin Coulter

Kevin Coulter may sound like the name of a singer/songwriter lighting up the City Winery Chicago music stage, but he’s actually a talented young chef heating up the kitchen as our executive sous chef.

Born and raised in Racine, Wisc. (where he still lives!), he grew up in the hospitality business and began cooking at age 12 at his parent’s bar. He spent five years in the U.S. Marine Corps, where he developed patience and honed his management style. Following his stint in the Corps, he followed his true passion for food and began taking classes at Le Cordon Bleu Chicago.

After graduation, he worked in nearly every department for the Marriott in Racine, and worked in numerous other restaurants and bars. Then, his spark was really lit when he worked with chef John Fuente at Prix Fixe in Lincoln Square, where he developed and perfected his real passion for cooking and fine dining.

At City Winery Chicago, he brings his culinary talents and skills but also focuses on the critical role of mentoring staff and other cooks. One of his proudest achievements, he says, has been mentoring great line cooks who became successful sous chefs, and some even run their own kitchens now. As Kevin says, “teaching others is what being a chef is all about; anyone can cook a slider.”

He’s been in the kitchen at City Winery Chicago since September 2012, and is responsible for a number of creative dishes on our menu. One new dish he created for our new spring menu is root beer rubbed pork belly with savory French toast and a maple bourbon demi glace. He’s a talented chef and excellent problem solver whom we are thrilled to have performing in our kitchen nightly!