The new Logan Square restaurant Twain ( 2445 N. Milwaukee Ave.; www.twainchicago.com/ )which, yes, is named after the famed author and reflects where chef Tim Graham was raisedrelies on a shrewd concept for its success: nostalgia.
Graham and sommelier wife Rebekah are the masterminds behind this spot that embodies the Midwest ( but also a little of the South )down to the flood-plain designs on the restroom mirrors and the farm animals on the huge felt mural on one side of the back of the restaurant. ( By the way, the server commented that people are encouraged to touch said muraland if a part gets soiled, the staffers just called the artist for a replacement piece. )
As for the nostalgia, Twain relies on family recipes passed down through generationsresulting in some sublime comfort food ( although some sport twists on classics ).
Appetizers include Ants on a Log, a delicious item that includes celery, duck liver peanut-butter mousse and bourbon cherries; Brock's fried green-pepper ringsan unusual offering that consists of battered rings topped with powdered sugar; Sloppy Marrow, which is roasted bone marrow topped with sloppy Joe; and the Virginia spoon bread ( which is worth the price of admission alone ), which comes in a mini-cauldron and is supplemented by cider-glazed pork shoulder and pickled onions.
Soup and salad items include the standard wedge salad ( with bacon steak ), but there are also shaved carrot salad and a delightful beer-cheese soup that comes with a mini-Miller High Life back. ( Also, the various breadssuch as pretzel biscuits, with malt butterare made in house. )
Somehow, the entrees were even better than the apps. My dining companion raved about the steak and eggs, which came with eggs done over easyand topped with tiny deviled eggs. My chicken and dumplings ( sufficiently creamy ) came inside a small pot like the one your grandmother usedagain evoking nostalgia. And if you have room for dessert, definitely indulge: Who wouldn't want to try gooey butter cake with jam; Mississippi mud pie; or hand-cranked ice cream ( that comes with the sheet cake of the day )?
Rebekah also knows what she's doing, thanks to concoctions like The Sconnie ( with Korbel and Sprite )although she did tell Windy City Times that she was threatened with harm if she actually changed the recipe. I think ( ? ) she was kidding.
In addition, items are reasonably priced ( with no entree costing more than $23 )making this one of the best deals in the city. I truly hope Twain is around for quite some time.
Halloween coming to Andersonville
Chicago's Andersonville neighborhood will celebrate Halloween the weekend of Saturday-Sunday, Oct. 27-28, throughout the business district.
More than 100 businesses participate each year in the Clark Street Trick-or-Treat on Oct. 27 at 12-3 p.m. and another 20 businesses will participate in the Andersonville Sweetish Stroll ( formerly the Dessert Crawl ) on Oct. 28 at 2-5 p.m.
Last year, the Andersonville Chamber of Commerce ( ACC ) planned to retire the former Dessert Crawl; however, due to popular demand, this "adult trick-or-treat" experience will relaunch the event as the Sweetish Stroll on Oct. 28. The event features two optionsthe August Gloop route and the Veruca Salt path, with 10 sweets-related stops on each. Tickets are available online now for $20 per route; visit http://www.andersonville.org/events/dessert-crawl/.
Note: Restaurant profiles/events are based on invitations arranged from restaurants and/or firms.