Patio Series 2009: PAELLA

June 9, 2009 at 9:53 am (Current Events, Our Favorite Things, patio events, What we are eating, What we are thinking, What we're drinking) (, , , , , , , )


Saturday, May 30th


The anticipation has been building, and we just practiced our first patio event of the season, so the Lushes are very very excited to announce the recount of our first patio series event of the season! You may just regret that you missed the Mario Batali in Spain inspired 30 quart paella pan and pitchers full of sangria! We rocked it out with traditional tapas and extreme, iced buckets of refreshing boozy beverages, as well. Really. Dig it. Cost was $40 bones, NOT including tax or tip, and reflects estimated market value of ingredients and wine…shrimpies, squid, monk fish, chicken thighs, chorizo, saffron, smoke paprika, fancy Spanish rice, olives, baguettes and manchego, pink txakolina and vinho verde, and homemade sangria, yeehaw.

Paella: a rice based seafood dish originating from Valencia, Spain. Chefs have free reign with ingredients, but the crazy LUSH paella to included a plethora of sea creatures, saffron, olive oil, chicken and pork sausage, and other tasty morsels.

Sangria: translates to ‘bloody’, but the LUSH version of the wine and fruit based punch was full up with rose wine, a touch of homemade simple syrup, brandy, peaches, strawberries, apples, and some delicious secret ingredients. Drink up!  [If you would like our recipe, email].


With a full house of thirsty guests, LUSH kicked off the Paella event with copious amounts of icy, fruit infused sangria in buckets, served with a ladle and refreshing Vinho Verde and Txakoli from the Basque region of Spain.  Spanish olives, Spanish olive oil and fresh baguettes adorned the tables.  The weather was quite agreeable (remarkable, I know), and the atmosphere casual and welcoming.

Erin worked the prep table, whipping up some delicious Spanish tapas…grilled baguette brushed with tomato and topped with manchego.  She was a slicing machine.  Colyn fulfilled his quota of trips back and forth schlepping supplies from the basement and schmoozing with the local custies and guests, while new kid Carrie got a crash course in patio event table setting and etiquette.  Rachel and Jane kept the glasses full and special requests accomodated.

Mitch was a Paella making maniac…the TWO 30 quart pans were nearly overfull with delightful morsels, bubbling and releasing amazing aromas.  The shrimp were fat and juicy, tail-on, and the monkfish an exquisite texture and unctuous mouthful of buttery goodness, the squid was prepared perfectly with a smoky note.  Chicken thighs added a lovely earthy note, the chorizo a big spicy kick.  And the rice was absolutely the binding ingredient that brought it all together.  Nom nom.  Everyone asked for seconds, and most went after the scrumptious crispy, charred morsels.

Although the event wrapped by 9:30pm, the patio was bumping until well into the night.  Additional bottles, bourbon, and bubbly were purchased and popped…a few birthday toasts were made.  Good friends, good food, and good drinks!


If you want to join the par-tay, holler at Erin or Kelly at LUSH University Village, 312.738.1900.  Reservations are required and non-refundable.  Groups are encouraged, but each reso (or couple) must confirm their RSVP separately.  Attendance is limited to 25 guests.  Events are price on food costs (and market value of ingredients), as well as beverage costs.  Each guest receives approximately 4 courses…or more, we promise you will be rolling out…with at least the equivalent of 4 glasses of wine (you may want to cab it home).  Tax and tip are not included in the total price…so love the Lushes.




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