LUSH: Back to Basics

May 26, 2011 at 11:58 pm (BYOB, class, Current Events, Geek, Our Favorite Things, Special Events, What we are eating, What we are thinking, What we're drinking) (, , , , , , , , )

by Ms. Jessica Tessendorf

LUSH lingo leaving you a little bamboozled? Let’s get straight to the facts. An honest to
goodness list of everything your neighborhood LUSH can provide just for you.

1. FREE booze! If the lights are blinking, you’re drinking. 12-10, 7 days a week. Anything
we have opened is fair game.
2. FREE Scheduled tastings. 2-5 each and every Sunday afternoon. Check out the website
or call your local shop to see what the weekly theme is. Not a wine fan? 25% of our
scheduled tastings are either beer or spirits. We provide the topic, the booze, and some
tasting notes, you provide your face.
3. Personalized tastings. Pick a topic, or don’t. Have it blind, or not. Have some snacks
to pair, or drink your food. Set a date with Ms. Carrie (carrie@lushwineandspirits.com) at Roscoe Village, or Ms. Alica (alicia@lushwineandspirits.com) at West Town & University Village, get
some friends together, and have a more tailored tasting event. Read the rest of this entry »

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2011 LUSH Patio Series Schedule

May 26, 2011 at 11:49 pm (Current Events, patio events, What we are eating, What we're drinking) (, , , , , , , , , , )

PATIO SERIES: LUSH UNIVERSITY VILLAGE
1257 South Halsted
Chicago, IL 60607
312.738.1900

Holla. Shout from the rooftops and tell all your friends; Lush in University Village has a rocking patio that is just itching to be used every single day of sunshine and warm(er) temps. And, what better way to utilize the short Chicago summer than to sip away the evening and EAT outside! The Lushies have been whipping up a full schedule of food and wine events, so please join us for a lovely evening, or jump in on them all! RSVP required and all reservations are NON-REFUNDABLE. Serious. Each event is open to 25 people. Groups are welcome and encouraged.  We expect to serve 4 courses, family style, and pour you the approximation of 4 glasses of wine. Yes, that translates to MORE than you could feasibly eat or drink. Please consider arranging transportation. The cost will fluctuate depending upon the event. More details to come. Call 312.738.1900 to reserve a seat. You may also email erin@lushwineandspirits.com. EAT, DRINK, and be MERRY with us!

Saturday, June 4th, 6-8:30pm: PATIO SERIES – PAELLA.
The anticipation has been building, and, once again, our first dinner event of the season has arrived! Kickin’ off the summer patio series of pre-fix dinner parties at LUSH. e are taking reservations RIGHT NOW for the Paella dinner. You don’t want to miss the Mario Batali in Spain inspired 30 quart paella pan, buckets full of wine and pitchers full of sangria! We will have traditional tapas and extreme, iced buckets of refreshing boozy beverages, as well. Really. Dig in. A full meal, many full glasses, and a knee slapping good time.  Bring friends. Lush style with the lushie family. Cost based on market price of seafood. Taxes & tip included. RSVP required and the seat is non-refundable, period. $45

Saturday, June 25th, 6-8:30pm: RIBS and Rose and Zinfandel.
Smoked. Grilled. Rubbed with love.  And delicious spices. The wines are pairing perfection. Taxes & tip included. RSVP required and the seat is non-refundable, period. $65.

Friday, July 8th, 6:30pm: Chix & Bubbles
Fried Chicken and bubbles. One of the finer pairings in life. Finger lickin’ good. The bestest picnic around. Taxes & tip included. RSVP required and the seat is non-refundable, period. $65.

Saturday, August 20th, 6:30pm:  Maryland Blue Crab Boil
Running of the crabs! This is the season of fresh crab. Boys only will be boiled. Tiny hammers and little forks. A napkin bib. And crispy wines. Taxes & tip included. RSVP required and the seat is non-refundable, period. $65.

Sunday, September 18th, 1-6pm: Oysters
A lovely little brunch of fresh oysters. East coast, West coast, and bi-coastal. Ranging from salty to creamy, fruity and funky. Taste the delicious morsels in a rocky little package.
$3 per oyster OR $32 per dozen [reserve your dozen. free wine samples with purchase. wines also available to purchase separately BTG]

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LUSH Staff Dinner ’11: Inovasi

January 28, 2011 at 4:45 pm (Current Events, Our Favorite Things, Special Events, What we are eating, What we are thinking, What we're drinking) (, , , , , , , , , )

 

Chef John des Rosiers, INOVASI

LUSH Staff Dinner

Wednedsay, January 12th, 2011

Chef was gracious enough to personally cook a 20 course tasting menu, served family style, as well as allow us the very amazing opportunity to share our cellar.  With 20 wine nerds and a few Twisted friends, we were absolutely a force to be reckoned with. Although, I think our chaos was mainly contained and all in good fun.  The menu is listed below. Any mistakes are on me, and Chef, my apologies should I misrepresent any courses. I was writing furiously as you so diligently and eloquently punctuated each dish presentation.  Chef also accommodated a gluten free request. What a  marathon.

The wine list is also below. We had two corked bottles, sigh, but everything showed beautifully. Most paired extremely well with dinner. Brilliant evening. And in good company.  A great thanks to Mr. Mitch Einhorn, as well, for the extravagant treat. Talk about staff appreciation! Thank you.

We hopped the Metra. Sorry daily commuters…but, c’mon, it was probably really FUN, too.  All of us, on the train. We zipped through 3 bottles of Champagne, one of which was in magnum, as well as a sparkling French cider and at least two whites.  Only one cork bounced off the train wall, as Colyn promised to catch it and then ducked.  Not enough practice, I suppose.

A short dash through the snow, past Wisma (looks amazing!) into Inovasi.  The regulars were a tad bit scared of the stampede as we all rushed inside excitedly chattering.

FOOD

To begin:

Charcuterie [Speck, Lomo, and Coppa from Becker Lane, Virginia; pickled cauliflower, mustard ‘custard’, brioche]

Assortment of Chicken Wings [fried, BBQ, with sauce of yuzu skin and soy glaze]

Flatbread [St. Benedictine cheese, black truffle, artichoke, polenta, emental cheese]

Tacos [corn tortilla, grits, carmelized onion, foie gras, chocolate and spice sauce, pecorino cheese]

 

Next:

Warm Beet Salad [shaved, raw brussel sprouts, soy, ginger, macademia nuts, Sicilian blue cheese]

Shrimp/Mussels, Squid/Calamari [coconut, soy, mirin, ginger]

Snails in Prichard’s Bourbon [duck reduction, basil, garlic, marsacpone and pane grille]

 

Main: (complicated, layered ingredients and a loud party made it difficult to record details…)

Haddock Casserole [carolina gold rice, fresh haddock]

Raw Chinese Cabbage [raw cabbage, sake, pecans, pesto]

Beef Sirloin [red quinoa, celery, creme fraiche, sage, brown butter, burned bacon (yes, burned)]

Pork Shoulder [chestnuts, macademia in butter, sea island red pea]

Chicken Leg Confit [goat, chorizo, house thousand island, cognac, cornichon, capers]

Bison [polenta, golden raisin, walnut, cinnamon schnapps]

Cheese & Dessert: (about this time, my writing becomes illegible…)

Tripel Cream Brie skewer [on toothpicks, tempura, egg, cream, sourghum, pistachio crumble]

Bread Pudding [amaretto pudding, vanilla, brioche, custard, tuscany]

Dark Chocolate [hazelnuts, espresso, amaretto, cherry]

Gelato [cranberry, cherry, chocolate]

Majuri Chocolate [I give up…this is totally not right…all well, it was delightful!]

WINE

BUBBLES

NV Michel Arnould Brut, Verzeney, Champagne, France

2002 Launois Pere et Fils Grand Cru Special Club Blanc de Blancs, Mesnil, Champagne, France

 

WHITE

2008 Ermacora, Collio, Italy – Pinot Grigio

2006 Muros De Melgaco, Vinho Verde, Portugual – Alvarinho

 

2007 Domaine Huet ‘Le Mont’ Sec, Vourvray, France – Chenin Blanc

2004 Fichet Puligny-Montrachet, Cotes de Beaune, Burgundy, France – Chardonnay

2003 Parent Corton Grand Cru, Cotes de Beaune, Burgundy, France – Chardonnay
1996 Rolly Gassman, Alsace, France – Tokay-Pinot Gris

 

2000 Diel ‘Dorsheimer Pittermannchen’ Spatlese, Nahe, Germany – Riesling

 

Scholium Project White, California

 

RED

2006 Rolly Gassman, Alsace, France – Pinot Noir

2006 Gros Tollot ‘Carretals’, Minervois, France – Carignan

1997 Chateau Beaucastle Chateaneuf du Pape, Rhone Valley, France – Grenache, Syrah, Mourvedre

 

2007 Umathum, Burgenland, Austria – Pinot Noir

2006 Moric ‘Neckenmarkter’, Austria – Blaufrankisch

 

2008 Lo Triolet, Vallee D’Aoste, Italy – Gamay
2002 Fattoria Le Terrazze ‘Planet Waves’, Marche, Italy – Merlot, Montepulciano

1997 Perzalo ‘Vulcano’, Campania, Italy – Aglianco

 

2000 Fra Fulco, Priorat, Spain – Carignan

2003 Esporao Private Selection Rouge, Alentejo, Portugal – Garrafiera

 

2000 John Alban Vineyards ‘Estate’, Edna Valley, California – Grenache

2006 Tablas Creek ‘Panopolie’, Paso Robles, California – Grenache, Syrah, Mourvedre, Counoise

2005 Couer d’Alene ‘Opulence’, Couer d’Alene, Idaho – Syrah

2004 Peay ‘La Bruma’, Sonoma Coast, California – Syrah
2005 Demuth Kemos ‘Bei’, Napa, California – Cabernet Sauvignon

BEER, CIDER and SHERRY

2010 Eric Bordelet ‘Granit’, France – Apple Cider

30 year Tradicion Palo Cortado, Jerez, Spain – Palomino Fino

And, after all that, we skeedaddled back to the last train.  And proceeded to do train burpees and cartwheels and pull ups. A train dance party also ensued…while we sipped on a flask of amaro.

Some of us went home. And some of us went on over to the Twisted Spoke for Pappy Van Winkle bourbon Manhattans. And another dance party.  Good times. Wild times. Check lushwine.smugmug.com for detailed pictures documenting our suburban dining and drinking adventure. Our apologies to clients the next morning…

Gotta love kickin’ it with the Lushes. Another good party. Another good year a’comin.

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LUSH 5th Anniversary Party, by invite

January 14, 2011 at 11:17 am (Current Events, Our Favorite Things, Special Events) (, , , , )

RSVP required. Registration now closed. Each guest will need to check-in and provide valid state ID to attend.

LUSH University Village, 1257 S. Halsted Street

Friday, January 14th, 2011

7-9pm

Please join us for a wild & indulgent celebration at LUSH University Village, 1257 S. Halsted.  5 years, damn straight. Slinging wine, educating, and cultivating a love of the beverage lifestyle.  My how the time flew by.  Look how far we’ve come…and how many bottles we drank.  Thank you for the support and good times! This party is for our amazing clients and friends.

We are itching for a party, and would love to kick it with you.  We are inviting our wino friends to provide a delicious collection of wine, as well as a couple beer geeks to get the beer tapped. Snack Master Kelly is crafting a tasty, snacky party menu. We’ll be breaking out the fire pits on the patio, to keep us warm while we saber a few bottles. RSVP required, rachel@lushwineandspirits.com.

[Please note that Ms. Rachel will bounce if necessary. This is NOT a party for all of Chicago. This was a party with an INVITATION to a list of clients. Do not just show up and expect free food and drink.  Do not bring 8 friends for a free party. We are not a bar.  If you break something, you best expect the wrath and a bill. I am watching you. Help keep it FUN!]

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Staff picks 2010: The Veterans

December 30, 2010 at 6:30 pm (Our Favorite Things, What we're drinking) (, , , )

Sunday Tasting – December 12, 2010

You HAVE to make this tasting. The most epic of all!

All day, every day, the Lushes have been searching and exploring…challenging our palates to expand as we try new grapes, regions, producers, and styles. We have discovered what we adore, what we LOVE and what do not care for. And, we discovered that our tastes have evolved, twisted, turned, and ended up in new places, the same places, and places we never imagined we would go. As a staff, we have a very eclectic, bizarre, and sometimes frightening taste in all things fermented.

Set to task, dedicated to choosing our very most favoritest wines, we set a very strict set of criteria…we want outrageous quality for the cash, of course, but we also require craft winemaking, juice that speaks of where it comes from and that inexplicable, intangible, expression of something extraordinary.Our staff picks of the year are titillating, intellectual stimulating, and definitely remarkable…unforgettable, even. So, we are memorializing our favorites of the year in this year end rewind.STAFF PICKS! Vol. 2 : Veterans!

Read the rest of this entry »

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Staff Picks 2010: Newbies

December 30, 2010 at 6:27 pm (Our Favorite Things, What we're drinking) (, , , )

Sunday Tasting – December 12, 2010
STAFF PICKS! Vol. 1 : NEWBIES

This SUNDAYs with LUSH tasting is all about the LUSH Staff.  The new kids to be exact.  Taste their learning process. Geek out! No easy task for a lush, picking just ONE bottle that forever represents this very year. All of  this very year in a bottle.Our staff favorite wines of the year are a moment captured by a sip, a sigh, a wisp of pure delight…these wines are what we crave, what excites us right now. In an ever evolving world of imbibing, this is the snapshot of the best hits of 2010.

All day, every day, the Lushes have been searching and exploring…challenging our palates to expand as we try new grapes, regions, producers, and styles. We have discovered what we adore, what we LOVE and what do not care for. And, we discovered that our tastes have evolved, twisted, turned, and ended up in new places, the same places, and places we never imagined we would go. As a staff, we have a very eclectic, bizarre, and sometimes frightening taste in all things fermented.

Set to task, dedicated to choosing our very most favoritest wines, we set a very strict set of criteria…we want outrageous quality for the cash, of course, but we also require craft winemaking, juice that speaks of where it comes from and that inexplicable, intangible, expression of something extraordinary.Our staff picks of the year are titillating, intellectual stimulating, and definitely remarkable…unforgettable, even. So, we are memorializing our favorites of the year in this year end rewind. Read the rest of this entry »

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Scotch Class 2010

December 8, 2010 at 12:21 am (class, Current Events, What we are thinking) (, , , , , , , , )

by Ms. Erin

This past Friday, Ms. Jane Lopes and I taught a rousing Scotch class to a private group of eight, partly populated by a Real Live Scotsman. To note that I was nervous, particularly given the audience, is a a gross understatement. Would I pronounce all those difficult words correctly? Would I remember the names of all the small parcels of land known as “The Islands,” when discussing the regions of Scotch production? [They are Jura, Arran, Mull, Orkney, and Skye, for what it’s worth.]

My fears turned out to be largely unfounded, with the group genial, and the Scottish guest happy to help with the quirks of pronunciation, and sharing stories about his childhood in the Outer Hebrides–where there are few Scotch distilleries–and summers cutting peat to be used for the family home’s source of fuel come winter. And, despite my initial apprehension, the result was a cozy little class peppered with many anecdotes, Jane’s encyclopedic spirits knowledge, my wisecracks, and a whole lot of new information floating around that jumble that is it my winter brain.

Now, we Lushies love to share new and exciting tidbits. Here are a few of my favorite facts and figures learned while prepping for and teaching the class:

* Scotch is always aged in used barrels. Happily, those Scots who brought their distilling techniques to the US are now benefiting from a beautiful cycle: since American bourbon can only be aged in new oak barrels, the Yankee distillers can recoup some costs by sending their once-used barrels over to Scotland, where they will contain another generation of whisky.
* I already knew this, but: in Scotland, it’s whisky. Not whiskey. Don’t even try it.
* Scotch took over Europe as the premier spirit of choice when the phylloxera louse destroyed grape production in the Cognac-producing parts of France.
* Once known as the “upper Highlands,” the Speyside region is only about 10 miles by 50 miles, yet contains the majority of Scotch distilleries in the nation. It’s named for Scotland’s longest river, the Spey, which is 200 miles long.
* A Scotch can be smoky but not peaty: there are many ways of drying malted barley, and peat is only one of them. That said, peat expresses a definitive sense of terroir, from both the water flowing through it, and the composition of the plant life decaying into peat [or, as Jane calls it, “unsquashed charcoal”].
* The more you know, the more you want to know. Time to go do some more research. Sip!



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I heart Snacks #1

November 14, 2010 at 11:53 am (Our Favorite Things, What we are eating, What we are thinking) (, , , , , , , , )

by Snack Master Kelly Cosgrove

Snack Blog 1:

Well, it’s been an exciting few weeks getting the snack side of LUSH open.  From hours and hours of tasting cheeses (harder than it sounds!), meats, olives and anything you can think of, we’ve created a fun menu that I like to say is changing by the minute!  We have broken down our menu in to a few different sections: snacks, fermented milk products (aka cheese), cured pig parts, pasta and sandwiches.  One of our customers recently asked what the best item on the menu asked, and honestly, I don’t really know if I can answer that. Maybe it’s because everything’s so new, but I really and truly love it all!  I mean, how can you not love duckfat popcorn? Or thin slices of Prosciutto di San Danielle or Jamon di Serrano?  Or the fancy version of grilled ham and cheese using the delicious Colonel Newsom’s Preacher Ham?  Oh my goodness, I had better be visiting my gym often or I will have no clothes that fit!

Be sure to stop by often, there will new additions as the seasons change and most likely a “snack of the day” offering which will be super fun and exciting!

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LUSH contacts

October 17, 2010 at 10:42 pm (Current Events) (, , , , , , , , , , )

Getting organized…
Ms. Kelly Cosgrove, Employee of the Years, is your brand spanking new Director of Snacks. Yes, do get excited. Very excited. More details coming soon. Mouthwatering details. Snacks at LUSH, private event catering, and delicious party platters! Keep in the loop for additional information. kelly@lushwineandspirits.com

Ms. Alica, is  your   Give her a holler to get your own private party shindig rolling, alicia@lushwineandspirits.com

Ms. Carrie is  your Event Coordinator, Roscoe Village. She’ll be in touch!  And, she will coordinate a kick ass event for you, customized LUSH style…carrie@lushwineandspirits.com. And, is now your direct line for warm fuzzies and do-goodin’. She is the Director of Charitable Donations for non-profits and local charities.

Ms. Rachael Thompson is your media contact for all the official details, copy, and such, give her a holler. thompson@lushwineandspirits.com.

For special orders, general information, events and all miscellaneous inquires, please email a store manager, Ms. Erin at University Village, erin@lushwineandspirits.com, Ms. Jane at Roscoe, jane@lushwineandspirits.com, or the GM at West Town, Ms. Rachel at rachel@lushwineandspirits.com.

Ms. Alicia, Events – alicia@lushwineandspirits.com
Ms. Carrie, Events  – carrie@lushwineandspirits.com
Ms. Kelly, Snacks – kelly@lushwineandspirits.com
Ms. Thompson, PR/Media – thompson@lushwineandspirits.com

Ms. Erin, Manager- erin@lushwineandspirits.com
Ms. Jane, Manager – jane@lushwineandspirits.com
Ms. Rachel, GM – rachel@lushwineandspirits.com

University Village / 1257 S. Halsted / 312.738.1900

West Town / 1412 W. Chicago / 312.666.6900

Roscoe Village / 2232 W.Roscoe / 773.281.8888

TWITTER: LushWine
WEBSITE: www.lushwineandspirits.com
BLOG: blog.lushwineandspirits.com
PHOTOS: lushwine.smugmug.com

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LUSH: Snacks

September 30, 2010 at 10:12 am (Current Events, What we are eating) (, , , , , , , , , , , )

Ms. Kelly Cosgrove, Employee of the Years, has taken on a new title. That of Director of Snacks. Exciting news! Wine and food pairing, in the house of LUSH. We have been dreaming [yeah, food dreams] of this moment for quite some time and are thrilled to share with y’all!

LUSH Wine Bar, 1412 W. Chicago Avenue, Chicago, IL 60642.  312.666.6900.  [Tuesday-Saturday, 5-10pm]. lushwineandspirits.com

LUSH West Town has launched the wine bar portion of the shop, and now has simple but delicious small plates available to nibble. Cured pig parts and fermented milk products are the focal point of the menu, along with indulgently delicious small bites of pork rilletes, duckfat popcorn, fried chickpeas with truffle oil, a daily sandwich, hummus, and other seasonal options.  Owner Mitch Einhorn and Director of Snacks, Ms. Kelly Cosgrove, crafted a menu based on much research and tasting and personal experience. Edited. Tasty.  Ms. Kelly will keep the menu fresh and popping with flavor, while following the seasons and fresh market produce.

Small plate prices range from $2 to $16. Perfect for sharing. Or all for you!

And, for the moment, the wine bar is BYOB.  Thus, you are welcome to grab a bottle of wine or beer from the LUSH shop and come on over to snack and sip.  As we move forward with licensing, the wine bar will have a small by the glass selection of wines and six brews on tap.  Wine and beer menu will rotate along with the snack menu.

We have 8 bar seats, a communal table for 12, and couches and leather chairs for an additional 10 seats.  Yummy and fun. So, now, in addition to interactive, fun & free wine tastings on Chicago Avenue, you can crack your very own bottle and stay for snackies!

Ms. Heather Sperling of the Tasting Table popped in for an exclusive interview to get things kicked off.  Check out her initial impressions…http://tastingtable.com/ecs/3886.htm.  Please contact kelly@lushwineandspirits for any press or media inquiries. Or call 312.666.6900.

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