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: 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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Things I heart, take 7

August 19, 2010 at 8:48 am (Current Events, Our Favorite Things, What we are thinking, What we're drinking) (, , , , , , , , , )

by Ms. Kelly

Things I heart, take 7: 2007 Vinedos de Ithaca ‘Odysseus’ Pedro Ximinez

Sigh, this wine is so good.  It’s so good that I’m tempted to take a bottle home with me and skip my plans for the gym!  Hailing from the Gratallops in the Priorat region of Spain, this is one winery not to be overlooked.  I am not alone in my love for this winery as it seems to be a constant favorite among the lushes.  The young rockstar winemaker, Silivia Puig, is creating some fascinating wines that are truly unique – I mean, how many other dry Pedro Ximinez do you find around?  This wine is just beautiful with a little hint of petrol on the nose, lots of minerals with some nice floral notes and citrus fruit while being soft and pretty on the palate.  It is really well balanced with a little hint of oxidation coming through.  BEWARE though, this wine is so delicious that when followed with a…hmm, lesser quality wine I suppose I would say…it really shows how extremely well balanced and beautiful the PX is and makes it a little sad to drink anything but that!  As normal, my recommendation would be to stop by and pick up a bottle of this as soon as humanly possible, you never know when I’m going to win the lottery and buy all that’s left!!

Cheers, KC

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What Not to Eat.

March 16, 2010 at 6:48 pm (Current Events, What we are eating, What we're drinking) (, , , , , )

As a continual wine taster, I am always seeking new flavor experiences. I feel that it’s part of my job to know and easily recall unusual flavors: yuzu, shiitake mushrooms, etc., as well as textures like glycerin and mineral crunch. I am willing to foresake pleasure for experience, even: let me tell you about how I felt about the sea urchin ice cream at Schwa [where everything else was simply sublime!]; I took a bite knowing that to me, sea urchin is too akin to snot for me to ever enjoy it. On the other hand, when the Lush crew forced me to try raw oysters for the first time a few years ago, I was instantly hooked.

Employee of the Year[s] stopped in to visit me at Halsted on this sunny Tuesday, and, having just been to one of Chinatown’s funny little grocery stores, came bearing snacks and unusual treats. She opens up a nice little packet of wafers, offers me one, and we both chomp down simulatenously.

Noses crinkle. My gag reflex goes off. This purported ‘cookie’ tastes like onions and rotting meat. There is no pleasure in it, to be sure. A quick glance at the label confirms my worst fears: that this is a durian-flavored wafer. Horrors! Durian fruit hails from Southeastern Asia, and is known the world over for its something-died-and-barfed-in-a-trash-can-full-of-sulfur aromas. Why sick, sick masochists enjoy this, I do not know, but I guess Cru Champagnes aren’t for everybody, so who am I to judge?

We swiftly disposed of the offending cookies, and several minutes later I could smell them through the plastic trash bag. Yeah, this is strong stuff.

Moral of the story? Just because a cute girl walks into your store and offers baked goods, DON’T TRUST HER.

Oh, and, erm– different people like different things?

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