DSC06755 yesterday i turned 44 so the colonel & i went to rootstock, a cozy little wine bar in humboldt park. this neighborhood is up & coming. for years it had been a little run down. it’s home to most of the puerto rican community. it’s always hard to choose a restaurant on this occasion. i wanted to go somewhere i had not been before. i made a really good choice.

this is a place to graze. small plates. super unusual combinations of flavors. i took lots of photos but it’s so dark in there only a few turned out. the bacon toffee looks the best. yes. bacon in toffee works very well. here’s what we ate

-stuffed eggs w/ tuna mousse, balsamic onion & vin cotta
-fried smelt, crispy lemon, chimichurri & aioli
-warm cider braised barley, glazed beets, toasted pumpkin seeds, scallion & creamed blue cheese
-a flatbread with braised fennel & buttered leeks, oven dried grape tomato, pesto cheddar & citronette mezclun green

and if that was not enough, we continued with the seriously impressive charcuterie & cheese plate combo that had GENEROUS portions of meats, delicious made-in-house liver pate with pink peppercorns (!!!) dotted with really awesome hot pickled carrots (spicy delish), radishes, pink lady apple jelly & tart current jelly that went SO well with the cheese.

i’m not usually a cheese & pate plate kind of person, but i’m slowly becoming one as a result of the colonel’s tastes in food.


earlier he took me to sur la tableso i could pick out some gifts.


a cast iron skillet
a mushroom brush
a pastry bag & tip
mini foil cupcake liners
a jar of madagascar vanilla paste
a mario battali cheese grater
a fab lime green colander
several cookie cutters
mini loaf pans (because my toaster oven is too small for the full size)
a cheesecloth for paneer
a cooks thermometer
and a brown sugar saver. you put the disc in the sugar & it turns it from a hard brick to soft again.

i got a pretty vintage plate from etsy
unfortunately the other goods were damaged in the mail. i had to take photos so the merchant can file an insurance claim. i’m sad because i LOVE this pot.
and lovely vintage plate