Chicago – 5/30/15 – Bom Bolla, Broken Shaker and Formentos 

Bom Bolla
On a day that felt more like the end of November instead of May I trekked to the new cava bar Bom Bolla in Wicker Park.  With a group of friends I could see this as a fantastic sunday funday location.  I definitely enjoyed the different cava’s that I tried but have to admit that after having such an amazing pork bocadillo the night before at Next, this one was a disappointment.  On a different day I might have liked it more without the comparison.  But definitely order the marcona almonds!  I thought they couldn’t be improved upon, but everything truly is better fried!

Shrimp with tomato & horseradish
Grilled pork shoulder, preserved lemon, manchego bocadillo

Pork fat fried Marcona almonds

 Broken Shaker
The Chicago location of the Miami import Broken Shaker recently opened in the Freehand hostel.  Having visited the Miami location fairly recently I was curious as to how the concept would translate without the cool outdoor space.  I think they have done an excellent job however of maintaining the same vibe within the constraints of a city location.  While walking in seems perhaps a bit too similar to the Ace next door, when you actually get to the bar it feels entirely different and far removed from your physical location. This will definitely enter my regular rotation for future visits.

Bitch Don’t kill my Vibe – lemongrass reduction, aperol, shaken with tropical juice and vodka
Gin tonic from the market – shaker g&t with market fresh botanicals, built on beefeater gin and lillet

Pickled vegetables are one of my absolute favorite things. If on any restaurant menu, it is guaranteed that I will order them. Case in point, I had an assortment of pickled vegetables the previous night at Parachute and would have the off-the-brunch-menu pickles at Au Cheval the next day. It doesn’t matter what vegetables are pickled but classic giardiniera is the best. So any restaurant that begins the meal with a bowl of this has already won me over. The shrimp scampi was perfectly done and sometimes it is just great to have a well executed classic. I can’t even think of the last time I have had it in a restaurant but now need to rethink how I have been making it at home. Looking back at my pictures I can’t believe I ate all of the enormous lamb t-bone, but I could never leave lamb unfinished! And what a better ending than my favorite cake, carrot cake? I didn’t necessarily think about it at the time, but one of the reasons that I enjoyed this meal so much was that it was perfectly composed of some of my all time favorite foods. Food aside, it was a pleasure to see some familiar faces. I unfortunately don’t remember my server’s name, but she did a very graceful job of dealing with the extremely difficult patrons sitting beside me. And while I love the cozy ambience of the dining room, I hope to return before the end of summer to take advantage of the patio!


Roasted heirloom beets – orange, castelrosso, pistachio
 Shrimp Scampi

Lamb T-Bone – lupini beans, Gaeti olives, green garlic

Carrot cake


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