Rockit Bar & Grill in Chicago adds a
twist and extra value to its steak fries
with a fondue of sautéed shiitake
mushrooms and Brie.
the sandwich, beer-batters the entire thing
and drops it in the fryer until it turns golden-brown. He serves it with sweet berry
sauce—a sugar-sweetened strawberry,
blackberry and raspberry reduction.
The Mushroom Council
He’s even made a sandwich out of
lasagna. Called “The Godfather,” Fish
layers three-cheese lasagna, using fresh
fennel/oregano pasta sheets with spicy
red sauce and provolone on garlic bread.
Pierogis are a classic comfort food in
Cleveland, where there is a large Polish
population. With the city of Parma, Ohio,
considered the capital of the Polish
community in that area, Fish has made
a sandwich out of pierogis and dubbed
it “The Parmageddon.” He pan-fries his
potato and cheese pierogis and includes
fresh napa vodka kraut, grilled onions and
sharp cheddar cheese. “It’s an enormous
sandwich, full of flavor,” he says.
of his new menu favorites is the Meatloaf
Sandwich with Tomato Sofrito on Pullman
White Bread. It’s a combination of equal
parts beef and pork with a standard mirepoix,
Worcestershire sauce, cream, egg, oatmeal
and Applejack brandy. It’s made along the
lines of a French pâté, in which cognac would
be an ingredient, but Sullivan switches in
American apple brandy. “It gives it that flavor
with a bit of muscle or character to it,” he
says. He lines a baking pan with smoked
bacon, places the meat mixture on top and
encloses it completely in the bacon before
wrapping in foil and roasting at 350ºF.
What could have acceptably been a basic
Philly cheese steak bar sandwich became
something to talk about at Rockit Bar &
Grill in Chicago when executive chef James
Gottwald got to the kitchen one morning
thinking about such a sandwich and saw
he had leftover egg roll wrappers. He
shoved the meat mixture (with caramelized
onions and white American cheese) into
the wrappers, folded and deep-fried them.
Thus was born Rockit Pockets, with Heinz
ketchup as dipping sauce. Gottwald is
director of culinary operations for Rockit
Ranch Productions Inc., Chicago, which
operates four restaurants.
When Casey Sullivan joined Chicago’s The
Violet Hour bar as executive chef in the
spring, he set to work on a new county-fair-
style food menu. He added chili dogs, tater
tots and donuts with great success. But one
His meatloaf sauce is certainly no ketchup.
He pulses a basic mirepoix (including
fennel) in a processor and cooks it in oil
at a low temperature with salt, pepper and
a bit of sugar until it’s a caramelized dark
brown. He only adds tomatoes well into
the process so that they don’t completely
lose their color. “It takes five or six hours
altogether, and it smells like Thanksgiving in
the kitchen,” Sullivan says.
The pub at The Desmond Great Valley
Hotel and Conference Center needed
a turkey sandwich. To give it an upscale
twist, Macrina chose his pretzel roll as
the bread. The smoked turkey sandwich
includes Italico cheese, honey-Dijon
mustard, tomato, red onion and spinach.
He chose Italico cheese (a trademark of
Belgioioso Cheese Inc.) for its Brie-like
flavor. “It’s denser, like mozzarella, but it
tastes like Brie with a bit of a nutty flavor.
It goes well with turkey,” Macrina says.
Opportunities abound to add imagination
to American classic comfort bar-friendly
food with french fries, tater tots, macaroni
and cheese, pizza and franks and beans.
As part of a friendly appetizer, here,
The Liberty in Charlotte, N.C., includes
housemade pimento cheese spread