In honor of Lollapalooza 2014 hitting town this weekend, some this year's performers revealed their favorite Chicago restaurants, "hit" local dishes, who they know in the Chicago restaurant world and where they're hoping to eat while in town.
Artists participating are: Cash Cash, Bronze Radio Return's Bob Tanen, The Last Internationale's Brad Wilk (formerly of Rage Against the Machine and Audioslave), Charlie Hirsch, Fitz and the Tantrums' Noelle Scaggs, GROUPLOVE's Ryan Rabin, HeRobust, and GTA.
What are your favorite restaurants in Chicago?
Fitz and the Tantrums' Noelle Scaggs (Sat. Aug. 2 at 4:15 — Samsung Galaxy): Summer House Santa Monica, The Purple Pig, Paris Club Bistro & Bar.
GROUPLOVE's Ryan Rabin (Sat. Aug. 2 at 4:45 — Bud Light): Scofflaw (technically a bar but the food is also insanely good...also free chocolate chip cookies at midnight).
The Last Internationale's Brad Wilk (Sat. Aug. 2 at 3:20 — BMI): Avec and Aurelio's are favorites.
Cash Cash (Fri. Aug. 1 at 5:40 — BMI): Nellcôte is definitely one of our favorite spots in Chicago. We were blown away the last time we went there. We did a bunch of the small sampling plates and couldn't get enough.
GTA (Sun. Aug. 3 at 3:00 — Perry's): Well we've only been to Chicago once or twice, but one of our favorite spots is Gino's East pizza. Deep dish rules!
Bronze Radio Return's Bob Tanen (Sun. Aug. 3 at 6:50 — BMI): Bongo Room and Big Star in Wicker Park.
Charlie Hirsch (Sat. Aug. 2 at 1:10 — BMI): I'm a big fan of Hub 51, Bavette's, Little Goat, Roots Handmade Pizza, Rocks, Stella Barra Pizzeria, just to name a few. I could go on and on. This city really does have some of the best restaurants anywhere.
Hayden Kramer aka heRobust (Sat. Aug. 2 at 1:00 — Perry's): Two spots I have to talk about in Chicago are Blackbird and Ethiopian Diamond. Blackbird is for when I'm feeling fancy or if my lady is with me in Chicago. Ethiopian Diamond is this dank spot all the way north in Edgewater.
What are your favorite dishes you've had while in Chicago?
Fitz and the Tantrums' Noelle Scaggs: It was a dessert (something I am very picky about) at Summer House Santa Monica that chef Mahin created one night. It was a salted caramel custard served in a small mason jar. It was divine and reminded me of Werther's caramel candy mixed with old school butterscotch candies I used to eat at my grandmother's house. A perfect balance of salty and sweet. I didn't want to share it!
GROUPLOVE's Ryan Rabin: The burger at Rootstock is amazing. It's fairly new but everything was great there.
The Last Internationale's Brad Wilk: The bacon wrapped dates at Avec.
Cash Cash: The potato gnocchi with lamb ragu from Nellcôte is absolutely bonkers! Their wood roasted mushrooms were another hit!
Bronze Radio Return's Bob Tanen: Classic Chicago dogs from Murphy's in Lakeview and deep dish pizza from Lou Malinati's.
Charlie Hirsch: Give me the bone-in filet from Joe's Stone Crab followed by the carrot cake at Hub 51 and I could die a happy man.
Hayden Kramer aka heRobust: Even though I just moved to NY I'm an equal opportunity pizza consumer. I'll just say that the discussion between Giordano's, Lou Malnati's and Gino's is definitely a heated one.
Do you know any Chicago (or Chicago area chefs)? If so, who?
Fitz and the Tantrums' Noelle Scaggs: I've become very good friends with Chef Jeff Mahin (Stella Barra Pizzeria, Summer House Santa Monica) in the last year. We are now eating buddies when we are both in LA.
GROUPLOVE's Ryan Rabin: I grew up with Danny Shapiro, who is not a chef, but is an amazing bartender/owner of two incredible spots, one of which I mentioned before (Scofflaw). He also just opened an amazing semi-dive bar called Slippery Slope. It's got skee ball and dancing, so that's a pretty big win already. Danny also turned me on to Lula Café. Jason Hammel is the chef there and it's just amazing food. A Logan Square classic.
The Last Internationale's Brad Wilk: I don't know him personally, but I like what Paul Kahan has done. The sandwiches at Publican Quality Meats are amazing (porchetta!)
Charlie Hirsch: I don't really know too many chefs, but as far as the restaurant business goes, I've know the Melmans for years.
Do you plan on visiting any restaurants while you're in town for Lollapalooza?
Fitz and the Tantrums' Noelle Scaggs: I have Nellcôte and Kinmont on my radar. There will most definitely be a visit to Do-Rite Donuts as well. I need my old fashioned donut.
GROUPLOVE's Ryan Rabin:
Obviously, I'll get several plates and drinks at Scofflaw. I've already gotten the burger at Rootstock and have barely been here for 12 hours. Danny will probably take me to Lula Café again too, so basically just all the spots I've mentioned above will get a lot of face time.
The Last Internationale's Brad Wilk: I wish! Short trip!
Charlie Hirsch: I am definitely planning on taking my out-of-town guests to some great spots like Davanti Enoteca and Bavette's. And I'm having a little post show get together at Hub 51 that will no doubt feature that carrot cake. I'm not kidding. I really love it.
Hayden Kramer aka heRobust: I like to eat healthy but when I'm in a city with a food culture as rich as Chicago's I got to hit some legendary local spots. So this trip I'm definitely trying to make it to Hot Doug's.
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