There's always been a fine line between inventive ideas and bizarre ones. Recently, Chicago has seen plenty of both. When a restaurant called Pasha installed a female bartender in its candlelit ladies' room, for instance, that seemed a little wacky--but cool too. Read on for more serious proof of the creativity that's throwing the city for a loop.
A WORLD OF TRUFFLES
Chocolate and wasabi? The combination sounds like a dare, not a truffle. But it's an inspired mouthful at Vosges Haut-Chocolat, a new shop in Chicago's trendy Bucktown.
The innovator behind Vosges (pronounced vozh) is Katrina Markoff, a 25-year-old Cordon Bleu-trained chef who worked at Michelin three-star restaurants in France and Spain and traveled throughout Southeast Asia in search of novel flavors before deciding last year to set up shop back home in America. "I didn't want to slave away in another restaurant," she explains. "And I've always loved chocolate." She called Julie Ruedebusch, a marketing expert who was a childhood friend, and together the two women went into business. What began as custom work for the fashion designers Todd Oldham and Judith Ripka soon led to the Bucktown store.