Interesting scuttlebutt over at the Foodie Report

Seems like there’s a divorce in the works in the Jean Robert group. What do you think? I haven’t yet been to Chalk– though I’ve heard mixed things. I would hate to see Lavomatic be run into the ground, and I admit that I prefer Greenup for breakfast or lunch and not dinner. JeanRo Bistro has left me unimpressed. Opinions?

18 thoughts on “Interesting scuttlebutt over at the Foodie Report”

  • I can’t really get too excited or put too much validity in those comments on The Foodie Report when they originate from “Anonymous”. What is up with the Foodie Report? I am hesitant to comment on things in case some weirdos start writing random things…..

  • The only reason I give it any consideration is that it’s scuttlebutt I’ve heard off of the Foodie Report.

    I read the Foodie Report, but it focuses too much on chains and convenience food for my tastes. I see some of the anonymous commenters points– I don’t want to make, say, a knockoff of a Bloomin’ Onion– but the commenters are a little nasty.

  • The commenters are really nasty on the foodie report. I think its embarrassing and ridiculous that people feel the need to act that way.

    Anyway, I have eaten at Chalk and thought it was good but I didn’t know what vibe they were going for. I tried Greenup Cafe and had terrible service and they were out of everything, I doubt I would go back.

  • Haha – it’s funny that you bring up that particular post, because my friends and I actually just tried making that Bloomin’ Onion recipe this weekend!

    We were visiting some friends who live in West Chester, and they were listing off potential dinner spots (all chains), and when they got to Outback, I said, “You know, there’s a recipe online to make your own Bloomin’ Onion.”

    Were they into it? You better believe it. So we made burgers and Bloomin’ Onions at home for a quarter of what we would’ve spent at a restaurant.

    (Sorry, that was totally off topic. I don’t have much of an opinion on the Jean-Robert thing, except that I hope he doesn’t end up losing his reputation. This commenter sounds like they could be legit – they’re at least knowledgeable – but yeah, who can tell with Foodie Report comments in general? What was that thing last week about having a master’s degree?)

  • Kelly– I’m with you on hoping he doesn’t lose his reputation. I think there are grumblings in the food community in general, mostly regarding spotty service. Some people have fantastic experiences, some don’t. I tend to think that’s true with any restaurant, but I think that with the Maisonette and Pigall’s success, there’s a higher expectation.

    I suppose that when in France… but man, do burgers sound good. I so need to go to the grocery store!

    Thanks for reading, Kelly!

  • There has been something going on for some time now, I could never put my finger on it but I could smell it. Chalk and Lavo were an odd mash-up. To understand how to pull off a theme go to Chicago and visit the “Lettuce Entertain You” group. We have had sometimes spotty service at Greenup, we joke that they are channeling Wildflower, we don’t let that keep us away though, we really like some of the wait staff. Same for Chalk. I don’t think JR has anything to worry about, no matter what happens he has done us a great foodie flavor favor and kicked up the bar a few notches in this town.

    The Anons at foodie are sometimes entertaining, but mostly pitiful. Last Mondays “What’s for dinner” was a riot. Reminded me of the “Whose on First” Abbot and Costello bit, the pathetic nastiness I have no use for, can’t take the negativity and unwillingness to be part of the community. I don’t understand why the blog software does not allow for removal of anon posts, or for that matter editing of everything. Requiring registration would help but is a maintenance headache.

  • My hubby and I are going to Chicago for Memorial Day weekend and will check out the “Lettuce Entertain You” group. Any other Chicago recommendations, pass them along! We are doing this on Saturday night:
    (Sorry, way off topic)

    We went to Twist for a drink on Saturday night, and I swear if you are young, pretty, and dress slightly provocative, you get hired as a server. What every happened to experience? I think there are a lot of newbies out there.

  • Julie, we love the Bistro, eating at the bar at the Bistro with the bartenders Jen and Jeannie is one of the best bangs for the buck food, drink and and entertainment wise in town, you must have hit a couple of off nights or something. I love most everything I have had there and the bistro theme. Worst problem I have had is a smelly batch of mussels, not sure how those escaped the kitchen. Admittedly we have not been in as much recently but the crowd at the bar, especially on Friday is always interesting. My biggest complaint is an occasional bad odor in the place, somewhere in the bowels of that old building is a dry trap, sewer gas is getting in.

    CinTwin, Lettuce Entertain you is enormously successful, each place is an interesting, different theme and done right, they have the formula down pat, also they cross market well, each place has a rack of cards advertising the others, something I have often thought JR should do. The JR group should have hired their consulting group. I always liked Scoozis! but have not been in three years.

    Chicago has so much to offer you can literally go out every night and love it. Frontera and Topolobampo are always must stops for me as I love Mex. I’ll poll a couple of friends in our MLF group (Major League Foodies) who have been there recently and post some more suggestions so check back. Whenever I go to a city I Google the living daylight out of it and always find some gems.

  • I posted the comment on the Foodie blog about the J-R/Wade divorce. I heard about it directly from someone is very prominent in this city, and who is a close friend of Jean-Robert & Annette’s. He told me over lunch that J-R and Martin Wade have serious disagreements about the direction that the restaurants are taking. Wade wants a more prominent role in the restaurant group, and wants his name to have equal billing with J-R’s.

    J-R did not want to do Chalk, but wade forced him to open it. He has almost no involvement with that restaurant. Then Wade bought Grammars, and opened it on his own without J-R’s involvement.

    This breakup is going to happen, there is no doubt about it. The details are being worked out right now, and it’s being decided who will own which restaurant, but you can bet that Wade will get the lion’s share, because he has the cash.

  • Thanks so much for the recommendations, vudutu! I checked out the “Lettuce Entertain You” group and they look wonderful. About any type of cuisine at any price! The one thing I couldn’t help but notice was that Maggianos was one of their places which is a chain restaurant.

    We plan to dine nicely since we are taking the megabus to chicago which was $20/person AND used points to book a hotel room. I can’t wait for the trip; it will be my first to Chicago!

  • Julie,
    For great burgers, try the grassfed ground beef from the farmer at Findlay with the grey beard who sells the free range eggs, he is usually on the sw end of the farmers market. Or use the bison at Eckerlins. Also FYI, it looks like your blog timezone setting may be off 3 hours.

    In the know,
    come to think of it I never have spotted JR at Chalk, I have at Lavo. I’ll find out more this weekend.

    Your first trip? You will love it, if the winters there were tolerable I would move to the northside in a minute. Hotel prices there are outrageous, I always found residences or daily apartment rentals on Craigs list or VRBO. Chicago is an amazingly clean city, Cincinnasti could learn a thing or two from them.

    Wicker Park is fun, urban shopping and restaurants. Definitely Millineum Park and the Bean. The B’ahai Temple is a very cool place in the near north ‘burbs, as are the Botanic Gardens.

    Some other suggestions are Shaw’s Crab House, Hugo’s Frog Bar & Fish House, Tournesol, Kamehaci, Spring, La Bocca Della Verita, Magnolia Cafe, Bella Via, Green Dolphin. Mind you I have not been up in almost three years so Google or check YELP for the latest info.
    You can spend weeks just trying new places.

  • Vudutu, thanks for the tip. I need to get my rear down to Findlay this weekend. Also, my time stamp is now correct. 🙂

    Should I start a “Dining Tips for Chicago” post? 🙂

  • Julie,
    Normally I would say meet for coffee at Findlay around 10 but I am working the Civic Garden Center annual sale Fri eve and Sat morn so I don’t get to go this week, bummer, perhaps I’ll get up real early and make it. Naaa that won’t happen.

  • I don’t know how early I’d get there, Vudutu. After opening a show, the last thing I want to do is wake up early on Saturday!

  • as far as buffalo goes, if you have room to store it in the freezer, the kentucky bison co. in louisville ships to homes. you have to buy at least $50 dollars worth to have them ship it to you. quality stuff.

  • In The Know is correct. From what I have heard (frighteningly enough) is that JR has little creative control anymore and that the Wades are trying to cash cow the restaurants into corporate models. They are definetely losing staff left and right.

    I suspect JR won’t be around much after the new year, sadly. He deserved better than to get screwed over by an egomaniacal owner that is killing the goose that laid the golden egg.

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