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"Industrial and refined, contemporary and traditional. Epic merges these elements with subtlety and spirit. Filling a void in Chicago's Food and Beverage scene, EPIC is a single venue where guests can enjoy outstanding food in a dramatic dining room or relax on a roof terrace with great views of the city, and hang-out late into the evening in a hip and energetic lounge. A restaurant of epic proportions, Epic is led by acclaimed Executive Mark Pollard, who offers an award winning Contemporary American Cuisine, ranging from a raw bar to classically inspired entrees. Epic’s distinct dining areas allow for several dining options. A casual lounge menu, cocktails and 15 wines by-the-glass will be offered in the first floor lounge while a multi-course dining experience awaits on the second floor dining room. And Epic’s 3,000-square-foot rooftop, a destination unto itself, offers spectacular city views, specialty cocktails and a rooftop menu."
Inspired by flavors, textures and fresh ingredients from the menu, DMAC Architecture designed Roka’s Zen-chic space with natural and reclaimed materials and an emphasis on craft and creativity. The immense restaurant is split into unique areas that are unified by natural materials including wood, rocks and old nails. The main dining room includes a sculpture composed of repurposed nails that DMAC commissioned as a large-scale pavilion over the open robata grill. The bathrooms were conceptualized as walking into an idealized forest where mesquite wood poles make the rectangular-shaped space. The bar, a centerpiece of the restaurant, features rounded chocolate leather and wood bar stools and includes a live-edge walnut top over a black slate base. The back bar wall is made of white limestone and flanked by horizontal bands of rustic raked poplar. Two tiger marble communal tables stand next to the bar and provide a natural break between the bar and lounge areas.
|Gascony Vineyards Certified Organic Chambourcin grapes|
(Excerpt from an article that first appeared on The Drinks Business website)'In February this year, Paul Pontallier showed the results of a range of experiments at the Bordeaux property [Château Margaux] to the press for the first time in London. Among his trials, which concerned a range of winemaking and viticultural techniques, were a set of three reds from the 2003 vintage, and three white wines from the 2004 harvest, sealed under different closures – one natural cork and two screwcaps with different linings (Saratin and Saranex, the latter being more oxygen-permeable). Pontallier had also trialled wines under synthetic corks, but has decided not to show them, as the results were “catastrophic”. All the wines in the experiment were prepared in the same way.
The wines were made from vineyard parcels which would have been used for Pavillon Rouge and Blanc, and were served blind to a packed room of UK press. After each flight – one for red, and another for white – Pontallier asked for a show of hands to see which was the preferred wine.
For the red flight, a quick count of hands indicated the wine sealed under the Saratin-lined screwcap as the favourite, and Pontallier himself said that the wine aged under impermeable screwcap [Saratin-lined] was probably his preferred option: “Because I find the mouth softer.”
Interestingly with the white wines, the room voted for the first of the flight, which had been sealed using natural cork, and actually tasted the youngest and freshest, although it wasn’t markedly different from the third one, closed using a Saratin-lined screwcap. In both red and white flights, the wines under the more permeable Saranex screwcap showed elements of oxidation, and more forward, evolved aromatics than either the natural cork or less permeable screwcap.'
1/2 TBSP sunflower seed butter
2 TBSP ketchup
1 TBSP tamari
2 TBSP balsamic vinegar
1 TBSP extra-virgin olive oil
2 medium garlic cloves, minced
1/2 TSP maple syrup
1/2 TSP dried oregano
1/4 TSP paprika (12 oz) package extra-firm tofu