Ok, so full disclosure, I’m definitely biased in favor of pretty much anything Matthias Merges does. But we managed to score a reservation at the soft opening for A10 in Hyde Park, and it was incredible. The chicken liver mousse was sublime, and it came with these delightful pickled mushroom bites and house-made saltines. The scallops were perfectly seared, and the risotto was so rich and complex it almost made my head spin. The carbonara was probably my favorite dish of the whole night, it was topped with a delicate 60 minute egg that we stabbed so the yolk could coat all of the deliciously al dente house-made noodles. We tried both the sausage pizza and the eggplant pizza, and they were both fantastic, but the eggplant blew us out of the water.

We tried so many other dishes too, too many to fit on this page. But the desserts were phenomenal, especially the cannoli soft serve. It’s made with a ricotta base, and it’s amazingly rich and smooth and it has this fantastically tart underlying taste that’s like nothing else. The entire meal was amazing. Hyde Park is a long and complicated commute from where I am in Logan Square, but it’s absolutely, 100% worth the trip.

OTHER NEWS: I’m collaborating with 5th House Ensemble for their spring concert! I’ve been working my tail off for this thing lately. It’s going to be called Luna de Cuernos, and it’ll be great. You can read about it and see the trailer here. The story is inspired by Caribbean creation myths and an old Puerto Rican folk tale, and it involves a fantastic garden, a brave dog, a clever cat, and a demonic goat-ghost-monster thing. The music (I’m just about done finalizing the playlist) will be amazingly beautiful. There will be multiple performances of it, and some of them will be free!

OTHER, OTHER NEWS: I was too busy to do Inktober last month, but things are calming down a wee bit now, so I’ve issued myself my own personal challenge to draw a different picture of Kyary Pamyu Pamyu every day! I’m calling it 30 Days of Kyary. You can follow their progress on my blog or on my facebook!