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INDULGENCES eating out
by gregory swim
The latest successful venture in the ever-expanding
empire of club owner/restaurateur Chris Shaw and
business partners Stefan Chilcote and Matt Ramon
(Urban Mo’s; Baja Betty’s; etc.), Gossip Grill recently
opened in the former home of Café Eleven at Univer-
sity and Normal. Shaw’s timing and sensibilities hit
yet another bull’s-eye with this new bar and eatery,
targeting specifically women but equally welcoming
to men, a refreshing change from the deep rooted
historical segregation within our community.
Whoops and hollers from a celebratory crowd on
the patio spill into the parking lot as you approach.
Just as at Urban Mo’s, a full service outdoor bar to the
right as you enter signals that this is first a place to
hang out and have fun. Groups large and small enjoy
lively conversations while quaffing beverages from
a premium selection of beers, wines and spirits with-
out the premium prices. At daily happy hour prices
you can have the likes of Guinness Stout or a glass of
Chardonnay for as little as two and a half bucks!
But just because the food seems incidental to
liquid refreshment doesn’t mean it has to be boring.
Chef Maryjo Testa, veteran of the Urban Kitchen
group as well as Salad Style downtown, offers a
well considered menu that leans more toward
snacking—perfect in a bar setting—than to a formal
dinner, and with an eye to comfort food. You can
certainly enjoy a multi-course meal here, though,
and have plenty of great choices. The relatively small
Gossip Grill
menu is so well composed that omnivores don’t
notice that over half the menu is non-meat. CHICK CHIC – MAdE TO ORdER
The menu is cleverly divided into seven sections
with double entendre headings. There are standouts
from the “Foreplay” section of appetizers. Sampling
Truffle Mac n’ Cheese, macaroni shells baked in tasty,
truffle-scented cheese sauce, prompted one diner
to recall hiding, when growing up amidst complain-
Ahi Tuna Wontons
ing siblings, the comfort-food joys of casseroles at
meatless Friday dinners. Shards of house-baked
cracker bread accompany Roasted Garlic & Brie, with
golden mounds of mellow roasted garlic adorning a
ramekin of melted brie cheese.
The “Toss My Salad” section includes four entrée-
sized items and house salad. A creamy Caesar Salad
is offered with or without chicken. The Chop-Chop
Steak puts slices of grilled Hangar Steak over a hearty
salad of red potatoes, artichokes, olives, pepperon-
cini and tomatoes. Soba Noodle & Chicken Salad is
vibrantly colored and absolutely restorative, with
shiitake mushrooms, carrots, snap peas and peanuts
all tossed with ginger-sesame dressing.
“Orgasmic Flat Bread” is the chef’s take on the clas-
sic Italian Pizzette, thin-crusted smaller pizzas, and
a crowd pleasing favorite at “GG.” Here it’s long, rect-
angular house-baked cracker bread, with various
50 RAGE monthly | MARCH 2010
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