For more than a year now, I've been driving by the Juicy Wine Co., 694 N. Milwaukee Ave., an island of coolness with its floor-to-ceiling front windows and spare decor. Tonight, I pulled over to see what it was all about. And what it was about was three of the most downed-to-earth, hipter-looking guys willing to take the time to answer questions about wine, cheese and, well, the tastiest salami I've ever had.
Ben Hamrah, a first-year culinary student at Kendall College served as the resident cheese expert and was happy to put together a "surprise me" salami and cheese plate, which provided plenty of first-time eating experiences. The Standout? The thinly sliced mole salami whose spices include chocolate, cinnamon as wells as ancho and chipotle pepper. While there's some heat there, there's a nice cinnamon-spice finish. Turns out these thinly sliced rounds, to be enjoyed slowly with a Clos des Filles Les Sorciers du Roussillon, a mild red, are imported from Seattle-based Salumi Artisan Cured Meats, run by Armandino Batali -- father of none other than famous chef Mario Batali.