Perennial Virant (Chicago)

Perennial Virant (the other restaurant of Vie’s Paul Virant) is a new American restaurant located across the street from Chicago’s Lincoln Park at the base of the Hotel Lincoln.

Virant’s distinctives at Vie are replicated in this Lincoln Park area restaurant. It prides itself in being a farm-to-table type restaurant, meaning that you get the freshest ingredients every time . He and his team makes use of pickles, jams, or preserves appear in most dishes. This gives each dish a distinctive taste, all depending on what the pickling/preserving process was like. The meals have been described elsewhere as being “unfussy” and “straightforward” or even “simple.” To some these latter descriptions would downgrade their opinion of the restaurant, but this shouldn’t be the case. By keeping things simple Virant lets the flavors of each ingredient really pop. Though the dishes are simple they are still quite interesting and original.

The service was great – though the host seemed a bit baffled when we walked through the hotel side of the entrance and also when we said we didn’t have a reservation. They sat us pretty quickly, even though it was a Friday night. Our waiter was excellent, he was very knowledgeable and explained the menu and the dishes we chose in a detailed manner.

My wife and I ordered:

Pan Seared Arctic Char: grape aigre-doux, fermented carrots, beet puree, marinated golden beats, champagne vanilla vinnegrette.

Grilled Pork Porterhouse: mashed carrot, apricot jam, turnips, cilantro, grilled pickled jalapenos, pork jus.

You can really pick out the flavors of each ingredient (except for the jalapenos, I couldn’t taste those.)

We also ordered several cocktails – one tequila based cocktail which tasted very much like apple pie. And another called a “surly bear” which was reminiscent of an old fashioned.

Overall the experience was fantastic. The ambiance was casual but trendy. The service was friendly and the food was of top-notch quality.

Price per dish: $25-35

 Rating: 9/10

Chicago Here I Come!

I’m off to Chicago! I will be presenting my paper: Bad Books and The Glorious Trinity: Jonathan Edwards on the Sexual Holiness of the Church
at the 2015 Midwest Regional Meeting of the Evangelical Theological Society. I’m excited to go to a city I have never been to and to present some important theological and practical findings out of Jonathan Edwards’s trinitarian theology.

The conference’s theme is pretty interesting: The Sexual Holiness of the Church. There will be plenty of presentations on sexual ethics, same sex attraction, and pornography – all from a theological perspective. I hope to add my two cents by taking a look at how Jonathan Edwards handled a sexual scandal in his church back in the day.

If you are interested in what will be presented click here.

(P.S. I will be blogging about the conference and about the Chicago food scene when I get back!)

Jonathan Edwards’s Bible

I recently reviewed Stephen Nichols’s Jonathan Edwards’s Bible: The Relationship of the Old and New Testaments for the McMaster Journal of Theology and Ministry. Here is an excerpt:

In the recent resurgence of scholarship on Jonathan Edwards nearly every facet of his complex ministry has been explored. Edwards has been studied as a philosopher, scientist, religious psychologist, and revivalist; however Jonathan Edwards’s ministry as an interpreter of Scripture has largely been left unexplored. Stephen Nichols’s study, Jonathan Edwards’s Bible: The Relationship of the Old and New Testaments, seeks to fill this gap in Edwardsean scholarship by giving attention the largely neglected, “The Harmony of the Old and New Testament…..”

You can read the rest of the review here.

Death… But Life!

Remember, this was the outcome of the Easter story, the history of Jesus Christ, just as death as the wages of sin was its beginning. With Christ’s resurrection from the dead God’s free gift, eternal life, entered the world. He, the dear son, he, the faithful and obedient servant, he who was willing to make our sin his own and to die our death in replacement of us, he Jesus Christ, was raised from the dead and recalled from the tomb by the Father. He was robed in eternal life. But now remember also, dear brothers and sisters, that God so acted in Jesus Christ in order that we, truly all of us, without exception, may share in this free gift of life eternal. His story now becomes ours, just as before ours became his. This was accomplished when the Easter story reached its climax. This was the great “but” and “onward” wherby our sin and with it our death was relegated to the past. This was and this is the light mentioned already in the story of creation. “God said, let there be light! and there was light.” There was light for us all in the story of Easter, in the event of Jesus Christ. There all of us, mankind itself, were made free for eternal life. The Lord is risen! He is risen indeed! In him and with him, we too are risen indeed.

-Karl Barth (from the Easter sermon “Death – But Life!”)

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