This year's gifts are from a few of my favorite hyper-local businesses here in Chicago.
The olive oil is from Lula Café, my neighborhood restaurant which continues to receive accolades from all over the world. This is the first year that Lula has released a significant batch of its Greek family's cold-pressed olive oil, which they've been harvesting and bottling since 1880. It is just as delicious and special as everything on Lula's menu.
Misoo (pronounced MY-sue) comes from two friends who've worked in Chicago's restaurant industry for decades: Michael McAvena and Soo Choi. They've been fine-tuning a recipe for an all-natural bitters aperitif for years, sourcing ingredients from all over the world, and I was lucky enough to sample their (near-)final iteration over the summer. This is Misoo's first release, and it is so, so delicious! Try it with a splash of soda and a slice of orange.