Those who came across Rick Gresh's bacon candle last summer (as we did) were probably struck more by its cheeky charm than its potential as mood lighting.
But now that Valentine's Day approaches, it's clear: His two-ounce tea lights of bacon love are ideal accessories for any carnivore's romantic night.
What began as pure, rendered bacon fat--lit, melted and poured over meat or seared scallops with a fresh vegetable ragout--has recently evolved into a layered candle that melts into a vinaigrette dressing for Primehouse's spinach salad.
Gresh starts with smoky, fatty Tennessee bacon from Allan Benton (but any bacon will do), renders the fat and seasons it with herbs. When layered with cubes of vinegar gelatin, it makes for a pretty, mosaic-like candle that can light a room for up to 30 minutes before needing to be poured.
Make your own at home (click here to download the recipe for the bacon vinaigrette candles and spinach salad), pick up the original bacon-fat candles at Primehouse ($5 each), or call now to request vinaigrette candles for weekend pickup ($6 each).
If you do make your own, do so at least a day ahead of time--so the stench of bacon dissipates before the big night. While a bit of pork fat is good for romance, too much can kill the mood.
David Burke's Primehouse, 616 N. Rush St.; 312-660-6000 or davidburke.com