Wednesday Wanderlust

Chicago

Oh Chicago! You really are one fantastic city. You have the charm of my beloved Boston and the big city feel of my one and only NYC. Your lake is majestic, your skyline breathtaking, and your people so kind. Thank you for a wonderful Memorial Day visit. We can’t wait to visit you again!

Stay

Stay- Chicago

When K and I decided to travel to Chicago this past Memorial Day weekend, I was torn between staying at the newly opened Soho House Chicago in the West Loop and Public Chicago in the Gold Coast. The decision was made easy when I learned that my request for a holiday weekend at the Soho House was not fulfilled. So Public is was.

With 285 rooms, this hotel is much larger than we typically like to stay at. The rooms are tastefully designed by Ian Schrager and the common areas on the first floor are beautiful, including a coffee bar, a library den and a movie room. However, I must be honest and say I was a bit unimpressed with our experience. We heard our neighbors, the bathroom was tiny and had few amenities {no robes, only 2 towels and lackluster products} and the accent chair in our room was dirty and stained. Thankfully we had lots to see {and eat} so there wasn’t much time spend relaxing in our room.

Eat

Eat Chicago

While I was disappointed with our hotel of choice, the food in Chicago did not disappoint. My favorites include:

Little Goat – Located in the West Loop, Little Goat should not be missed. We had our first breakfast here and loved every single delicious bite. We started with their enormous ooey gooey cinnabun and shared the Kimchee + Bacon + Eggs + Pancakes Asian Styke BreakfastTasty Thing. This is the actual name… I promise! And the service was fantastic. We asked our waiter, who had just been in Boston oddly enough, his not to miss spots. Fortunately, we had dinner reservations at his top spot. Score!

The Winchester – Located in East Village, we enjoyed a leisurely Sunday brunch here. The interior is beautiful and my cocktail of Allagash white and grapefruit juice with a salt rim was delightful. A perfect neighborhood spot!

Doughnut Vault – I’m a total sucker for a good doughnut and the old-fashion buttermilk glazed is all I’ve been thinking about since I left. So good.

Floriole – Located in charming Lincoln Park, Floriole is the bakery of my dreams. And although we didn’t visit on this most recent trip, I have indulged in the pastries at this french inspired cafe more times than I’d like to admit!

Milk & Honey Cafe – Located in the eclectic Wicker Park neighborhood, I would refer to Milk & Hone as the Flour Bakery of the midwest. Great sandwiches, pastries and plenty of room to eat. It really is a place where “fresh and goodness meet!”

avec -Meaning with in French, avec was initially designed as the place to enjoy a light bite before your meal at critically acclaimed Blackbird next door. However, avec has now become the place to go for your meal. A dinner reservation is nearly impossible to get so we opted for lunch, which I highly recommend. The chorizo stuffed dates with bacon in a piquillo pepper-tomato sauce is worth every calorie.

Big Star -The place for tacos in the Windy City. Located in Wicker Park, right by the L, this is a great place for meeting up with friends. They have a huge patio and the beer list is quite impressive.

Piece Brewery + Pizza – Although Chicago is known for it’s deep dish, I’m a thin crust girl so highly recommend this local establishment with musical roots. Just guess who is a part owner? Rick Nielsen from Cheap Trick!

The Bristol – Located in Bucktown, The Bristol is that neighborhood spot I wish we had in Boston. Good comfort food, tasty cocktails and friendly staff. You can’t go wrong.

Girl & the Goat – You all remember Stephanie Izard from Top Chef, right? With her winnings, she opened up this Must-go spot in her hometown. If you can’t score a reservation, Little Goat is hers as well.

Ruxbin – “People who love to eat are always the best people.” One of my favorite quotes from Julia Child and the introduction to the menu at this Chicago gem in Noble Square. Ruxbin’s concept is a curated, family style meal. You pick two small plates, two large and two desserts. Meals arrive on the most beautiful pieces of pottery that are available for purchase here. The chickpea pierogi with apple, zurek, celery leaf, and radish bonito has moved onto my top 5 best dishes I’ve ever had list.

Maudes Liquor Bar – Located down the street from Girl & the Goat, this is a romantic spot to grab an after dinner drink and dessert. The chocolate mouse was sinfully smooth.

The Allis – The most well designed bar I’ve ever been to. I literally could move right in. They also offer afternoon tea service. A must!

Another must is a Chicago hot dog. We had ours down on the waterfront from a street vendor but I’m told the best place to go is Downtown Dogs. The poppy seed bun, relish, mustard and celery salt make you realize you don’t need ketchup after all!

A few places that we didn’t make it to but are on the list for next time include: Mott Street, Parson’s Chicken and & Fish, The Hampton Social and Fat Rice.

Do

Besides eating my way through a city, I always like to take in a bit of history and a bit of culture. I highly recommend an Architectural Boat Tour, a walk around Millenium Park and Cloud Gate and a visit to The Art Institute.

And if time allows, get tickets to a comedy show a Second City Not sure I’ve ever laughted so hard in my life.

Can’t wait to see you again, Chi-town!

 

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