Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Chicago OR the city in which I ate everything in sight

Last weekend I was able to spend 3 days in Chicago visiting my cousin Emily. I captured the visit through Instagram. My phone camera takes better pictures than my point and shoot and I am not ashamed to be a part of the amateur photography bandwagon. Anyway, I will share a few pictures with you (mostly of food) and talk about some of the amazing things I saw and ATE!

I got in late Friday night thanks to a delay (I actually ended up buying a new ticket through a different airline, and my bag went to the wrong airport--not off to a great start)! My cousin, her boyfriend, and I hit up the local drag (read: amazing) bar Kit Kat Lounge & Supper Club. The food was spectacular. I had grilled cheese made with brie and a tomato reduction with basil oil and the Zsa Zsa Gabor italian sausage stuffed ravioli with a spicy parmesan cream sauce. The food was fantastic and the entertainment unforgettable. I have a couple pictures on my camera that I can add to the post later.

Saturday was spent walking around downtown Chicago doing all the touristy things and we ended up at the top of the Hancock Building (the 96th floor) for a cocktail.
 The Bean

 Top of the Hancock Building

For dinner we went to Hubbard Inn, a tavern style restaurant and bar where I drank delicious cocktails such as the Ginger Flip (absolut citron, domaine de canton, egg white, aperol, egg white, lemon juice), the English Daisy (patron reposado, lime juice, english lavender elixir), and my personal favorite, the Hepburn (effen cucmber, st. germain, lemon juice). We snacked on goat cheese stuffed, bacon wrapped dates and all shared small dishes including a three-cheese flatbread, rabbit stew, ahi tuna, and truffle ravioli. The food and drinks were phenomenal and the atmosphere was quite enjoyable.
 Ginger Flip

The next morning we went to brunch at Angelina Ristorante, a place close to my cousin's apartment in Boystown. For $21 we got a bottomless mimosa brunch with about 10 different plate choices. I had the classic scrambled eggs, bacon, and home fries. I was nursing a small hangover (after Hubbard Inn, we went to karaoke and I needed a little liquid courage), so I couldn't handle the more rich breakfast dishes, however I would love to try the Eggs Benedict with spinach one day!

We headed downtown to get on the Architectural Boat tour. The boat went along the north and south branches of the Chicago River and I learned some great history of the city and it's architecture.
View of the City from the Chicago River

After the tour, we went to BIN 36, a wine and cheese bar where I had some of the best cheese I have ever tasted! I got a wine flight (tastes of 2 whites and 2 reds--they had many options) and we shared two cheese flights, a cheddar flight, and a flight of cheeses from several different animals. Some memorable options were a 10-year Wisconsin cheddar and a buffalo mozzarella, as well as one that I can't remember the name of, however it was horseradish-y and earthy and I did not enjoy it at all! Hopefully I can find out the name so I can avoid it in the future.
 Cheese Flights

That night, we went to Gino's East of Chicago for some deep dish pizza. We had the classic sausage patty pizza and it was delicious. I could only eat one piece (that stuff is thick!), but it was awesome. I was also able to enjoy a Fat Tire beer, something I can't get in Florida. We wanted to head to Pops for Champagne for an after dinner cocktail, however, I was feeling on the heavy side (hmmm...wonder why) and didn't know if I could be rolled over to the bar. Instead we headed home and watched a movie. Next time I am in town, we will definitely be hitting it up, as well as a few of the restaurants from Top Chef contestants!

Monday was mostly a recovery day. We spent some time walking along Lake Michigan and walked over to Phoebe's for cupcakes. I got a Pancakes and Bacon Cupcake while my cousin opted for the Salted Caramel (that was my second choice, but I DO NOT turn down bacon).
 Lake Michigan

Cupcakes from Phoebe's

I spent about 4 hours on a layover in Nashville on the way home (I was pretty angry at the time, but Southwest gave everyone a $100 voucher for the inconvenience, which partly made up for the trouble) and finally plopped into bed at about 2 am Monday night. 

What a trip!