Friday, December 9, 2011

Good Eats in Chicago

Three of every four years we spend the first weekend of December in Chicago at the Illinois Farm Bureau Annual Meeting. We eat, we catch up with old friends, my husband attends meetings, we drink, we eat, we shop, we eat.

This year we were at the Palmer House Hilton on State Street. BEAUTIFUL. I borrowed my friend's nine year old daughter for an afternoon while she attended a meeting. We shopped a bit then sat in the lobby eating Garrett's Chicago Mix and drinking Diet Coke. Dancers from the Joffrey Ballet Nutcracker production were taking pictures in front of the tree with the kids. It was a wonderful, enchanted afternoon.

This year we ate at some unique places. We started with Moe's Cantina on Saturday night. Yummy Margaritas, yummy Queso Fundido, yummy guac and yummy cheese filled, bacon wrapped jalapenos. We also ended up in the middle of a Santa pub crawl. We saw sexy Santas and Elves, pimp Santas, fat Santas, skinny Santas, presents, and reindeer. It gave us lots to talk about!

The next night we ate at The Chicago Cuthouse. It's right on the river and the atmosphere was elegant and festive. I had the best tomato and buffalo mozzarella stack and an unbelievable, melt in your mouth filet. We also had a really good bottle of Malbec. I wish I would of looked at the label but I'm positive it went above my $15 wine limit.

Monday afternoon I spent shopping with some girlfriends. We had lunch at Wow Bao. The tag line drew me in - Hot Asian Buns. I ate the pot stickers because I love them but my friend let me try her Hot Asian Bun (Bao). It was like eating a pillow filled of creamy goodness. Next time I'll choose the buns!

That night we drank more Malbec and ate Sushi at Sushi Wabi. The concierge told us it would set the standard for all future sushi. He was right. It was delicious. My husband and I were more adventurous than usual. We ate salted edamame, the dragon, the caterpillar, the Godzilla, salmon tar tare with chips, and a roll with scallops that I can't pronounce let alone spell. It is not a place we would have just walked into. It looked kind of like an abandoned store front from the outside but the inside was modern, small and quaint. Definitely a place we'll go again.

Every year I say I'll plan ahead and make reservations at some of the trendy places, like Girl and the Goat and every year I forget and we are stuck with the concierge recommendations. It worked out so well this year!

Any recs for next year? I swear I'm going to plan ahead!

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