delicious cheese stuffed peppers at RPM Italian
Wow, that sounds gluttonous doesn’t it…
I’ll qualify this post by saying this was my birthday week in Chicago, but also by saying I love the Chicago food scene. I hit up some amazing restaurants during my last trip out there, and had to share some of the haute eats with you!
First night dinner – RPM Italian
This was a kick-off the weekend dinner, and RPM provides quite a scene to do it. I wasn’t sure if I was in a restaurant or a club, with the crowds, packed bar and constant carding (thank you age gods). We were seated in the bar area in a nice large booth, perfect for people watching and enjoying the meal. We had lots of goodies, from the table treat – cheese stuffed peppers above – to the ricotta spread, to several pastas and risottos we tried. Overall, it was a fun meal at a lively venue, but not my favorite of the week. Maybe because I am less of a pasta person in general.
pastas galore at RPM Italian
delicious ricotta at RPM Italian
Day 2 Breakfast – Stan’s Donuts
This was an unexpected treat, some post workout donuts from Stans (super healthy, right). We grabbed some, including the maple cinnamon pretzel roll, and the bacon maple bar, to bring back home. Not ignoring the delicious Molly’s cupcakes we ate, but those were for a sweet treat later in the evening (my favorite was the red velvet with cream cheese frosting).
sweet bday treats – famous Stan’s Donuts and Molly’s Cupcakes
Day 2 Brunch – Siena Tavern
I am a Top Chef junkie, so nabbing a table for a big brunch group at Siena Tavern was amazing. One of the restaurants of fan favorite Fabio Vivani, this spot is a lively and open space, perfect for adults and kids on a Saturday morning. We tried a bunch of things, from the salads, to the fries with sage and parmesan (yummy, even though I am not a fries person), as well as brussel sprouts, eggs dishes, pizza and pancakes. (Just about everything it would seem) My favorites were the brussel sprouts and the cheese pizza, but my almond pancakes weren’t half bad either. Check out some of the highlights below.
eggs benedict special at Siena Tavern
almond pancakes at Siena Tavern
yummy pizza and farro salad at Siena Tavern
Day 2 Dinner – Boka
We classed it up a bit for dinner, with a trip to the newly reopened Boka. After hearing rave reviews from a friend, I had to check it out. We dined on some delicious gnudi as an appetizer, every salad on the menu (loved the asparagus with green goddess dressing) and I had halibut for dinner (a bit buttery for me sadly). The final treat was some chocolate, salty, raspberry delight, which I was happy to indulge in. Forgot to snap a lot of pics, cause we were focused on chatting and celebrating, but it was a lovely dinner.
sweet treat at Boka
Day 2 Night Out – Untitled
Indulged on many of my favorite cocktail there, the Cucumber Vodka Gimlet (the best way I can order a limey, cucumbery, vodkay drink). Delicious, and dangerous.
cucumber limey vodkay drink from another spot – just for inspiration
Day 3 – Brunch/Afternoon Snack
Stopped in to Goddess and the Grocer for a lovely veggie and green goddess sandwich to help recover. No photo taken on this day, but this is what it looks like on their website. Dinner was homemade salad and some red wine love.
photo credit – goddessandthegrocer.com
Day 4 Dinner – Summer House
California meets Chicago at Summer House, which is exactly what the doctor ordered after some major eating all weekend. The cuisine is super light, fresh and delicious, and the seating is like an outdoor patio but indoors (cause it’s Chicago after all). We had the japanese eggplant (amazing) and the roasted cauliflower, ahi tuna mini-tostadas, and the veggie tacos (heaven on a plate). This may rack up as mu favorite meal of the trip!
countdown to summer at Summer House
ahi tuna mini-tostadas
veggie tacos – so amazing
Day 5 Lunch – Little Goat
Another Top Cheffer! And a local favorite, Stephanie Izard kicked off the the famous Girl and the Goat, and then came back with Little Goat. It’s diner food at it’s best, with lots of breakfast, lunch and dinner offerings. I had the shrimp and grits (love southern food) and my friend Jeff had the french toast with fried chicken bites hidden on the plate. Totally delicious!
shrimp and grits at Little Goat
Jeff about to devour the French Toast at Little Goat
Day 5 Dinner – Adobo Grill
For the last meal, we headed to Adobo Grill, for some Mexican-style comfort food. Located in Old Town, its a cute little spot, with a lot of great eats. I had some spicy margaritas, fresh guacamole, Adobo salad with cilantro-lime vinaigrette and tamarind chicken tacos. We ended the meal with a final sweet treat, tres leeches cake (quite appropriate since I went off dairy the next day – but that is for another post).
Guac and chips – half-eaten 😉 – at Adobo Grill
spicy margarita at Adobo Grill
Tres Leches Cake at Adobo Grill
Whew – that was a lot of haute eats! Can’t wait to go back to Chicago and check out some new (for me) spots like Japonais by Morimoto (fresh tofu anyone), Schwa, and others…and revisit some Chicago Faves like ING, Balena, Quartino, and others.
Hope this is haute inspiration for your next Chicago trip!