Friday, December 2, 2011

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Bonsoirée - Chicago

I'm on a blogging roll! Can you tell I'm on a break from classes? So while I was in Chicago over Thanksgiving boyfriend and I had an amazing meal at Bonsoirée in Logan Square. I've been getting emails from them regarding their underground Saturday dinners: new menu's that are introduced monthly and by invitation only. You can learn more about it here. We wanted to do another prix fixe menu and finally decided on Bonsoirée's 8-course Fall menu. It also helps that this place is BYOB. I would recommend looking at the menu and even calling ahead to get some wine recommendations from them. I would also recommend taking a bottle of white & a bottle of red. Sorry for the fuzzy photo's but the tiny dim lit, romantic space did not call for flash. Enjoy.

So in my excitement at the climax of the dinner I forgot to take a pic of the Wagyu - braised beef that was slow braised for 72-hours (!). It was very delicious and I only wish I took a picture of it. I'll let you look at the fall menu on the website yourself otherwise it would take me forever to go over each one.

But some highlights: the Motoyaki, the lobster and thai curry bisque and the dessert. Motoyaki is a Japanese style of cooking that involves baked food served in an oyster shell. Here they used a scallop rested in the oyster shell. It was amazing- melts in your mouth. The texture of soft scallop and crusty topping was perfection. My boyfriend's favorite dish was the bisque. The depth of flavors really progressed as you finished it off. The Wagyu (not pictured) was also very good. The most interesting thing on the menu was the finale- the dessert. Our waiter called it a play on "a night out on the town". This involved a tobacco ice cream, bourbon infused cake (very reminiscent of red velvet) a beet reduction and some very nicely done chocolate bars. I apologize if I get some of the ingredients wrong. This was such a unique dessert and I loved it for that. The tobacco ice cream was very potent on it's own - but in conjunction with the other ingredients it was very tasty.

Overall it was a very nice dinner. The ambiance of the tiny, well hidden space was cozy and perfect for enjoying your company. The progression of the meal was nice - although I felt it could have used another protein dish in the middle. I love the concept of BYOB but would have liked some recommendations on their website. The dishes were spaced out nicely - but could have come out a bit faster. Also some of the temperature's of the dishes seemed off. I'm glad to knock it off my bucket list, but not sure I'd go back.

Check it out for yourself and let me know your thoughts.. I'd love to hear other people's takes on some of the dishes. xoxo

Bonsoirée on Urbanspoon

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Noodles by Takashi - Chicago

Takashi is slowly, and deliciously, taking over Chicago. You might remember my meal last Christmas at the Takashi restaurant which was amazing (and my favorite dinner experience thus far). Takashi has a convenient noodle shop in the food court on the 7th floor of Macy's on State street. During my weekend in Chicago I got to finally have some tasty noodles. And I can't wait for the opening of the Slurping Turtle which just opened the 28th. 

The line was the shortest among the restaurants in the food court but the lure of a tasty, hearty bowl of noodles was a perfect respite from the madness of Black Friday. We got a sampling of apps - and two bowls of noodles. The broth in each of the noodle dishes were very tasty- and very different. Honestly I don't remember which was which but they both had ample broth and noodles. They could have used a bit more meat. I'm sorta obsessed with Takashi and his unique restaurants that are popping up all over the city. Now only to get him to open up shop in SF.

Noodles By Takashi Yagihashi on Urbanspoon

Thanksgiving in Chicago

Happy post-Thanksgiving! I spent the little break I had celebrating, and feasting with my boyfriend and sister in Chicago. Although- I was looking forward for some snow and only found mild temps and lots of rain! Ah! Hopefully there will be snow when I return for New Year's (careful what you wish for). I hope you all had a great, yummy, restful Thanksgiving!
Enjoy some pics from my day on State street, the market at Daley plaza and an afternoon craving for sweets...

A pit stop at Christkindlandmarket for some lovely ornaments and to revisit my old lunch-time spot.(I actually miss the days of corporate Chicago).
And finally an afternoon snack at Magnolia's (!!) that just opened up on State street. My bf just spent 6 weeks in NYC for work and raved about the banana pudding! It was sooo yummy!
Cheers to the start of the holiday season! :)

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Next at Next

I did Paris, missed Thailand, would love to go back to Childhood. Wouldn't you?
Update:  Next's video is temporarily disabled due to copyright issues with the music. They hope to have it back up soon. Here's the menu instead...

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

{picture of the day}

I am seriously missing Chicago these days. I'm swamped with work and I really miss the days of getting lost in the art institute, the MCA or the Cultural Center. You don't know what you've got till its gone, right? Pictured above is the cafe at the art institute. I would highly recommend you get there while the weather allows you to enjoy the outdoor courtyard. Sigh. Miss you my little city.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

{12 hours in Napa}

A lovely view of the entrance of Round Pond. One of my favorite spots of the day. 

Wine tasting at Round pond, overlooking the vineyards and the owners homes. Their children live in nearby houses. How cute!
A trio of wine and samples of food picked straight from the garden. <3
Loved everything about this moment.

An incredibly delicious sampling of  the 2007 vintage at Opus One.  
Cabernet Sauvignon 79%, Merlot 8%, Cabernet Franc 6%, Petit Verdot 6% and Malbec 1% = heaven.

A light snack at Auberge du Soleil to keep us going.
For only $500-$700 a night you get an amazing view of Napa, and a pool fit for a Queen (or King).

After a scenic drive from Napa to Sonoma, per recommendations we found our way to the Glen Ellen Inn. And feasted on saffron mussels and grilled salmon. 
Can't wait to be back... and to think I traded in the Kinzie bridge for the rolling Mountains? 

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Shiva's - Mountain View, CA

Back to Cali I go! Sorry for the flip-flops but  I'll be spending a lot of time eating in different places either in CA or IL. Last week my oldest friend Liz was in town to help celebrate my birthday. She happened to have work in Monteray so she took a pit stop to visit me then the two of us spent a whirl-wind 3-days in the peninsula, SF and Napa. It was amazing to have her and I'll make sure to post some pics from our weekend/ pre-bday celebration.

The first night she was here we hit the Mountain View art and wine festival. Which is basically the closest thing that I'll be getting to Chicago-style fests. The art/jewelry was great and we opted to sit at a nearby restaurant for a glass of wine. Later that evening we hit Shiva's for authentic Northern Indian cuisine.

We ordered the samosas to start. They were a little small, but packed with flavor.The garlic naan was delish. We also got the butter chicken and the veggie grill. The veggie grill was really flavorful and you could taste the char-grill from the tandoor. Tasty. But my favorite part of the meal had to be the butter chicken. OMG. The best dish I've had in an Indian restaurant, ever. It had honey-glazed tomato gravy all over chicken and it was to die for. I was surprised we finished all of our food since there was a lot , but it was so good we couldn't stop eating!

There are lots of Indiana restaurants to choose from in this region, do yourself a favor and stop here the next time your in the area. The butter chicken is to die for!

I'll post some pics from the SF / Napa weekend shortly! Happy Sunday!

Shiva's Indian Restaurant and Bar on Urbanspoon

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Alliance Bakery - Chicago

Happy birthday to me. Yay. I wish I could celebrate with a cupcake from Alliance, but sadly I'm in Cali and no such cupcakes exist. Alliance is right on Division and can be found with the always colorful cake displays in their front window. The staff is super friendly and the walls decorated with praise say a lot about this little shop. I ordered a red velvet cake for my sisters b-day a couple months back which was heavenly- so don't forget about them next time you are in need of a unique (but pricey) cake. Next door is also a little funky lounge you can chill / study at. I'm sorta in love with Alliance. Wish I had me a hazelnut cupcake and an espresso to start my first day of 27. Sigh.

Alliance Bakery & Cafe on Urbanspoon

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Jake Melnicks -Chicago

Wanna avoid high priced restaurants when you are shopping near Michigan Ave? Go to Jake Melnick's for some tasty, reasonably priced, ginormous portions. Yes it is bar food... but man does it hit the spot after an afternoon of shopping. When I was home over labor day I went for lunch with my friend Mary and had some pretty yummy food. Makes me salivate just thinking about it...

Here you have the BBQ beef brisket sandwich (ammmazing) and the Turkey burger. Enough said.

Jake Melnick's Corner Tap on Urbanspoon