Monday, August 11, 2008

Chicago's delicious food weekend

Mmmm. So I spent the past 4 days in Chicago for Terminus with Hava, and we ate really well during our trip. :) We ended up having several kinds of Italian food during our stay. Chicago really is known for awesome Italian food.

On Thursday, we met up with some friends at Carmine's, which is a Rosebud restaurant. I had the square noodles with arriabiata sauce...yum. Of course, they gave me far too much food (the bowl of pasta they delivered to me could have fed my entire family) but let me tell you, it was wonderful. The company at dinner was also great. :)

On Friday, we ate lunch at a place called Mercat, a Catalan-inspired restaurant. I'll be honest with you: I didn't like it. I had this ham sandwich thing that had too much aioli on it, and then it came with paprika fries that we simply doused in paprika aioli. Gross. Anyways, that's where we went.

On Friday night, we actually decided to order pizza (Chicago-style deep dish, yum) and watch the Olympic Opening Ceremony. This was a very good plan by us! We ordered from a place called Giordano's that we had both had, and really enjoyed our pepperoni, mushroom and spinach pie. The opening ceremonies were incredible...China really put on a fabulous show for the world on 08.08.08.

On Saturday afternoon, we went to this cool deli sort of near the hotel called the Eleven City Diner. We decided to do salads as we were thinking that we might do pasta that night. They chop any salad for free, and I find that a chopped salad is way easier to eat. My chef's salad was good, and had a LOT of turkey chunks and ham slices. Yum. The place was crazy busy, and the owner was very abrasive to his staff, but all in all, plenty of fun. Hava got hit on by the cute diner at the table next to ours. I have a pic of the Deli and another of the two of us at the deli that I am posting.

On Saturday night, we went to a fun Italian place called Gioco - Hava wanted to carb up with some pasta prior to her race on Sunday morning. (Hava signed up for a half marathon on a whim once we got into town...impressive!) She was able to get them to make her spaghetti and meatballs, while I had their mushroom and pork risotto special. I couldn't believe how good the risotto was - I think I may need to learn how to make risotto someday because it is so dang good!

On Sunday, I headed to brunch at North Pond up in Lincoln Park with my best friend Stacy, her husband Cory, and her parents, Bob and Nancy. This was easily the best meal I had in Chicago. Wow. We picked our prix fixe items from this menu (well, a similar menu, they do their work based on what food is locally available). I had the citrus french toast as my first course (it was awesome, with sour cherries on top rather than strawberries...must be what they had fresh), the halibut dish as my second course (it came with a creamy polenta and cucumbers rather than beets), and a peach/blueberry tart for dessert. Heavenly. Top it off with a peach mimosa, and you have heaven in a restaurant.

Our drive home had no eventful food. We ate at a Taco John's (gross, there's a reason I hadn't eaten there in 10 years). I also had a McFlurry at one stop, which are generally tasty.

So there you have it, folks. I had a great food weekend. :)


1 comment:

Luna said...

Risotto's not hard... it's just kind of a PITA. It requires near-constant attention for ~25 minutes while stirring and slowly adding hot liquid. The key is to not give up after the first 5 times you make it when it doesn't come out right. You just have to keep practicing and eventually one day it tastes like the restaurant kind.

Or you can just skip all that and just eat it when you're out. :-D