I’m the first one to search for local’s favorite spots when traveling. I have yet to dine at Joe’s Stone Crab in Miami or Hard Rock Cafe in Vegas - just not my scene. I much prefer to find an off-the-beaten path joint that’s known for good food and local company. Feast fulfilled both of those desires for me. I loved the home-like feel of the restaurant and the laid back environment. The three variations of bread in the bread basket were all incredible and I never comment on bread bowls. Some stand out dishes included the Chicken Tortilla Soup with fresh chicken, avocado and homemade tortilla strips and the Bacon Seared Brussel Sprouts.
I have no words to describe how much I enjoyed my time at Table Fifty-Two. From the amazing Vermont-style house decor and feel (literally the restaurant looks like a home from the exterior) to the welcoming kiln in the center of the restaurant that cranked out the most unbelievable items: oozing gooey mac and cheese, bacon and jalapeno cornbread cakes and of course, some pizzas as well. The line cook who prepared everything by the bar that I dined solo at, kept me company alongside one of the restaurant owners. Some standouts were the Pistachio-Crusted Chicken with Lo Mein Noodles, the Frogmore “Fisherman Stew” and oh – my – god the side of cauliflower. Yes, I said cauliflower – cauliflower with pepperoncini, bacon and white cheddar…. words can’t describe.
Since when do airports have legitimately great Mexican food?! While on my way back to JFK, I stopped in O’Hare’s lunch cafeteria for an early lunch. I couldn’t help but see an array of fresh salsas and chips on display in the window… what if there was actual quality Mexican in here was what I thought. Boy, was the food delicious. From incredibly seasoned chicken and steak to three variations of homemade salsas and chips, I definitely recommend trying this restaurant for a happy last reminder of Chicago.
I really don’t like shopping, I can preface this as such, but when I find staff that is just incredibly and genuinely nice, you can’t help but want to stay in the store for hours and play dress up. I was given millions of “Taylor-like” outfits to play around with and even a 800 dollar jacket which for the time being, isn’t a purchase I’ll be making but fun to try anyway right? I got a great fitting pair of khaki J Brand’s and a beautiful black ruffle blouse. Their collection of Hudsons, J Brands and Citizens are extremely noteworthy – also, the way in which everything is paired for display makes you pretty much NEED to purchase “outfits” not only pieces of clothing. Just found out they have a shop in SoHo, cannot wait to spend money I probably shouldn’t there as well.
I have become such an advocate of relying on Yelp comments to help pick breakfast/lunch spots while traveling. I wouldn’t go so far as to book a dinner reservation based on Yelp comments, I trust Opentable and Zagat more for that – but regardless, I trust Yelp’s opinion. Luckily, I took their word on trying Tempo Cafe – it’s a diner of sorts, but not a chain (luckily) that offers THE COOLEST cask-iron skillet omelets for a scary low cost of $8 for enough food to feed any army. I ordered various oversized omelets during my stay in Chicago and can say with confidence, everything including the massive pancakes looked and taste incredible. The meals also come with some fruit on the side – which is something you LUST for after polishing off FAR TOO MANY EGGS and cheese in one amazing looking skillet.
Rockit Bar & Grill
I usually don’t comment on night life in other cities or even really within New York since I’m up to drink wherever – ironic seeing as that I work in the spirits industry and attend many wonderful events at the coolest mixology bars. I guess when it comes to the weekends though, I’m just up for some loud music, sleazy scenery and a good environment. Rockit fufilled all of my checks off the list – it was loud, people were tacky, the music was and the drinks weren’t complicated by any stretch of the imagination.
Corner Bakery Cafe
Even before you place your order at Corner Bakery, your mouth is salivating and googley-eyed. Every single pastry looked like it was baked by my mom this morning at my home – incredibly delicious pastry selection. In addition, they have amazing hearty breakfast sandwiches and lunch options. Some of the most delectable sweets included their signature Cinnamon Creme Cake, Cinnamon Pecan Rugalach and Maple Pecan Bars.
Sable Restaurant & Bar
For the launch of my client, Redbreast Single Pot Still Whiskey’s latest brand, Redbreast 12 Cask Strength, we conducted a semi-informal tasting lunch at Sable last week. Not only was I incredibly impressed with head bartender, Mike Ryan’s ability to make a Redbreast cocktail that was both innovative and refreshing, featuring: ginger ale, sherry, lemon juice and Redbreast 12 year old. The food served throughout the tasting was incredible but there was one standout dish: the Sweet Corn Creme Brulee - yes you heard right. I have never enjoyed corn this much in my life and I’m a corn fan to begin with! It took the stereotype of creme brulee having to be a sweet dish and turned it on its head to make it a savory one – incredible.
Sixteen at Trump Hotel
I was able to enjoy lunch at Sixteen during my stay at the Trump Hotel last week also for business. The hotel was delightful and beautiful and the restaurant was no different. I ordered a Roast Chicken with Sunchokes and Mashed Potatoes – I tried also some of the restaurant’s waffle fries with truffle, amazing as well. The decor on its on takes your breath away with floor to ceiling windows – it’s a must stop for lunch.
Henri Bendel in Water Tower Place
Henri Bendel just takes me back to my childhood – my mom would always keep her makeup and hair accessories in the signature bags. I love Bendel - while overpriced, they do have such an array of upscale jewelry and accessories to splurge on. The staff in the newly opened Chicago store were incredibly friendly and knowledgeable.