In celebration of my little g's 92nd birthday, my family and I descended upon Chicago. We had little more than 48 hours. Our mission: To eat the best we could and to see as many sites as possible. Mission status: Accomplished.
I can take little or no credit for the eating destinations. They were well selected and curated by the restaurant aficionada of our group.
Grace - Absolutely epic tasting menu with a matching price tag - highlights included Alaskan king crab with lemon and mint and a black truffle risotto with elephant garlic and leek.
Nico Osteria - By far my favorite meal of the trip - Nico Osteria is an Italian inspired seafood restaurant with house-made pasta, crudos, and fish. Favorite menu item included the fettunda (grilled bread) with stracciatella, brussels sprouts, lemon honey, and hazelnuts.
Girl and the Goat - Family style global menu from Top Chef winner Stephanie Izard - Girl and the Goat has a loud and energizing atmosphere paired with great service and delicious eats. Top picks included roasted cauliflower with pickled pepper, pine nuts, and mint as well as squash blossoms filled with "crab rangoon", and crispy crunchy chickpea fritters.
Lou Malnati's - As a strong lover of crispy thin crust pizza, deep dish is not completely my jam, but we had to pay our respects to the Chicago institution. Loved the Malnati salad, hold the salami.
The Aviary - For an insanely inventive cocktail experience unlike any other, head over to The Aviary. From the team behind Alinea, experience the art of craft cocktails taken to the next level.
Architectural Boat Tour - Despite it being blisteringly hot, the boat tour was an incredible way to see many of Chicago's major architectural triumphs with a generous dose of history.
My husband and I have a strong affinity for Frank Lloyd Wright, a trip to Chicago would not be complete without seeing some of his incredible architecture. The Robie House, located on the University of Chicago campus, is the ideal example of his craftsmanship and attention to detail of a prairie-style home. My favorite was the Frank Lloyd Wright Home and Studio Tour + Neighborhood Walking Tour which allows you access to the home that Wright built for his family as well as the surrounding area filled with many homes that Wright and his team created.
run - Millennium park and the nearby river paths make for the perfect outdoor areas to get in your run.
Epic trip. Epic celebration. Happy Birthday Little G. Until next year. Thank you Chicago!