NYC – 11/10/17 – Atoboy and Aviary

Yet another place that I have missed terribly since I moved.  So much so that I ate so quickly I forgot to photograph several dishes.

lotus root, dubu, seaweed, chili oil

beef tartare, nooruk, mustard green, myungran

sunchoke, oyster mushroom, black truffle, orange

octopus, kimchi, chorizo, parsley

So much about the reviews is accurate and so much is not accurate at all.  I am certainly biased.  For me it will never be the same as Chicago, but the views sure do help compensate.

Up the Ice Ante – oat, marcona almond, white peach, horchata


Heart of Stone – pistachio, peach, fresno, lapsang, bourbon

Loaded to the Gunwalls – mace, pineapple, hazelnut, batavia arrack

NYC – 8/18/17 – The Office

The Office NYC will likely always feel a bit strange to me having spent so much time in the original.  But the amazing friends I met there and all of the memories just can’t be replicated.  So I am trying hard to think of it as something entirely new and not compare.  At this point I have had several great experiences in this space.  The food is gorgeous and with the expanded size comes an expanded menu plus some of my all time favorites the tartare and ice cream sundae.  I wish I could write this with no prior history because I am just so curious what I would think.  But mostly I am just bummed beyond belief that the minute my favorite place opened in NYC, I left town.

Chicago – 7/23/16 – Tanta, Honey’s & the Office

I have craved ceviche almost every day since this lunch at Tanta.  Thankfully it is finally fall as I never found anything that was a good substitute.

Tiradito cremoso cebiche – salmon, scallop emulsion, avocado, cherry tomato, chalaca, olive oil

Cebiche nikei – ahi tuna, tamarind-sesame oil leche de tigre, cilantro, habanero, cucumber, avocado, nori

Off menu!

Choclo – grilled with anticuchera, rocoto huancaina, fresh cheese

Super soltero – wheat, chickpea escabeche, cilantro, mint, parsley, queso fresco, cucumber, onions, mixed greens

I had Honey’s on my radar well before it opened but then did not read too much about it post opening so did not have any idea what to expect.  Sometimes it is best to be pleasantly surprised.  With a large group we we able to try most of the menu.  Beautiful presentations and all successful and delicious dishes (with the exception of the very salty quinoa).  Of course the downside of our large group was then apparent as second bites were unfortunately not possible.  A fantastic space with an absolutely gorgeous bar taking up most of the front room.  Congrats on all of the shining reviews!

marinated bay scallop – white gazpacho, grilled peach, apple, sorrel

hamachi – cucumber, grape, finger lime, verjus, pickled onion

spit roasted cauliflower – bread crumb, smoked giardiniera, basil

lamb tartare – shaved artichoke, cherry, black garlic mustard, crispy sunchoke

squid ink orecchiette – calamari, shrimp, octopus, pesto, mint, pine nuts

swiss chard – bagna cauda, fried shallots

rainbow trout – charred eggplant, roasted corn succotash, bacon, pea shoots

quinoa tabbouleh – lemon pistachio vinaigrette

grilled striploin – pommes dauphine, rapini, romesco, charred scallion

buckwheat pasta a la chitarra – morel mushrooms, thyme butter, pecorino, bread crumb

bass – brandade, pipperade, braised fennel

The Office
Unfortunately the power was out due to some crazy storms and a blown transformer. But if this is what camping looks like, I’ll take it!

Chicago – 7/31/15 – Boka and the Office

I had been over a year since I’ve been to Boka so very happy that my dinner companions suggested it. It is such a solid choice but inevitably falls off of my radar in the quest for new places. Absolutely perfect service and beautiful plates. My only regret is that we did not have time for dessert as I was looking forward to the funnel cake component of the roasted strawberry. A perfect reason to return very soon.


Marinated Blue Marlin – yuzu kosho, almonds, wild fennel

Heirloom Tomatoes – watermelon, sunflower seeds, lemon balm

Corn Soup – razor clams, summer beans, avocado

Cured Foie Gras Salad – apricot, baby lettuce, buttermilk
 Salt Cod Ravioli – artichoke, lemon, sorrel

Colorado Lamb Loin – cauliflower, cherries, dandelion

Pekin Duck Breast – fennel, apricots, sheep’s milk feta

Olive oil poached halibut – carrot, olives, mussels  

The Office
As usual there is nowhere I would rather end an evening! Of course no recollection of what these were but they were delicious.


Chicago – 2/14/15 – The Brass Monkey & the Office

The Brass Monkey

What a nightmare to find anywhere to have dinner on Valentine’s Day when you are traveling and forced to dine out, yet want none of the horrid prix fix ridiculousness.  Luckily, having just opened a few days prior, the Brass Monkey was serving the regular menu.  Such a great space and a fantastic addition to the West Loop.  I’m not totally sure about the 70s theme but at least its something different!  Thank you to my oldest friends from NYC for letting me be the third wheel!  Everything was delicious although the lighting not conducive to photography.

Foie Gras Torchon three ways: aux natural with house made jam, brûlée with apple compote & seared with brandied cherries

Swedish meatballs – wild boar meatballs, classic jelly glaze, charred grapes

Lobster bisque – classic bisque with lobster meat, chives and puff pastry

Pepperoni pizza – picante, fresno chilis, house mozzarella

Seared Brussel sprouts

Braised short rib – potato puree, kale, cippolini onions, acorn squash, red wine reduction

Lentil salad – french lentils, shrimp, seasonal greens, fried onions, house vinaigrette


Pineapple Upside Down Cake – cherry pineapple relish, vanilla gelato, coconut milk cake, candied walnuts

Flourless Chocolate Cake – dark chocolate cake, pistachio gelato, Bailey’s Irish Cream, candied pistachios

The Office

Thank you Julia for the fantastic (and beautiful) cocktails and for making me feel quite a bit better about being alone on Valentine’s Day!  There is no place I would have rather been.

Chicago – 1/31/15 – Sportsman’s Club, the Office, Aviary, the Drifter, Celeste

I’m always looking for a reason to head to Chicago so a birthday at crawl was better than most.  Unfortunately I somehow didn’t take any drink pictures at my first stop and this is all I ended up with.  I was aiming for a background of Pappy but ended up with a deer head.  Back to my rural PA roots I guess.

Next we of course headed to the Office and Aviary.  So many reasons why I love this place.  The drinks of course.  Impeccable service. The fantastic people.  But also because they raise the bar every single time.  I always think ‘how will they top this?’ and inevitably they do.   Seriously above and beyond.



Loved this so much.  How can you not just laugh at seeing a gatorade cooler where you least expect it ?

Loaded to the Gunwalls – mace, pineapple, hazelnut, Batavia arrack

Next we braved the snow and made our way to the Drifter.  Such a cool space and of course I always love a hidden entrance.  I hope to get back here soon!  Congrats Liz!

And as you can imagine by the time we reached Celeste I had totally forgotten to take pictures of anything!


Chicago – 1/3/15 – the Bristol, Juno, Aviary & the Office

The Bristol
I’ve been meaning to get to the Bristol for brunch ever since they started offering it. But as happens in NYC, I often don’t get back to the old favorites because I am always trying something new. I wish that the hangover breakfast had more broth but was able to console myself with duckfat fries. Although those give me opportunity to comment on one of my biggest dislikes – homemade ketchup. I truly do appreciate the effort, but nothing homemade will ever be better than Heinz (which has nothing to do with my PA heritage).
Hangover breakfast, noodles, pork broth, shrimp mousse, aromatic vegetables

braised pork chilaquiles, fried egg, lime, cilantro, queso fresco

home made sausage


Duck fat fries

Whenever I have previously mentioned a visit to Juno, the first question I was asked was whether I did the omakase menu. So finally I can say that I have and it was as good as my high expectations going in. Thank you to all of my Chicago friends for making sure I did it. BK you are amazing. And a huge thank you to Jason for just being awesome. Looking forward to my next trip.














Aviary and the Office
Unfortunately I skipped dessert at dinner planning to have 5+ BTEs when I got to Aviary. So unbelievably disappointing to realize that they were immediately removed from the menu when the Trio menu ended at Next. You guys know I adore you, but couldn’t we have had 2 days of advance notice?? I would have stocked up earlier in the week. Enough cannot be said about Julia’s amazing origami garnishes in the Office and Micah’s final drink of the evening still reigns weeks later as the best thing I have had to drink in 2015.