Where else to start a whirlwind one day tour of some of my favorite places in Chicago than at Au Cheval? I know I have had burger blinders on for years and have largely ignored the rest of the menu venturing only as far as the raw vegetable salad. A huge thank you to our server who told us that the beef cheek marmalade could be ordered as a side dish. How I have lived without this I don’t know. Next time I may thrown caution to the wind and add it to my burger.
beef cheek marmalade and toast
cheeseburger with egg and bacon
Some travel days call for a double lunch, and not only a double lunch but going big with the large seafood tower. After visiting Swift & Sons a few weeks prior I was looking forward to checking out its more casual inner restaurant. Fantastic hospitality. How we ate this all I don’t know.
Chicago Athletic Association
For years before the Chicago Athletic Association opened as a hotel, I looked at the amazing facade from across Michigan Avenue on many of the Chicago Architecture Foundation’s walking tours. I just love everything they have done to maintain the original details and character and can’t help but walk through whenever I pass it. Unfortunately the cocktails in the grand lobby were far from fantastic, but ambience almost made up for it.
Sidecar and Negroni
As anybody who reads this blog likely knows, Aviary is my favorite place in Chicago. Not only have I met many people here who have become incredible friends, but I am always blown away by something new on the menu. I am always nervous bringing somebody new here, afraid that they won’t like it as much as I do or I have talked it up too much. But when the person gets it and is as excited about the experience as I always am, these are the best visits of all. Many, many pictures missing somehow.
Loaded to the Gunwalls
This was an absolutely frigid day which made the Next Alps menu the perfect dinner. A very fun menu separated into six sections – the French farmhouse, the German beer hall, the warming yurt, the top of the Swiss mountain, intro to Italy and Austrian sweets. While there wasn’t necessarily one stand out dish for me as there has been on previous menus, anytime you can have raclette is special and this is definitely a menu that I would happily repeat.
gratin of Beaufort and trumpet crozets
tourton of salsify and apple
gateau de St. Genix avec du beurre de chevre
pork belly schnitzel with cherry and black walnut
pretzel, sausages and pickles
Raclette with potatoes, fermented mustard greens, chestnuts, and black truffles
Augustiner Brau Edelstoff lager
chocolate with black truffle and milk crisp
preserved summer berries with cognac and honey
smoked arctic char with cauliflower and juniper
goulash of beef and Barolo with sour cornbread
bitter green salad with pomegranate and fennel ice
pie spiced ice cream
apple strudel with clove and cinnamon
And as if this wasn’t enough in one day, missing from the photos are cocktails at Grace as well as post dinner in the Office.