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Chicago field trip!

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Chicago field trip!

Towards the end of April, some staff & I snuck away to eat as much as possible in Chicago! We packed nine restaurants into two days, we sampled so much good food.

Thanks to our strict itinerary, we managed to hit every stop. Five of us piled in Amy’s car after Dario’s brunch service one Sunday and off we went. We had the soothing voice of Joe Bastianich to inspire us throughout the trip. When we got to Chicago, we immediately went out for pizza. So I guess we hit 10 restaurants while we were there.

dario

Monday morning we began at Eataly. What an inspiring place! So much to look at and take in, it’s a little overwhelming. There are two floors dedicated to all things Italian: wine, beer, pasta, salumi, cheese, bread, dry aged steaks, and much more. So much of Italy to purchase and enjoy at home! We had a light snack to start at La Birreria, a few Italian beers & some salumi. Our next stop was the Bohemian House. It was delicious! The star of their menu was the Chicken Paprikash, I highly recommend you visit there while in Chicago & eat this dish. Next up was a relaxing afternoon on the patio of Little Goat Diner, we just grabbed some drinks and some sun here – a needed pick-me-up for the afternoon. Then we headed to Au Cheval for some burgers. Wow, are these some good burgers. The restaurant is super chill, their music is a custom playlist on a reel-to-reel at the host stand. Very cool. We also managed to have their house-made fried bologna sandwich, it was also amazing. For dinner we headed to The Publican. What a feast! We had charcuterie, beef tongue, wild mushrooms, pork belly, skate wing, coconut budino & sticky toffee pudding. A little house-made amaro after the meal and a tour of the kitchen rounded out our visit. For a night cap, we headed over to Three Dots and a Dash, a swanky little tiki bar. Very inventive drinks, definitely a bar to visit. That’s all the damage we were able to do on Monday.

dario

Tuesday started with a quick espresso at Eataly before heading to Xoco. Chicharrones for breakfast? Yes, please. We sampled tortas, caldos (soups), and a little tres leches cake too. Up next was hot dogs. Devil Dawgs is quite the hot dog experience, just about anything you could want – on a dog. We dined al fresco, there’s no other option, they were great! For our next stop, we visited The Purple Pig. Their small plates are exactly what we needed. Octopus, nduja & a nutella and marshmallow fluff filled crepe. The pre-dinner snack happened at Graham Elliot Bistro, truffle parmesan popcorn, pea risotto, Caesar salad, potato soup, and of course banana split. Graham was there and we even got a picture with him. (I may have almost given him a heart attack by sneaking up on him in the kitchen, may have.) Dinner was at Nico Osteria, what a beautiful restaurant. We sampled some bruschetta, meatballs, several of their house made pastas, the chicken entrée, creamy polenta and a little tiramisu. It was a fantastic meal, but it did make us a little home sick for the Bolognese Bianco at Avoli. I don’t think we could have eaten another bite or another drink at this point so we headed back to the hotel to sleep for a few hours before leaving Wednesday morning.

dario

Cheers, Dario