Returning from Chicago there are reflections to be had. Not only on the river, but above it as well. Throughout the city there is this glow of sophisticated progression and metropolitan intelligence with less pretension of known coastal corners. The best way to experience this city's progressive offerings is through it's dining. Any gastrobsessive (yes, that's me trying REALLY hard not to use the word "foodie") like myself, might agree that Chicago is the latest U.S. culinary epicenter. From veterans like Charlie Trotter, Rick Tramonto & Rick Bayless to future veterans and whiz kids: Grant Achatz, Homaru Cantu, Laurent Gras and Paul Kahan/Mike Sheerin (tip of the iceberg, folks). You wonder if the coastal city's are taking their environment and agriculture for granted. (I know Miami doesn't need another goddamn steak house). With this said, you can imagine me & Christina's excitement descending into O'Hare airport. With a William Eggleston exhibit at the Art Institute to top it all off, there was a luxurious time to be had in Chicago. Due to the wedding in Arlington Heights we attended, fun was shared amongst friends and family, not to mention running into my friend Dana, the crowd thickened. It ended in a fine cocktail bar, that actually carried the pretension that was missing from the rest of the city. Let me wrap it up, here's a breakdown of restaurants to visit when in Chicago, period. (Don't just let the wind carry you)
Blackbird (also visit their sister restaurants: Avec and The Publican, oh and the pretentious yet delicious cocktail bar mentioned earlier: The Violet Hour)
Also, from the makers of Alinea, a new restaurant and cocktail bar. Here's the trailer...yes, trailer. Next Restaurant
I know there are establishments left out, I'm just too excited. Keepin' an eye out for cheap tickets and the lottery.