Monday, August 1, 2011

Eat, Drink...a Girl's guide to Chicago

Even though I lived in Chicago almost 9 years, every time I go back to visit it seems the city is continuing to evolve. There is never a shortage of new and interesting restaurants and the shopping continues to get better. They have a HUGE, very cool All Saints store that just opened on Michigan Avenue and Topshop is opening in the fall.

This last trip was more about eating and drinking and catching up with old friends. We hit up some old favorites and tried some new places as well. I may have to detox for a month, but it was all well worth it. There is nothing like summer in Chicago!

We started our trip off at Hubbard Inn for lunch. This bohemian and eclectic styled "tavern" of sorts was very cool and just a feast for the eyes. It's hard to tell from the picture how cool the interior really is. I had a lobster roll sandwich that was quickly devoured and was worth every high calorie bite.

We also went back for drinks that evening and the bar scene upstairs was great. Very good looking and upbeat crowd. If I were a single lady in Chicago, this would be the place to go!

GT Fish & Oyster Bar was by far the crowd favorite. It's a small restaurant, but the place was packed. This is one of the newest restaurants from the Boka Group (the genius' behind the uber popular Girl & The Goat). They serve small plates of the most delicious seafood inspired creations. We all loved the Fish Tacos and the Lobster Mac and Cheese. I am dying to go back, my mouth is watering just thinking about it!

We spent a lot of time at the  Trump hotel Terrace on the 16th floor. This was definitely a highlight of the trip for us. The drinks are ridiculously expensive, and so is the food. But it's worth it for a drink or 2 to just take in the gorgeous view.

You can't go to Chicago without hitting up RL Grill at the Ralph Lauren store. We love this place, and it holds many great memories. The patio is small, but if you can sit outside it's a quaint little spot. It's also very cozy inside during the winter months. We enjoyed  a light lunch and some white wine. Their Crab Louis and Steak Tartare are 2 of our favorites on the menu.

Sunda is another Billy Dec hot spot that hasn't seemed to lose it's appeal, even though it's been open for a few years. The Asian fusion menu has sushi, small plates and just about anything you could want. The Miso Cod and Shaking Beef are a must try. You may be seated cafeteria style, which definitely creates a fun, social atmosphere.

Fred's in the penthouse of Barney's new location (across from their old location on Rush street) is a fabulous new spot. With sleek decor and a terrace overlooking rush, it's a haven for sophisticated locals and visitors alike. Having buyers remorse? Just go to Fred's and order a bottle of wine...and then go back for more retail therapy in Barney's gorgeous new store.

my friend Tonya and I at Tavern

Tavern on Rush is an old favorite and always a great spot. Their patio is one of the best in the city. Nestled right in the heart of the Gold Coast, you can't get better people watching! Gotta love those crazy old gold coast ladies! The food is good too; it's definitely worth the wait on a busy Saturday.

The Peninsula is one of our all time favorites. This hotel continues to rank #1 or #2 in the world! Whether it's drinks in the bar, dining at Shanghai Terrace (their unbelievable asian restaurant) or having breakfast at Pierrout Gourmet on the patio, you really can't go wrong.

the girls at Paris Club

Paris Club is definitely a hot spot right now in Chicago. I have to say, I was underwhelmed. The food was just ok, and the scene wasn't what I would have expected. Sure, it was packed (lots of bachelorette parites...with veils, ugh.), but not quite as good as Hubbard Inn. The D.J. was fun though, loved his mix of old school 70's and 80's music. If you dine there, you can stay for the Studio Paris club, if not, you may be waiting in a long line outside.

Now, let's talk about my favorite spot. The Elysian Hotel. Wow, this place is spectacular. We didn't stay there, but would love to at some point. It's sleek and sophisticated without being cold, and they didn't miss a beat with the decor. Do you see that chandelier in the lobby? Ah-ma-zing!  

This hotel took over 7 years to build, and it was worth the wait. They have a beautiful spa and the restaurant Balsan is delicious. We had drinks there one afternoon as well as breakfast. My goal is to retire and move into the Elysian someday (they have residences too..) Wouldn't that be the life?!

1 comment:

  1. LOVE me some Fred's. Was always a favorite when I would go to NYC to visit my girlfriends. The frites with garlic mayo is insane...And glad that Chicago FINALLY has a real BNY - the old one was silly and small.



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