I went to Chicago over a month ago. And apparently all I did was take pictures of my food. So, I now present to you a visual feast!
Every time I visit my favorite city, Kelly and Liz have a giant spread waiting to refresh me after my long drive. And wine. This time, we had veggies and dip, cheese and crackers, a flatbread, an assortment of cookies and chocolates, nuts, some other things that I can't remember but I know I loved, and the homemade spiked hot chocolate pictured above, garnished with a Whole Foods marshmallow on a cinnamon stick.
The next day, after a leisurely morning, Kelly and I went out and about running errands and shopping around Clark and Diversey. We stopped for a late brunch at The Peasantry, a new restaurant on Clark that serves "elevated street food." It was all very chic and cool and had an extensive brunch menu. Wow.
I was so flustered by all the choices that I decided to go with my mainstay, French Toast:
"honey vanilla soaked brioche, smothered in walnut almond cream, white chocolate mascarpone mousse and bourbon syrup."
Kelly had the Pork Belly Breakfast Sandwich: "rosemary rubbed pork belly, shaved Brussels sprouts slaw, fried egg, kimchi aioli, brioche bun."
And we split an order of truffle fries.
Everything tasted really, really good. Except my French Toast was not smothered in walnut almond cream and instead had cold berries piled on top. It was tasty, but not what I was expecting. And the berries made the whole thing cold. I was disappointed, but I'd like to try it again - the savory menu items looked amazing!
Actually, the whole reason I went to Chicago that weekend was to eat. You may remember Liz and I making a wager about blogging 52 times in 2012. And whoever reached that number first would buy the other's dinner at Yoshi's Cafe, our favorite restaurant in Chi. (Well, it's mine at least...I don't want to speak for Liz. But I'd guess it's up there.) Since we both reached 52 posts on the same day (Liz beat me by a couple hours, though), I wound up buying her dinner and she bought mine. Kelly came along as moral support. And to choose the wine. :)
We all started by sharing two Japanese Kabocha Pumpkin Raviolis with goat cheese cream sauce garnished with a crispy Parmesan cheese domes and microgreens. That up there is just one.
Kelly continued the trend with a bowl of pumpkin soup as her entree. I can't remember what all was in it, and since Yoshi changes his menu so often, I can't find it online. But I remember her loving it. She might have also had a salad...she does that sometimes.
I do remember that Liz had a Beef Tenderloin Steak with red wine sauce with honey and dates topped with baby arugula, truffle oil and dark chocolate-covered crispy bacon served with rosemary French fries.
And I had a sampler of (clockwise from the top left) Oven Roasted Beet Salad with red beets, golden beets and watercress, extra virgin olive oil and balsamic vinegar gastrique; Oven Baked Kuro-Buta loin (Japanese black pork) marinated in milk, breaded with Japanese panko, herbs and Parmesan cheese, and served with wasabi mashed potatoes with apricot Tonkatsu sauce; Braised Wagyu Beef Short Ribs with red sauce served with creamy polenta, hon-shimeji mushrooms and roasted zebra beets with micro greens.
We shared dessert. I don't remember exactly, but it was something with Japanese red beans, chestnut gelee and espresso cream sauce. Berries and whipped cream on the side, Christmas tree and mint sprig garnish. Exotic, interesting and not too heavy - the perfect way to end the amazing meal!
The weekend eating concluded at Rocks, a favorite pub in Lakeview. It was a rainy, cold Sunday, so I fortified myself for the drive home with a bowl of their homemade French Onion Soup, and my share of a mimosa pitcher:
It was a wonderful weekend, as it always is when I go back to Chicago. Kelly and Liz and I fall right back into our groove with each other and it feels like I never left. That's the best kind of visit there is!