My wife and I spent a 3 day weekend in Chicago last weekend (we didn't know the NATO summit was going on until the week before we left!)
I love Chicago!! (this was our third time visiting)
Thought I'd outline our foodie weekend:
got into our hotel 10 pm on the friday night, and I'd already researched what was close by - I convinced my wife to go for a short walk (we stayed at the Amalfi hotel, at State and W. Kinzie), and we went to Poritllo's - I had a classic Chicago style hot dog, and it was a thing of beauty ;) We can't get hot dogs like this in Canada.
We had 2 dinners reserved ahead: one at Blackbird and one at Girl and the Goat.
Blackbird was lovely: refined, interesting dishes, beautiful presentation. I'm glad we went, but it is quite pricey, so not sure I'd go back. That being said, one of the special cocktails my wife had was fantastic - one of best either of us had other tasted. Kudos to their 'mixologist' at the bar!
Girl and the Goat is my new favorite restaurant anywhere!!! We shared 5 dishes, then shared 2 desserts, and with a cocktail for my wife and a beer for me, it was $100 before tax - and we left so stuffed we were ready to explode! So, it was reasonable, but on top of that, every single dish we had was fantastic. The cauliflower was one of the best things I've ever tasted in my life! My wife kept trying dishes, then sliding plates away from me - too good to share ;)
Goat emapanadas were great - the whole mustard seeds made the dish a notch better. The salad with kohlrabi was so fresh and tasty! Overall, we were incredibly impressed with Stephanie Izard's flavor combinations on each plate. My wife bought her cookbook, and she already made a kohlrabi salad at home that came out delish.
We also managed a lunch at Bar Toma. We shared their house special salad (with shrimp), which was great, and we had one of the best pizzas I've ever had! It was their special that day, with fior de latte cheese, charred ramps, and romanescu sauce. Wow !! I still want to try a real "deep dish" Chicago style pizza, but my wife is trying to eat lighter, and we had a very bad experience at Pizzeria Due last time we visited.
Maybe things just taste better when you are on vacation, but honestly I felt in heaven with all the great foodie options. We even had an amazing donut: when we took the El train up to Bucktown, on the platform I saw a sign for "Glazed and Infused Doughnuts". So, I had to check it out :) It was 1030 am, and we'd just had breakfast, but I couldn't resists trying one - we shared a red velvet doughnut, which I thoroughly enjoyed - as my wife pointed out, "what could be bad when you deep fry red velvet cake?"
We will be back :)