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Memorial Day weekend trip - Report!

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Memorial Day weekend trip - Report!

Jeserf | May 29, 2012 06:10 PM

All,
Just returned from 2 nights in Chicago (and 2 nights in Milwaukee) and wanted to make sure I reported back on all of our wonderful food.

We arrived Thursday and stayed at the Hotel Palomar - it was a typical Kimpton hotel with excellent service. We dropped off our luggage, freshened up, and walked over to the Purple Pig - it was a little before 11:30 and we got a seat outside JUST in time. It quickly turned in to a 45 minute wait. Service was helpful and efficient. We don't really eat meat, so we stuck to the vegetarian options and it was fantastic. We had:
Charred Cauliflower, Toasted Breadcrumbs, Cornichons & Parsley (I loved the addition of the cornichons, what a lovely contrast from the nutty cauliflower)
Braised Baby Artichokes, Fingerling Potatoes,Asiago & Salami Toscana (we had it without the salami)
Deviled Egg with Arugula & Caper Berries (hard to share with another person which would have been helpful to know)
Petit Basque Cheese with Membrillo (my husband's favorite)
Taleggio, Fig & Onion Marmalade & Escarole Hearts Panini (DELICIOUS)
Whipped Feta with Cucumbers, which we probably could have done without but it was yummy regardless.
We had the Iris for dessert, which was basically a donut.

For dinner, we had reservations for 7 with family at Sable in the hotel. Sable was easily one of the best meals I've had in a VERY long time. A special treat was Heather bringing us our dessert and posing for a picture with us - she executes FANTASTIC food and I'm glad we got rid of our Girl and the Goat reservations based on our dietary preferences. Sable was a great choice - even the desserts were fantastic.
We had, for the 7 of us:
Wisconsin Fried Cheese Curds w/ spicy ketchup glaze
Soft Pretzels w/ smoked cheddar cheese dip (my least fave of the night)
Crispy Pork Belly B.L.T's (also not too successful, but the bread was good!)
Mini Wild Mushroom Veggie Burgers w/ red onion jam, goat cheese
Bartlet Pear Flatbread w/ celery root puree, brie, toasted hazelnuts, honey
Potato and Cheese Pierogi w/ caramelized onions, sour cream (YUM)
South Indian Vegetable Curry w/ sweet potatoes, basmati rice, cilantro (didn't try)
Sweet Corn Creme Brulee (I could live on this)
Mini Lamb Burgers w/ feta cheese, red onion, minted yogurt (didn't try)
Buttermilk Fried Chicken & Waffles w/ bourbon maple syrup (Holy crap it was delicious - that with some corn creme brulee? Forget about it, would be the best meal ever)
Warm Maple Bread Pudding w/ Maple Walnut Praline Sauce, Vanilla Ice Cream
Dark Chocolate Souffle Cake w/ Peanut Butter Sauce, Salted Caramel Ice Cream
Warm Sticky Toffee Pudding Cake w/ Creme Fraiche Ice Cream

ETA: I also had a cocktail: the Fortune’s Fool: Banks rum, manzanilla sherry, muddled raspberries,
mint, lemon. It was seriously delicious, I had to really hold back on ordering another!

Yeah, it's a good thing that restaurant was in the hotel!

The following day - Friday (GORGEOUS weather), we walked to Millennium Park. On the way, we stopped by Do Rite Donuts and tried the carrot cake donut and coconut cream donut. They were good - not worth the calories, but it was a worthwhile stop to see the cute shop and efficient service. We definitely don't have a place like that in DC.

For brunch we had Wildberry Pancake Cafe on Randolf - another fabulous spot. My husband had a make-your-own omelet with who knows what in it (he picks like a kid, so gross things!), hashbrowns, and upgraded his pancakes to oreo s'more pancakes - he was a HAPPY man.

I had basic breakfast stuff - scrambled egg beaters (I was TRYING to be good), fresh fruit, and chicken sausage. The chicken sausage they had was some of the best I'd ever had - I wish I knew where they got it. I upgraded to their house special wildberry pancakes and they were very delicious. I couldn't imagine a whole order of their specialty pancakes! They had red velvet french toast but I had to pass.

After a day on the water, our night out was to Mindy's Hot Chocolate, newly reopened with recent James Beard Award winner. The space was intimate and service was helpful. The dinner food was decent - husband liked his pretzels and the spring pea soup was refreshing. My husband enjoyed the beggar's purse which I didn't try. My burger was OK - I asked for it medium well and it was a little pinker than I had expected. It was a good burger and a decent value. For dessert my husband had some sort of hot chocolate (I didn't try it). We shared the famous chocolate souffle (AAMMAAzing) and an order of different ice creams - peanut butter frosting (fantastic), pecan praline (good), and cherry rubarb sorbet (also fantastic). It was a very good meal, though I could see going for dessert only since I wasn't really wowed by the main courses (though, I had been spoiled by Sable and the Purple Pig I guess!)

Also, we ate too much Garrett's Popcorn. Which I do whenever I go to Chicago.

Thanks for the recommendations - we had a great time and the weather was amazing. Who goes to Chicago and gets tan?! Milwaukee was also a great time visiting friends - the public market was a nice treat and I brought home stinky, stinky cheese and some Milwaukee-made chocolates. We had Kopps to end the weekend and lots of Alterra coffee.

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