Tuesday, November 8, 2011

an epicurean adventure to chicago

Chicago's food and cocktail culture is kind of amazing. It doesn't surprise me that practically half the chefs on this season of Top Chef are from Chicago. Sadly, we didn't make it to any of their restaurants (I guess they wouldn't be there anyway?). But we definitely maxed out our weekend. Somehow a ton of college and work friends all ended up being in the city at the same time. There were drinks with this couple, lunch with this friend, late night dessert to see someone else. You get the picture. Needless to say I did not leave hungry.

We made a trip up to Evanston to visit our friend Viren for his birthday. There were some epic chicken wings from Bat 17, a chicago style dog and tasty burger from Edzo's, and plenty of beers from Hop Leaf.

Did you know that if you get the last beer from a keg, it's common for the bar to give it to you for free? Yay for free beer! That's the birthday boy with his winnings.

We had sandwiches from Xoco (the cubano and the cochinita pibil, to be exact) and an insanely good banana peanut butter dessert from Hot Chocolate.

We rounded out Saturday with the trifecta of restaurants and cocktail bars. We started out with fancy, molecular gastronomy cocktails at The Aviary (my old fashioned came inside of an ice cube which I then cracked to dispense the drink). We jetted off to dinner at Blackbird (the lamb with mushrooms, grapes, and onion jam was ridiculous). And then somehow found our way into the elusive speakeasy known as The Office, where we managed to score a picture of the menu.

Amidst the food and cocktails, we also made sure to enjoy the autumn scenery. It was beautiful, but chilly for this southern california girl!

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