I love Chicago. It took me a few years, a bunch of new friends, and multiple jobs I enjoy for me to like it, but I have learned to love this city. With its cultural sites, multitude of parks, plethora of exciting restaurants, and never-ending new bar scene, Chicago is pretty great. Yet, when I decided it was time to buy a condo, Oak Park was my #1 choice. There are multiple reasons why OP seems to be the place for me at this time in my life, and the biggest one is I wanted a community (i.e. a place I could call home, a vibing yoga scene, good schools for my future children, friends nearby, and so on).
At the same time that I’m excited to move to Oak Park, I’m also sad as can be to leave Chicago. I know it’s not far – technically 10 minutes by train! I admit I have stated on many occasions how much I disdain the suburbs. But, OP is cool, I promise! Sure, there are a few chain restaurants that end in an ‘s, but not very many! And there’s a booming downtown with nary a strip mall in sight. There’s a restaurant scene, and a bar scene, and (hopefully!) a singles’ scene. So while I loathe the suburbs, I don’t think of Oak Park as a suburb – it’s more like an extension of Chicago. A sparkly, expensive, pretty extension of Chicago.
And while it’s not far from the city (it even touches Chicago!!), it’ll be a little trickier to go to all of the places I really like here on a regular basis. So, I’ve made a Chicago bucket list! I leave Chicago in just over a month, so let me know if you want to join me in saying “See you soon! It’s not forever! I promise I’ll be back real soon!” at one of these places.
Continue reading Adulting: Buying a Condo, Part III: …in the SUBURBS
Restaurant for Two: a feature where I bring a friend to a restaurant and we write a review together. My pal, Lindsay, and I tried out Prairie Grass Cafe in Northbrook for brunch recently.
Prairie Grass’s menu is separated into meals more typically thought of as “breakfast” and “lunch.” Lindsay and I, we took our breakfast seriously this day. Our meal started out with a Cinnamon Almond Coffee Cake. The dish came out warm with icing sliding down the sides. While this was a special for the day, I sincerely hope they keep it on the menu forever and ever because it was the best coffee cake I’ve ever had.
Continue reading Restaurant for Two: Prairie Grass Cafe
Restaurant for Two: a feature where I bring a friend to a restaurant and we write a review together. My gal pal, Karen, and I hit up Angelo’s Wine Bar in Albany Park.
More than your average Italian restaurant, Angelo’s Wine Bar takes traditional fare and bulks it up with subtle, unique, and fruity flavors. The dinner menu features four sections, including appetizers, pizza, pasta, and per la tavola – small plates perfect for sharing (think tapas or dim sum).
The menu has so many options that it was hard to choose just four to sample! First on deck was the Burrata Mostarda antipasti. Thick chunks of burrata mozzarella sat atop a fruit mostarda (an Italian condiment made of chunky, candied fruit) and was topped with salted cashews. The appetizer was served with olive bread made for dipping. I happily eat burrata whenever it’s on the menu with sweet fruit and this dish did not disappoint.
Continue reading Restaurant for Two: Angelo’s Wine Bar
Did you know that May is National Burger Month? Michael Jordan’s Steak House in River North is celebrating! With 31 different burgers – 1 for each day of the month – you can try at least a few more burgers before month’s end.
While the 3 burgers I ate have already passed their “special day”, you’re lucky enough that they are staple menu items that’ll be featured on a rotating basis. No matter when you go or what burger you order, the meat patty will be juicy and cooked with just the right amount of pink. You’ll see mini burgers in my pics since I was here for a review, but you’ll get the real deal when you order.
Continue reading Restaurant for Two: Michael Jordan’s Steak House
Restaurant for Two: a feature where I bring a friend to a restaurant and we write a review together. John is a foodie, so we made a date night out of it.
From start to finish, our meal at Perry’s Steakhouse & Grille in Oak Brook was delightful. The service was impeccable; everyone – the hostess, our waiter, the Nutty D’Angelo maker (see below for video) – was polite, friendly, and willing to answer any questions we had. Starting right at dinner time, the lights were turned way down low to set the mood, the wine wall was fully stocked, and the pianist was crooning jazz.
Because we were there for a tasting for this review, John and I were served multiple dishes that were sized down so we could fit it all in. Please note that dishes are smaller in these pictures than they will be when served to you!
Our first course was served with a mini martini trio; the drinks menu offers nearly a dozen options for you to add to the trio. We were treated with Perry’s new Smoky Rita (Hornita’s Black Barrel tequila, fresh-pressed lime juice and agave nectar, with a habanero rim); the Mango Passion Fizz (mango passion Belvedere vodka, peach liquour, fresh-pressed lemon & lime juice, Chandon brut champagne); and the Mai Tai (two types of rum and fresh lime juice with a hibiscus rim and edible orchid).
Continue reading Restaurant for Two: Perry’s Steakhouse & Grille
Restaurant for Two: a feature where I bring a friend to a restaurant and we write a review together. Thanks to John for joining me at Ixcateco! I’ve eaten dinner at Ixcateco and was lucky enough to try brunch recently as well. Check out my review on their dinner, too!
Ixcateco Grill in the Albany Park neighborhood presents authentic Southern Mexican cuisine. Chef Anselmo Ramirez uses fresh, locally-sourced organic or sustainably-raised ingredients as often as possible. This BYOB restaurant is packed for dinner every weekend, but the brunch crowd was scarce and not because the food isn’t great. Brunch service at Ixcateco is new, so I expect that people will come. It’s not located in the most convenient area, but the fresh ingredients, friendly service, and innovative cuisine make it worth the trek.
Continue reading Restaurant for Two: Ixcateco Grill, Brunch Edition