Category Archives: Chicago

Restaurant for Two: Dovetail Brewery

Restaurant for Two: a feature where I bring a friend to a restaurant and we write a review together. My friend, John, and I went on a brewery tour at Dovetail in Ravenswood. 

Newly-opened brewery, Dovetail, offers excellent 90-minute tours of their craft brewery located in the Ravenswood Corridor. Master brewers, Hagen Dost and Bill Wesselink, studied beer making in Munich and traveled throughout Europe to refine their selections. Their beers are designed for all of the senses so they encourage you to check out the color and take a whiff before you taste.

Having been opened for nearly 6 months, the two owners met in 2011, started dreaming about opening a brewery a year later, and incorporated Dovetail in 2014. The brewery is in its infancy stages, and the owners treat it as such. While there is a startup feel to the business, Dost and Wesselink have a passionate, approachable take on beer.

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Restaurant for Two: Knife

Restaurant for Two: a feature where I bring a friend to a restaurant and we write a review together. This time around, I joined a group of fellow writers for lunch at Knife. 

Knife, located in Lincoln Square, offers guests contemporary twists on traditional steakhouse offerings. “We want to take the essence of a classic dish and re-create it in a unique way,” said Executive Chef Timothy Cottini. Under Cottini’s purview, both Knife and its sister Lincoln Square restaurant, Fork, use ingredients that are quality, locally-sourced, and seasonal.

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Below is a list of the dishes I tried at Knife. While it’s a small smattering of the many sophistically-prepared options on the menu, I highly recommend everything I ate. Since the dishes were also visually stunning, this review is more of a photo journal of the meal than I usual do. While more expensive than my usual fare, the quality is apparent and the taste is on-point.

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24 Hours in Chicago: Near Southside

Whether you’re stopping through Chicago on a long layover or driving through on the way to a nearby state, there will definitely be more than enough to keep you busy. Below is a list of how to have a rockin’ time in the Windy City for 24 hours with options depending on what you want to get out of your experience. Despite choosing some touristy things you just can’t miss, I’ve also added a resident-twist to it. 

This post features the Near Southside of Chicago, including Northerly Island, Chinatown, Pilsen and Douglas Park. Public transportation is not as easy to get around here, so rent a car or Divvy bike, use the CTA bus system or make Uber your bestie. This post is the 2nd part in a series about spending one day in Chicago; the first was a post on the Loop & River North.

Morning

Breakfast + Walk

Northerly Island – One of the newest parks in the city, Northerly Island features 91 acres of grass, flowers and trees – a real commodity in the urbanity of Chicago. Pop into a grocery store before you arrive to pick up breakfast items for a picnic on the lawn. Enjoy a stroll along the nature path, walk north along the waterfront or drink in views of the boats and skyline along the marina-front path.

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Restaurant for Two: Osteria La Madia, Lunch & Dinner Edition

Restaurant for Two: a feature where I bring a friend to a restaurant and we write a review together. Coworker and friend, L’Oreal, and I loved everything we ate at Osteria La Madia! She’s a blogger, too, so she helped contribute to this post. 

I have had the pleasure of going to over a dozen restaurants to write reviews and it’s rare that I say this: I loved everything I ate at Osteria La Madia. I’ve had brunch here before (check out my review), so this time L’Oreal and I noshed on all things Italian for lunch/dinner. It’s a carbo-load but, like, the best carbs you’ll ever eat.

Offering an Italian spin on the traditionally Swiss fondue, Osteria La Madia has two options: Spinach & Taleggio, White Truffle Fondue and Tomato & Bufala Mozzarella Fondue. Both are served with pillowy perfection that is Sardinian bread. From the moment our waiter brought out the spinach / taleggio / fondue option, we knew we were in for a treat. While the kelly green fondue may be a bit off-putting to some, it was nothing short of delectable.

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24 Hours in Chicago: Loop & River North

Whether you’re stopping through Chicago on a long layover or driving through on the way to a nearby state, there will definitely be more than enough to keep you busy. Below is a list of how to have a rockin’ time in the Windy City for 24 hours with options depending on what you want to get out of your experience. Despite choosing some touristy things you just can’t miss, I’ve also added a resident-twist to it. 

This post tackles the Loop and River North, the most touristy parts of the city. The Loop is also the business district, so it becomes a ghost town on the weekends and after about 7pm. Look out for future posts on the rest of what this exciting town has to offer!

Morning

Breakfast

Do-Rite Donuts – Not the healthiest or most filling option around, but donuts are a staple breakfast item in Chicago. And Do-Rite does it right. I’m a huge fan of the gluten-free cinnamon & sugar option. I’m not a coffee drinker, but there’s always a line of people waiting to get a cuppa.

Corner Bakery – Need more substance? Like chai latte instead of coffee? Then head next door to Corner Bakery on Randolph St.

10am-12pm: Tour

Free Tours by Foot – City tours are a great way to get a lay of the land somewhere new, and this company offers theirs as pay-what-you-like. To be a true tourist, sign up for the North Loop and Millennium Park Tour and make sure to take pictures of the famous “bean” and the Jay Pritzker Pavilion at the park.

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Nighttime Photo at “The Bean”

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Restaurant for Two: Luella’s Southern Kitchen, Breakfast Edition

Restaurant for Two: a feature where I bring a friend to a restaurant and we write a review together. This time around, I joined a group of fellow writers for breakfast at Luella’s Southern Kitchen. 

Serving quintessential Southern breakfast with a twist, Luella’s now offers weekday breakfasts from 8-11a.m. Monday through Friday. Chef/owner Darnell Reed uses locally sourced or authentically Southern ingredients as much as possible.

I tried five different meals while at Luella’s. The buttermilk blueberry and brown butter pancakes were definitely my favorite. Order the sorghum and toasted ancho chili bacon or the boudin breakfast sausage patties for the perfect combination of sweet and salty.

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Buttermilk Blueberry and Brown Butter Pancakes

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