I thought I would check in with you and let you know what I have been up to before I fly out to San Francisco tomorrow! I have only been to San Francisco as a means to getting to Napa and Sonoma, and I am excited to spend 6 days exploring the city. If you have any recommendations, please share them in the comments!
The biggest thing that has happened lately was the Windy City Blogger Collective’s first ever conference! We hosted Blog Your Best 2016 at the Dana Hotel on February 6th and were thrilled with the attendees, speakers, and overall vibe of the event. We might just do it again (ok, we definitely will, just stay tuned).
Charles and I spent 24 hours exploring Rosemont, and loved it. I have a blog post coming your way soon sharing more about my experience. Until then… I will share this photo of the gummy bear room at Lolli & Pop at the Rosemont Fashion Outlets.
My friends and I dined at Cindy’s Rooftop at the Chicago Athletic Association and had the most gorgeous brunch ever.
I tried the Chinese New Year Tea at the Waldorf Astoria Chicago. It involved sweet and savory bites with an Asian influence along with tea and champagne. I highly recommend it.
I attended a chocolate and wine tasting hosted by Kohler Chocolates, and as you can imagine, it was an incredibly delicious evening. Kohler is a household name, but you usually don’t think of chocolate when you hear the name, but perhaps you should. Their chocolates are some of the best I have ever tasted, and their Butter Terrapins (their version of a turtle) are out of this world.
Speaking of wine, I met some lovely Sicilian wine makers for an afternoon wine tasting. Sicilian wine is very affordable, and their grillo varietal might just be the next big thing. It’s light, refreshing, and slightly fruity with a bit of a mineral quality. If you like Pinto Grigio, you will love it. I recommend trying both Donnafugata and Stemmari’s grillo wines.
My friend Jocelyn and I spent an evening catching up and dining on Buck’s fried chicken and wine while watching Scandal. We paused the show to talk so often it took three hours to watch the episode, but it was so much fun.
Siena Tavern hosted some Chicago tastemakers for dinner where we tested out some potential new menu items. Bar Siena has been my new favorite restaurant, and it was fun to go back to their sister restaurant. The white chocolate sphere filled with chocolate mousse was show-stoppingly gorgeous and satisfying.
Erin and I moderated a Foodpreneurs panel at General Assembly. General Assembly offers courses and events on a wide variety of topics. We loved moderating the talk and meeting local entrepreneurs working in the food space, including the man behind Aquanaut Brewing a fantastic new local beer brewery from the same folks behind Bow Truss Coffee.
I’ve been to the Dine In AMC Theater at Block 37 twice – because it is the best movie theater in Chicago. I saw How To Be Single with my friend Lauren – we loved it and it pretty accurately described my life in New York (I was also a paralegal who discovered the power of Pedalyte to cure hangovers). Then Charles and I saw Zoolander 2 and he was more excited about the waiter service and full bar than the actual movie.
We celebrated Valentine’s Day with our friends Laura and Damien who had us over to a proper afternoon tea. It was such a gorgeous tea that I will be sharing a blog post all about it soon!
That evening we went to Balena. It’s one of my absolute favorite restaurants, and we had a wonderful meal that included a small order of Sardinian Gnocchi (which is made with pasta dough instead of potato).
Plus, I have been to Pure Barre 17 times since the last time I wrote The Rundown, and it’s working.
And that’s about it! I still can’t believe that we are already towards the end of February – time is flying!