Happy Friday everyone! Chicago is buzzing with excitement leading up to the holidays. I have been keeping very busy working on Thanksgiving and Christmas content for the site, and attending some fantastic events. Big plans for my home office are underway, and I am just waiting for my new desks to arrive for the office. Right now I am blogging from a makeshift space on my dining room table. Having a space dedicated to blogging has been something I have been dreaming of ever since we moved and I can’t wait for the office to come together (and to share photos of the finished space).
Today I went to an event at the new Verizon Destination Store on Michigan Avenue (pictured above). I’ve been using Verizon since I moved to Chicago – they were the only wireless service that worked in my first apartment. So when Verizon recruited me for their #MoreChicago team, I was excited to try out new tech knowing that getting the best new technology would only help me make this blog better. For the past two weeks I have been using a Droid Turbo, and its 21 megapixel camera is perfect for taking food photos on the go. It’s a fitting phone for Instragram addicts and bloggers. Here is a little recap of what the Droid Turbo and I have been up to:
Little Goat Bread relaunched as Little Goat Bakery after learning that their customers loved their cakes, cookies, and pastries just as much as their breads. Little Goat Bakery has a reputation for making creative cakes. The Girl & The Goat/Little Goat pastry chef Mathew Rice created Stephanie Izard’s wedding cake and it made big news – because it had a Cheez-It layer. Both Chefs Izard and Rice seem to be fascinated by reinventing their favorite food from childhood. Chef Rice made a massive cake inspired by Little Debbie Oatmeal Creme Pies. My husband “doesn’t like sweets”, but he liked that cake so much that he ditched the fork and ate it with his hands. You can try the cakes at restaurants, or you can order a whole cake.
Charles and I checked out Parlor, a new pizza joint on Green Street in the West Loop. When multiple people are raving about a restaurant, I figure that it must be good, and Parlor did not disappoint. We started off with the Maple Bacon Buffalo Chicken Wings, which had a nice sweet/spicy flavor. And then…
We fell for the “I Feel Like Bacon Love” pizza. Apparently, the theme of our meal was bacon. This gourmet pizza was topped with a leek béchamel, bacon, potatoes, white cheddar, and scallions. Chicagoans love potatoes on their pizza even more than deep dish pizza right now and I am 100% on board with this trend. (Go ahead and debate me in the comments if you disagree). It is probably a good thing that we don’t live inside Parlor’s delivery zone… I would have an addiction.
I finally tried the burger at Farmhouse, my favorite restaurant in River North, after dining there over a dozen times. I had lunch with my WCBC babes to make some plans for 2015.
Speaking of the Windy City Blogger Collective, we have hosted some great events this month! We kicked November off with a cocktail party at The Library Bar at the Public Hotel (which is also home to The Pump Room). The hotel is celebrating it’s 75th anniversary, it truly is a Chicago classic, and to honor the landmark anniversary the bar and restaurant have rolled out a 1938 cocktail menu full of drinks that were popular the year they opened their doors.
The drinks include a great variety. At the party (which actor Colin Egglesfield crashed by the way) the bourbon cocktail, the Boulevardier was served in a flask. We all felt like we were up to something naughty as we sipped it. Other drinks included the Daisy, a gin based drink with a lemon flavor, and the Chicago Fizz a creamy rum based cocktail. The throwback menu is seriously fun and the Library Bar as a quiet cozy atmosphere that is perfect for date night or a girls night.
Then WCBC hosted an event with my favorite wine and cheese shop, Pastoral. We were spoiled with a night of wine and cheese tasting while we learned about Pastoral’s holiday gift offerings. To celebrate Pastoral’s 10th anniversary the shop has created gift baskets named after Chicago neighborhoods. Both the gift baskets and the monthly cheese, wine, and pairing clubs would be a great gift for the cheese lover.
Before it turned cold in Chicago, I went on an epic hunt for gourds. Apparently everyone buys their gourds in October, since Treasure Island, Jewel, Whole Foods, and Michael’s were sold out. I took a pit stop at Blue Door Farmstand for lunch during my journey. The cafe has one of the best lunches in Chicago. I ordered the 1/2 salad and 1/2 sandwich. This is the cobb salad, and the pumpkin sage grilled cheese… and ate every bite.
I spent a chilly Sunday baking while my friend Regan took photos. I will be sharing the recipes, and Regan’s photos with you next week.
My friend Anne and I went to the opening of Wollensky’s Grill – a chic new bar/restaurant beside the Chicago River and beneath Smith and Wollensky at 318 North State Street. This is an ideal location for a post work weekday happy hour.
Charles and I went on a triple date with my blogging friends Emily and Kelly and their husbands. Our dinner at Balena was just like a middle school dance. The men and women didn’t interact at all. We started things off with the Brussels Sprout Pizza which is a season Fall menu item that I look forward to each year.
Then I had the cacio e pepe, which I have a documented obsession with.
This month I contributed my first post to The Everygirl, one of the best blogs in the blogosphere, that is run by two of the absolute sweetest ladies in Chicago.
And, this week I have been sharing my favorite Thanksgiving recipes with you! Next week I am continuing the Thanksgiving theme with The Complete Thanksgiving Guide, a recipe for a Sparkling Cranberry Cocktail, and some simple Halfway Homemade desserts.
Have a wonderful weekend everyone!
As a Verizon #MoreChicago Lifestyle Blogger I’m a member of a pretty cool team of influencers. I have received a Motorola Droid Turbo (with a line of service) from Verizon. No additional compensation was provided nor did I promise positive feedback. All opinions are my own.