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The Rundown v. 14

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I’m ready for winter to be over, but it usually snows until mid April in Chicago, so I am going to make my escape. Next week we are heading to Puerto Rico (have you been?). Things are a bit quiet in the dead of winter in Chicago, and that is a good thing, because it’s too cold to be running around from place to place. Here are the few things that I have been up to these past view weeks.

Mon Ami Gabi

We dined at Mon Ami Gabi during restaurant week. It was our first time dining at Mon Ami Gabi, and I loved the atmosphere, and the food was definitely worth going back for.

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Finding motivation to leave home and venture out in the cold on Saturday nights is a challenge in February. If we decide to go out in the cold, we want to make the most of it. On a recent Saturday we made a plan to go to Brick’s Pizza, a quirky little pizzeria in a basement. I describe the place as lacking in atmosphere, but excelling at making pizza.

Then we went to one of our favorite rooftops, the J Parker at the Lincoln Hotel. The roof has amazing views of the lake, park, and skyline, and a glass roof was just added so that the roof can be used year round. The revamped space is being described as Chicago’s snowglobe, and it is perfect for a date night.

Pie Party

I hosted a pie party to celebrate my friend Maya’s birthday. I made two pies, a Chocolate Pie with a Pretzel Crust and a layer of Whiskey Caramel, and a Banana Cream Pie with a layer of Chocolate. Everyone came over for pie and drinks, and then we went down the street to Old Town Social. I will be sharing the pie recipes on the site soon.

Heart Shaped Eggs

On Valentine’s Day I made a festive, but simple breakfast. I bought a set of heart shaped cookie cutters, and I am cutting food into heart shapes these days.

Parlor Pizza Chicago

That evening we had a low key dinner at Parlor, one of our favorite pizzerias. (It seems we have a thing for pizza). I was very disappointed that they wouldn’t make me a heart shaped pizza – they wouldn’t even arrange the bacon on my pizza in a heart shape. Apparently they aren’t into Valentine’s Day, but the pizza is some of the best. I love the bacon, leek, and potato pie. Charles ordered the very cleverly named “Abe Froman” sausage pizza.


After dinner we went to an event hosted by Liquor Lab. Liquor Lab is an underground cocktail club that hosts pop up events. We enjoyed 6 courses of completely different cocktails in a secretive private event space in West Town. Matthew Santos, an amazing singer/songwriter performed – his cover of Stay with Me was crazy good. It was a fun way to spend Valentine’s Day. The drinks were boozy and the company was lovely. At one point Charles announced that he was “feeling quite merry”. We agreed that our favorite drink of the night was  the “Devils Honeypot” made with Devils Cut Bourbon, Lemon, Honey, and Ruby Port. Each drink was completely different, some were sweet, others were spicy, and all were remarkably creative.

The Allis

The next (very snowy) morning we went to The Allis for brunch.


On Tuesday I joined an absolutely amazing group of women at a dinner celebrating the launch of CookGirl. CookGirl’s goal is to amplify the attention being given to female chefs. There are so many incredibly talented female chefs and CookGirl wants to put on events that celebrate them, and to create a fund to help provide grants to women in the culinary industry. It was very fitting that the event was held at Little Goat, one of Stephanie Izard’s famed eateries.

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The menu included some classics from Girl & The Goat including the Roasted Cauliflower with pickled peppers, pine nuts, and mint (pictured above), and Goat Empanadas with miso-harissa aioli, queso fresco, and radish.

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My absolute favorite dish of the night, the Celery Root Pierogies with a brown butter kimchee – I could have eaten the entire place myself. To learn more about CookGirl, head over to their site, and be sure to check out the interview I did with them.

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On Wednesday I co-hosted a double baby shower for two co-workers on my team. We served up snacks and some sweet treats from Magnolia Bakery. To give the event an extra personal touch, we served each Mom’s favorite dessert. One soon-to-be Mom requested yellow cake with chocolate butter cream frosting, while the other has a thing for Magnolia Bakery’s famous banana pudding. I wish that words could explain how amazing that cake smelled. It had this rich cocoa scent, the frosting was creamy yet light and the vanilla cake was outstanding. The banana pudding was so popular that it was gobbled up immediately.


And to show camaraderie for my East Coast friends and family, I want the share the fact that I have done my fair share of shoveling lately – even though we have only gotten a fraction of the amount of snow.

Have a wonderful weekend everyone. And please leave any suggestions for Puerto Rico in the comments. We are splitting our time between San Juan and Vieques and that is all I have planned so far.

Diana Karavida

Friday 20th of February 2015

Have fun on your trip!

Heidi D.

Friday 20th of February 2015

Wow Kit, now I'm starving! Have a great vacation, I'm so over this Chicago winter.


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