Hotel: Sheraton Grand Chicago Would I stay again? Maybe. The location was not too convenient to where my client meetings were but the room was clean, I was able to grab a quick breakfast and bottled waters in the lounge and my room had a good view of the river.
Lunch: Frontera Grill
Would I dine again? Yes. I have walked by this restaurant so many times and always thought, I must eat here. Well, after 10 years of traveling to Chicago I did and it was great. It was a Tuesday so I ordered the pork milanesa lunch special – Crunchy-coated pork shoulder, roasted tomato-serrano sauce, black beans, pickled red onions served with an arugula salad. Delish!
Dinner: Portsmith Would I dine again? No. I was underwhelmed by my whole experience. The restaurant was empty, my meal- shellfish risotto- was just ok and there are too many other spots to try in this city.
Lunch: Tanta Chicago
Would I dine again? Yes. Yes. Yes. My lunch was fabulous and I think it is because I was able to order a sampler and try various dishes. Order the power lunch marino which includes criollo cebiche, calamari jaleita, and criollo rice and you will not be disappointed.
I recently changed jobs so unfortunately I will not be visiting clients in Chicago every other month like before. The positive side…I will be heading to some new cities for other events and team meetings. So for my last trip (for a while) to Chicago, I grabbed lunch in River North(repeat visit to a great spot), had dinner with a college friend at a great Italian spot, had a solo breakfast to get me through my day and grabbed a quick bite at the restaurant in my hotel before running to O’Hare.
Siena Tavern Love this spot. The food is great, the service is great and it is so convenient in River North. After my last visit for lunch I knew I wanted to come back and I was taking a client to lunch. We started with an appetizer of octopus..and it was delicious. She opted for a salad, my other colleague did too. I lived on the edge…..”Carbonara in a Jar”. Yup, the super rich, super heavy loved by me pasta dish. They present it in a jar with the egg, shake it up and serve it table side. I eat it on the rare occasion (well, maybe more) and after making it halfway through, I called it a day with a big smile on my face.
Davanti Enoteca – Taylor Street
Time for some time with my college girlfriend and some good food. She suggested a spot in Little Italy, or close by. Lots of plates to share and great conversation. We started with the mascarpone polenta + ragù of the day(today was a slow braised pork) and it was fantastic. We then moved onto the prosciutto–veal meatballs and the brussel sprouts. If only I could eat like this every day!
Yolk I had a full day ahead of me and wasn’t sure if I would have time to grab lunch. So I walked from the Blackstone Renaissance (love this hotel) to Yolk. I needed something to keep me going for the next 8 hours and ordered Challah french toast with berries to start the day and a cup of coffee. Add the chill in the air and my day in Chicago was starting just right!
The Blackstone Renaissance has a great restaurant on the first floor. I have dined at Mercat once before and with limited time to eat and catch a flight, it was the perfect option. With a successful seminar behind me, I started with a Mojito, and then shared two small plates with a colleague. Gambas Al Ajillo (Garlic Shrimp) and Costillas de Ternera – a flatbread with Beef Shortribs, Horseradish, Parmesan and Bacon Marmalade. We ate and rushed back to O’Hare after two great dishes. How I love this city!!!