For my twenty-first birthday a few of us decided to go to Chicago to bring in a new year of birthdays. With many of us having birthdays in March it was a collaborative celebration and of course accompanied with great food.
To celebrate the big day with my mother and sister we went on a wild goose chase to finally choose Le Colonial, which ended up being completely fitting for my first meal as a legal adult. Le Colonial is a French Vietnamese restaurant located downtown Chicago. Their beyond unique interpretations of French food cooked in Vietnamese styles was most definitely a treat. We started with an array of appetizers sampling dishes like the Goi Ga Cuon and Bo Bia. The ingredients were fresh and the flavors were wildly amazing. For dinner we all shared some delectable curries and a unique twist on a salad. Finally for desert they surprised us with a specially made desert that was sweetly out-of-this-world and mouth-watering!
We ended the night at my uncle’s downtown lounge, Pop’s For Champagne to of course enjoy some champagne on the house. The rest of theweek we sampled all sorts of cuisines allowing us to travel around Chicago pleasing out taste buds.
Next up was Xoco for breakfast, which is one of Rick Bayless’ restaurants that serves a mean mexican influenced Huevos Rancheros and empanadas along with a long list of tapas for lunch and homemade soft serve ice cream. The breakfast is only served until 10am so it is a must to get up and out of bed bright and early. It is also a must to try the Torreja which is a wood-oven cooked french toast. It is a perfect sweet treat topped with maple syrup and local Gunthrop bacon-pecan sprinkles!
The last meal with my family was at Piccolo Sogno which has become one of my favorites in Chicago. The atmosphere sits you at small tables surrounded by loud conversations that make you feel like you are dining in a villa in Italy. Our little old Italian waiter helped us sample some of the chef’s best Italian meats and cheeses on their tapas platter. I feasted on a duck dish paired with a polenta loaf and a divine glass of wine. I have been here only once before but the small menu has always left me wanting more.
Now it was time for mama bear to leave and my friends to arrive so the real 21st birthday celebrations could begin. We started our Chicago adventures at Topo Gigio in Lincoln Park. This cozy old Italian restaurant was perfect for our large group and bottles of wine. I ordered the special pasta and yet again they surprised me with a feast of deserts. All the meals were looking and smelling fantastic but the best was the fun lively atmosphere and great company! After our drinks and desert we scooted off to Second City and enjoyed the rest of our night filled with laughs.
The next day was filled with hitting all the shops on Michigan avenue only a few blocks from our hotel. For a quick meal that cures any hunger craving I definitely recommend M Burger. I have heard my friends talk about M Burger before and as an ex vegetarian searching for a good burger from time to time I had to sample it myself. The restaurant is the size of a dream walk-in closet and there are only about 8 seats with 3 burgers on the menu including a few other sandwich options. They know to keep it simple and do things right! No matter what you like on your burger I guarantee you will leave satisfied from M Burger.
The rest of the weekend was filled with cute cocktails and shopping sprees leaving us to dread reality, but as always bon appetit and cheers to us.