This is the first blog post of All Hail Honeybees and I am starting with a suggestion on where to eat in the lovely windy city, Chicago. I spent my christmas break shopping and eating with my family while also trying to avoid the brutal winter weather. With only four days in the city we spent all our time feasting at 5 amazing restaurants. I hope you enjoy reading my suggestions and please feel free to suggest some of your own!
The first one is a cozy new restaurant that takes you down south while staying in Chicago’s River North neighborhood. Chicago q is the new barbecue restaurant that has their “competition style” ribs and chicken that are out-of-this-world amazing. However, everything else on the menu is also to die for; including some corn bread or Mac and Cheese, with a kick, that completes any meal. The restaurant acknowledges itself as down south comfort food with style and class.
(Photo retrieved from http://chicago.grubstreet.com/2010/10/shouse_pans_chicago_q.html).
Rick Bayless’ restaurant The Frontera Grill is a lively Mexican hot spot right down town in Streeterville. This restaurant gives a whole new twist on Mexican cuisine by having plates with many different meats and fish. My sister feasted on a savory duck dish mixed with black beans and a kicking hot Habanero sauce. I enjoyed a delicious, savory chicken with sautéed leaks and homemade tamales. While the main meals were scrumptious the desert takes it to a whole new level. The Mexican hot chocolates came in a variety of flavors. We all sampled a different one allowing the four of us to enjoy each flavor!! To top off the meal I highly recommend adding some of the homemade ice creams to the table. They come with dark chocolate or caramel sauces drizzled over and don’t be afraid to splurge because the flan is definitely a must!! The entire evening takes a new twist on ingredients and flavors creating an amazing yet authentic Mexican evening.
The third is Davanti Enoteca in Little Italy. The wait for us was two hours but the Italian cuisine made every second of the wait worth it. The atmosphere is cozy and with good company you could spend hours there feasting on delicious pizzas or specialty meats and drinking wine. Their Italian cuisine has a little twist to it making the meals unique and much more delectable. My sister and I indulged in their pizzas while my father feasted on their hamburger with bacon jam and cheese curds. The desert was a chocolate hazelnut piece of heaven that we wouldn’t let be taken away until every piece was gone. Mark my words, it was absolutely fantastic!
Next up is a restaurant that has become our favorite over the past few visits to Chicago! The Purple Pig is located right at the beginning of the Magnificent Mile, Michigan avenue. Purple Pig prides itself on hosting a variety of in-house cured meats and cheeses. The entrées are all very small and perfect for sampling. We have found that lunch is the ideal time to sneak a seat because the restaurant is small and constantly packed with customers. A few of our favorites are the roasted beet salad with goat cheese and a pistachio vinaigrette as well as the shaved brussel sprouts with Pecorino Noce and Parmigiano-Reggiano cheeses. I also strongly recommend doing a Purple Pig Platter of meats and selecting some cheeses to go along with it. If you choose a few options from every part of the menu there is no way you will leave disappointed or still hungry, but definitely craving more.
(Photo retrieved from http://chicago.metromix.com/restaurants/photogallery/photo-tour-the-purple/1698238/photo/1698227).
Last, but definitely not least, is Jam in Wicker Park. This hot spot breakfast joint is so divine we ended up dining their TWICE! The head chef is an apprentice of Charlie Trotter and definitely takes breakfast to a whole new level. Their most famous entrée is the soft-boiled egg wrapped in sausage and then deep-fried. It sounds intense but is an absolute MUST when you visit Jam. Their Eggs Benedict and other traditional dishes are not so traditional, but that is what we felt made them sooo much better. We tested many options on the menu but I am confident to say that anything one orders would send your taste buds on a ride of their life.
Bon Appetit in the Windy City.