Chicago. The Weekend.

I know it sounds crazy, but Andrew and I went to Chicago for the weekend. To eat.

We booked a great hotel (We love Kimpton. Love. So much so that they warrant two links. Hehe.)

I had a really busy week last week. So busy that I didn’t get a pedicure despite the fact that I wanted to wear my cutest sandals out to dinner in Chicago. I know, shocking.

So, after we checked into our hotel, I went around the corner to remedy this situation. Yes, I went all the way to Chicago to get a pedi. I got a quick manicure since i was there anyway. Hehe. Andrew amused himself and walked around a bit until i was finished. And then we did some walking together. Me, of course, being careful not to mess up my nails.

And then? Then it was time to get ready for our night at Alinea. Andrew had been looking forward to this night more than I can actually explain. I am not saying I was making fun of him about it. Just saying that it was intense. Very.

So the cab dropped us off in front of this unmarked building. And we walked in the pretty, double doors.
And so it begins.

I was dark. There were glass vases hanging. And it smelled herby and beautiful and we walked down the hall… and a door opened. We were there.

I don’t really know how to explain what this night was. But I’ll show you. Still, you have to know the pictures don’t do it justice. It was just crazy. And more delicious than anything I’ve ever had. And fun. And entertaining. As a bonus, we had a blast “hanging out” with our next door table friends. This was a really bonding experience.

Gabriella and Broen
Gabriella and Jeroen

Without further ado. Our meal.

Osetra, classical
Osetra, classical
Rabbit, cherry blossom, smoke, wasabi
Rabbit, cherry blossom, smoke, wasabi
Scallop, citrus aroma, fourteen textures
Scallop, citrus aroma, fourteen textures
Dungeness Crab,  squash blossom, cardamom, saffron . Cotton candy, translucent blossom
Dungeness Crab, squash blossom, cardamom, saffron . Cotton candy, translucent blossom
Binchotan, Tokyo inspiration. Toro, Wagyu, pork Belly, Shrimp head
Binchotan, Tokyo inspiration. Toro, Wagyu, pork Belly, Shrimp head
Veal Cheeks, lapsang souchong, pine, blackberry . Great aroma from smoldering pine needles
Veal Cheeks, lapsang souchong, pine, blackberry . Great aroma from smoldering pine needles
Hot Potato, cold potato, black truffle, butter. Pull pin, then swallow contents.  On menu since restaurant first opened.
Hot Potato, cold potato, black truffle, butter. Pull pin, then swallow contents. On menu since restaurant first opened.

Next was duck – 5 ways. While I’m struggling to find the photo of the foie gras, mouselline, duck breast, rillettes, braised duck thigh… here is a photo of the 60 garnishes to mix and match with the duck options. Word fail me.

Duck accoutrements
Duck accoutrements
Ginger,  five other flavors . Eat it right to left, tumeric in the middle
Ginger, five other flavors . Eat it right to left, tumeric in the middle

Black Truffle, explosion, romaine, parmesan. One bite, keep your lips closed.  On menu since restaurant opened.
Black Truffle, explosion, romaine, parmesan. One bite, keep your lips closed. On menu since restaurant opened.
Balloon helium, green apple. The best fruit leather you ever had
Balloon helium, green apple. The best fruit leather you ever had

Gabriella with her balloon.

AND Gabriella took a vid of me and my balloon. With some hesitation, I’m posting it here. I’m still laughing.

Then there was this great strawberry course. I can’t find my photo. Sorry. It was great, though.

Fizzy, foamy sweet tart raspberry soda
Fizzy, foamy sweet tart raspberry soda
Milk Chocolate,  pate sucree, violet, hazelnut
Chef Achatz preparing the final course
Milk Chocolate,  pate sucree, violet, hazelnut
Milk Chocolate, pate sucree, violet, hazelnut

This was truly an experience. It’s *possible* that I made fun of Andrew for wanting to do this, but it was an incredible night.

The rest of the weekend? Really great! Here are some highlights.

Millenium Park - Chicago (Hey, that's us!)
Millenium Park – Chicago (Hey, that’s us!)
Chicago view
Chicago view

We did a lot of walking – and spent a bunch of time along the lake. It also possible I stopped at the Brow Bar on Michigan Avenue for a quick wax.

Lake Michigan
Lake Michigan

Visited some friends.

Scary guy.
Scary guy.

And had another incredible meal out.

Girl and the Goat
Girl and the Goat

Now, we’re home. Hard to believe this was all one weekend. One incredible weekend. It’s been a great night sharing stories with two of our guys – both of whom had great experiences to share (one was in NY, the other in Wisconsin). Our third comes home tomorrow.

And then, we’re whole.

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2 thoughts on “Chicago. The Weekend.

  1. I am consumed with envy at your experience, which you documented with tantalizing thoroughness. I especially loved the dessert vid. Thank you for letting me tag along on your amazing adventure!

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