A Stroll down Southport Corridor (adults only)

The Southport Corridor may be known for strollers, moms and boutiques, but recently, there has been a surge in places for adults to play. So ditch those strollers, grab a glass of wine, and take a peek into some adult friendly places popping up on the Southport Corridor.

Coda Di Volpe-Ā  Boasting Southern Italian fare like pizza, steak and seafood, they are most known for their Neapolitan pizza that comes with a side scissors to cut your own slices. Chef Thompson brings his own flair with a seasonal menu, house-cured meats, along with a contemporary vibe that all creates a great spot on Southport.

Coda has a great wine list (award winning in fact) and a creative cocktail menu.Ā  As for starters, my absolute favorite appetizer is the goat cheese with beets appetizer (I am not sure this is on the menu anymore, sigh…) and the pork & prosciutto Meatballs.

Howā€™s your Friday night looking? #chicago #tailofthefox

A post shared by Coda Di Volpe (@cdvolpe_chi) on

IMG_1417

Goat Cheese and Beets Appetizer

Next, pizza! The Funghi and Diavolo pizza are both delicious, but really, they all look fantastic.Ā  Thompson crafts traditional VPN-certified Neapolitan pizzas served with authentic pizza shears that adds an element of fun to the dining experience.

Next up, pasta. All the pastas are made in-house and available gluten free upon request. A stand out dish is theĀ Trombette Trapanese made with Coda’sĀ fennel sausage, tomato, almond, garlic, and basil. It’s also just beautiful to look at.

They are also now serve brunch on the weekend. Itā€™s perfect for date night or a night out with the ladies.

Ella Elli- The newest addition to the 4 star restaurant group, is the wine bar, Ella Elli. This sexy, romantic spot is so swanky, I felt like I had been transported downtown to a fancy hotel in River North. The over sized lanterns, fireplace and couches, make for THE perfect date night spot.

We love Fridays! Stop in for a drink at the bar before we fill up! šŸ“ø: @nadia.ryan

A post shared by Ella Elli (@ellaellichicago) on

Ā The wine list is extensive, but Pinot Noir Rose by Willamette Valley really paired nicely with our cheese board.Ā  We also tried the creamy mushroom toast with creme faiche and thyme, this would make me come back. Everything isĀ presented beautifully and our server paired everything really well with our wine.

IMG_1431

Ella Elli

They have pizza great for sharing, pasta and burgers. The burger is supposed to be outstanding, as well as their brunch menuĀ  When I visited, we shared the charcuterieĀ  and toasts, which really can be a meal in itself. Next time, the burger is on my list.

@Eater_Chicago named our pizzas as some of the hottest in Chicago!! Have you tried them yet?

A post shared by Ella Elli (@ellaellichicago) on

If you need a date night, Ella Elli should absolutely be on your list.

Tied House– Just opening in February 2018, this is brand new on Southport. The reviews are rolling in and everything aboutĀ Tied HouseĀ has been outstanding.

Schubas TavernĀ has been around for three decades, and now there is a new additionĀ  with the opening of Tied House,Ā the ownersā€™ new restaurant next door. The modern architecture and the courtyard that separates the restaurant from Schubas with a giant outdoor fireplace just dazzles from the inside and out.

Schubas will continue to have the same menu, Tied House’s chef, Debbie Gold (who happens to beĀ  James Beard Award-winning chef) to create her own menu, including short rib, crudo, porridge with beets and house made ice cream.

Tied House will be perfect for pre and post concerts and is a great addition to the area looking for more “adult” friendly dining.

With so many options now on Southport, there is really something for everyone.

Until next time.

Christine

 

Advertisements

Bring Your Own Date and Booze: My Favorite BYO Spots in the City

Gold Fancy National Wine Day Social Media Graphic

BYO (bring your own booze, beer or wine) is one of those great restaurant qualities thatĀ  many look for when dining out. It’s cheaper (usually), much more casual and a great place to dine with groups.Ā Chicago has an abundance of BYO options ranging from casual to upscale dining, so I have rounded up a list of my favorite spots throughout the city.

Sushi Mon – Located in Lincoln Park, this BYO sushi restaurant has a wide variety of sushi rolls, sushi bowls, pressed sushi and an impressive list of veggie rolls. My personal favorites are the Godzilla, V6 and Sparking rolls (see all three below). They recently expanded from one tiny room to now a much bigger space. The service is friendly, prices are great and no corkage fee. Go check it out and tell them I sent you šŸ™‚

Sushi mon is a BYOB in lincoln park

Various Rolls at Sushi Mon

Sushi Mon:Ā 2441 N Clark St, Chicago, IL 60614

90 Miles Cuban Cafe– My family has been coming to 90 Miles for years now for their traditional Cuban cuisine. We have celebrated graduations, anniversaries and birthdays here. It is huge, has an outdoor seating and the decor all make for a fun dining atmosphere. The empanadas and ropa vieja are not to be missed, some of the best I have ever had (sorry mother-in-law!)

20131217-277465-90-miles-cuban-cafe-avocado-salad-with-churrasco.JPG

Photo by Lindsey Howald Patton

The service is top-notch, especially since thereĀ are many large groups at time. They take reservations and it is definitely recommended. In addition to being BYOB, they have a sangria and mojito mix, so bring wine or rum they will make you a cocktail. There are a few locations in the city. To find out more information, clickĀ here.

1.Ā 3333 W Touhy Ave, Lincolnwood, IL 60712

2. 3101 N Clybourn Ave, Chicago, IL 60618

3. 2540 W Armitage Ave, Chicago, IL 60647

Home Bistro Chicago– The first time I dined at the cozy and quaint Home Bistro, was on a date (with my now husband years ago) when we first started dating. Located in Lakeview, with a constant changing New American menu, along with no corkage fee, this is the ideal date night spot.Ā  They have an option for a prix fix on Wednesdays andĀ Sunday brunch. For parties of 7 of more, they have a family style prix fixed menu at $45/person. They take reservations and are highly recommended.

Photo from Home Bistro

Home Bistro Chicago:Ā 3404 N Halsted St, Chicago, IL 60657

Caro Miro- For our very first Valentine’s Day (7 years ago…), we came to the Italian BYO Caro Miro and have gone several times since. Located in Ravenswood, this cozy, neighborhood spot has homemade pastas with huge portions, big enough to share. The pesto filled gnocchi is the best and chicken parmesan is also another favorite. There is not a corkage fee, but if you plan on sharing entrees, there is a $4 sharing fee. They recently expanded their dining room and take parties to up to 80 people now. Reservations are taken for parties of 4 or more. Bring your appetite and a bottle or two for some delicious Italian food.

Gnocchi Gratinati @ Caro Mio Italian Restaurant

Photo from Food Spotting.com

Caro Miro:Ā 1833 W Wilson Ave, Chicago, IL 60640

Semiramis- This LebaneseĀ restaurant is intimate, welcoming and the food is fantastic. I love the mixed grilled platter, falafel, and hummus are delicious. There is plenty of street parking, but it is located right off the Kedzie Brown Line stop. There is a corkage fee and don’t take reservations, but so worth the wait. Promise.

semiramis.jpg

Photo from @TammyGreen

Semiramis: 639 N Kedzie Ave, Chicago, IL 60625

There are plenty of BYO restaurants to choose from in Chicago and a little something for everyone. Now get those appetites and bottles poppin’. šŸ™‚

Until next time…

Christine

Ā Recap: Taste Talks

Taste Talks is a 3 day national series filled with seminars, tastings, dinners and parties. It is an intimate way to bring amazing chefs, restaurants and influencers together to engage in conversations through Q & A, demos and sampling. I was fortunate enough to attend the conference on Saturday and the cookout the following day. More about this eventĀ on Chicago Taste Talks.Ā Ā Read more atĀ Travel & City Adventures

Chicago Gourmet Recap: 5 products I discovered

Chicago Gourmet is one of those events I had been wanting to attend for a long time. I finally had the opportunity and was thrilled to be among the best chefs, restaurants and brands in the world. Lucky for me, it was extra special because Chicago Gourmet was celebrating their 10th anniversary.

The week long event is thrown by the Illinois Restaurant Association along with the title sponsor Bon Appetit magazine every year in Millennium Park. It brings together renowned chefs, restaurants and wine and spirits. There are tastings, book signings, cooking demos, and wine and cocktail seminars throughout the event. It is truly a “foodie” experience.

This was my first year attending and it will not be my last. I sampled everything from Thai food, types of honey, wine, sliders, charcuterie, truffle mac & cheese and so on. I left discovering so many products I fell in love with. Even a few from brands I have never heard of. Read more atĀ Restaurants & Recipes

Old is New Again: The Berghoff

My parents grew up going toĀ The BerghoffĀ in downtown Chicago. Most Chicagoanā€™s probably have. I used to go as a kid, but the last time I was there, I was in high school. In fact, I thought for the longest time it was closed. Recently, I had the opportunity to dine and tour the restaurant and was so impressed. Not only because of the history, but the revival of the menu. Ā The Berghoff is known for their German food like Weiner Schnitzelā€™s, bratwursts and giant Bavarian pretzels. Of course, those dishes are legendary, but there are new additions to the menu that are more modern and appealing to a younger generation. More contemporary dishes that even include certified gluten-free options. But first, let me tell you about the history and how it all began.Ā 

IMG_0964

The Berghoff has been around since 1898, and is rich in Chicago history. Ā Herman Berghoff posted right outside the Chicagoā€™s World Fair in 1893, similar to a pop-up cafe. His success from that, is how he made enough money to bring his family to Chicago and open his cafe. Ā 

BerghoffCafe1920's

Berghoff_Bar-ProhibitionEnds1935

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

End of Prohibition- 1935 (Photo Courtesy of The Berghoff)

During the prohibition, the bar remained opened by selling a ā€œNear Beerā€ which contained less than 0.5% alcohol. This made it possible for Herman to sell and stay open. After prohibition ended, The Berghoff was issued Chicagoā€™s first Liquor License. Chicago has honored this every year and they will always receive the first license.

IMG_7307

The Berghoff had a separate menā€™s only bar until 1969, when Gloria Steinem demanded service and this ended the male-only streak.

Berghoff-Cafe-East-Room-Row-Dining-2

Now for the food. We sampled a lot of everything, some classic dishes and contemporary ones. I also had the opportunity to meet Chef Matt and Chef Javier. Their love for not only the food, but their passion for working at the restaurant shined through. They have been at the restaurant for years and are dedicated to making great food. Chef Matt went into detail on how everything is made in house.Ā With a bakery and 4 kitchens in the 50,000 square feet space, everything is made on site. That is something unique and many Chicago restaurants canā€™t claim.Ā To take a closer look at the behind the scenes in the bakery, lookĀ here.

Berghoff_Chef Matt.jpg

IMG_8605.jpg

With all that being said, my top 3 dishes are:

3. Red Velvet Cake- I am not usually one for dessert or sweets in general, but this red velvet cake is fluffy with the right amount of sweetness. Served with a side of vanilla ice cream, this dessert will make anyone go out of their way to dine here.

IMG_7303

2. Braised Short Ribs- This is fantastic. Melts in your mouth good. Served with a side of mashed potatoes and topped with fried onions. The textures are just right. Perfect comfort food during the cooler months.

IMG_0971

1.Butternut Squash Lasagna- Layered with diced butternut squash and Manchego, then topped with grilled asparagus and glazed walnuts, it is outstanding. The combination of the sweetness from the squash with the cheese is perfect. It is light enough to eat year-round and vegetarians should go crazy over it. Definitely a stand out dish.

IMG_0972

The Berghoff is also known forĀ Oktoberfest. This runs from September 7th- October 7th. With live music and food specials, it will put you in the mood for the fall festivities ahead.

Whether you are from Chicago or here to visit, The Berghoff is a must stop for great food and some Chicago history.

Until next timeā€¦

Christine

 

SafeHouse with our Junior Spy

We are always on the hunt for fun activities to do as a family. Things that are different and unique, but still kid friendly. We recently went as a family to the spy-themed restaurant,Ā SafehouseĀ onĀ 60 E. Ontario in River North and had such an adventure! This was probably the most unique dining experiences we have had in Chicago. I am usually not one for themed restaurants, but they go all out and stay in “character” the entire time. Ā There is so much for everyone to do, you could spend hours just exploring. But not only is it entertaining for the entire family, the food is INCREDIBLE. Read more atĀ Motherhood & Family

Recipe Review: Brown Sugar BBQ Chicken from Delish

FullSizeRender (8)My husband recently was having a rough day at work and I wanted to prepare a meal for him that I knew would make him feel better. He loves BBQ and Bourbon, so I found Delishā€™s recipe, Brown Sugar BBQ to make sandwiches. It is made with Bourbon, so I knew this would be the right recipe. Read more atĀ Restaurant Reviews & Recipes

Jinya Ramen

I love a good ramen place, but recently, this city is being overcome by them. I feel like there is one every few blocks, it makes it hard to find one that stands out. So many places skimp out on the noodles and protein and it is just a bowl of salt. So when Fab Food Chicago invited me check out Jinya Ramen BarĀ at 553 W. Diversey Pkwy in Lakeview, I jumped at the chance to try a new place with hopes of it being great. Read more atĀ CGL Food

Toddler Meal Planning Made Easy- Little Harvest

IMG_4084.JPG

As soon as Noah started to eat solids around 6 months, my husband and I were so excited for him to try EVERYTHING. Our plan was to cook all his meals ourselves, meal prep for the week and have him it only the best, organic food. Well, fast forward to 16 months now, we haven’t been as good. Meal prep is hard for us sometimes, because like everyone, we are busy. So I did a little searching and found read more atĀ CGL Baby.

Quest for the Best *Thin Pizza Only

There are a few things that can get me out of the house during winter hibernation or away from my summer Netflix and Chill; pizza, Ā wine and maybe a manicure. If Iā€™m desperate enough.

There are so many good places in Chicago to eat a good slice, but I canā€™t stand deep dish. Except, maybe when Iā€™m hungover. Or pregnant. One of those happens more than the other. Ā But really, Iā€™m a thin crust kind of girl. I have narrowed it down to just three, but there are so many more options in the city. Read more at CGL Food