Margaritas in May

FullSizeRender(19).jpgIf you know anything about me, I enjoy two kinds of drinks: a glass of Cabernet and a mezcal margarita with salt.  But margaritas can be overly sweet, watered down, or just really, really bad. Whether it is Cinco de Mayo or a warm day in Chicago, a margarita is the perfect cocktail to sip on. To help you get your buzz on,  I have rounded up a few of my favorite marg’s around the city. Read more at CGL Food

The First Haircut

The First Haircut

Ok, moms. We did it. We finally got Noah’s first haircut. After 14 months, I finally gave in and realized I no longer have a baby, but a growing toddler that needed a haircut. Desperately.

It wasn’t really about his hair or whether or not he would behave in the chair, but more about getting over the fact that he is growing and growing FAST. With all my anxiety, I needed to find place to calm my nerves and also find a salon great with children. Through lots of research, I found Kid Snips. With 8 locations in Chicago and surrounding suburbs, stylists that specialize with toddlers and kids, my hesitations were put to rest. Read more at CGL BabyFullSizeRender(13)

CGL Food: My Top 5 BYO Spots

BYO (bring your own booze, beer or wine) is one of those great restaurant qualities that so many seek out when dining. When I lived in New York City in my twenties, I couldn’t believe that there weren’t any BYO options, especially since everyone I knew was on a tight budget. Chicago has an abundance of BYO options ranging from casual to upscale dining. I have rounded up a list of my favorite spots throughout the city.  Read more on CGL Food

Date Night (or day)

Where to go on the next date? A night or few hours during the day away from the kids? So many places…let me make it a little easier for you.

DAY

The Allis at Soho– This is a trendy, nice brunch or lunch spot during the day. The former belting factory has now transformed into a hotel, bar and restaurant. Allis is the name of the former factory owners. My husband and I sat at the bar and sat for two hours just checking out the scene, sipping yummy crafted cocktails and eating.Pull up a spot at the bar, grab a cocktail and watch your food be prepared or drink stirred. The decor and people watching, and well crafted cocktails (had the Nobel Roselle- I love anything with mezcal) will have you stay awhile  The architecture is fascinating with old brick walls and vintage chandeliers. Prices are comparable for the location and they also serve afternoon tea.

City Winery (Riverwalk)- I love City Winery in the West Loop, but when they opened on the Riverwalk, I was so excited! Grab a glass or two of wine and watching the boats and people pass by. You can even bar hop along the Riverwalk. Or grab the water taxi at Michigan Avenue (an all day pass is $8.00 dollars) and go up and down the river.

NIGHT

Semiramis– This was the second date my husband and I went on (first was a Cubs game). My husband loves Mediterranean food and claimed this was some of the best in the city. I can now agree. It’s located in Albany Park right next to the brown line, BYOB and has the best hummus I’ve ever had. Their lentil soup is my favorite as well  They do take reservations, but it’s a small, quaint place and can get really crowded on the weekends.  No outdoor seating, so it’s perfect when the weather isn’t cooperating.

Osteria Langhe-It’s just amazing. I can’t say enough wonderful things about this place. Their Plin (always add truffles when it’s an option) are pillows of happiness filled with butter and thyme. And their wine list is very impressive. My husband had the rabbit and said it was the best meal of his life. It’s romantic and the food is so beautiful, it’s a conversation piece. They have happy hour Monday-Thursday from 5:30-7pm, which is half price cocktails. On Tuesdays, they have three courses for $38 dollars, which I highly recommend. Reservations are definitely needed.

These are just 4 places I love, but there are oh so many more places in the city. Cheers to love and wine!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Spring Fever, a Budget and a Baby

Happy Thursday! With the birth of my son this past February (see little man below) and the changing weather, I have a serious case of spring fever. I’ve also missed out on some good wine and yummy food in the past 10 months, so now is the time. Now what to do with a 3 month old? I’ve done a lot of exploring, knowing I shouldn’t overspend, and compiled a list of adult “kid” friendly fun places.

  1.  Whole Foods– Yes, Whole Foods. Sounds boring. But at the DePaul location, every Friday is Five for Five from 5-7pm. Five dollars for five wine tastings. With generous pours, food pairings and an opportunity to get groceries, it’s perfect. No problem with babe in the stroller and even left with some recipes. Plus, you get a 10 dollar off coupon for the next day if you spend 50 dollars or more (very easy to do at Whole Foods). Great deal and a good time with hubs and friends.                         959 West Fullerton 5-7pm $5 dollars
  2. Punt and Plume– A neighborhood wine and spirits store, “where everybody knows your name” kind of vibe. Doors always open and you’ll be greeted by the friendly neighborhood dog. The room is a little small, but the stroller was easy and there’s a ramp on the side of the building. Every Thursday and Friday, there are FREE wine tastings from 6-8pm with light snacks. We left with some really great wines, which we tasted. Always a plus. Wasn’t too long, so babe was great in the stroller and we were home in time for bedtime. http://www.puntandplume.com/mobile-main                                                                    1324 W. Wrightwood 6-8pm Thursday and Friday’s, Saturday’s (times and days may change) FREE
  3. Earls Restaurant– I have a small obsession with New City, the new mini mall on Clybourn and North Avenue. Indoor parking, a movie theatre, shopping, Mariano’s and restaurants, it’s a one stop shop. Hubs and I had a lunch date with babe and were impressed by the food, beer and wine list. I easily breastfed, no worries and felt very comfortable. There was lots of space for the stroller and the staff was very accommodating. My favorite, the Watchmacallit Chardonnay (only available at Earls) literally tastes like butter, it’s my favorite. Amazing. https://instagram.com/p/BB-yQrBTH9k/. They have a great soup, sandwich, and salad menu. I had the Santa Fe Salad and it was great and big. Portions are easily shared. Overall, it’s nice addition to Lincoln Park. They also have happy hour and a patio to check out as well.                1538 North Clybourn Avenue Unit A108 Average bill ranges. 
  4. Knife and Tine- FREE bar snacks (bar only) from 4-6pm from Monday through Friday. A little bit more challenging with a stroller, but can easily be done. Might be easier wearing baby, but stroller is not an issue. The staff easily checked the stroller at the hostess stand. Bartenders swear brunch is a big baby spot. The Shisisto peppers are a must snack on the menu (see below). Wine, beer, and cocktails are also half off from 4-6pm. Enough said.                        1417 W Fullerton FREE Bar snacks Monday-Friday 4-6pm, half off beer, wine and cocktails