Friday, April 25, 2014

Spring Chicago Night Out

One of the best times to visit Chicago is Easter Weekend. There's a small chance of nice weather and cheap hotel rates. We used Hotwire to get a 4-Star hotel in the Magnificent Mile Area for under $100 with tax. Overnight parking adds on another $50.

This year we spent Thursday night in the city since we both had Friday off from work. After a long trip in due to traffic we checked into our hotel in record time and hit the streets. Our first stop was The Disney Store on Michigan Avenue, which was around the corner from our hotel. After that we hit Jake Melnik's. Jake's is a casual BBQ place with a decent beer menu that we usually always end up visiting.....

After a beer we headed up Rush Street towards our dinner location. Before the trip Dave mapped out a couple of bars that might be interesting to visit. The first one was closed for a private event. Instead of traveling north a few more blocks we decided to land in Hugo's Frog Bar. First impressions were it was a little small and too brightly lit. However, they had a good selection of signature cocktails, beers, wines, a pleasant bartender, and a live piano man singing. We hung out here before venturing off to dinner at Table Fifty-Two.

The first thing we need to tell you about Table Fifty-Two is that it is on 52 WEST Elm, and not 52 East Elm as communicated to us by Siri. After a few minute delay we made it to our dining destination.

Holly had an interest in this restaurant for a while. Yelp! Reviews were dinging the place for bad service and being overpriced. We don't buy into the overpriced statements. Folks have the internet where menus, and sometime even pictures of the food, are available. Diners nowadays have all the resources to make educated decisions based on price. On top of that, these were actually decent prices for a nice restaurant in the tourist area. Our experience with the service was completely opposite of the Yelp! reviews.

The downstairs room where we ate was quaint. Everything matched the southern theme of the restaurant. Our server was prompt with taking our wine order and bringing us our amuse buche of a cheese filled pastry.

Holly chose the Deviled Egg appetizer (which was only $4 - liked them) and Dave had the Shrimp and Grits. Absolutely the best grits he ever had.

For main dishes Holly enjoyed the Buttermilk Fried Chicken and Dave chose the Berkshire Pork Chop with Laurel Aged Rice, Walnut, Ancho Chili, Pineapple-Plantain Chutney. This was right up his alley. Thankfully, this was a proper southern restaurant and pecan pie was on the menu - again, the best ever.

Our waitress and water attendant were on-game all night (the waitress even told a patron to turn off the Youtube she was watching on her phone) and chef Art Smith stopped by our table to check on us three times. A really nice evening.


The Drawing Room's private event was over and we were able to get some seats at the small bar in the basement, this place was all about the "art of the cocktail" with ingredients in droppers and liqueurs we never heard of. Holly got the old stand-by vodka soda and Dave a Blanton's on the rocks. The lounge was nice and quiet, but we weren't in the mood for "art of the cocktail" tonight. We left the Drawing Room and hit another favorite, The Bar at the Peninsula Hotel. It's a real comfy lounge with a fireplace and great people watching. We watched a tipsy couple fight (we think it was an affair) and some girls come in that talked like the #Selfie song lady. After a couple signature cocktails filled with mint and berries we called it a night. We had plans the next morning at The Museum of Science and Industry.


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