Yes, this is a third entry on Chicago. I love Chicago. And yes, the title that keeps repeating is an allusion to a famous song, one that friends, long forgotten, used when I left college for Chicago. Here's Frank Sinatra singing it. Anyway, besides graham elliot and oak park and blackbird, we ate. Yep, one does. So here are a few more comments on food in Chicago.
First: the Drake which is, of course, the landmark hotel, where we stayed. It is a famous and wonderful place and looks out right at the water of Lake Michigan. Their huge pinkish sign is iconic Chicago. I never ever thought, when I lived there, I woudl stay on the Miracle Mile, let alone in the Drake. I think of it as the setting of Nella Larson's Passing, though I may be wrong. We stayed for a while, and ate there occasionally, including from the Coq D'Ur, the famous bar where, on our first night, in desperation we endured a rude bar tender (in my opinion) and between us consumed some oysters (not me), carpaccio (very good though a bit dry; ask for olive oil. And do enjoy the crisy capers) and some (in my case) lovely lovely bookbinder soup. Yes, the restaurant named Bookbinders is in Phladelphia; but hey, the soup was dandy in Chicago. We also ate breakfast once in the hotel (very good) and had room service on a day of a bad head for me -- burgers and fries. And I can say: they do a very very good burger and fries.What does urban spoon have to say? Here's their stuff on the famous bar, the Coq d'Ur:
Also in the Drake, is a lavazza coffee place. We became habitues almost we went there so often. There is a vague chance that it is called Expressions, but I may be wrong. No, I am right! Hurrah -- the wonders of google! In any case, delightful fruit salad in which all the bits were (shock of shocks) ripe and tasty. And good coffee and really really swell tea. The wait staff, perhaps better labeled counter staff, were young women with a sense of humor. And here's urban spoon's take:
And, at the Drake, we also went along to the fountain room -- for drinks one night, after learning of New York's decision to go with marriage equality and after a fun evening of gay theater (ok, I shoudl say queer, because queer it was) at the neo-futurist joint. Not to mention a history of LGBT Chicago at the Chicago History Museum. (what does it mean when --admittedly vinyl -- albums you own are hanging on the wall as a sign of history?) Anyway, at the Drake, the music was wonderful and the dancing fun (did we, we still wonder, shock the folks at the Drake?) and . . . the snacks were just tempting enough. Perhaps most wonderful, the change tossed in the fountain goes to help women and children whose lives are affected by domestic violence.
Of course, that's not all we did -- we also went out. You know that already. One of the places, where we were treated by friends, was a lovely tapas place called Cafe Ba Ba Reeba. We had a blast and have returned as sangria addicts (well, we keep threatening to make it). We ate loads of little bits, from goat cheese croquettes to salted fried peppers to (one carnivore delight) chorizo wrapped dates with cheese inside. We also had an egg and potato torte-ish thing and spicey potatoes and desserts which are lovely, small, and intensely tasty. I loved this place and not just because I loved the company and the (did I say) sangria. We got the traditional sangria (red wine and fruit) but there are others. I need to go back to Chciago to try the others. Right? Here's what 1159 (the hugest number I have ever seen on an urbanspoon gizmo) has to say:
Finally, we were out walking -- and came upon a cupcake joint. Yes, I have been watching Cupcake Wars (infelicitously named, since we should all oppose war whether figurative or literal) but still. And so we went in, all not knowing that Sprinkles is actually the place that started it all. (Yep, Candace Nelson started Sprinkles in Los Angeles.) Anyway, I was surprised when we came out and saw little televisions embedded in the exterior walls -- and yes, the faces were familiar. Oprah. And Candace. I had a lemon cupcake; my dining partner got some sort of chocolate. We had tea -- and got some cupcake mix for a friend. While we sat outside, listening to cupcake gossip, I realized: these were simple, good, and definitely worth the time. And, urban spoon? Here you go:
Chicago -- not only toddling. Not only Windy. But a place of history, food, friends. Hurrah.