I’m linked up today and for the rest of the month in the 31 Days Challenge at The Nester. By clicking the tab at the top of the page, you can easily access all of the 31 Days in Chicago posts.
If you’ve got a story to tell about your experiences in Chicago, I welcome guest posts. Join the fun by emailing me, or if you’re not ready to write, go to The Nester’s web site to follow some other stories this month.
From its hidden-away front door to its sexy bathroom, Sepia is a treat for anyone who finds it. Every detail is important to the ambiance of this West Loop restaurant carved out of an old print shop. Its cocktails are creative and delicious and its wine cellar is carefully curated to match the menu. Even the coasters (which I desperately wanted to steal but didn’t) are thematic. Sepia is a total experience.
And the food speaks for itself. The Sepia menu is seasonal and inspired.
In addition to the beautiful main dining room, Sepia also has a private room available for rent. I took a photo through the door and even empty, it was stunning.
Sometimes I wonder if celebrity executive chefs (Iron Chef) actually are a part of the day-to-day operations of a restaurant, but it seems that Andrew Zimmerman really put his heart and soul into Sepia.
P.S. I’m still struggling with the gaucheness of taking photos in elegant restaurants, and we took these photos with my iPhone. I know they’re not perfect, but they didn’t cause the other people in the restaurant to roll their eyes at us.
You know how much I love Anthony Bourdain. Well, I guess he fooled us here in the Windy City while filming for his show The Layover. Here’s the story…
One of the best parts of traveling is meeting new restaurants. For Tech Kid’s birthday, we went to a highly touted Oakland restaurant, Plum. I’m still struggling with my cameras, but I just had to share photos of the inventive work of Plum’s chefs.
Beet Boudin Noir, with brussel sprouts and turnip
Avocado Risotto with pistachio,lemon, and cucumber
Raviolini with mixed milk ricotta, nettles, and green shallots
One perfect raviolini
Samples from the Plum Charcuterie with pickled vegetables and violet mustard. I’ll leave you to guess what’s in these delectable morsels.
King Salmon with fava, potato, radish, and vandouvan (curry-like spice blend).
Roasted Pork and Belly with young chard, new onion, and mustard
I’m not sure what this wonderful dessert was — it was ordered specially for the birthday boy.
This lonely little turnip is all that was left on the plate when we finished this sumptuous and scrumptious meal.
If you are visiting Oakland, I highly encourage you to seek out this very good restaurant (make reservations!). The portions are on the small side, but every bite is full of interest.
It’s plastered all over my media; it’s on my lips pretty much constantly. We’re going back to France next spring and I can barely contain my excitement and anticipation of a very good time.
Every chance I get, I’m looking for French inspiration around me in my suburban Chicago “real life.” While friends were visiting last month, we discovered a new-to-us French restaurant one of Chicago’s trendy downtown neighborhoods. Kiki’s Bistro was fabulous.
The Thursday special was bouillabaisse…
And the salads were fresh and also creative…
From the minute we walked in, dressed in our mixed bag of work and tourist clothes, we were treated as friends. Kiki helped us choose wines, and our waitstaff could not have been friendlier or more knowledgeable. It was a wonderful experience; put Kiki’s Bistro on your bucket list for your next Chicago visit.
I already blogged about our gastronomic extravaganza at the extraordinary Richard Phillips restaurant at Chapel Down Winery just outside of Tenterden, in Kent. Unfortunately, in checking my links, I found that the restaurant just closed. So, so sad. I hope you enjoy the photo anyway. It makes my mouth water for a taste of that perfectly cooked beef.
Does your blog need a restaurant bucket list? The idea’s not mine; I really appreciate the link-up at Hamburgers and Hotness!
Whilst staying at the sublime Sissinghurst Castle Farmhouse, we dined three nights at a local pub just a mile down the road (or a good hike across the fields) from the bed and breakfast. I’ve talked about our Sissinghurst experience here and here and here, but I couldn’t resist showcasing this beautiful piece of food art again.
The bottom layer is a vegetable melange with eggplant, zucchini, and onions in a tomato sauce. Next is the couscous mixed with avocado. Then there’s a slice of potato that’s not overdone, so it can hold up the next layer. It’s topped with goat cheese and it looks like it was torched because the cheese would likely melt in the broiler.
The Three Chimneys Freehouse is a very special place, hidden away in the heart of Kent, and is frequented by locals and the guests at the Sissinghurst Castle B&B. Although we ate there three nights, enough to be recognized and seated at “our table” by the hosts, we barely scratched the surface of the delectable menu. We highly recommend The Three Chimneys if you are near Sissinghurst Castle.
You’ll need reservations — a fine restaurant in the country fills up — so call ahead if you find yourself in the neighborhood of The Three Chimneys at suppertime. It’s worth the trip.
Another hint — I keep Pinterest boards for all the areas I want to visit on vacation. You might want to start one for Kent in southeast England!
It was a nasty rainy night in March, and the restaurant was close to our hotel and close to the Opera house. Unfortunately, I can’t remember its name, but this is probably the restaurant. Whether it’s the right one or not, there’s nothing like a spicy satay and some Thai egg rolls to warm the cockles of my heart.
I’ve never actually been to Thailand, but in my somewhat limited experience, Thai food is pretty much Thai food, no matter where you go. If you’d like to try to make these luscious little morsels, here’s a recipe from Temple of Thai where you can also buy the makings if you can’t get the Thai ingredients where you live. Actually, I imagine you could probably live without the dried tree ear mushrooms and sub them out with some other kind of fungi. 🙂
I could barely type up this post without ordering out — we have a favorite Thai restaurant nearby and thankfully I don’t have to go to Vienna or Thailand to satisfy my egg rolls and satay cravings. Do you have a favorite Thai restaurant to share?
For this week’s photo story, we’ll travel around Europe to visit some fabulous restaurants and revisit some extraordinary food.
Our first stop is in Vienna, where we spent a romantic dinner overlooking the rooftops from the restaurant-cafe Huth in the Haus der Musik. The Sound Museum is an often overlooked but wonderful museum that is centrally located near St. Stephen’s Cathedral and the Vienna Opera.
If you are traveling with me, don’t be surprised if I order the cheese plate at every meal. This one was extraordinary.
These photos were taken in 2003 with our brand new Olympus digital camera. It has since gone to digital camera heaven.
HAUS DER MUSIK is an interactive discovery museum located in the heart of Vienna’s first district nestled between St. Stephen’s Cathedral and the Vienna State Opera. A host of interactive installations playfully communicate openness to new things, understanding and enthusiasm in approaching music HAUS DER MUSIK was awarded the Austrian Museum Prize for its innovative design and is located in the formerPalais of Archduke Charles. You will find all 67 of its new inventions here. A total of 5,000 square meters has been set aside exclusively for areas dedicated to a wide array of approaches to music, and most of all, to the experience of music.
At one time the former Palais of Archduke Charles, today’s HAUS DER MUSIK was also the residence ofOtto Nicolai (1810 – 1849), who composed the opera “The Merry Wives of Windsor” and founded the Vienna Philharmonic concerts here. This connection provided the impetus for the Vienna Philharmonic, with itsHistorical Archive, to make HAUS DER MUSIK its new home. Here, the scientific documentation of this world-famous orchestra continues and is made available to the public. On the “Beletage” first floor, the only historically preserved rooms in the house, the Vienna Philharmonic present original documents from their history. Source