Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Chicago trip, part the third

Read part 1 here
Read part 2 here

After our somewhat disappointing lunch, we walked back across the city to our hotel.  The day was still dreary, so we were glad to get back to the hotel and dry off.  We also found the "bars that ding when the wind blows through them" that Will and I had seen on a previous trip.  I had completely forgotten about them, probably from all the sake I had consumed beforehand.  They were neat though, like big old wind chimes.

After Will worked out with his TRX in the hotel room (and I took a nap), we got dressed, had another drink in Big Bar,

then we hopped a cab (the only one we had to take!) up to Lincoln Park for our dinner at North Pond restaurant.  
My hair did NOT like the humidity

It has a pretty view and neat little trails to wander around it, which was good because they weren't open yet when we got there :-(

Once we got inside, we were quickly seated and decided we were in the mood to share a hard cider.

Beautiful decor!

Our menus had a cute little surprise on them!

It was a couple days before our 9th anniversary, but we weren't going to be able to celebrate on the day of, so it was nice :-)

Sorry about the terrible pictures, all I had was my phone.  I couldn't decide which was worse, super-dark pictures or hideously flashed-out pictures so you'll see a nice mix of the two here.

First came an amuse bouche of chicken mushroom paté with pureed apple, which even Will liked.  We didn't share this one because we each got one!

Dark blob 

Next I ordered:

Seared Duck Foie Gras, Cranberry-Pistachio Tartelette, Maple-Kabocha Purée, Baby Turnip, Celery, Cranberry Gelée, Pistachio

I had to order the foie gras of course.  Will grudgingly shared it with me, and I think he actually even liked it a little :-)  He ate the whole cornbread for me.

Will started with:

Soft-Boiled Farm Egg, Spin Rossa Polenta, Green Beans, Cherry Tomatoes, French Fingerlings, Herb Emulsion

 For salads:

Candied Baby Gold, Red, White and Chioggia Beets;  Cured King Salmon, Albacore Tuna Pastrami, Flatbread, Walnuts

I don't have a flowery description for this one, since it's not listed on the website :-)  As I recall, it was crab poppyseeds and kiwi in a little cake topped with radishes and surrounded by cucumber broth and cantaloupe (and apparently some little yellow flowers).

For dinner:

Grilled Boneless Loin, Black Fig Lyonnaise Sausage, Oregon Chanterelle Mushroom Ragout, Fig Marmalade, Leek, Fig Syrup

Grilled Wild Striped Filet, Brown Sugar-Braised Pork Belly, Celeriac, Baby Carrots, Purple Potatoes, Lemon-Chowder Emulsion

The ONLY complaint I had about this whole meal was that the fish was a little too blackened on the outside for my liking.  The bitterness was too strong for me, but Will didn't mind it.

We didn't order dessert, but they brought us some anyway!

Those blobs are little cornbread cookies  (which I did, indeed, take a bite of) and little raspberry gumdrop things.  When I saw the gumdrops I mentioned to Will that I had found a recipe for these on Pinterest back around Easter that I had meant to try out, and Will felt very betrayed that I had possessed this knowledge for months without telling him or making him any :-)

The dinner was delicious and very romantic, we were surrounded mostly by couples, even some who were celebrating anniversaries like us!

We taxi-ed back to town (I guess technically that's 2 taxi rides) and went to bed blissfully early.

On Sunday after another tasty hotel breakfast and some packing we headed to the airport.  I was finally able to get some more juice there, when we discovered our gate was right across from a Jamba Juice.  I had fresh squeezed orange/carrot blended up with a banana (fresh squeezed juice blended with whole fruit = delicious and genius) and I got Will an orange/carrot blended with berries.  We also split a double wheatgrass juice shot.  BLECH.  

After our extremely bumpy flight where they never turned off the fasten seatbelt sign (and yelled at me for getting up to pee when the freakin' plane stopped 10ft short of the gate and I just couldn't wait anymore), we were home!  I almost pulled a Gerard Depardieu  and peed in the aisle, but all turned out well in the end.

We spent the rest of the day stopping by the Rockville Whole Foods (huge, but ANNOYING PARKING!) then driving around retrieving our children and charges.  By the evening we were all home, fed, and tucked into bed (or in Max's case, locked and barricaded behind several doors in the basement).

All in all, a super-fun trip that has me looking forward to the future trips we have planned!

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