Cold, tired of walking, and hungry, we found Table Donkey Stick. The restaurant was full, but we managed to get a table quickly. They were still serving the Valentine’s Day menu (a la carte), we ordered a few items and a bottle of wine, all PHENOMENAL.
Kumamoto oysters wrapped with cured pork – heavenly
Cheese plate with sunflower seed bread and honey – they could have just given me the bread and I probably wouldn’t have even noticed the cheese was missing, it was that good
Aged Duck entree and Cheesecake were also great, but the other two were out of control awesome! You must eat here!
They have pretzels so I had to go. Unfortunately, I’ve had better (Bronwyn pretzels dominate all pretzels). I was also unhappy with the side of three mustards. They all had the same consistency with only mild flavor variations (my guess is they will improve with time and tweaking). But let’s talk about beer, tons of great options at The Radler! The space is ample and gorgeous, great for large parties.
I can’t say anything bad about Antique Taco. I’m in love with the place – the decor, food, everything about it makes me content. The food is delicious, honest, and simple. I haven’t gotten to the cheese curds just yet, but they are on my bucket list. They also have Half Acre beer, yielding oh so many points in my book!
La Columbe and Glazed & Infused, right across the street from one another in Wicker Park! This was fantastic news to me! If you haven’t been to either, go now! La Columbe is a must for coffee and if you’re a doughnut lover, you cannot go wrong with Glazed & Infused. What’s in the bag? A Maple Bacon Long John.
Coppervine saved my Valentine’s Day this year! Though our table’s location (heavily trafficked) and size (tiny) was not ideal, at least we were able to get a reservation (Grass Fed decided to close with only a few days notice to make a new reservation and I’m still mad). I was intrigued by the drink pairings offered on the fixed v-day menu (beer, wine, and cocktail) and ready to get out of the frigid February temps of Chicago.
The meal was decent. I felt they stretched themselves thin, serving too many options and not mastering any of them. The cheese plate would be my top pick of the dinner. I would go back for the regular menu, their playfulness in pairing is exciting and unique, certainly cause for a return trip.
house crafted sausages
The Gage is conveniently located across from Millennium Park. The 300 seat restaurant feels like a cross between an old school steakhouse and an Irish pub. Portions here are generous (I couldn’t take the sausage plate down) and the beet plate is better than expected.
salt roasted beets
What better way to begin a trip to Chicago than with fried cheese curds from a bar that shares my name? SmallBar is empty on a Thursday afternoon; a welcome contrast to a full aircraft of screaming children.
- Beer list is excellent
- Curds are okay
- Burger – fine, not spectacular
Darkhorse Brewing Co. is fast becoming one of my new favorite breweries. This milk stout is loaded with robust malt flavor. Smoke, coffee, chocolate, vanilla, and caramel all come pouring out of this complex nose. There were moments I really had to sit back and dissect the individual notes. The Too Cream Stout pours a midnight black color, with a copper head that fizzles away after a moment. The carbonation is higher than a typical milk stout, just enough to tingle in your mouth, but doesn’t ruin the velvety mouth feel.
Notes: 7.5% ABV | Milk Stout
My second visit, this time for lunch. Strip T’s is bustling on a Saturday afternoon and there’s a short wait for a table which gives me time to contemplate my order.
Duck Wings (Special for the day) – I was more enamored with the peanut sauce than the wings
Gravy Fries – not a fan of the type of cheese on these (some kind of sharp Italian), great fries though!
Japanese Eggplant Banh Mi – filling was overwhelmed by the bread and the eggplant by itself was too salty from all the soy sauce
Apricot biscuits from the Boston Globe with two modifications; reduce the sugar to a 1/4 cup and add some chopped dried apricots to the filling.