As promised, since our dining out has been so extensive lately (perhaps I need an intervention?) here comes Part 2 of my dining in Chicago series. This second installment includes one restaurant that was new to us and the rest are solid places that we always seem to come back to...
been really into French food lately. Maybe it means I am getting old
and my taste is more sophisticated. Or maybe I just really enjoy any
food involving cheese, bread, and cream. Either way, I was really
excited to find a Gilt City deal for Bistro Voltaire. This place is
small and cozy with (almost too) closely arranged
European-style tables, a blackboard wall, and white tablecloths. Very
French. The service here is a little spotty, but the food was well worth
could have just enjoyed a few loaves of the fresh French bread and some
wine and been totally happy with my meal. Well, we did order actual
food-- we split an appetizer of puffed pastry with mushrooms in a cream
sauce (top left) that was really tasty. For entrees, I strayed from my
normal ordering habits and tried the scallops. Great decision! They
were perfectly seared and served with parsnip puree, pancetta, red wine
reduction, and (my favorite) roasted Brussels sprouts (bottom left).
Alex went with traditional Boeuf Bourguignon-- and he cleaned his plate.
We have been to Vinci a few times-- on our own and for a holiday party--
and it's always good. It's popular with the theater crowd since the
Steppenwolf Theater is just a block away.
always end up ordering off of their nightly specials menu-- they just
always sound better! The first time I went it was rosemary shrimp
skewers over orzo. This last time it was a rich and delicious risotto
with spinach, caramelized onions, gorgonzola, and walnuts (right). My
creature of habit husband usually orders their three meat pizza.
South Water Kitchen
not sure I have ever been here for dinner, but it is one of my favorite
downtown brunch spots. We even came here for my bridal brunch.
have a really vast new American menu and everything I have tried
has been good. I'm a huge fan of their thin and crispy flatbreads. I
have had a really good one with butternut squash and then this breakfast
one with scrambled eggs, peppers, spinach, and cheese (right).
I have professed my love for Sola here before,
but thought it was worth mentioning again-- especially since this time
we went for dinner. I LOVE Sola brunch, but their dinner selection is
equally delicious. It's upscale American food with a Hawaiian flair.
had a cobia special that night-- the first time I have tried that type
of fish and it was really good. Surprisingly though, our favorite part
of the meal was our appetizer. I'm not a big fan of duck, but Alex
insisted on the duck confit potstickers. They were really delicious and I
could have ordered another plate for my entree.
Grange Hall Burger Bar
Hall is the ultimate farm to table burger joint and perfect if you're
looking for some comfort food among the more high brow restaurants on
Randolph Street. The restaurant is super rustic inside with long
communal farm tables, country-inspired decor like quilts, doilies, and
vintage dishes, and they are usually rocking out to classic country
music (like Alabama's Greatest Hits when we were there recently).
food here is great-- no frills, local sourced, and full of flavor. I
ordered their turkey burger with Thanksgiving-themed toppings like
cranberry aioli (below). It was similar to the one I tried at Holstein's
in Las Vegas, but better. Alex ordered two apps for his entree and I
stole a few bites of both-- mac and cheese with a crunchy homemade
potato chip topping (yum) and chili cheese fries like I have never had
before. Their homemade thick cut potato fries are topped with a two bean
and turkey chili, onions, and real (not pump) cheese (above).
if we didn't eat enough, Alex noticed that their seasonal pie of the
month was his favorite key lime. So, of course we ordered a slice of
that too. All of their pies are hand-made so you can understand how good
this was. They also serve assorted homemade ice cream flavors and
These certainly aren't the only restaurants that we have visited lately/ever. You can check out my first installment of these posts here. And, if you're interested in finding out more, check out all of my restaurant reviews on Yelp! You can also sign up to follow my blog with Bloglovin