Picking our Wedding Venue

I think that the best thing we did was hire a wedding planner before we seriously started looking for venues. I had tentative dates in mind, so I did reach out to the venues in the area that could hold a 500+ people capacity right off the bat. I had a list of places that were and were not available on my own, but when it came down to picking the venue, it was nice to have Dan and Victoria with us. 

Prior to hiring a wedding planner, Chaitan and I did have some appointments with venues downtown, but unfortunately apart from the price the major issue was, that both the Westin and Renaissance hotel did not allow outside caterers. The one thing we liked about the Renaissance was they were willing to make us Indian food, but the chef was Italian, so we weren’t sure how that would go over. It was nice to imagine a wedding on the Chicago river for a few seconds though. 

After touring a few places including Waterford, we decided to narrow our choice down to the Westin Chicago North Shore in Wheeling. We really liked Waterford, but we wish that the hotel accommodation was a little different than their current situation. Being lifetime platinum Marriott members, my husband and I stay true to the quality and standards at Marriott properties. 


Here is a simple example- the week of our wedding we decided to confirm the napkins for the reception, because we were told that we can get a solid color napkin for free while we toured the venue, BUT this was not explicitly stated in our contract, and they decided to tell us this only included white napkins, so unfortunately navy blue napkins cost us $1 each days before the wedding, because at that point it was just a drop in the bucket and we weren’t about to have white napkins that would stick out at the tables. Ultimately, you are better off having everything, including small details like napkins, on your contract rather than having a situation like ours. 

We also were not told that they have a strict vendor list for items such as cold sparklers, and the company they had on their preferred list was double in price then the fair market value for the same service. 

Here are some things to remember when negotiating a venue contract: 

  1. Room block rates as well as guaranteed rooms (some hotels do attrition where you are responsible for the rooms that you guaranteed if they are not filled) 
  2. Check in and check out times for the room block- see if they can automatically do late checkout and guarantee early check-in for a percent of the rooms 
  3. Hospitality suite (hours of check in and check out) this is a room you want available before normal check in so guests can grab food if they arrive before their room is available 
  4. Ask for a preferred vendor list and see what their rules are about vendors that are not a part of their preferred vendors- the Westin did not give us a list and we were notified of this information almost after putting down a deposit for a non preferred vendor months after signing the venue 
  5. Ask them about their staffing and food management (the hotel staff and kitchen are responsible for bringing out the food and organizing everything appropriately on the buffet) 
  6. If the hotel offers a shuttle service that your guests are planning to use make sure it is discussed in advance- our hotel had a free shuttle within 5 miles and our original garba venue was <5 miles away, however when we told them we were planning on using it they informed us that it wasn’t available and gave us some excuse as to why we couldn’t use it
  7. Suite upgrades- if you want to have the bridal and complementary parents’ suites upgraded have that in the contract. the hotel wouldn’t give us the penthouse suite the night of our wedding even though it was available 

Overall, I think that signing the Westin contract was the most annoying and painful contract out of everything we signed. The hotel was not very accommodating and there was a lot of pushbacks in everything we asked for, which according to our wedding planners, were normal asks. I am glad that despite their behavior, we are still true to the brand, and we will always go with Marriott and affiliated partners. Another couple that got married there about 6 months before us, told us that the whole process with the Westin was rocky and the communication with the event coordinator was frustrating. After we signed the contract, there were so many things we had to get on their back about after the fact- like giving us an extra room the night before the wedding for people to hang out in/ have dance practice. 

Garba Venue

While we finalized our wedding venue, we knew we couldn’t have our garba at the Westin because they had another event on Thursday night, so we had to think outside the box for that. We wanted to keep it in the same area so that our out of town guests were in the vicinity of the venue. We got very lucky and decided to go with the Shri Swaminarayan Temple Wheeling, ISSO of Chicago. The decor was already decided for this venue when we realized that our RSVPs for a Thursday night event were much larger then what we expected, so we had to look for another venue closer to the wedding then we would have liked. Again, we got lucky and we were able to find a venue around 10 minutes from the Westin, Hanuman Mandir of Greater Chicago. The only caveat about this was, we would have to let them do our food, and there wouldn’t be a formal tasting before the event- ultimately this ended up being okay in the end, and we were able to have food stalls like we wanted.


Picking a Wedding Planner

Finally, almost 1 YEAR after we got married, I have time to talk all things wedding, specifically all things about planning a Southeast Asian wedding in America. 

First things first, Chaitan and I knew we needed to hire a wedding planner, with both of us working 40-hour work weeks and me commuting from Chicago to the suburbs I KNEW I needed some help. For starters there are a lot of wedding planners in Chicago, and we were open to suggestions. We had a few interviews with some planners, one being a reference we got from our good friends. She was a planner who used to work for the Q Center as their event coordinator and she started her own company with her husband during the pandemic when she left the Q Center. 

There are some things that were a MUST HAVE for me from my wedding planner: 

  1. A superstar in communication 
  2. Organized 

After a few interviews we ended up going with Wedding Whisperer. I know a lot of people may have the same question, how can someone who’s American successfully plan a huge Indian wedding, and honestly is comes down to my 2 must haves. 

How did we know Wedding Whisperers was the one? 

Over our phone interview, they asked the right questions like: Are we having a Garba?,What was Chaitan’s vision of the Baraat? Clearly, they knew what they were working with. She had done Indian weddings when she was with Marriott. The second thing was a promise to always be accessible whenever we needed them, and it was comforting to know that I will get a text back from Victoria or Dan ASAP. 

While interviewing your wedding planners, do what is right, do what your heart tells you. Ultimately at the end of the day, you will be working with this person for a long time and this person will be responsible for reproducing your wedding vision and bring it to life. This person will also be there in your bad days, because planning a wedding is not all rainbows and butterflies, there are lots of tears, disagreements and push back from family. Victoria was always there when I needed a friend to vent to when wedding planning was too overwhelming, and I didn’t know what to do. 

One of the questions my husband asked was if they had planned a wedding our size (500+) after starting Wedding Whisperer, and the answer was no, but we went with what our heart told us, and I was giving them a chance. Turns out, our hearts were right, they KILLED IT.  

Dan and Victoria make a great team, Victoria is all things wedding while Dan is all things numbers. Together they are the perfect teem who will work with couples to achieve their dream wedding at the price they have budgeted.

Prices were never an option for us, we ended up paying more for Victoria and Dan versus an Asian planner but looking back at how the near year of planning went and how the wedding turned out, I would 100% pick them over again. I literally refer all my friends and family to Victoria 30 seconds after they get engaged. 

Fun fact, Victoria and Dan have become friends and it’s crazy to think that some of our vendors have now become an import group of people who were there for us on our most special day as a couple.


Family Trip to Punta Cana

This February, the Patel Family went to Punta Cana on a family trip, one may cay #PatelsInPunta. We decided to go on a family trip when we were celebrating Thanksgiving, but unfortunately the airline prices this year have been absolutely ridiculous so we went back and fourth on a location. We finally found reasonably priced flights (on Spirit/ Frontier), did we make it there and back? YES, would we fly with the airlines again? NO.

My parents have stayed with the Bahia Principe brand in other countries, including Punta Cana, so we decided to go with them. Over all I loved the resort and the staff was absolutely amazing. Our trip was Wednesday- Sunday, and my husband and parents were meeting my sister and her fiancé there since they were flying directly from Philadelphia. On the way to Punta Cana, we got delayed in FLL for a few hours, we still don’t know why we were delayed but we made it just in time for our dinner reservations. Good thing we spend our delay in a lounge that served espresso martinis thanks to Chaitan.

Day 1 (Wednesday):

We arrived closer to dinner, while my sister and her fiancé were able to enjoy the afternoon in the pool and at the beach. When we got the the Punta Cana airport we had a private transfer waiting for us to take us to the hotel, which was really nice. Usually, other all inclusive resorts use shared transportation base on peoples arrival times, which makes the trip to and from the hotel long with all the stops at other hotels along the way.

When we arrived, we check into our hotel rooms, and got ready for dinner. We were fortunate enough to let the hotel accommodate or dinner reservations before we arrived to the hotel instead of making them when we arrived. Our first dinner was at CAPRICCIO RESTAURANT, which was traditional Italian food. Over all the food was good, I think we like the pizza and bread more then the pasta on the menu. The calamari was actually really good. At the end of dinner they served an after dinner drink called mamajuana. Mamajuana is a smooth blend off rum, spices and honey, and it is usually homemade.

After dinner there was a white out dance party in the hotel lobby with a DJ, so we hung out for a bit. After the DJ ended, my parents went to bed and the 4 of us went to the beach. We sat on beach chairs and listened to the ocean and watched the waves in the mooning. There was a late night room service menu and for whatever reason, we were compelled to order a TON of food which I would rate 1/10 (10/10 for the fruit) LOL but it was the first and last time we ordered room service.

Day 2 (Thursday):

We woke up early and headed to breakfast, the breakfast buffet spread was pretty legit. We enjoyed mom ordering “lychee caliante” every morning so she could make chai at the table. I think after the first day I made a cream cheese veggie sandwich every morning. After breakfast, we all changed into our MATCHING T SHIRTS and swimsuites. We spend the whole day in the pool and throughly enjoyed the swim up bar. We went to lunch at the same buffet we went to breakfast for a quick lunch. My sister and I took a quick nap on the pool chairs before getting back in the pool and my husband and mom went on a beach walk and met a cute monkey.

That evening we had reservations to ORIENTAL TAKARA RESTAURANT, an asian fusion restaurant. After our pool day we decided to get ready and head to the sports bar for a drink (ALSO they had mozzarella cheese sticks on the menu). The asian restaurant had a number of vegan options, the sushi was very good considering that we were on a Caribbean Island. The dessert wasn’t that good though. After dinner, we went to the beach again to enjoy the sound of the waves hitting the beach.

Day 3 (Friday):

We woke up and went to the coffee shop for coffee and pastries before doing a long beach walk with mom. Our plan was to go on the walk, then meet dad for brunch at the beachfront buffet. The walk was beautiful, the sun wasn’t hot yet. After breakfast and mimosas we went up to put our swimsuits on and we decided to have a pool day at the larger pool in the resort next door.

After breakfast we spend the rest of the day at the the larger pool, we even got fresh cocktails made in a pineapple, they were very good but very strong. We went to a FOAM PARTY in the pool next door, which was something else. There was a live DJ and a lot of foam.

After another successful pool day, we had dinner reservations at THALI, the indian restaurant. Before dinner we went to the Sports Bar again. By this day the sunburn was setting in for sure, I was red. The indian food was decent, it wasn’t the best but toward the end of the dinner someone affiliated with the resort was talking to Chaitan and brought him back into the kitchen, and they created the best paneer(cheese) dish for us!

Day 4 (Saturday):

We started the morning off with breakfast at the beach buffet. After breakfast, we went up to get ready for our family photoshoot which turned out so nice. The boys had matching outfits and the girls wore white.

After our photo shoot, it was time for some beach time followed by pool time. The sand and beach in Punta Cana are absolutely amazing but unfortunately the water was extremely choppy with bad undercurrents. We went in for a little but before switching back to the pool. That night our dinner reservations were at MAIKO JAPANESE RESTAURANT. The dinner was good, the show and prep of the food was also good! After dinner, we went to a magic show which was fun.

Day 5 (Saturday):

This was our final day in paradise. We woke up and went straight to the coffee shop followed by a beach walk, quick brunch and pool time. Neha and Ravi left fairy early to go to the airport but our flight wasn’t until 9pm so we ended up spending once last day in the pool before packing up and heading to the airport. Overall we loved everything about this family trip! We can’t wait for another Patel family vacation!


Weekend trip to Philadelphia

A few months ago, we went to Philadelphia to visit my sister and her fiancé! This was the first time I’ve even been to Philadelphia so I was super excited for the weekend. I have only heard good things about the city, and it was time I finally made it out there. We flew in on Thursday night after work, after a few delays, we finally made it there. We went to bed that night, since it was late, the next morning we had brunch plans with my husbands cousin. We went into KOP and had brunch at x. The food was very good especially the French toast, and I loved the ambiance!

After brunch we headed back to my sisters place because Chaitan was still working, and we was my future brother in law and sister. The had surprised us by getting a hotel in downtown Philadelphia Friday night to get the most out of the weekend. My parents were coming into town Saturday so this was our opportunity to have a night out together.

After we got home from brunch, my husband worked for a few hours while I took a nap since we were up late the night before. At around 2pm, my sisters fiancé and I decided to take a walk to World of Beer across the street for happy hour. Nothing like some Friday afternoon beer.

After my sister got home from work, we all got ready and headed into the city for the night, we checked into the Warwick Hotel in Rittenhouse Square. We didn’t have any reservations coming up so we stopped at HipCityVeg for a vegan Phili Cheese Steak and vegan chicken nuggets. Our next stop was Time, for some cocktails and live music. This place had a great vibe, especially with the live music. Our next stop was McGillin’s Old Irish Ale House, which is the oldest bar in Philadelphia. This was for sure a college bar, sticky floors and very crowded. We had time for one more stop before we had dinner reservations, so we went to Graffiti Bar. This bar was behind a restaurant and you had to walk down a graffiti alley to get to it, which was pretty cool. We didn’t order food, but the food menu looked amazing, definitely something I would try if we went back.

It was finally time for dinner and we had reservations at a popular vegan spot called VEDGE. We ordered a lot of items, but overall I would say that the food was okay. I don’t think it was bad, but I wouldn’t go back. And as some of your guys know, my favorite restaurant in Chicago is a Vegan spot, so I am a fan of vegan food.

After dinner, we decided to check out a place called National Mechanics, which was a former bank turned into a bar, we ordered some espresso martinis but they weren’t that great. Our last stop was an ice cream shop called Franklyn Fountain. We split a giant brownie ice cream, which was served in a Chinese take out container. Honest it was pretty good but a complete rip of, click here for the whole story! Our night cap was ordering kati rolls from Masala Kitchen, and they were 10/10 FLAME.

We woke up on Saturday morning, and decided to walk around the farmers market in Rittenhouse Square. We got some tea and fresh apple cider donuts. Then we walked to Reading Terminal Market for a food crawl. This market was legitimately the BEST market/ food hall I’ve ever been to.

We grabbed some coffee from Old City Coffee and headed to Beiler’s Donuts. The donuts were absolutely amazing, there were SO MANY FLAVORS. The best part, you can watch them make the donuts live. Our next stop was Miller’s Twist for a pretzel. Honestly I am not sure why we didn’t buy 4 of them, they were just perfect. After sweet, and savory it was time for something sweet, so we went to Dutch Eating Place and split an order of the pancakes, these were the most perfect pancakes I’ve ever had. Fluff and warm. After this course, my sister and I ventured off to pick our next item. We got a “bread boat” from Sammi Somi which was filled with cheese, mushrooms and a runny egg. Our last stop was a vegan corn dog from Fox & Son Fair Foods! We were stuffed, but I strongly suggest this market, to try all the amazing foods!

After all the food we decided to go check out Rocky Steps at the Philadelphia Art Museum, and grabbed some water ice. Then we walked up the steps, it was really cold though so we spend the rest of the day at the mall until we had to pick my parents up at the airport.

After picking my parents up, we took them to Levante Brewing Co, until it was time for our dinner reservations at Trattoira La Tavolas. We had an amazing Italian dinner with them family before we headed to my sisters apartment.

The next morning was our last day in Philadelphia, my parents were staying there for a bit. We started the morning at World of Beer for their pretzels before we went to lunch at Buddy’s Burgers followed by Rita’s for dessert. We had a wonderful weekend with the family, I can’t wait to go back to Philadelphia in the summer!



So, I am a sucker for new restaurants, I love Asian food and recently I have been loving how restaurants do vegan + vegetarian food, so when PLANTA Queen opened up I KNEW I had to try it. I liked it so much that I went not once, not twice but THREE TIMES in 14 days (specifically 10/7, 10/16 and 10/21- yes I know, AGGRESSIVE, but it was honestly that good). I went with my girlfriend the first time and then I brought my husband. My husband liked it so much, that we found our selves back in less then a week. This is a trendy spot in the middle of River North.

Visit 1- October 7, 2022

When we saw the menu we wanted to try everything, the first thing we got were cocktails- I got the Lych Please and my friend got the Kombucha Mojito. For appetizers and dinner we just shared food, we ended up going with the recommendations from the server. We got the baked crab roll (6/10- this was not one of my favorite items but it was good) and the cauliflower tots (10/10- crispy flavorful and amazing) for starters. For our mains we got the pineapple fried rice (8/10-very good but not as unique as I would have liked) and the udon noodles (12/10- warm, creamy and truffley- simply amazing). Lastly for dessert we got the match “cheesecake” (20/10- the best every topped with a berry compote and coconut cream). Over all, the food was amazing and the ambiance and service was amazing. I think I made a reservation for my husband and I to come back while we were still there!

Visit 2- October 16, 2022

So I had to repeat the three things I absolutely loved from the first visit which was the cauliflower tots, the udon noodles and the matcha cheesecake. The three other things we tired was the dragon roll (10/10- I don’t even like broccoli and I liked this), the ahi watermelon nigiri (10/10- I don’t even know how someone can get watermelon to taste like that) and the jackfruit wings (10/10- this honestly tasted like real wings).

Visit 3- October 21, 2022

This was an improv visit, I was driving back to the city and I was dreaming about the food, and there happened to be reservation available – so naturally we had to go. We decided to skip the cocktails this time and the only item we reordered was the match cheesecake. This time we got the bao slider (10/10- the mushroom was perfect), the torched and pressed (20/10- best flavor on the menu HANDS DOWN, the texture and taste was perfect), the bang bang broccoli (10/10- again I don’t really like broccoli but the sauce and flavor and crispiness was perfect) the dan dan noodles (2/10- apparently szechuan kamut has a numbing sensation in the mouth and we weren’t told so I though I was having an allergic reaction while I was eating this dish).

Over all this is definitely my favorite vegan spot in Chicago, I fell in love with their water glasses so I bought them after my first visit. They also have some specials on different days of the week and I want to go back:

  • MAKI MONDAYS (AFTER 5 PM) Maki Rolls Unlimited Maki Rolls
  • POUR DECISION WEDNESDAYS 1/2 priced bottles of wine
  • DISCO & DUMPLINGS FRIDAY (AFTER 5 PM) dumpling platters
  • WEEKEND BRUNCH Endless Mimosas & Sake Sangria

If you are looking for an amazing new restaurant to try in the River North area be sure to check out PLANTA Queen.


II Sogno

Downtown Wheaton is probably one of my favorite cities outside of Chicago. They have so many restaurants and new rooftops! I have been wanting to try Il Sogno for a few years but there is always a LONG wait, and I finally decided it wait it out, it was definitely worth it.

I knew I wanted to sit on the rooftop, even though the wait was longer. There was beautiful weather and a cotton candy sunset that night. We started the night off with some cocktails!

The food was absolutely amazing! We ordered the meatballs and polenta- the meatballs were very flavorful the polenta was extremely rich! For our entrees we ordered chicken piccata- served with capers, lemon, garlic, spinach, white wine and paccheri vodka pasta- jumbo rigatoni, tomato cream sauce, Reggiano parmesan, fresh basil.

I think this is one of the best rooftops in downtown Wheaton! The food and drinks were also amazing, can’t wait to go back!


ROOH Chicago

ROOH is a progressive Indian restaurant in Chicago located in the West Loop. Rooh Chicago features traditional cuisine from India but with a modern, progressive twist. Plated with a fancy twist, Rooh’s menu features a total of around 34 dishes with seasonally available ingredients. I have been to ROOH twice now and I loved it both times.

First, I LOVE the ambiance in the upstairs dining area, it has a nice living room home feel to it. The first time I was here was back in October of 2019 for my birthday dinner. There are a few menu items that I wish that were still on the menu!

Their cocktail menu is elaborate! They do such a good job capturing the flavors of Southeast Asia. Their cocktail menu is Ayurveda inspired. I think their entire cocktail menu is worth trying, I haven’t had a bad drink here.

  • Queen of Spice- Whiskey, Papaya, Persimmon, Cardamon, Mint 
  • Road to Kerala- Mezcal, Cinnamon, Coconut, Pineapple, Banana 
  • Pistachio Paradice- Gin, Pistachio, Curaçao, Cucumber
  • Hyderabad Tonic- Turmeric-Infused Aviation Gin, Orange & Thyme Syrup, Q DrinksGrapefruit Tonic
  • *Malabar Old Fashioned- Coconut-Washed Bourbon, Coffee, Maple, Bitters, *Coconut Oil May Contain Trace Amounts of Tree Nuts, Peanuts
  • Betel Collins- Vodka, Chamomile, Chareau, Midori, Betel & Rose
  • Pink City- Tanteo Jalapeño Tequila, Guava, Chili, Lime, ROOH Masala

As you can see, there are a lot of traditional ingredients in this menu AND they have a HAPPY HOUR menu! I have yet to go to ROOH for a happy hour but its on my list for the spring. There is a cocktail of the week on the menu for $8 along with some discounted bites.

I am going to show the bites we had back in 2019- some of the things I miss are the dhai puri and the paneer pinwheels! Probably my two favorite items!

Lets fast forward to 2022- we went back to ROOH for dinner and drinks for a friends birthday. The food, drinks and ambiance were all amazing. We pretty much ordered every food item on the menu this time around.

Overall ROOH has such a comforting menu, if you are looking for good indian food in a trendy spot- look no further and go to ROOH.


Indienne Chicago

Indienne Chicago

Growing up in a Southeast Asian household, I have always been accustom to eating indian food but I also remember dreading the days I had to eat it. My mom always did a good job incorporating other cuisines into our weekly meals such as Italian and Mexican. It wasn’t until I was older that I really appreciated the flavors and spices that come from my cultural background. My husband and I always find ourselves spicing up all our foods with unique flavors from India. When Indienne opened in Chicago I was excited to try it, but the reservations filled up quickly and we had to wait to get a reservation. We were uncertain at first if we wanted to do the tasting menu, and we actually had reservations to eat off the regular menu, but ironically there was a cancelation that night and they had a spot open up for the tasing menu. This is a decision we don’t regret- the food was so good that I am still thinking about it a solid week later. We did one vegetarian and one non-vegetarian tasting-make sure to tell them if you are a vegetarian who eats eggs!

I am going to start by outlining the 2 menus then I will go into my own thoughts on each menu item followed by final thought on the overall experience.

Vegetarian Tasting Menu

PASSION FRUIT (PANI PURI) buckwheat tart, avocado

MUSHROOM (GALAUTI) eclair, goat cheese, truffle

YOGURT (CHAT) crispy potato, raspberry, various chutneys

CAULIFLOWER (LIQUID BHAJI) sweet corn, pine nut thecha, crispy garlic POA, cultured butter

EDAMAME (SOMOSA) Yuba, yellow pepper pachadi, tomato achar, asparagus. ($6 chili-cheese kulcha supplement available)

MAITAKE (ALLEPPEY) moringa podi, sanas ($15 supplemental course)

PANEER (PATURI) swiss chard, young zucchini, kofta, makhani, fenugreek served with black dairy dal and garlic naan

BESAN (BARFI) opera, pistachio, milk ice cream, citrus chutney

TREATS PAAN-bonbon GUAVA- pate de fruit

Non-Vegetarian Tasting Menu

PASSION FRUIT (PANI PURI) buckwheat tart, avocado

MUSHROOM (GALAUTI) eclair, goat cheese, truffle

YOGURT (CHAT) crispy potato, raspberry, various chutneys

EGG (CURRY) sweet corn, crispy peas, crispy onion, millet POA, cultured butter

CHICKEN (MALAI TIKKA) terrine, leeks, amul cheese emulsion, burgundy truffle

LOBSTER (ALLEPPEY) butternut squash, moringa podi, sanas ($25 supplemental course)

LAMB (BURRAH) hemp seeds, peas, pepper, coconut, potato pave served with black dairy dal and garlic naan

RASMALAI (AIR) milk anglaise, pistachio, gold, honeycomb

TREATS AAM- bonbon CHAI- aero

Course 1 & 2

The passion fruit pani puri and the mushroom eclair came out together. The presentation stand was beautiful. We were instructed to eat the pani puri in one bite. The bite was literally explosive, first it tasted like passion fruit then it ended tasting like a traditional pani puri. It was engineered just perfectly. The second thing was the mushroom eclair. It was bold, it was light, it was savory and it was amazing. My husband and I love mushrooms and truffles more than anything, the goat cheese was also a nice flavor balance in the dish. As a pair, one of the items was more sweet and the other savory and it was perfect. At the end of course 1 and 2 we literally couldn’t wait for the rest. I don’t think that I would have changed anything about the pani puri or the eclair except to maybe have more.

Course 3

I think (I’m not sure) that the yogurt chat is my favorite menu item. I probably could have had 3 servings at once. The top was crunchy and the center was fluffy and airy. The flavors were amazing, not to sweet, not too much yogurt, not too many chutneys. It was made to perfection, served at the perfect temperature. I am not going to lie, I contemplated asking my husband for his portion to after I finished mine.

Course 4

We both actually got the egg curry, and if you are a vegetarian who eats egg, make sure you let them know, so you get the egg curry for this course. This dish brought us back to a popular Gujarati dish called pav bhaji. This is actually one of my husbands favorite Gujarati dishes so he really enjoyed this course. This dish was almost too pretty to eat. My favorite part of this dish was the perfectly runny egg, on and the poa (bread).

Course 5

Couse 5 was the first course that was different in the two menus. The chicken in my dish was cooked to perfection- I asked the server how the chicken is made so perfectly and he told me a long intricate process of the magic. Sounded like a science experiment. The amul cheese emulsion was rich and creamy and complimented the chicken well. The samosa was also amazing, it was an great twist to a traditional samosa, the gray on this was also creamy and full of flavor. We added the chili-cheese kulcha and it paired great with the gravies on both dishes. I loved how unique both dishes were. I honestly couldn’t really pick one being better than the other.

Supplemental Course

We opted to get the lobster supplemental course. Both my husband and I enjoy sea food and we both were excited to try it! It was well worth the upgrade. The lobster was cooked to perfection and it was in a butternut squash gravy and it was served with a side of what we though was khatta dhokla. I honestly think this was one of the best lobsters I have had in a while, especially in Chicago. It is rare to have such fresh lobster in Chicago. I would most definitely recommend this upgrade to anyone who likes seafood.

Course 6

This was the last course before dessert and it was great. I have never really loved lamb but this was probably one of the best cooked and flavored lambs I’ve ever had, the array or sauces were a great complement to the dish. At first I though that the potato pave was a pineapple, then I quickly realized it was a potato. Overall I liked this equally as much as the chicken, both flavored well and cooked perfectly. The paneer was also very good, made uniquely. Personally I don’t really like dal, in any form really but this dal was flavorful and buttery and amazing. The garlic naan was also a great complement to the last dishes and dal. I had my naan with the dal.

Course 7

The dessert was creative and executed perfectly. The rasmalai “air” was truly like eating air. The taste was exactly like rasmalai but it was light and airy, almost like magic. The second dish was also very good, the textures were unique and the ice cream was creamy and perfect. Honestly this was a great end to an amazing dinner experience.


After the tasting menu was complete we got some small treats. The paan bonbon tasted just like paan and the guava was very flavorful. They also gave us a third treat (because they didn’t have the chai one) and it was a liquid filled treat- it was very good but I can’t remember what it tasted like.

KOLKATA sweet & sour

Komet Indian single malt whisky, folded with fresh ginger and frosted mayo elixir, topped with a spritz of Islay Whiskey

DEHLI strong & refreshing

Banhez Mezcal, seamlessly infused with goat cheese & apricot, all carbonated in unison, served alongside grapefruit compressed with fermented honey & an agave nectar; garnished with smoked salt

GOA fizzy

A refreshing house blend vodka fizz made with a lavishly floral roasted cashew orgeat, powdered honey, sweet and sour tropical essence and top up with soda and garnished with nutmeg

San Francisco refreshing

A sotol collins featuring ono, honeydew, tomato & truffle foam with a hit of a chili garnished with an edible bouquet


We tried four of the cocktails on the menu and we liked all of them. The cocktail selection process was also unique. They had the bar engineer come out and answer any questions we had about the bar menu.

I think all the cocktails were amazing. I think that we will most definitely do the wine pairing with the tasting menu.

Overall Indienne was one of the best indian restaurants I have had in the city, the experience was unique and the price point is reasonable considering you are in the city being treated to a 3 hour dining experience. The staff was friendly, and they worked in synchrony bringing out the right plates and utensils for our next course. Honestly it was amazing to see how so many staff members can work together in such synchrony without making a mistake. They literally ironed the table cloth to a crisp and clean finish. If you want to try this menu, you only have a few more weeks to try it, since the will be changing the tasting menu next year which we are SOOOOO EXCITED FOR! Click here to make your reservation before it’s too late!


Collagen Supplement

I have been taking the Youtheory collagen for about a month now, I have it on the auto subscription on Amazon so I don’t run out. There are many known benefits of collagen and here are some of the benefits:

  1. May improve skin health – we know that a major component of our skin is collagen and it essentially plays a roll in strengthening our skin. Fact is- as you get older your body produces less collagen and this can cause your skin to look dry and wrinkles become more predominant.
  2. May relieve joint pain- Collagen helps maintain the integrity of your cartilage, the rubber-like tissue that protects your joints- again as you age and the collagen levels decrease you will start to have joint pain.
  3. May prevent bone loss- bones are mostly made of collagen which give them structure and strength- with age you produce less collagen and therefor decreases bone density and increase the risk of broken bones.
  4. May boost muscle mass- collagen is a major protein in the skeletal system
  5. May prompt heart health- Collagen provides structure to your arteries, the blood vessels that carry blood from your heart to the rest of your body. Without enough collagen, arteries may become less flexible and elastic.
  6. May benefit Hair and nails – Taking collagen may increase the strength of your nails by preventing brittleness. Additionally, it may help your hair and nails grow longer

Personally the benefit I have seen is in my skin, I have always struggled with larger pore size and my monthly visits to get hydro facials have substantially helped my skin. However, in the month I have taken the collagen supplement my pores have shrunk AND my skin looks so smooth. Also, my hair and nails look great (similar results to the daily biotin I used to take a few years ago).

The other speculated benefits are all long term effects, and if they are true there is no harm. The only CON that I can think of is the serving size- its SIX tablets per day and they are not small- although they don’t taste bad so it could have been worst.

I am going to go ahead and share the direct link to the product I order incase you want to try it: CLICK HERE


Weekend trip to Michigan

After we got vaccinated earlier in the year, we were itching to go somewhere so we decided to plan a little weekend getaway with some friends. We had rented a cute house in Coloma, MI of Airbnb. The pictures were nice, but to our surprise once we got there, it was MUCH different then what we had seen. It was evident that the pictures were edited and were were essentially catfished by our rental. This is where we stayed incase you wanted to avoid the house! We got into Michigan in the evening, and our first stop was Silver Harbor Brewing Company. Unfortunately there were no open tables, so we decided to take some beer to-go before checking into our AirBnb. Our initial reaction was “wth” when we walked into the house, it was dark and dungy and dirty. The first thing we noticed was the bathroom, the door was in the kitchen and it was a GLASS DOOR! We took a minute to settle In before picking a place to eat dinner. Unfortunately, things in the city closed early so we had to make moves. We decided to go to The Blackbird Waterhouse. It was a cute little restaurant close to our rental, it was snowing pretty bad and we didn’t want to go too far. The food was good and so was the beer!

When we got home, we wanted to call it an early night because we had an early morning snowmobiling. We got up early and made egg bagel sandwiches before heading out. We had to drive about an hour north to rent our snowmobiles at Powersport Rentals in Cedar Springs, Michigan– it looks like they have permanently. The White Pine Trail was a beautiful 100 mile trail that we were able to ride! We passed through so many small towns along the way. We stopped at Sawmill Saloon to grab a beer and a giant pretzel while the boys rode further north. We went about 42 miles up the trial before turning around. I am kind of bummed that this rental spot is closed, I was looking forward to going back and renting again.

After the 4+ hours of riding we were hungry to say the least. We decided to go to Perrin Brewing Co. in Comstock Park, MI. There was a long wait, but we decided to wait it out! In the mean time, we decided to call AirBnb and see if we could move to another house since the house we were staying at was a disaster, the beds were uncomfortable, there was a stink bug in one of the beds and there was broken glass in one of the bedrooms. They were SUPER NICE and moved us to this amazing house in South Haven, MI. We really enjoyed the brewery, amazing food and beer!

After we ate, we headed back to our house, packed up, jumped into the hot tub and chilled before heading back up to South Haven! The house we checked into was SUPER CUTE and he host was so nice! This is a perfect house to rent in the summer time with a few families!

The next morning we went on a hike and saw the most amazing views on the beach, where the water had froze in place. It was super cold that morning but it was worth it for the view!

After walking around we obviously built up an apatite, so we did what we do best– we found another brewery! We went to Three Mittens Brewery in Grand Rapids. MI. Again, it was great food and amazing beer! Highly recommend visiting if you are in the area.

After lunch, we headed back to the house and just relaxed! Later in the evening, we headed to another brewery– Three Blonds Brewing in South Haven, MI. The beer was actually very good but the food wasn’t the greatest- this was probably because we showed up right before the place closed. We found a fan favorite beer- Just took a DNA test and it’s 100% beer!

That night we went home and hung out, it was our last night in Michigan before heading home. The next morning we woke up and went to a local coffee shop called The Living Room, in downtown South Haven. It was super cute, then we went to the Olive Cart and got some oils and balsamic to go! After coffee, we decided to slide across ice to go up to the lighthouse! Again, we saw some beautiful views but it was SUPER slippery!

After our morning in South Haven, we went back to the house, passed up got ready and headed back to Chicago. On the way out of Michigan, about an hour into our drive- we stopped and got some lunch at The Stray Dog in Buffalo, MI. Great spot with amazing food! I can’t wait to visit this place in the summer, they have really nice outside space.

We had an amazing weekend with good friends in Michigan! The greatest part about this area in Michigan is that it is only about 2 hours way from Chicago, and there are so many things to do in all seasons!