I was off on Valentine’s Day this year and had the perfect day! It started with a coffee at L’OURS BAKERY COFFEE. Definitely a cute coffee shop centrally located in Little Italy. It was pretty large, great work space for those who want to study or work from home.
Later that night I finally got to go to a popup restaurant at Eatlay Chicago called Biata. The restaurant concept was the Italian Alps: MELTED CHEESES AND WARM WINES! I was pretty much in heaven during dinner!
The decor and ambiance was beautiful, super cozy and warm, literally felt like we were in a cabin.
The warm wine was yummy! I didn’t think I would be a fan of warm wine, but I was quiet pleased with it. The cheese/ food was absolutely amazing. It was very rich and CHEESY but that’s my favorite, so I wasn’t complaining.
Desert wasn’t an option after a meal like that, I was way to full to have anything else! Definitely a great experience!
Since it was restaurant week, we wanted to try a new restaurant and S.K.Y. was on the Chicago Top 50 restaurant list. Although they didn’t have a restaurant week menu we wanted to try it anyways.
We started with drinks and appetizers. Everything was family style and we placed our whole order at once and the kitchen timed it out for us. We started with cornbread madeleines and black truffle croquettes.
We then got Maine lobster dumplings, pasta regu which was an off the menu special and organic fried chicken, which seemed to be a crowd favorite when we looked up the menu.
We had saved just enough room for some dessert. We decided to get a green tea dessert served with caramel donuts, some of our favorite things in one dessert.
While my cousin was in town from Seattle we all decided to have family dinner at etta. I had been wanting to try this place for a while now so I was super excited to go! The restaurant is located in Bucktown, so it’s a further trip for us, but well worth it!
The minute we walked in, we loved it. It was very aesthetically pleasing. We had 9:45pm reservations, but it was packed when we walked in so had to wait. However they were nice enough to give us complimentary champagne while waiting for our table.
We started with the fire-baked focaccia served with ricotta honey & truffle, and the spicy meatballs and ricotta pillows (2 orders) which I would highly recommend! Then we followed up with 3 pastas, 2 pizzas and 2 proteins for the 6 of us. The menu is intended to be family style, so it’s a great place to go with a larger group! I think it was safe to say we ordered too much food.
Everything came out as it was ready, and it was fresh and tasted amazing. They timed it well in the kitchen, we had exactly enough time to enjoy each plate before the next one came out. I think that this may be a summer date night spot in the near future.
Unfortunately, we were too full for dessert but the dessert menu looked very good.
It’s always nice to find a new spot and fall in love with it! We decided to try Vol. 39 and walking it we appreciated the ambiance, definitely our vibe. Their charcuterie menu looked awesome but we had dinner plans for restaurant week, so we stuck to drinks. They had an extensive Old Fashioned list, and one that stood out was the Vol. 39, a $35 drink. I got a classic cocktail, and I couldn’t resist and he got the Vol. 39.
We decided to stay for a second round, and the bartender created a nice floral cocktail for me, off the menu.
We loved this spot and can’t wait to come back! I think the next time we are going to try the small plates.
We always love to plan elaborate date nights, and we try to hit up as many spots as we can in one night. This time we decided to start at The Violet Hour. A speakeasy I have always wanted to go to. A friend had mentioned that it is quite inside, but it was surprisingly loud that evening, there was even loud music music playing!
Our next stop was dinner, we went to Pub Royale since it was in the same neighborhood as Violet Hour. They had good Indian food as well as Indian fusion food at the restaurant.
We started with an order with the vegetable samosas and the lamb dumplings.
For dinner we split the Pub Royale burger. It was a pretty good burger with spicy pickles and masala aioli.
The desert menu had chai tea dulce de leche donut holes, so naturally we had to order it, also one of the more popular drinks on the menu was a dressed up Hamm’s, which was an interesting twist on beer.
After coming home from Costa Rica, I wanted to take my sister out for her birthday since we missed Christmas Eve. She wanted to do a tea time so I decided to take her to The Allis in SoHo House. The Allis has tea time every afternoon. We decided to do the Sparkling Afternoon Tea. We got a tower filled with finger sandwiches, scones, a selection of fancy cakes, tea and a glass of prosecco!
After Tea Time, we kept the afternoon going, and went to a new bar down the street called The Darling. It was an adorable bar with great ambiance, and since we got there at 4pm it wasn’t too crowded.
A few weeks later we came back and I ordered the same drink I had gotten before, the Botanical Bees Knees. Ironically it came in a tea set since there is earl grey in the drink. We weren’t up in the ballroom that evening, instead in the library on the first floor located behind the flower wall. It was still a great atmosphere.
Mediterranea food is probably one of my favorite cuisines and I was so excited to find this spot over the summer. Aba is a hidden gem, you have to take a random elevator up to the restaurant and you don’t know what to expect until you get to the top. Walking in, it was absolutely beautiful. Even though it was summer it was chilly in the evening and we wanted to sit inside. The rooftop was even nicer then the inside. The restaurant was aesthetically pleasing so I loved it the minute we walked in!
We had gone out prior to dinner for some drinks, but the drinks here were very good. They were fresh and unique. I definitely want to go back just for the drinks one day.
The food was amazing to say the least. We actually over ordered and ended up taking the kabobs home. I can’t wait to come back and try the rest of the menu.
PSA: they have heated domes on their rooftop during the winter!