The Violet Hour + Pub Royale

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.

We had a successful date night to say the least!

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Aba

Mediterranean 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! 

Loved all the green plants inside! 

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!

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Villains Chicago

We are always on a mission to eat “the best burger ever”, so the day we moved into our new apartment, we went to a bar down the street that had a burger on their menu. Walking into Villains, we already loved it. Very cool ambiance, LOVE THE BEER WALL. The only thing they are missing is a patio. I wasn’t feeling a burger so I ordered a grilled cheese, which came with tater tots. My friend  ordered the Villains Burger (North Country Bacon, Hooks Cheddar, Pickles, Red Onion, Beef Fat Mayo & Fries). We were actually pretty disappointed in the burger. It was a thick dry patty, and lacked the flavors we expected. On the other had, the grilled cheese was pretty good, and come on, who doesn’t like tater tots? Over all I think we would definitely come back here, but we would order beer and get a charcuterie plate instead of a burger.

Update: we can’t come back, they recently closed! 😦

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Umai

Udon & ramen are always a hit or miss in my opinion. Also, it never tastes as good as takeout: we found this out the hard way! I have had my fair share of terrible ramen, to say the least.  We decided to check out Umai since it is down the street from our new building, and we needed a quick lunch on moving day! We were in and out in 20 minutes, and the food was actually very good. It was seasoned well, and came out piping hot, with so may different options to choose from. They even let you add ingredients to the bowl, for example, the one I wanted didn’t have an egg so I added it. The leftovers also traveled well, they separate out the noodles from the soup and pack them in different containers. This prevent the noodles from absorbing all the liquid and becoming soggy. Definitely going to be our favorite spot this winter when you need warm ramen!

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A Burger Better then Au Cheval?

When articles came out stating there was a burger in Chicago better then Au Cheval, we had to try it! Many people were claiming that The Loyalist burger was better then the infamous Au Cheval burger. It was time for me to figure out the validity of that myself. The Loyalist is located under Smyth…there is an arrow that directs you exactly to the right spot. We went St. Patty’s Day weekend on Saturday night and ironically there was no wait. We got seated immediately, which was \thrilling because we heard there is usually a line there depending on what time you go. For starters, the ambiance was nice. It was in the basement and there were tall tables, booths and bar seats. The drinks were good too…I ordered a green drink in the St. Patrick’s Day spirit. We were so excited for the burger we couldn’t even wait. We ordered the Loyalist cheeseburger and we weren’t disappointed. It was cooked just right, it was nice and juicy and there were caramelized AND raw onions on it. The fries were served with a side of garlic aïoli and vinegar which paired great with the burger. Even though it wasn’t “better then Au Cheval” in my opinion, it was pretty satisfying! I think the two burgers are very different and both amazing in their own ways.

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