Saturday, June 9, 2012

Chi-Town Chow Down

This week, I visited friends in Chicago for a few days and had some great times, good drinks, and delicious food! My first night, I went to Rockit Bar and Grill where I was very impressed! The menu was eccentric with a good mix of creative dishes and new takes on classic American options like burgers. For starters, we ordered the double dip: a platter full with a bowl of hummus, a bowl of tomato goat cheese dip, plenty of veggies, crackers and pita bread. The white bean hummus was fresh and good but the goat cheese dip was my favorite. Served as a generous portion of fresh goat cheese surrounded by a simple tomato sauce. I was initially a little underwhelmed but after mixing the goat cheese with the warm sauce and watching it melt into the sauce, I understood the draw. It was a delicious and rich combination. For my meal, I ordered a turkey burger with avocado, Swiss cheese and house mayo on a pretzel bun. The bun was chewy and the burger perfectly savory. The cheese and mayo were great accompaniments but my favorite part were the truffle fries. Thick cut and covered in truffle oil, parsley and sea salt the fries were amazing! The drinks were also delicious! I ordered a martini with mango vodka, mango syrup, lime, and mango purée. They were dangerously sweet!

The next day I went to Orange for brunch. With several locations around the city I figured it must be good but did not know what to expect. The menu featured several unique drinks such as their house-made orange j fused coffee and an extensive create-your-own juice list. For an appetizer, my friend insisted we try "frushi": Orange's speciality. This fruit sushi initially did not sound appetizing but was very surprising. The specifics change every day but we were offered strawberries with coconut rice and a piece of nigiri with pineapple and coconut rice. The rice was flavorful and moist while the fruit was fresh. The plate was decorated with a flavorful melon sauce, strawberry sauce, and grape garnishes. They were a colorful, fresh and delicious start to the meal.

For dinner my second night, I went to Carmine's: a Chicago Italian landmark. The large patio was buzzing and great for people watching. We were served warm bread with a plate heaping of Parmesan and olive oil. For my meal, I settled on the classic pasta: bolognese. It was delicious! Overall, I had a fabulous trip full of wonderful food and great friends. Now I am off to Maine for the summer so entries may be less frequent but hopefully just as mouth-watering when I get the chance to post! Expect at least one post about lobster!

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