Monday, May 25, 2009

Fine Dining. (Brigid's back!)

Category: Travel and Places
Howdy, folks. I know it's technically time for a review blog, but I've been absent for so long that I wanted to say hello. Thanks to my trusty friends and substitute-bloggers for allowing me to actually enjoy my couple of days in Chicago. This whole must-find-internet-and-must-blog mindset causes more stress than it should.

I had a pretty busy schedule while I was there, and I won't bore you with the running-from-here-to-there and doing wedding things.

Instead, I'll let you in on one of the most perfect evenings I've ever enjoyed.

I love fine dining and epicurean delights. It's borderline hedonism, but epicurean sounds more stable so we'll go with that. I don't get to enjoy fine dining often. On the road, it's generally Flying J's and Burger Kings. Packs of cashews and Junior Whoppers without the meat. There's not even time for Applebee's (which is good because everything about Applebee's is disgusting ... another blog topic all together).

In Chicago, however, I made time for a fine dining experience. Friend-with-a-Truck is the perfect date for a weekend road trip because he, too, is up for anything and appreciates the luxury of an excellent meal. I'd made reservations earlier in the week at the Signature Room on the 95th floor of the John Hancock Building. This itself was a task because the restaurant books up weeks in advance regularly and months in advance on a holiday weekend. This is where being a persuasive charmer with an On-Demand Southern Drawl comes in handy. Earlier this week, I sweet-talked the man into a two-top table at 8:30.

The view from the 95th floor is specatucular, especially just after sunset, with the colorful clouds reflecting the city lights and the waves of Lake Michigan. We also took our sweet sweet top enjoying the meal, watching the surrounding tables turn over at least twice while we sat there for a few hours. We ate several courses and drank delicious pinot noir.

I had an awesome potato gnocchi with lemon garlic butter and ramps. I learned what ramps are and that I like them. (They are kind of like leeks or wild onions and taste delicious in a cream sauce.) Friend-with-a-Truck got some sort of meat -- i think it was lamb -- that actually looked appetizing. I didn't want any of it, but it looked pretty on the plate.

Fine dining makes me want to eat every single meal at home for a couple of months, only so I can save up enough money to go out to eat somewhere amazing. Somewhere where the servers blow your minds with their food knowledge and attentiveness. Where they fold your napkin on the back of your chair when you get up to go to the restroom. Hmmmmmmmmm......

Okay, I'm off to the grocery store to stock up on nacho supplies.

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