Chicago + A New Year

Today marks the beginning of a new year. One thing I'd like to be better about in this new set of days is documenting my life, telling my story, remembering where I've been... making use of the website I pay for each month. However you put it, consider this my attempt to keep this resolution for at least a day.

Two days after Christmas, I headed to downtown Chicago with my mom for about 24 hours of tourist action wherein I attempted to eat my way through town. In between sandwiches and ice cream, I felt no shame in cheesing it up by "the bean" and focusing my eyes on the sky instead of the sidewalk in front of me. I managed to not fall or run into a stranger, so maybe being a tourist isn't all that bad. 

Our "home" for this trip was the Downtown Chicago Marriott on Michigan/Rush and Ohio, a choice location with a nice view and the perfect beds. Here's a little roundup of where we went and what we ate.

1 - Eataly
We ate: Berry focaccia (hot from the oven=heaven!) and a prosciutto, tomato and mozzarella sandwich. Though it was less crowded than I expected (when I visited the NYC location we could barely walk through the packs of people) this place is pretty much sensory overload. I can't imagine what it would be like to actually shop for groceries there. However, what we ate was delicious and I would repeat the experience again without hesitation.

2 - Sprinkles
We ate: S'mores, Chocolate Peppermint & Peanutbutter Chip cupcakes. Of all the cupcakes I've eaten in my life, I hold Sprinkles in high regard. The S'mores cupcake was legendary - graham cracker bottom, fudgy chocolate center, capped by toasted marshmallow frosting - yum! This shop's proximity to Madewell was also noted and appreciated.

3 - Intelligentsia
We drank: lattes... on the way to Millennium Park. While there we visited the new Maggie Daley Park which is home to a pretty neat playground and ice skating ribbon. Definitely worth the walk across the bridge.

4 - Quartino
We ate: Burrata and Beet Salad, Penne Alla Vodka and Sausage Pizza. This restaurant is cozy, pairing perfectly with the casual Italian shared plates on their menu. There are about eight other things I could've eaten, but there just wasn't anywhere else to put it. I loved the pasta, followed closely by the burrata salad with beets served two ways, thin slices and small chunks soaked in pungent vinegar. I can't wait to go back and next time I'm saving room for dessert.

5 - Wildberry
We ate: Corned Beef Hash and Berry Pancakes. I love their pancakes with fresh berries, but even I can't believe I've now eaten here three times in a span of two months.

6 - Shake Shack
We ate: Shack Burger, Fries, Chocolate Shake. They do shakes like no one else and nothing pairs quite like the burger / shake combo.  My only regret is that we split a burger, I could've eaten my own and still had room for our next stop.

7 - Jeni's
We ate: Dark Chocolate and Brown Butter Almond Brittle.

My only regret - we never made it to Portillo's.