1st Anniversary Post – Chicago Restaurant Week

Today marks ONE YEAR since my first recipe on this blog. 🙂 I started off with my ace-in-the-hole appetizer, Two-Step Spinach Dip, which both my mom and I made for our Super Bowl parties this last weekend.

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Mike and I all dressed up 🙂

Time has seriously flown by! In one year, I’ve done 45 posts, which includes 3 breakfast items, 4 appetizers, 7 side dishes, 15 desserts, and 16 main dishes!  Hmm, for not much of a baker, I clearly love eating desserts since they are high on the list.

It’s interesting to breakdown 45 recipes into detail like that. Obviously it takes time, planning, and effort to do this blog, but I am still so happy I finally decided to start it! To put it into perspective, I sent myself an email back in 2010 with the name, Mind, Body & Belly, so I wouldn’t forget it.

I finally pulled the trigger on Mind, Body & Belly thanks to my move to Chicago. I followed up my first recipe with a Chicago Restaurant Week review of Boka. So I figured I’d go full circle with my anniversary post and tell you all about my 2014 Restaurant Week experience.

2014 Restaurant Week

For Christmas, my boyfriend, Mike got us tickets to Chicago’s Restaurant Week kick off event called First Bites Bash. It was a cocktail event in the Great Hall at Union Station. It featured 53 stations each representing a Chicago restaurant serving a small plate of food.

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The Great Hall at Union Station

Mike and I trekked through the zero degree (actual temp, not wind chill) January weather and arrived with wide eyes and empty stomachs.

Along with the unlimited wine and Goose Island beer, Mike and I proceeded to stuff our faces with foods and flavors that spanned the entire spectrum.

We made it to a total of 33 stations and our stomachs were equal parts happy and confused, in the sense that our stomachs had never experienced the randomness that had occurred.

Here’s a few highlights from the First Bites Bash:

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The long menu!

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Chefs hard at work

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Cider Braised Pork Cheeks
Bistro Zinc
Our favorite from the night!

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Griddled Crab Cake
Tavern on Rush

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Date Stuffed Amish Chicken Breast
Dine Restaurant

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Pork Meatball
Bar Pastoral

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Pulled Pork Slider on a Pretzel Bun
Chicago Q

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Ahi Tuna Tostadas
Summer House Santa Monica

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Mini Rockit Burgers
Rockit Bar and Grill

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Decadent Chocolate Espresso Cake
The Berghoff

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Maple Glazed Sweetbreads (Cow Glands!)
Homestead on the Roof

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Braised Short Rib Cigar
Fresco 21

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Pistachio Mousse Torte
Quay Restaurant & Bar

Keep in mind this was just the kick off event! I have continued to partake in Restaurant Week over the last week and a half. In addition to the First Bites Bash, I have gone to SEVEN restaurants to have their restaurant week menu. These menus are a pre fixe menu of three or four courses for $22 or $33 for lunch and $33 or $44 for dinner.

The best value so far was from Sullivan’s Steakhouse. Mike got an appetizer of braised beef ravioli, caesar salad, and an EIGHTEEN ounce KC strip steak for $44.

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After

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Before

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3 thoughts on “1st Anniversary Post – Chicago Restaurant Week

  1. As a friend of your Dad’s for many years (he was one of my customers when I worked in Elk Grove Village, IL), I have heard about you throughout your life and he sent me a link to your blog. It’s great that you have moved to Chicago; that is where I live. Love your post about restaurant week; keep up the good work. I will continue to read your blog; congrats on a whole year!

  2. so enjoyed reading this post…..one year now – wow you have written some great stories and suggested some fantastic meals….proud of you and love reading your blog!

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