Week #5 – Mario Tricoci’s Beauty Resolution Event

It’s come to my attention (you know who you are!) that I’ve been dining out a lot lately for the blog, so I was especially pleased to hear a voicemail confirming my RSVP for the 4th Annual Beauty Resolution Event at Mario Tricoci.

Although I’ve been to the downtown location once, I’ve never been to this FREE beauty event. I received an email a few weeks ago, and called soon after to reserve my spot. (Did I mention it was FREE?)

As part of the event, which was held at Mario Tricoci locations across Chicagoland, guests could choose to be pampered with:

  • Lady LUXE Blow Dry Style
  • Cellophane Color Treatment
  • Makeup Application
  • Mini Anti-Aging Facial
  • Mini Therapeutic Massage
  • Mini Signature Manicure

Because this event was RSVP, I was riding solo. If you know me, the only thing I like to do alone is shop (mostly for groceries). The event started at 5 pm, so I decided to show up fashionably late at 5:30 pm.

It was pretty busy once I arrive. I checked in, and was asked to choose which two complimentary services I’d like. Well, if there’s anything I hate more than being alone, it’s decision-making. Where should we go on vacation? Which shirt should I wear today? Chipotle for lunch today or tomorrow? These are all really life-changing examples, but decisions tend to be a struggle for me. Imagine me planning my wedding…yikes…

The massage was a no-brainer, so I chose that first. (Note: My first spa treatment was an aloe wrap on vacation with my cousin Merry when I was 15 years old. We had to pretend that we were 16 years old to get into the spa. Talk about living on the edge.) In the spirit of trying new things, I went for the Cellophane Color Treatment. It seemed “exotic” for me, and the woman was kind enough to say I could get a blow out after. Yes!

I was then taken to get a glass of wine (“Red or White?”—more decisions!) and whisked away to wait for Arturo, my masseuse. I almost felt like I was waiting for a blind date, like Meg Ryan in You Got Mail. But instead of tea, I sipped on my glass of wine, and I was looking at magazines featuring Chicago socialites and not holding a single rose and a copy of Pride and Prejudice.

My appointment was at 6 pm, and I started to get a little nervous when it was 6:10 pm and no Arturo. Did I not have enough knots in my shoulders? Do I not look exhausted enough? Trust me, that’s impossible. But I wasn’t nervous for long. The staff at Mario was extremely helpful and did their best to get everyone an appointment as soon as possible. When Aidan arrived to take me away, my liquid calm resumed.

The 20-minute massage was just what I needed, and Aidan was a joy to talk too, which is always an added bonus. He also used a spice-scented lotion that smelled really good. Thanks, Aidan!

From there, I was guided to the salon section where I met Bethany, who would give me my Cellophane Treatment. This treatment, which I found out is extremely affordable, helps give your hair a glossy shine. Bethany was really nice, and patient as I asked her many times if the treatment would have an affect on my first-time color from Salon Buzz. She said maybe just a little, but it wasn’t anything permanent.

This was only the second time I was having something brushed on my hair, and the first time I went under one of those huge hair dryers (see below). It was bizarre—I kind of felt like an alien, but it was warm, which was heavenly for a person like me who is cold in Florida.

After 15 minutes, Bethany washed the treatment out my hair, recommended a leave-in conditioner for my ends (Do you use this?) and took me to get my hair blown out. The girl who dried my hair was so nice, and we chatted about her upcoming 21st birthday. (Mine consisted of too many Jaeger Bombs and hiding under the bar…oops…) Bethany came to check on me after my hair was styled to check the treatment, which was a little above and beyond in my book. Much appreciated.

This event was a great opportunity to try out Mario Tricoci’s great offering of services, and I will definitely be coming back for more massages at the very least. The salon is clean, the staff is friendly, and who doesn’t love free events?!? Sign up to be on their mailing list to hear about more great events like this one!

Mario Tricoci
900 North Michigan Avenue
Mag Mile

photo-114 photo-115 photo-116 photo-117 photo-119 photo-120

Week #4 – The Boarding House

I have been a Check, Please! fan for years now, so when Sandra told me we had reservations at The Boarding House after Ada Street last Friday, I was pretty excited. (My sister-in-law Melissa also recommended it earlier that week!) I was even more impressed when we walked up to the three-story building at 720 N. Wells and fell in love with the beautiful façade.

I read about the fantastic wine glass chandelier in the bar on the first floor and had seen it online (get a tour of the Boarding House here, but it’s much grander in person. I was distracted, however, by the fact that Ms. Alpana Singh was at the host stand when we arrived! She whisked us downstairs to the basement Cellar, where the wine cellar, another bar area, and seating were available. Our table was centrally located, and I was so excited to soak in all of the action.

Our waitress Sloan really helped to make our experience unforgettable. She was kind, informative, and attentive. I started out with a glass of Rosato champagne (when in doubt, pick the first thing on the menu!), Sandra also had a glass of bubbly, and the boys split a bottle of J. Christopher Pinot Noir (see the wine list here). Their wine was so smooth, they were drinking it like water. Sandra and I loved our champagne selections so much, we decided to get a bottle from The Boarding House’s “Our Top Wines of the Moment List”, an assortment of wines and champagnes that are on special.

I have to admit something to you too: while in the Cellar, I never stopped dancing in my seat. Or belting lyrics at the top of my lungs, for that matter. (I was that girl.) The music in the Cellar is an eclectic mix of 80s & 90s pop that is to die for.

Hours passed by quickly, and we left The Boarding House around 12:30 a.m. We had the best time, and even stopped to chat with Alpana on our way out. (Bonus!)

I’m sad to hear that after this next season she will no longer be the host of Check, Please!, but I’m confident that The Boarding House of River North, is and will be a gem to visit for years to come.

The Boarding House
720 N. Wells
River North

photo-113 photo-112 photo-106 photo-107 photo-108 photo-109 photo-110 photo-111

Week #4 – Ada St.

Last Friday was my friend Sandra’s birthday (who I went to Slurping Turtle with), so we made plans to try a new restaurant that night. Little did I know she would have two new gems for me to try!

First up: Ada St. for dinner. When I told several friends I was going, they said this place is amazing (Sandra and Brad had already been), so my expectations were high. And, man, did it deliver.

Ada St., located very discretely on Ada Street (near North Ave. and Elston) near the Hideout. Everything about this restaurant is cool. The decor is cool. The vibe is cool. Chef Zoe Schor is cool. The glassware is cool. Our waitress was cool. The vinyl record collection is cool. The food is outstanding and so are the cocktails.

I loved this place so much, that I am already thinking of reasons (like I need one!) to go back. I also loved it so much that I don’t want to tell you too much about it. Why? Because I genuinely want you to experience it for yourself. It’s one of the best restaurants I’ve been to in awhile, fit for foodies and picky eaters alike.

Here are photos of some of my favorite dishes we sampled on Friday. The menu changes often, and our specials were phenomenal. Get your a** to Ada St. I promise you won’t be let down.

Ada St.
1664 North Ada
Noble Square

photo-91 photo-95 photo-96 photo-100 photo-101 photo-102 photo-104 photo-105