Tête Charcuterie

I have a confession: I feel really guilty.

Why? Because I’ve waited way too long (like three weeks!) to tell you about this little gem: Tête Charcuterie. Life gets in the way–work is busy, my sister AND sister-in-law had babies in the same week (yay!), I went to New York City for almost a week, we found a new apartment (more on that later), I had jury duty–but seriously, no excuses.

Let’s cut to the chase: this place is great on so many levels. The service is some of the best I’ve had IN MY LIFE. The menu is sophisticated, well edited, and a little adventurous. But let’s get into the details:

I met one of my oldest friends, Ali, here for a night of major catching up. We sat inside, where it was quiet and cool. Right away we were greeted, and Ali had the Three Amigos while I ordered a Tête a Tête, which our waiter said was a better version of a Moscow Mule. Sold! It was very tasty and refreshing. What made it even better was when the bartender came and checked on how the drinks were himself. That’s extra points in my book.

We wanted to try a variety of meats, so we went with the small charcuterie board, which includes a taste of everything: chicken liver pate, mortadella, salami, and the house specialty–head cheese–as well as thick, delicious bread slices, sweet pickles, and whole grain mustard.

I have more to confess: I was nervous about eating the head cheese. If you don’t know what head cheese is, it’s a meat jelly (no dairy here) made with various parts of the pig’s head–very European. I questioned trying it, but like the saying goes, “When in Rome…”, right?

So Ali and I tasted it at the same time, and…it wasn’t bad at all! Moreover, what makes this board so good is that each bite is deliciously unique. And it’s really the perfect portion for two people to share as a meal. While we were eating, we were checked on again by Amanda at the hostess stand. More points for Tête!

But we couldn’t end there. We decided to go with a rich and creamy artisan goat cheese with strawberries, dried apricots, and more of that delicious bread for dessert with a glass of Hi! Prosecco–a perfect pairing, if you ask me. It was a great choice to end our evening with a little sweet…or so we thought…

Then Dan, general manager and partner of Tête, stopped by to chat, and brought out a sample of the applewood smoked bacon. (I mean, who can turn down a delicious piece of bacon?!?) It was the perfect amount of smokiness and melted in my mouth. What a decadent end to a wonderful meal.

Now, when we were there, Tête just had its three-month anniversary, and Daniel told us they will have their own cured meats to try in a month or less (ours were from West Loop Salumi just across Randolph Street)–I know I will definitely be coming back to try them.

Honestly, if you want incredible service and delicious, unique fare, head to Tête Charcuterie. The care that they put into their food and their customer service shows. It’s perfect for date night, a night with the girls, a group, you name it. Just make sure you go.

Tête Charcuterie
1114 West Randolph
West Loop

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Week #21 – Little Market Brasserie

Ok, I’m at it again. I’m on a restaurant streak!

This time, Lindsey and I ventured out to Little Market Brasserie, a little spot in the Talbott Hotel (which is really cute, by the way).

I made a reservation for two on Monday evening at 6 pm, and the crowd was definitely light, which is to be expected. I sat down right away (the host asked if I was there to meet my sister—Lindsey is a tall, thin, blond…), and we ordered cocktails. Good thing, because it was one of those days when you just need to leave work and have a cocktail (those of you who know me know that that’s pretty out of the ordinary).

Little Market touts their “charged sodas,” where you choose from one of five sodas and pair it with a suggested spirit. Mix and match, if you will. We asked the waiter for a recommendation, and he brought out two small samples of the cucumber lemon (which Lindsey ordered with vodka) and the orange hibiscus mint (which I ordered with vodka). These were so refreshing and delicious. Had one, probably could have sucked down three.

For food, we decided to go with one of our waiter’s food suggestions, which was the ceviche. Man, did this dish deliver. I wasn’t surprised, seeing as Mercadito Hospitality, which is also behind Mercadito, Tavernita, and so many more top restaurants in the city, also owns Little Market.

Deviled eggs have become a Second City Gal favorite in the past few years, so I wanted to try them, but I wouldn’t really recommend these unless you love horseradish. I could barely eat one it was so strong.

Our goat cheese and beets salad was good, and so was the pork belly share plate, but the pork was probably a little too heavy for late spring/early summer. An ordering error on my part.

We were way too full for dessert, so we sipped our cocktails, caught up, and enjoyed the décor of the restaurant. It actually reminded me a lot of The Smith in New York City—creative lighting, black and white everything, and bistro styling. The smaller bar just beyond the host stand is especially my style with its well-lit shelving, sweet potted green plants, and recycled ceiling tiles (which I have in my apartment). I’d like to ask the interior designer if she does in-home consultations…

For cute atmosphere and tasty cocktails, head over to Little Market Brasserie!

PS—Linds gave me the cutest gold leather bow bracelet (see below). Tres cute!

Little Market Brasserie
10 E. Delaware Place
Gold Coast

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Week #20 – Cafe Iberico

This week brings sad news—my co-worker and friend, Jeanne, who was a huge inspiration for this blog, has moved on to greener pastures. California, to be exact! I am so excited for this new chapter in her and her boyfriend Jim’s lives, but selfishly am sad that I don’t get to see her Monday through Friday anymore. So this post is “totes” dedicated to my girl, Jeanne.

For our last lunch as a department, Jeanne chose Café Iberico, which used to be a hangout for my co-workers when our office was near the famous Spanish tapas restaurant. I feel like Café Iberico is one of those places that everyone has been to, so I was glad it was finally my turn!

We were seated quickly, and it was a nice-sized crowd for lunch (apparently it’s so busy at dinner that it’s hard to hear!). Jeanne and my boss Amy knew immediately what they wanted to order, and I was happy to enjoy their recommendations. (There’s nothing like excellent suggestions when you’re trying something new.)

I must say, the menu is very helpful for newbies like me because every dish has a photo, which I’m a big fan of. (I like to know what I’m getting myself into. Ha.) I decided to start with a house salad (I’m doing a salad-a-day challenge this month), and Jeanne and Amy chose the rest of our meal, including Tortilla Espanola, Patatas Bravas, Queso de Cabra, Gambas al Ajillo, and Fig-Wrapped Dates. My co-worker Mark’s paella was too beautiful not to photograph (see below).

Want to know what the best sign of good food is? I kept diving right in instead of taking pictures of this delicious food for you! I really enjoyed all of the selections; I think my favorites were the dates and the baked goat cheese—yum!

There’s nothing like getting together with your co-workers to relax, unwind, and enjoy a meal—especially when it’s to honor a friend. Miss you already, Jeanne!

Cafe Iberico
737 North LaSalle
River North

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