Week #52 – Foodiechats Event at Chi-Town Eatery

This time last week, I was nervous and excited about my first #Foodiechats event at West Loop’s Chi-Town Eatery. I was invited in a direct message on Twitter, and was thrilled to be included.

These live events take place every Monday at 7 pm CST, and #Foodiechats shares 10 questions for the foodie community to answer (with a new topic each week). On this particular Monday, the event was hosted at Chi-Town Eatery, a new fast casual restaurant in the West Loop.

Saying yes to this event was so full circle for me. A year ago, I was tired of doing the same old thing in the city I love. And now, I’m stepping outside of my safe zone, and going to a blogger event on my own–as Second City Gal.

I walked over on that snowy day, ready to be social and have a good time. Everyone was so kind and friendly. I arrived as close to on time as I could, and sat down with some other bloggers. More and more people came, those who were active on social media, young and old, shy and loud, and we had a great time.

I quickly became friends with @kalehummus, @FlavCity, and @ArtDessi, who were also newbies to the event. (Shameless plug to check them out on Twitter!) We talked a lot about what we do, food in Chicago, the #FoodieChats questions, social media, and everyday life. It was fun to hear about husband and wife duo @FlavCity and @ArtDessi’s adventures for their online cooking and travel show, and @kalehummus and I bonded over our love for Chipotle and Native Foods!

There was so much food to sample at the event. I was in heaven. The restaurant served tons of food from its menu, including burgers, Mac and cheese, wings, kettle chips, chocolate covered strawberries, and lots more. We were also told we could order anything off of the menu, so I tried the salad with goat cheese and apples. Yum!

At the end of the evening, they held a raffle where I won a gift certificate to Chi-Town Eatery–how cool is that? @FlavCity won a t-shirt, so we dubbed ourselves the winners’ table.

I had so much fun at this event, and it really got me excited about this blog, and I’ve decided to continue the project in 2014.

Look out for more great adventures with Second City Gal…hopefully more #Foodiechats events, too!

Chi-Town Eatery
1000 West Washington
West Loop

Website: #Foodiechats
Twitter: #Foodiechats

20131222-211715.jpg

20131222-211725.jpg

20131222-211733.jpg

Advertisement

Week #46 – Siena Tavern

Do you watch Top Chef? (Even if you don’t, keep reading!) If you do, nine chances out of ten Fabio Viviani is one of your favorites. So, if he opened a restaurant in Chicago, what would hold you back from tasting his fabulous dishes for yourself? (Hint: nothing!)

Now, I have to come clean on something important: I actually went to Fabio’s delicious restaurant months ago. It’s true, I’ve been holding this gem hostage from you. I’m sorry! The reason why I’m telling you this is because the current menu has changed a little since then, but you can still get some of these wonderful dishes today. Phew, I feel better already coming clean. Now, let’s get to the food!

The restaurant is Italian tapas style, so we opted for a little bit of everything. Although my friends are always awesome about ordering well (given my dietary needs), I decided to throw caution to the wind and order all the cheese and cream my stomach desired! (Man, I really live on the edge…heavy sarcasm…)

We started with the coccoli, which is crispy dough, cheese, prosciutto, and truffle honey. (Yes, you read that correctly.) This antipasti is DIY, in that you break open the dough and put the ingredients inside to make the most decadent “ham sandwich” you’ve ever had. We followed that with the Siena Chopped salad, which includes interesting elements like wild boar salami (yum!).

If you go to Siena Tavern, you must get the burnt pepperoni pizza. Mouthwatering. That’s all I can say about. Perfection.

But the goodness didn’t end there. Enter homemade pastas. Gnocchi plus truffle cream, fried sage, and panchetta equals rich indulgence. We also had the spaghetti with jumbo lump crab, charred cherry tomatoes, red chili, and lemon sauce. This may seem like a strange combo, but the lemon made it so light and fresh. That was the biggest surprise of the night.

What I wasn’t surprised about? The amazing doughnuts for dessert with four different dipping sauces served in measuring cups. I knew they were going to be great.

Fabio, you outdid yourself. I’m so glad Siena Tavern is an awesome dining option in Chicago. Make a date (and a reservation!) with your friends at Siena Tavern.

Siena Tavern
51 West Kinzie
Near North Side

20131113-203341.jpg

20131113-203351.jpg

20131113-203359.jpg

Week #38 – Davanti Enoteca

My apologies that my posts have been so late in the week, but there are reasons, I swear. You’ll have a better sense of what’s going on at the end of this post. (Oh, sounds juicy, because it is!)

Little did I know that this meal with our good friends Brad and Sandra was going to be my last meal before one of the busiest and most exciting weeks of my life.

I’ve heard of Davanti Enoteca from friends before, and I was excited when Sandra suggested it. Nate and I arrived a few minutes early (that’s a first) and had some cocktails (prosecco for the lady and red wine for her man) before our friends arrived and we were seated. I should mention that the decor in this restaurant is romantic, but comfortable, like you’ve been going here forever.

We sat down and the waiter was lucky because we were starving. The restaurant serves small plates, so we ordered a little bit of everything: pizza and salads and seafood (I tried octopus!) and meat and more. I have to tell you, this creamy polenta dish we ordered with short ribs was one of the best dishes I’ve had in a while (and you know how often we go out!). The savory goodness just melted in your mouth. Even if that was the only thing I enjoyed–which it wasn’t–I’d return just for that plate.

We were able to eat pretty much everything, but didn’t leave room for dessert. Next time…I promise!

So, what happened the next day? We got our bundle of joy: George, a French Bulldog puppy who has stolen my heart. Photos to come soon!

But that’s not all. Brad and Sandra surprised us less than a week later and joined us on our trip to Jackson Hole! (Even more pics to come!)

Stay tuned, friends…

Davanti Enoteca
1359 West Taylor
University Village

20130922-221117.jpg

20130922-221126.jpg

20130922-221135.jpg