I Ate The Whole City

5 Jul

Burger, fries & a shake from the Burger Boss

The city is a wonderful and very evil temptress.
She provides me with everything I need.
She has so much to offer.
It is useless to deny her.

She has so much to share, she has so much to show.
I can never say no to her.
I can hear her calling my name and whispering sweet culinary words to me.
Resistance is not possible.
Honey I am ready for our culinary exploits.
Show me what tricks you have up your sleeves. 

Yes, well I have been a very busy girl here in the Chi.  I will briefly report on what I have been up to and share some highlights of various restaurants I have traveled to. In no particular order I have visited Aviary, Nightwood, Divanti Enoteca, Publican, Black Dog Gelato, Topolobampo, Gilt Bar, Arami, Burger Boss and Graham Elliot.  Eight new places in the last month.  Wow, that is insane.  As I stated the city is an evil, yet very delicious temptress.

This post will be treated like a highlight reel of a sports game.  I will cut to the chase and show all the exciting part, but leave off all of the fluff.

Arami a small Japanese restaurant nestled in Ukrainian Village.  The sushi and sashimi was amazing.  All the fish was fresh and melts in your mouth.  The yellowfin jalapeno roll was delicious, seared scallop was perfect, and the ramen was pretty solid.  There were many veggie options that included mushrooms.  Don’t forget the extensive sake list.  I will be back to visit again.

Aviary, Grant Achatz’ bar.  Decent drinks, cool atmosphere, kinda like a library in noise, and some of the bites were good.  I loved the foie, cheesecake, and waygu bites.  I the food was a wee bit bigger.  This place will be killer in 6 months to a year.

Black Dog Gelato, a kick ass gelato shop in Wicker Park.  Normal flavors to crazy flavors.  I enjoyed my salted peanut, mexican chocolate, and malted vanilla.  Yet, another place I will return to in the summer.

Burger Boss, an interesting burger place that could be a lot better, but showed a solid burger performance.  The fries were great and the shakes were ok.  I will go back here when I am hungry for a better burger.

Divanti Enoteca, an Italian small plates restaurant nestled in Little Italy.  OMG it is very good.  Salumi, cheese, pastas, pizzas, risotto, and much more.  The desserts are not that bad either.  The menu is also seasonally driven.  Do not pass up the truffled egg and the roasted tomato sausage pasta. Returning here is a must.  Also no rezos.

Graham Elliot, downtown star chef place.  Trendy, but so much fun.  The staff are wonderful and you can not miss the foie pops.  It’s a fancy place that is so laid back, has a solid beer and wine program, and Gabe’s desserts are becoming stellar.  We closed this place down on a Monday night.  Fantastic.

Nightwood is tucked away in Pilsen.  Although it is right off of Halsted you can not miss this place.  It looks kinda dark, but you need to try it.  The menu is seasonal, wine selection is fabulous, and there are many interesting ingredients especially with the use of grains.  One aspect I enjoyed was the wood fired grill.  They have a wood grill inside that they grill the meats on.  So there is a subtle essence of smoke on the steaks.

Topolobampo.  Nuff said.  A Chicago classic helmed by Rick Bayless.  Amazing food and a bit overpriced.  I get the price is mainly due to labor because the sauces take a long time to make, but really?  Anyways that is me being picky.  Great food, I had the Yucatan menu and it was delicious.  Dishes incorporated habaneros, shrimp, pork, eggs, and more.  A symphony of mexican flavors that made me want to go back to Cancun and binge eat.  I will return for special occasions.  Frontera and Xoco are next on the Bayless front.

Arami
1829 West Chicago Ave
Chicago, IL 60622
312-243-1535
www.aramichicago.com

Aviary
955 West Fulton Market
Chicago, IL 60607
(312) 226-0868
On Facebook for the most up to date info. Yip, that is how they roll.

Black Dog Gelato
859 North Damen Ave.
Chicago, IL 60622
773-235-3116
www.blackdogchicago.com

Burger Boss
7512 West North Ave.
Elmwood Park, IL 60707
708-452-7288
www.theburgerboss.com 

Divanti Enoteca
1359 West Taylor Street
Chicago, IL 60607
312-226-5550
www.davantichicago.com

Graham Elliot
217 West Huron Street
Chicago, IL 60654
312-624-9975
www.grahamelliot.com 

Nightwood
2119 South Halsted Street
Chicago, IL 60608
312-526-3385
www.nightwoodrestaurant.com 

Topolobampo
445 North Clark Street
Chicago, IL 60610
312-661-1434
www.fronterakitchens.com

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