Foodie Adventures: Chicago

In my last post, I wrote all about my amazing trip to Chicago. While I did highlight all aspects of my trip, I left out my favorite part… the food!

We tried a new restaurant every night, and every night I tried something I had never eaten before. I would continuously say I refuse to eat something, give it a try, and then enjoy it. So in the end I learned I should stop being so stubborn when it comes to trying certain foods because I will probably end up loving it.

If it sounds/looks like we ate a lot of food, it’s because we shared it all tapas style… but also, we really ate a lot of food. We tried new wines at every meal, so it’s safe to say this was the best foodie adventure I’ve had so far!

RPM ItalianThe first night there, we went to RPM Italian, which is the restaurant of Giuliana and Bill Rancic! The food here was amazing – definitely a great way to start a week in Chicago! We started with shredded Brussels sprouts and an incredible cheese platter. For the main course, we had Carbonara and Maine Lobster Ravioli. We got both, because we couldn’t decide and wanted to try it all!

Shredded Brussels Sprouts
Cheeses & meats with rolls, jam, honey, & olives
Pasta! Left – lobster ravioli & Right, Carbonara

MomotaroMomotaro was pretty out of my comfort zone. I love sushi, only if it’s vegetarian or tempura, and I always against eating eat raw sushi. This was the first night I was truly against trying new food, but I ended up doing it anyway. At this dinner, we ordered: sushi (raw, of course, salmon and octopus), Sendai beef tartar, negima (chicken), short-rib meatball, and cedar roasted kurodai. I never thought I would eat raw sushi or beef tartar, but I did, and it was delicious.

My first taste of raw sushi!
Beef Tartar
Short-rib meatball

A Tavola | A Tavola is a small Italian restaurant which from the outside, looks like someone’s home. Even when you walk in, it’s small, intimate, and has an overall lovely atmosphere. They are known for their gnocchi, so of course we had to order some! We also ordered the other two pasta dishes in the menu, in addition to chicken, and steak that was so big, we had leftovers – there were four of us!

All of the pasta!

AvecAvec was another restaurant where I tried new things. I loved the atmosphere of Avec; it was cozy but also full of energy.. It’s small and essentially has long, wooden tables extending the length of the restaurant. The thing I ate which was most out of my comfort zone was the pate, something I have always refused to eat. Surprise – I loved it! At Avec, we also enjoyed chorizo stuffed dates, burrata bruschetta, pork shoulder, and paella. The wines that were paired with our meal made it even better!

The first pate I ever tried & I liked it!
Chorizo stuffed dates, wrapped in bacon

The Purple PigOur last night in Chicago, we finally made it to The Purple Pig. We had tried 2 other nights but the wait was too long and they don’t take reservations. Our solution? Hover at the bar until people finish… it worked! It’s tough to decide, but I think this was my favorite meal of the week. It was fun to sit at the bar because they actually cook the food behind the bar, so we got to watch! At The Purple Pig we ordered an asparagus dish, whipped feta, grilled octopus, ricotta gnocchi with rabbit , and truffle ravioli.

The Purple Pig
Whipped feta with date crackers
Grilled Octopus
The best ravioli with truffles
Extremely delicious & pillowy ricotta gnocchi

This whole week I tried new things and ventured out of my comfort zone. Everything I ate in Chicago was delicious, and I can’t wait to go back again for more!

Emily Riane