What a great weekend in Chicago with MB!! It was full of food (of course), good times with friends, shopping and some good ol' QT with the boy! Did I mention we ate? Haha...we started our weekend off at Stephanie Izard's (Top Chef Season 4!) new place Girl & the Goat and it was simply amazing. Everything from the staff to the atmosphere to the beverages and small plates was just great! We were greeted by a polite host, got a couple of drinks (an Old Fashioned for me topped off with a orange peel and black cherry, a Basil Hayden on the rocks for MB) from a charismatic bartender who graciously explained the array of beers on tab that I've never seen before and was very attentive and was served a variety of small plates to share by our sweet waitress who mistakenly was informed that it was my birthday :). We started the meal off with corn bread with whipped goat cheese and whipped pork backfat (sounds kind of gross I know but was very smokey and delicious) with bourbon onions on fresh biscuits. Next came a small ceramic dish of warm marinated olives along with my glass of malbec. For our "main" meal we shared beef short ribs with a scallion vinaigrette and roasted cauliflower with peppers (of course I need to get my veggie in!). We were so stuffed we even passed on the complimentary "birthday" dessert they offered! But we had a fantastic evening of indulging and I would recommend the place to anyone! Be sure to make a reservation in advance or you may be waiting a while...it was very popular!
Another adorable place we tried was the Italian restaurant RoseAngelis down in the Lincoln Park area....so cute and so good! I was a bit nervous that we would have a long wait going there on a Sunday evening of a holiday weekend but they told us 30 minutes and we were sitting within 15. After grabbing a bottle of Chianti from their wine bar we got sat in the small and crowded dining room (but surprisingly we didn't really mind the noise) and were greeted by our overly-bubbly waitress who rattled off their list of specials. We shared a huge caesar salad and for my main dish I ordered the duck tortelloni with cognac sauce, spinach, sundried tomatoes and mozzarella while MB dined on rigatoni with kalamata olives, capers, Italian sausage in an aromatic marinara sauce....both were just mmmm....to top it off we took home their trio of chocolate mousse (white, dark and milk chocolate with raspberry sauce) and I was in pure heaven!! With the huge portions we had plenty of leftovers to take home for additional meals and midnight snacks!
So after these restaurants, a night of sushi with good friends, a Chicago dog, a Starbucks quick breakfast and a bar food day for the MSU game (Go Green!)...
Monday night we decided to stay in and try something homemade and healthier :) MB wanted something with peanut sauce and I decided to go to one of my favorite websites for some healthy inspiration- EatingWell. We (er, I) decided on the Chicken Satay with spicy peanut dipping sauce and tweaked it only slightly by increasing the amount of peanut sauce and heating it over low heat just to help combine flavors and warm it through so that we could use it not only for the chicken but the rice noodles we made. For a veggie I simply sauteed fresh snap peas with a bit of olive oil and garlic. Voila! Simple, healthy and tasty way to end the weekend!