Getting the chance to experience a variety of cuisines is one of the many advantages of living in a cosmopolitan city like Chicago. At every street corner, from the noisy downtown to the peaceful suburbs, different cultures and experiences compete for your attention, allegiance and love. I am glad to live in such a “melting pot,” and I consistently strive to gain a deeper understanding of its various cultures through their cooking traditions and techniques. Last week I had a one of a kind encounter with Mexican cuisine, when myself and other Chicago food bloggers were invited to sample the menu at Mezcalina, an upscale Mexican restaurant located in Lakeshore East. The event was hosted by Daniela and Ricardo, of 2Views1Life.
Update: This location has closed and the owners have moved to Michigan.
I drove to Beijo de Chocolat on a cold and rainy evening, after a busy day at work and very little sleep the previous few nights. I was upset with the weather which had long been testing my patience, and secretly wanted to be home, under a warm cosy blanket and cuddling a hot cup of cocoa. The allure of unique and well crafted chocolate flavors was hard to resist though, so I decided to honor Beijo de Chocolat’s invitation to “a night of chocolate and crêpes.” I wanted to experience their renowned chocolate craftsmanship first-hand – and I’m glad I made this decision.
It was a beautiful Saturday morning on the bank of the Chicago River, freshly dyed green to celebrate St Patrick’s Day. I’d waited for warm weather for so long, and now, at last, spring was in town to stay – or so I hoped for, anyway. I left my heavy winter coat at home and drove downtown to take pictures of the river and to enjoy its beauty in the sunshine.
I also went downtown because I wanted to visit the 2014 International Home + Housewares Show at the McCormick Place. Hamilton Beach invited myself and other fellow Chicago food bloggers to attend, and I happily accepted their invitation. Going out to enjoy the warm spring weather and getting the chance to see the latest consumer product innovations sounded like a great way to spend my Saturday.
Doesn’t this dessert look scrumptious? It’s a doughnut fried French toast, drizzled with cream cheese glaze and seasonal jam and made lighter by the addition of fresh fruit. It tastes as good as it looks, and I had the opportunity to try it this past weekend, at the Sweet & Savory brunch organized by Public House gastropub and Chicago Food Bloggers.
Up until now I have never posted about my dining and nightlife experiences in Chicago. There is a simple reason behind it: I just haven’t gone out much lately! I remember the first year after my husband and I came to Chicago: We used to meet on Michigan Avenue and go to concerts, visit museums or watch movies at the various theaters downtown. Those were the days when Chicago and its all enchanting magic drew us in – and hardly let us go. Sadly, this past year we have been very busy with work – so busy that we’ve forgotten all about the magic and vibrancy of our city. Isn’t that a shame?