found! not lost blog

“Instructions for living a life: Pay attention. Be astonished. Tell about it.” ― Mary Oliver

Eating our way through Chicago

If you’ve been reading, you already know about the trip my husby and I took to Chicago celebrating our nine-year anniversary.  But in hindsight, maybe the anniversary was just an excuse to fly to Chicago and stuff our piggy faces? Well, it is one of our common interests, along with watching movies, playing tennis, traveling, and sometimes shopping. (Sometimes, because he is less of a fanatic than I, but if I catch him in the right mood he doesn’t mind tagging along!)

Even after a filling lunch, we managed to rally for dinner out with some old friends who live in Chicago. We tried a place I’d read a lot about, Perennial Viranthelmed by Chef Paul Virant. His Lincoln Park restaurant focuses on using the freshest local and seasonal ingredients, and it comes through in the flavors.  We started with the bar snacks, which is a must-have if you go… fried cheese curds, homemade spicy corn nuts, and pickles. Please! How could this NOT be good? It was amazing.

image{My entree: salmon with corn and tomatoes served over a foccacia}

We also had a gnocci starter that was tender with a delicate bite and a roasted eggplant dish with squash that was full of fresh, bright garden flavors as well.  I wish I had remembered to take more pics but you can see from my salmon, the pic was taken midway through eating because we were so busy catching up with friends over dinner that I hadn’t even taken my phone out ’til midway in!

Amazingly, after this feast we still managed to make it to Mindy’s Hot Chocolate restaurant in Bucktown for a round of desserts and drinks.

We actually ate dinner here once years ago when it first opened, but it was a slightly different restaurant concept back then. The desserts were definitely worthy of the James Beard award winning chef.  I had the lemon panna cotta with rosè poached Mick Klug peaches, and corn nut Florentine cookie underneath.

I know, weird to go to a place known for chocolate and get one of the few non-chocolate dishes, but after so much eating I just couldn’t get myself into the chocolate cake or souffle.  And, I am a big panna cotta fan, seems like if it’s on a menu, I order it.  The dessert was refreshing; citrusy flavor with the sweetness of the peaches and the syrup paired with the crunch and faint saltiness from the Florentine.  To push myself truly over the edge, I also had an iced Mexican chocolate drink… very rich, chocolaty, cinnamon-infused, and enough to make me wish I hadn’t, but you only live once!

My husband is a big souffle fan and did try the skillet souffle with salted caramel ice cream and pretzels. I had a bite (in the name of research), it was decadent, smooth, and so, so chocolaty!


If you can even believe it, there was one more meal so before you become sick from reading of our overindulgence I’ll take a break here…


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This entry was posted on August 7, 2012 by in restaurants and tagged , , , , , .
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