Chicago: It’s my kind of town
The Windy City, Chi-Town, Second City, or however you like to refer to it, it’s my kind of town. This weekend my husband Joe and I took a trip to Chicago. The quick flight makes it the perfect destination for a weekend getaway from New York. The city is a culinary and art destination, and an all-around good time. We packed a lot into a 24-hour period.
Our day started with a stop at SOFA, the Sculpture Objects Functional Art and Design Fair, which was being held all weekend on Navy Pier. The fair focuses on three-dimensional art and design, and is put together by Urban Expositions, a company which has also produced ArtHamptons. The fair, which began in 1994, crosses the boundaries of decorative art, fine art, and design, and includes approximately 80 dealers from around the world. Each year, the event brings together these dealers with 35,000 attendees. Sales at the fair include one-of-a-kind masterworks. We had a wonderful morning browsing the exceptional display of art and design.
Next, a stop at The Drake, a historic 1920s hotel in the heart of downtown. We sat for lunch and a libation at the Coq D’or bar lounge. The venue is Chicago’s second establishment to obtain a liquor license. It opened in 1933 following the repeal of prohibition. It was also featured in the film Risky Business. The lounge, complete with rich wood paneling and rouge banquettes, offers a nostalgic feel and a glimpse into old world Chicago.
Since The Drake is located at the top of Chicago’s Magnificent Mile, after lunch it was time for shopping. The Magnificent Mile, a section of Chicago’s Michigan Avenue, provides some of the best shopping in the city. You’ll find everything from Chanel and Gucci, to Ralph Lauren’s largest store in the world. We made stops along the way until we ended up at the Chicago River, which offers a magnificent view of the city.
For dinner we had to try Girl & the Goat, Chef Stephanie Izard’s powerhouse of a restaurant, and one of the top culinary destinations in the country. Izard was also the first female chef to win Bravo’s “Top Chef,” propelling her to culinary stardom. The West Loop restaurant offers a family-style shared dining experience. The dishes contain bold flavors and a global influence. From the Hamachi crudo to the smoked apple pierogies, each dish was better than the last.
Following dinner, with no real plans, we stumbled upon The Allis at Soho House Chicago, a cocktail bar a few blocks from Girl & the Goat. Another historic spot, The Allis is named after the family that commissioned the building in 1907. For a cocktail, we tried the Eastern Standard, made with Grey Goose with lime, sugar, cucumber, and mint. Like the city of Chicago, it was delightful.