Salero – Basque-ish Comes to the West Loop

Salero Chicago Dining Room

The team behind Wood, one of my favorite restaurants in Chicago, recently opened the Spanish inspired Salero in the West Loop. This is not a purist take on Basque cuisine, there are no tapas on the menu (these can be found at that bar only) and this is a Chicago take on Spanish food but none of this will matter as the menu has an array of consistently excellent dishes. Add in the lively atmosphere and great service and Salero is poised to be a Randolph St. favorite. Reservations recommended.

Dinner and Drinks at Celeste – River North

Celeste Chicago Confit of Pork Shoulder

Celeste if four floors of exciting elegance. The Bar on the first floor has cocktails in a glamorous bar. The Deco room on the second floor is modeled after 1920′s supper clubs complete with gold and chandeliers. The third floor is reserved for private parties and the 4th is your favorite place in the summer, the Rooftop with views of the skyline.

Attention to detail from decor, service, food down to some of the best music I have heard in a restaurant in ages. Think chill house and electronic tracks by Miguel Migs, Kamp! and Nightmares On Wax.

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Macanese Cuisine at Fat Rice – Logan Square

Fat Rice Update: Cha Gordo (Fat Tea) – This is where you need to go for brunch this weekend!

Alicia Tastes Life

Update: Cha Gordo (Fat Tea) – This is where you need to go for brunch!

Fat Rice Poster

Fat Rice is the restaurant everyone and their mother has been talking about recently. I wanted to see for myself if this number four rated best restaurant in America 2013 (according to Bon Appetit) lived up to the hype. Waiting for an hour for a table can be a pain but the set up at Fat Rice makes it bearable (does anyone take reservations anymore?). Meaning there is a dedicated server for the people waiting in the outside seating that will promptly feed you drinks.

Fat Rice Outdoor SeatingFat Rice Building

The menu is based on food from Macau serving “Euro-Asian comfort food.” What that means is a mix of great flavors with roots from Portugal, Asia,  India and Spain and a whole lot of lemongrass, garlic, sauces, curry, sausage, vegetables, noodles and seafood.

I started with…

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Scandinavian Home Cooking At Tre Kronor – Albany Park

Tre Kronor Norwegian Meatball Sandwich and Polse

Välkommen to Tre Kronor where you will find some of the best Scandinavian home cooking in Chicago. Tre Kronor is a cozy and casual restaurant with Swedish and Norwegian memorabilia like Niklas Hjalmarsson’s Blackhawks jersey and mural of dancing elves covering the walls.
On a mission for a meatball sandwich I got the Norwegian Meatball sandwich served open-faced made with hot gravy on limpa toast a Swedish rye bread that has a sweet taste. The meatball sandwich can also be served cold with egg and tomato. You can get the delicious bread at the Swedish Bakery in Andersonville. For the side option you should order the house made pickled cucumbers. They are crunchy full of dill and have a sweat and sour tang of vinegar.

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