Chicago Athletic Association Hotel – Michigan Avenue

Chicago Athletic Hotel Michigan Avenue

Built in 1890 as an athletic club, now a popular hotel and home to one of the best rooftop terrace views at Cindy’s, Cherry Circle Room restaurant, a huge game room and 8-seat bar Milk Room there is no shortage of things to do. Shake Shack is on the first floor as well.

Stunning Views from the Rooftop at Azotea in Madrid

Azotea in the Círculo de Bellas Artes is where you want to be to watch the sunset. In the heart of Madrid, Azotea has a 360 degree views, relaxed and sophisticated ambiance and great chill music. It doesn’t get better than watching the changing hues of peach, pink and orange splash over beautiful Madrid while basking in one of the plush couches.

Plan ahead to snag a reservation for dinner at the Tartan Roof restaurant. No reservations are needed for drinks and view at the bar.

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German Breakfast at Ballenberger – Erfurt, Germany

Ballenberger Restaurant, Erfurt, Germany

Ballenberger Restaurant, Erfurt, Germany

Ballenberger is where you want to be for breakfast in Erfurt. Get the Genißerfrühstuck für 2. Delicious, impossibly cute and across the street from a park for great people watching.

Little Bad Wolf – Andersonville, Chicago

Little Bad Wolf Chicago Mural

Little Bad Wolf is the type of neighborhood bar/restaurant that is a “perfect for” spot. It’s cozy with communal wooden tables yet cool with wolf artwork and teal button tufted back booth –– along with the great vibe, music, food and cocktails make LBW perfect for:

Casual drink at the bar
First/casual date
First meeting place for a drink/bite before going out
Dinner with a couple of friends
Small plates
Late night bite

Have a peek inside:

A thoughtful Continue reading

Dose Market – Chicago

Dose Market is one of my favorite markets in Chicago ––they feature a creative mix of local food, clothing, chefs, artists and designers. The market on Sunday was held during the FX Summit in the beautiful Chicago Cultural Center. It’s a fun way to spend your Sunday, meeting up with friends to discover the Chicago vendors Dose put together.

The next Dose is May 10th at the Soho House and is free for all. Go get inspired, eat delicious food and get a gift for Mother’s Day.

Valentine’s Day Ideas – What to Give, Do, Drink and Eat

BigPinkHeart

GIFTS:

Funny Valentine cards from Etsy

His and Hers highball set. Cheers!

Via Kate Spade - His and Hers Hiball Set

Via Kate Spade – His and Hers Hiball Set

Valentine’s Day macarons, who doesn’t like to receive sweets? RM Champagne Salon will send the Chef’s favorite macaron flavors to that lucky someone. Delivered by RM or you can pick-up.

EAT:

Forgot to make dinner reservations? Check out what is still available in Chicago. You can also go a little rogue and see if your favorite restaurants have openings on Friday or Sunday instead. You might get to skip the obligatory Valentine’s Day prix fixe menu if you opt for a different day.

So you want to steer clear restaurants here are some ideas for cooking at home. A decadent menu and a casual menu.

Image via Bon Appeit

Image via Bon Appeit

DO:

The Tinkerlab has a nice round-up of 30 Valentine Activities for Kids.

DRINK:

Drink some beer at the Brew of Hearts. The Chop Shop will host several brewers such as Soma Ale Works, Goose Island Beer Company, Transient and more.

The 9th Annual Hideout Makeout Party. Drink, laugh and maybe…makeout.

Dinner on the Amalfi Coast at Osteria Angelo Masuccio – Salerno, Italy

Welcome to the Amalfi Coast, breathtaking views and amazing food – see for yourself!

Osteria Angelo Masuccio Salerno Italy Window

Osteria Angelo Masuccio is a tiny authentic Italian restaurant in Salerno. I discovered cannolicchi and the best homemade pasta with truffle shavings! Salerno is an affordable option for a base to check out the different towns along the Amalfi Coast. The restaurant prices are some of the best you will find and Osteria Angelo Masuccio’s food is just as good (and sometimes better) than many places I tried in Amalfi and Capri.

Osteria Angelo Masuccio Patio

Sit on the small patio on the narrow pedestrian cobblestone street to enjoy the people watching and the nice summer breeze. The ground floor of Osteria Angelo Masuccio consists of the dining room and the kitchen is upstairs.

The vegetarian and seafood antipasti is constantly changing depending on what is available and in season. This night we had the seafood with raw slices of salmon, mussels, cannolicchi and mussels. I am not a fan of clams and I admit the cannolicchi kind of scared me but I fell in love after the first bite.

Angelo Masuccio Salerno Italy Seafood Antipasti

Also known as razor clams Continue reading

Lunch at Solbar – Calistoga, CA

Solbar Calistoga - Image via Solage

Solbar Calistoga – Image via Solage

“You have to eat at Solbar.” After hearing this repeatedly I made my way to Solbar a Michelin Star-rated restaurant in the Solage Resort in Calistoga. A huge outdoor patio full of beautiful trees and surrounded by mountains is a great way to take in Napa. The 95 degree day prompted me to sit inside but the large windows, vaulted ceilings and rustic chic vibe was just as enjoyable.

Check out this video if you want a peek inside Solbar.

The 95 degree day made an easy choice of the chilled sweet corn soup. It was refreshing and the chunks of avocado with the magic combination of lime juice and cilantro gave the soup an extra creaminess and zing.

Solbar Calistoga Chilled Sweet Corn Soup

Solbar Calistoga Chilled Sweet Corn Soup

The organic Coke Farms baby lettuce salad was ripe and crunchy Continue reading

Tasting at Adamus Lounge in the Silversmith Hotel – The Loop, Chicago

Adamus Chicago Communal Table

Adamus Communal Table

The Adamus Lounge opened this summer in the newly renovated Silversmith Hotel in the Loop and it is a beauty. Playing off the Jewelers Row District theme the interior has diamond table tops, jewel cut tables and large cut glass sconces. The place oozes glamour.
I was invited to a tasting on Monday and was greeted with a cocktail and a sampling of appetizers. The drinks are mixed with skill and care so take note you will not receive your drink right away. All the syrups are made in-house and the juices are fresh squeezed. Worth the wait the Cantaloupe Basil Refresher is vodka based and served with fresh cantaloupe, basil and lime juice. Yes, it was refreshing and not too sweet. I had a sip of the Bourbon Punch and I didn’t taste a hint of bourbon and loved it (not a bourbon drinker). This is probably due to thepomegranite, fresh lemon and orange juice.

BOURBON PUNCH & CANTALOUPE BASIL REFRESHER

BOURBON PUNCH & CANTALOUPE BASIL REFRESHER

A taste of the Yellow Tomato Gazpacho served with celery and fennel relish, Hass avocado, citrus crème fraîche is perfect for a light summer bite. The Broiled Wianno Oyster was a rich bite with Pernod Creamed Spinach, smoked bacon and gremolata. Last and definitely not least, the Lobster Croquette was rich and full of flavor and texture with crunchy corn, smooth gravy and roasted shallots.

Continue reading