The Bristol Rocks

From the minute you walk into the warm atmosphere of The Bristol and try one of their deliciously crafted cocktails, you know you are going to have a great night. With Executive Chef Sean Pharr behind the line and at the helm of the kitchen, you can’t go wrong with anything you may order. I know, because we tasted the entire menu last Saturday night! And it was amazing.

This is the Black Diamond. It is also known at #BDE. BEST. DRINK. EVER. Larceny bourbon, punt e mes, lemon juice and grapefruit juice.

Perfectly whipped, smooth and creamy chicken liver mousse with sweet and gooey blackberries and tangy pickled pearl onions.

Ruinart by the glass served icy cold and perfect with the chicken liver richness.

Grilled octopus with Calabrian chili.


Heirloom tomatoes. Peak of the season dashed with Maldon salt.

It’s great to be the head cheese at The Bristol.

Kale salad with a smoked crème fraiche dressing. Smokin’.

Capellini, perfectly cooked, with roasted garlic, Nichols Farm cherry tomatoes and grana padano.

Malformati with a rich Berkshire bolognese, San Marzano, red wine and grana padano.

Porchetta with summer panzanella salad. Perfection. I hear this is a keeper on the menu.

Skate with braised cabbage and carrot.

Chef Sean we love you!

You can find it all here at The Bristol.


Dolce in one word. Delicious. We tried the new hot spot with friends on a Friday night, and each dish we had was better than the next. They have the Neapolitan style pizza down. And we ended the meal with a meringue cake that could battle Cipriani’s in NY. 

Caprese with house made mozzarella and heirloom tomatoes. 


Grilled Octopus with a pistachio vinaigrette 


We all loved the Tartufata Pizza with speck, spicy salami and truffle oil. 

A side dish of eggplant Parmesan broiled and gooey to perfection. 


Pan seared Halibut with a flavorful and aromatic seafood brodetto. 

This light, fluffy and sugary Italian meringue layer cake is cravable. 

Dolce Italian is located in the Godfrey Hotel at 127 W Huron St. 

(312) 754-0700


NoMI | Boutique Chocolate has “popped up” in the Park Hyatt Chicago Library. Walking into this temporary pastry shop, the sweet aroma alone will make you go crazy. It’s award-winning Pastry Chef Meg Galus’ dream come true. She and her team have been sourcing rare and unique varieties to create an array of offerings, ranging from handcrafted bonbons to French and American style pastries, as well as personalized gift packages. There is even a rich Chocolate Chai tea collaboration with Rare Tea Cellar - to sip while you peruse the boutique.

Here is what you can find:

Confections - Bonbons, bars, lollipops, caramels, enrobed nuts

Pâtisseries - Éclairs, tarts, petits gâteaux

Snacks - Macarons, cookies, brownies

Gifts - Spreads, hot chocolate mix, customizable gift box

These works of art will be crafted using only the finest chocolate from makers around the globe including Valrhona, Cacao Barry, Felchlin, Guittard, Amedei and TCHO.

When: Runs through Sunday, May 11 (Mother’s Day) from 12pm-8pm


Chef Meg Galus putting the icing on the Sensation Cake. A Devil’s Food Cake with luxurious DeZaan 72% ganache.




You have never had rich and flaky chocolate croissants like these – trust me.


Meg’s delectable macarons. You can even buy just one, but why stop there.

Just Another #ChicagoChefWeek Lunch

When you look at all the Chicago Chef Week menus, you just can’t decide which ones to book. Yesterday a long time friend and I tried Embeya, #delicious. All the dishes were fun to share, colorful, vibrant and full of flavor. The team there does such a great job. I’ll be back for dinner soon! (I promise Attila!)


Clockwise from top left:

Rice Noodle Salad with short rib, rice noodle and lemongrass.

Octopus with confit eggplant, peanuts, coconut (this was not on the Chef Week menu – but we just had to try it).

Shrimp Wrap with shiitake, lettuce and Vietnamese herbs.

Seafood stew with brioche, kale, black garlic and apples.

Matcha Creme Puff – inside out.

Exoctic fruits.

Chicago Chef Week. Get on this!

Chicago Chef Week is here. With $22 lunch menus and $44 dinner menus at some of the city’s best restaurants, we kicked off the first day during lunch at GT Fish & Oyster. We saw plates and plates of their fried chicken and waffles waft by, but the real score was their chef week menu.


1. Creamy yet light Clam Chowder, with lots of clams and crunchy salty oyster crackers.

2. Seared Tuna Salad, with a savory and tangy cider mustard vinaigrette.

3. Their famous lobster roll, stuffed and loaded with deliciousness.

4. Lemon Panna Cotta with a tangy passion fruit granita.

5 & 6. Chocolate Meringue Tart. I almost fought #billyisthebest over this. Milk chocolate mousse meets dark chocolate ganache, decorated in a perfectly toasted meringue.

Move fast because Chef Week ends on March 21.

36 Hours in San Francisco

There is nothing more exciting than cramming in as much fun as possible when visiting a city for 36 hours. Armed with the package we bid on at the Chicago Meals on Wheels Celebrity Chefs Gala silent auction last October, we were booked for non-stop action. Here are the best bites of the trip.


Clockwise from top left:

Our favorite stop had to be the Ferry Building Marketplace. Loaded with great eateries and shopping, we were there for HOURS. Boccalone was where we stopped for lunch. The staff had us tasting salumis and before we knew it #billyisthebest ordered a Muffuletta Sandwich. Of course I had to order a half pound of Iberico de Bellota and grabbed some Acme bread, so we could snack it throughout the rest of the trip.

The line at Swan Oyster Depot was as promised, INSANE! After a stroll up and down through Nob Hill, we waited over an hour, making friends and snapping pics with those braving the wait. What an institution. Their highly recommended crab cocktail.

A deliciously rich spin on lasagna and meatballs at SPQR.

The freshest oysters ever at Swan Oyster Depot. Paired perfectly with an icy Anchor Steam.

Our first official stop was at Salt House.  Their happy hour was BUMPIN’ with beautiful people right at 4 pm. The steamed mussels al ajillo were beyond flavorfully addicting with spanish sherry, paprika, garlic and chili flakes.  We had to ask for more ACME bread to lavish in the sauce.

Tartine Bakery morning buns – right out of the oven.


The Best Negroni

I used to think I made the best negronis, and so did #billyisthebest. But then we met Michael at Nico Osteria. Although my favorite gin is Hendricks, Michael prefers Letherbee Gin. We tasted them side by side, and it was a fun way to spend time determining all the flavor components and what we liked about each combination.

Michael takes us step by step on how to make a perfect negroni.

Load up a mixing glass with ice. The most important part is measuring responsibly. 1.5 ounces of gin, 1 ounce of Campari, 1 ounce of Punt E Mes vermouth. We have tried Cocchi Americano and Carpano Antica and now prefer the Punt E Mes. It’s a bit lighter and brighter in flavor and doesn’t overpower the other spirits. Stir vigorously yet gently. Strain and serve up or over ice, and of course garnish with a generous rind of orange.

Or just go visit the cool bartenders at Nico.