Bikini Ready

Bikini season is almost here, and this lunch at Allium makes that fact a bit easier to bear. Chef Kevin Hickey made this coursed luncheon come in at a mere but satisfying 500 calories.  Not counting any sips of champagne.  All these dishes are big on flavor, color and seasonality, so you don’t feel like you are missing out.

Baby Beet and Fennel Salad with Madras Greek Yogurt.  Mixed with other spring veggies and herbs, the fennel seeds in this salad give it extra zing.

Wild Alaskan Halibut with Smoked Fingerlings, Spring Vegetables and Ramp Top Chimichurri. Chimichurri is so crave-able. This one shines made with ramp tops, the star of the Spring season.

99% Pure Chocolate Sorbet photo courtesy of @bizbashnews aka Jenny Berg.

Dessert fits in perfectly in the 500 calorie plan. And we can all fit in our bikinis!


Who doesn’t want to be sitting outside this patio season eating these! The dec at Ritz-Carlton Chicago will officially open this Thursday. Things are looking up, as you gaze up at the cityscape and enjoy the cocktail menu and light bites.


Bloody Oyster Pop. Horseradish and tomato sauce with delicious raw oysters.

Craving Kabocha

Kabocha, Chicago’s first Japanese Brasserie, is at the TOP of my restaurant HIT LIST. Since I have not made it in yet – at least my adventurous team members have.  Our newest XA gal Maissah Amin snuck in last night in style – and snapped a few gorgeous pictures too.  Michelin starred chef Shin Thompson is not messing around.  My favorite dish is the Scallop & Crab Motoyaki – of which one can eat ten in one sitting. Crave-able! Can’t wait to see you guys soon!

Rabbit and Thai Basil Dumplings with Shiitakes and Negi Yaki Butter

Warm Baby Octopus Salad with Red Watercress, Fried Yolk, Plum Wine Sauce, Crispy Ginger and Pickled Garlic

Duck Confit Potstickers with Shaved Fennel, Duck Prosciutto, Sour Orange Glaze

Japanese BBQ Steak with Green Garlic, Maitake Mushrooms, Pommes Frites and “Death Mustard”

Photo Credit – Maissah Amin #XOXA