Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Restaurant Week, Episode 1

The time has come.

Only once a year, baby, once a year, can one of limited means [such as myself] eat at the city's nicest restaurants.

Or at least one or two (maybe three?) of the delicious, gourmet, $$$+ restaurants that participate in Chicago's Restaurant Week every February. [Of course here I'm referring to the $$$-designations given to restaurants on reviews websites like Yelp, Metromix, or even in the Chicago Magazine. Usually I stick to the $ or less [that'd be the cent sign]].

But this week, and this week alone, restaurants across the city concoct a three-course, pre-fixe meal for $33 for dinner, or $22 for lunch. [Not including drinks, tip, tax, etc.] It's amazing.

Last year was the first year I had discovered this miraculous seven-day event, and Kate and I went to Morton's Steakhouse. Obviously a place we don't usually attend, considering our modest incomes. But it was delicious, and some of the best filet I've ever had.

This year I knew about it in advance, and after perusing the overwhelmingly ginormous list of participating restaurants, picked out a few places I wanted to visit. Places where I'd only be able to eat after I met my millionaire husband while working in the loop for the next few years.

I was able to snag the LAST reservation during restaurant week at Blackbird. But that's tomorrow, so more on that later.

Last night I went to Cafe des Architectes with my dear friend Laura. It.was.delicious, people. Delicious. The waiter of course had a French accent, so while it was a teensy bit difficult to understand what he was saying, it also added to the atmosphere. The restaurant is in the Sofitel, a very nice hotel in the River North area [with nice bathrooms, as we visited those as well. It's important to get the whole experience of a place, you know].

This is a terrible picture of the outside of it - but still. The decor is also red, black, and white. What's not to like?

We first had a very delicious blackberry margarita with champagne added in there somewhere. Delish.

(Look how nice Laura looks? Superb.)

Then there were the three courses, featured from their sister restaurant in the South of France, somewhere.

1. Stuffed and braised quail, with winter vegetables and prunes [which,].

2. Veal with carmalized onions and endives and truffle sauce.

3. Pistachio cream with chocolate coulis.

4. Die after visiting culinary heaven. 

Plus, the company was great, too. :)

If you haven't been anywhere for restaurant week, I highly suggest you do, in the next four days. It ends Sunday. You can't get reservations at some of the most popular restaurants (ahem, Naha), but you can still snag some amazing deals at some of the city's best restaurants.

And then tell me how your meals are. With pictures.

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