Tag Archives: chicago events

Events in the City: Chicago French Market Brunch

In February, I went to a brunch event at the Chicago French Market. If you haven’t been to the market, you really must go because it’s set up like a European market and they have some really phenomenal vendors (including those that sell macarons…but we’ll talk about that another time). The event, “Meet Alpana Under the Eiffel Tower”, was sponsored by Wine D.O.C. & Wine Cru and was an 8-course tasting menu of foods prepared by the vendors of the market. Alpana Singh of Lettuce Entertain You Restaurants and WTTW’s Check, Please! was the special guest of the event and provided us with some reflections on the wines that were paired with the food that we tried.

It was lovely getting to meet Alpana, as she was gracious meeting everyone and even taking the time to answer our questions. This was the first time that this specific event was hosted, and while they have some kinks to work out if they decide to host the event in the future, it was all-in-all a fun and well thought out program.

Each attendant received a signed copy of Alpana’s new book Alpana Pours, which I have really been enjoying, as well as a goodie bag filled with snacks and other tidbits from the vendors. It was truly a lovely Saturday morning.

MENU

Beverages
Veuve de Vernay Brut Rose (France)
Fresh Squeezed Orange Juice
Lavazza Tierra Blend (Rainforest Alliance Certified)
Espirito Lagoalva (Portugal)
Monastery Tvrdos Cabernet Sauvignon (Bosnia & Herzegovina) <–I loved this
Domaine Saint-Vincent Brut (New Mexico)

Course 1

Grape Leaves Stuffed with Rice by Chicago Organics <– delicious
Cavapi Beef and Lamb Kabobs by City Fresh Market
Fresh Feta Salad by City Fresh Market
Course 2
Raw Vegan Lasagna by Raw <– couldn’t even tell it was raw (except that it was cold)
Crushed Red Pepper Popcorn by Pop This! Gourmet Popcorn & Candy Shop <– unreal
Course 3
Op la Frittata by Saigon Sisters
Hot Chili & Teriyaki Chicken over Fried Rice by Bowl Square
Course 4
Pastrami on Rye Bread by Fumare
Belgium Fries with Curry Mayo by Frietkoten <–i can’t even begin to explain how much i love curry dipping sauce
Course 5
Sole Fish Taco by City Fresh
Homemade Guacamole and Chips by Buen Apetito
Course 6
Croque Monsieur by LM Cafe
Rigatoni and Marinara Sauce Fasta Pasta
Course 7
Ambre Dessert by Vanille Patisserie
Red Velvet Cupcake by Sweet Miss Giving’s
Strawberry and Cheese Kolacky by Provo’s Bakery
Sorbetto Cremespresso by Lavazza Espression
Marzipan and Raspberry Macarons by Delightful Pastries
Course 8
Delice de Bourgogne
Aged Marieke Gouda
Aderkase Reserve
Fig and Black Tea Spread
Cinnamon Roasted Almonds
Assorted Berries
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Why I Love Anthro

So while normally Anthropologie is not food related, last week it was! As an Anthro Card Holder, I was invited to a 1 year anniversary celebration for the State St store in Chicago. Free drinks, a delicious spread, and several girlfriends? Yes, please! We had such a great time and I found so many lovely spring items!! Look at some of my favorites


(Clockwise from top left: Cissus Button-Up $88.00; Panther’s Play Dress $348.00; Reaching for Light Espadrilles $188.00; Sunny Soiree Dress $148.00; Unedited Vest $78.00; Seafire Ring $38.00)

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Bottlenotes 80 Sips Challenge: The Challenge

As I’ve mentioned, I’m always ready to do some sipping (especially something new), but little did I know that the challenge would not be as much tasting 6 different wines in one evening as it would be finding an open bar on a Monday night.

The challenge has 4 participating bars (continuing through Jan. 31): HUB51, Gilt Bar, Maude’s Liquor Bar, & Naha. As we started the challenge at HUB51, Jess, Martha, & I decided to try Maude’s Liquor Bar which we all had been dying to try.

Unfortunately, Maude’s wasn’t open – minus. Never fear, we decided to head to River North to Gilt Bar as I had never been there. Problem: also closed.

Now I should remind everyone that all of this occurred in January, on a MONDAY, in Chicago. (Read: It’s cold and we were thirsty.) So knowing that HUB51 was both open and nearby, we agreed to complete the challenge where started it.

To complete the challenge, we needed to try one wine from each of the following wineries, as well as 2 additional selections from Italy & France chosen by the bar:

  • Chateau Montelena (One of my favorites)
  • Domaine Carneros
  • Greg Norman Estates
  • Brancott

Having tasted the Domaine Carneros the week prior, Jess started with a Brancott Sauvignon Blanc from New Zealand (which we believed to be a 2009). (None of the vintages were listed on the menu.) Martha selected a 2008 Patch Block Cabernet Sauvignon from France, and I ordered the 2009 Chateau Montelena Riesling.

The Sauv Blanc & Riesling were initially delivered to us incorrectly, as I received the Sauv Blanc and Jess got my Riesling. We realized upon tasting and shared a laugh.

The Sauv Blanc was very crisp with notes of apple. It was extremely smooth and would be great for everyday drinking. The Cab had very nice and mellowed tannins that allowed the bramble, tobacco, and chocolate notes to shine.

I enjoyed the Riesling immensely, and I’m not always a big Riesling fan. I do LOVE a good Gewurztraminer, and the Chateau Montelena had lychee notes that are usually found in a Gewurzt. It had a nice crisp, lemony finish. A very pleasant wine.

For Round 2, Martha selected a  2009 Pinot Gris from La Rocca Winery in Italy, while Jess picked the 2008 Greg Norman Estates Shiraz from New Zealand. The Pinot Gris has a nice minerality to it that I love about Italian whites with a smooth stony finish. The Shiraz was smoky & leathery with hints of cherry, and while I am not the biggest fan of Shiraz, it did make for pleasant sipping.

We all had such a great evening that we decided to form a “Wino Wednesday” group (even though it was Monday) so that we can try wine bars and restaurants in the city. Any suggestions for where we should go next?

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Bottlenotes 80 Sip Challenge: The Kick-off

As an avid wine lover eager to expand my wine horizons, as soon as I received the email from Bottlenotes.com describing the Chicago 80 Sips Challenge, I knew I was up to the task of tasting new wines and commenting on the experience.

For the Kick-off Party on January 18, my favorite Urban Explorer, Jess, (check out her blog!), my friend Martha, and I gathered at SUB51 (the downstairs of HUB51) to sample some Domaine Carnaros 2006 Sparkling Wine & 2008 Pinot Noir, as well as hear from the head winemaker.

Now I love hearing from winemakers regarding their favorite qualities of their wines as well as how they became interested in wine. Domaine Carnaros did not disappoint.

We started with the 2006 Sparkling Brut Wine which is composed of Chardonnay and Pinot Noir. It’s a classic style Brut that is dry and buttery with a very smooth finish. Excellent start to the evening (especially a Tuesday).

Following the Sparkling wine, we enjoyed a 2008 Pinot Noir. I am starting to fall in love with recent Pinots, and I know that I’m not the only one given the recent article in the NYTimes. It was the epitome (in my opinion) of what a Pinot Noir should be: mellowed tannis, slight fruit at the front (think cherry/strawberry), finishing with a bit of tobacco. Wonderful.

Throughout the entire evening we snacked on various nibbles provided by HUB51 like spicy tuna rolls, fish tacos (yum), and mini grilled cheese.

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