I've already expressed my excitement for hosting in a few posts, but just in case you haven't read them, here's a refresher...I LOVE IT! The chance to invite people in and make them feel at home brings me so much happiness. With that said, I do have a confession to make... since moving to Chicago I’ve noticed that my hosting has become much less cooking intensive. It just so happens that friends and family coming to visit is the perfect excuse to go to all of my favorite restaurants, yum!
I have no doubt my love for hosting came from my mom, an expert hostess herself, and guess who came to visit a few weeks ago...Mom! We had such a great time exploring the city and basically stuffing ourselves with delicious food. I was truly full for about 2 weeks after she left and still feel like I'm recovering...
Here’s a glimpse of our weekend and some great restaurants to check out if you have company in town or just want a great meal!
We kicked off her arrival with wine and cheese (our favorite's Gouda!) at home. If you like full bodied red wines, J. Lohr is amazing! For dinner we ventured to the West Loop for a meal at NelcÃ´tte; a small plate style menu with a chic and cozy atmosphere. Then, we topped off our evening at Soho House for cocktails. We are not members, so if you haven't been, there is a great little bar that is open to everyone!
Saturday morning we had brunch at Summer House Santa Monica. With skylights and hanging greens it is a wonderfully bright and happy place to start your day. I found myself drooling over their salted chocolate chip cookie from the bakery, but after an entire Belgian waffle I simply had no room. I'll warn you, it's a dangerous place for a sweet tooth! We decided to walk off our flavorful morning with some afternoon shopping in Lincoln Park. I found this ruffled sleeve off the shoulder sweater at a boutique called Bevello! Dinner that night was at Gus and I's favorite BYOB Sushi restaurant in Ravenswood called Fin. No corkage fee and a great selection of unique rolls. One of my favorites is the Red Spider, its huge! Our entertainment for the evening was spent at a theater in Lincoln Park. Embarrassingly, we were expecting a 1,000-person theater and found ourselves in an old classroom of about 40 haha. Very intimate and fun experience, but the husband did fall asleep briefly... I can't take him anywhere!
Sunday started our second round of brunch, this time at Hampton Social. It was my first time there and ...WOW! Such a fun and relaxing place to enjoy rosé all day with live acoustic music. The food will not disappoint you either, I had the crab cake benedict and oh my goodness it was good.
The pictures below were taken at the conservatory in Lincoln Park. Almost two years ago when I found out Gus and I would be moving to Chicago my mom and I explored the city together for the first time. Ironically, the conservatory was the very first stop, after coffee of course. It's lovely if you haven't been there before!
* for the jeans, I’m 5’8″ and wear a 32 in length
Have a great week everyone! If you have any favorite restaurants or places to visit in Chicago, please share!