This time of year is always a time full of family, magic, and holiday cheer, but it is also always a time of frantic planning, shopping, hosting, and altogether chaos. Some nights, I just need a short break. A few hours where I am able to relax, dine, and drink with adults. I replace the Doc McStuffins theme song with jazzy lounge music. I replace the yoga pants and slippers with fitted pants and some boots. Continue reading “Hubbard Inn Winter Menu Preview”
Summer is officially over for my kids and their friends. And with the end of summer comes the end of planning play dates at water parks & outdoor playgrounds. Some days when trying to make plans, I give up because indoor activities can get either played out (indoor bounce “zones” only last so long before someone gets sick or hurt) or expensive. And then I still have to find places for them to EAT – and let’s face it. Kids can get picky. And picky eaters get cranky way too quickly for the parents to truly relax and enjoy their meal.
Enter our saving grace: Frato’s Pizza & Catering in Schaumburg.
I used to think of Frato’s as just take-out/delivery pizza. Then one day I decided to take my family with me to just eat there (I’ll be honest: it’s so that I wouldn’t have to clean up after everyone. Which is A HUGE deal for a tired, over-worked mom). I realized this is a place I could make a regular outing.
And what a PERFECT opportunity this past weekend. My 1st grader & her friends all went separate ways for school this year, so the parents and I wanted to meet up for an “end of the year” lunch. So we decided to take the risk of bringing not 1-2 kids, but 6 KIDS AND A BABY with us, 4 poor old souls (3 moms & 1 dad) and eat at Frato’s.
[Drool-worthy pictures after the jump!]
Bavette’s Bar & Boeuf
218 W Kinzie Street
Chicago, IL 60654
I have to admit, I do appreciate some really tender steak! This place had some great reviews on Yelp and from some friends of ours who have been there before. Reservations are usually booked for weeks on end, so its best to put in your request months in advance. Usually I am pretty good at that (key word is “usually”).
This year, for my birthday, I wanted to go, but with all that was going on, I forgot to put in my reservation (oops!) So, we made a plan: we would go there when they are just opened (around 4:30p or 5pm) and just wait at the bar until our table is ready. I figured that, by the time they get to us (which was about an hour), we would have been hungry enough (but not too hungry) to enjoy our dinner.
When we had arrived, it was just as we had expected – it was at least an hour to an hour and a half wait for walk-ins. This was not a problem (again, this was expected), so we stated that we would wait at the bar.
We started with a dozen fresh oysters with our drinks. Half were from the East Coast and the other half were from the West Coast. I remember hearing or reading once that oysters are technically the same wherever you get them, and that their flavor comes from the area (depending on water quality, minerals and environmental factors) that they were harvested in. The bartender explained to us the areas they all had come from. There was one set that was from the Pacific, near Hawaii, that I felt tasted the best overall.
Not too long after we had finished our oysters and drinks, our table was ready. The tables were wooden and the plates at each setting were different (mismatched). They all were really dainty and pretty though, and I felt that it added character.
Our next appetizer was Peppered Duck with Goat Cheese Terrine with Apricot Mustard and Toast.
For our main entrees, my brother and I had the Dry Aged Bone-In Ribeye (22oz, 42 day aged) with bearnese and steak salt. I added roasted bone marrow as an enhancement.
My husband ordered the Shaved Prime Beef Sandwich with Au Jus.
We also had sides of Candied Sweet Potato with Bourbon Glaze and Elote Style Corn.
For dessert, I had the Hot Fudge Sundae Royale (it came with a sparkler!) There were eight to ten candy toppings that you can add to the sundae (or enjoy on their own!) My brother and husband were so full, they just had drinks.
Overall, the food was delicious! My steak was cooked beautifully – I usually order medium rare, and places tend to go over that. The bone marrow, I had on its on, and smeared on some of the steak, and I was in carnivore heaven! My husband loved his sandwich – the beef was still moist and tender, even without the Au Jus. I definitely would come here again. Next time for one of these:
There you have it! Have you been here also? Tell us what you thought in the comments below!
January 27 – February 9, 2017
It is for 14 days, but it’s called Restaurant Week. During this time, restaurants offer a fixed price menu that usually showcases their best dishes. In general, dinner would be available at a fixed price of $44, yet some may also include lunch and/or brunch (new for 2017) for $22.
Though only 300 Chicagoland restaurants are participating, we still have so many choices, it’s literally impossible to starve here.
It gives one a chance to try a new restaurant at a reasonable price.
The list of restaurants and available menus are available here:
You can filter by restaurant name, cuisine, type of menu (ie brunch, lunch, and dinner), neighborhood and diet preference (ie vegan, vegetarian and gluten-free).
Some menus are set and others may offer upgrades (for an upcharge). It may be best to look at both the regular menu and the restaurant week menu if you want to compare prices.
Or, you can look at the spreadsheet that this author presented here:
By all means, if something on their regular menu looks great to you, go ahead and order it! I have also been there, meaning to order the restaurant week menu, but end up ordering off the regular menu instead. What’s important is that you enjoy your meal, after all.
I hope that you have a chance to experience restaurant week. Feel free to share your experiences in the comments below!
The Swedish Bakery
5348 N. Clark St, Chicago Il 60640
After being in business for 88 years, this week The Swedish Bakery announced on Facebook that they will close forever at the end of the business February 28th. According to a number of reports, this is the last Swedish Bakery in the city.
“This was definitely a wonderful experience, even for those who have never been to an opera before…”
The Magic Flute (Die Zauberflöte)
By Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
Chicago Lyric Opera House
December 10 – January 27
4514 N. Lincoln Ave
Chicago, IL 60625