Welcome to July, aka the party month of the summer! Actually, I think July may just be the ultimate party month of the entire year. While October offers oodles of fall fun and December is filled with back-to-back holiday events, July is a nonstop parade of happiness with its themed get-togethers, fireworks, BBQs, beach bashes, patio gatherings, and one very special perk afforded to those of us who live in the city: dining amongst the skyscrapers. Chicagoans have mad love for rooftop decks (quite possibly because the city is buried under three feet of snow for most of the year); I have to admit that I didn't completely understand the frenzy surrounding rooftop dining until I was here for a few years, and now I can't get enough! While we all love a good patio session, I have to say there is something very special about dining on rooftop during a beautiful summer sunset with fruity cocktail in hand.
Chicago offers numerous rooftop dining options from which to choose; recently, I was lucky to join a group of my fellow food bloggers at one of the most popular choices: The dec Rooftop Lounge at the Ritz-Cartlon. The scenic hotspot, perched twelve stories above the Mag Mile, features a mixologist-driven cocktail list and lovely cityscape views. Of course, as we all know, a good hangout spot is not just all about the fabulous view and drinks, right? A restaurant is only as good as its food (although the cocktails definitely help!). Well, as I discovered during my three-hour tour through their summer menu, The dec is one of those spots that has it all: fabulous food, booze, and views!
We kicked off our night with an East Coast vs. West Coast Oyster Tasting with a side of gigantic Crab Claws. I don't get too caught up in the East/West Coast oyster debate, as I tend to love them all, but I have to say that the briny East Coast oysters offerings were especially on point!
Mileena: Plantations White Rum, rhubarb, lime & Prosecco (my favorite cocktail of the evening!)
The perfect Charcuterie Board: a little bit of everything from spicy mustard to salty meat to sweet fruit.
Mahi Mahi Ceviche with cilantro, citrus & crispy tortillas
Chicken Schnitzel Strips with anchovy Sriracha aioli. These salty, crispy strips had a slight bite from the spicy aoili - a clear favorite of everyone at my table!
Second in Line: Plymouth Gin, ginger liqueur, grapefruit & Anti-Hero IPA
Falafel Bites served with yogurt and pickles
Meatball Skewers served with sticky soy glazed sauce. These flavorful meatballs were another clear favorite at our table - the meat was super tender and the sweet sauce was the perfect accompaniment.
Berkshire Pork Sliders with chili & red pepper mostarda, served on brioche
Steamed PEI Mussels with Spanish chorizo, melted leeks & English IPA
Once the sun went down, we kicked off the dessert course with an bucket of Frozen Fruit Pops. Seriously, how cute was the presentation?!
Not to be outdone, there was an equally adorable Bucket of Bon Bons (and boy were they delicious and crazy addictive!).
My favorite part of the dessert course was the delectable Ice Cream Floats. The orange and Guinness floats were outstanding!
I absolutely loved everything about my experience at The dec Rooftop Lounge, from the amazing food and drinks to the gorgeous city views. The location is perfect for everything from casual brunch to a fancy girls night out - I can't wait to head to back for more summer rooftop excitement!
You can try all of this deliciousness and more at The dec Rooftop Lounge: 160 E. Pearson Street.
Disclosure: I received a complimentary meal to facilitate this post. Review and all opinions are my own.