November 2015 | chicago foodie girl


Recipe: Grilled Lamb Chops with Mustard BBQ Sauce

Now that the weather has finally cooled down (well, it's more than just cooled down - we're actually expecting our first snowfall of the season later tonight!), I've once again taken up regular residence in my kitchen. As much as I always enjoy my mini cooking break during the hotter months (less cooking = more time for checking out fab new restaurants!), I'm always eager to get back into the kitchen and taste test all of the new recipes I've spent the summer collecting.

One of those recipes I've been eagerly waiting to try out is from none other than Chicago favorite Jeff Mauro, aka the Sandwich King. Diana and I had the opportunity to see Jeff in action at Chicago Gourmet a few years ago and we both walked away with a newfound appreciation for his cooking (that man knows his stuff!)... we may also each have a bit of a secret crush on him, but that's another story. ;-)



Chicago Eats: The Local Chicago

As much as I try to keep up with new restaurants, I have to admit that The Local Chicago is one of those places that has consistently flown under my radar ever since its opening in 2012. However, with a recent change in chef and updates to the menu, the restaurant has been getting a new round of buzz... which finally made its way to my little corner of the world! A sister restaurant to the popular Chicago Cut Steakhouse, The Local offers a little slice of rustic America with a modern twist right in the heart of the city.

Located just off of the Mag Mile inside the Hilton Suites Hotel, the restaurant has Americana theme and a menu filled with updated comfort food to match its homey decor, as well as appeal to city diners looking for a simple, yet still sophisticated experience. While I'm definitely not someone who would typically intentionally seek out a restaurant that focuses on traditional dishes, as I'm far more apt to gravitate toward a modern sushi joint or tiny neighborhood taqueria, I have to say there's something refreshing about an unpretentious spot that offers good ol' American classics (especially when those classics include some delicious mac & cheese!).

Not only does The Local offer regional favorites, but it also sources the bulk of its ingredients from familiar Midwestern vendors (Slagel Family Farm, Local Folks Food, Crystal Valley Farms); in addition, they offer exclusive beers from Chicago favorites Two Brothers Brewing and Revolution Brewery on tap, as well as an extensive wine list worthy of its posh neighborhood location.



Chicago Eats: Pump Room

You may remember that I paid my first visit to Pump Room earlier this year and fell hard for their fabulous decor, delicious drinks, and absolutely amazing salmon rolls (seriously, they're a game changer!). As I mentioned in my last post, Pump Room is one of those iconic Chicago restaurants that was once known as much for its legendary celebrity connections as for the food they served. Located in the same neighborhood as the original Playboy Mansion, the first iteration of the restaurant served as the former stomping grounds for likes of Natalie Wood, Humphrey Bogart, Frank Sinatra (he had his own booth!), and yes, even the Hefners. Back in the day, it was the place to be. Thanks to a total transformation in 2011 that updated everything from the physical space to the menu, Pump Room is most definitely still the place to be (although sadly, the restaurant of today is decidedly less star-studded).

While a few of Pump Room's original menu items from the Golden Age remain, much of the current menu was recreated by Jean-Gorges' Vongerichten of the highly successful ABC Kitchen during the renovations. Based on the bites I sampled during my spring visit, I knew I absolutely needed to get back over there for more, so of course, I was thrilled when Ashley and I were both recently invited to stop in to try the famed Jean-Georges Icon Menu. We donned our party shoes, grabbed a few of our girlfriends, and met up for what would turn out to be an absolutely epic meal!

A few of the many legends to dine at Pump Room

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