July 2018 | chicago foodie girl


Chicago Eats: Omakase Dinner at Strings Ramen

While there were once few options in Chicago for ramen (outside of dorm room dining); thankfully, it's no longer seen here as a novelty food. Over the last few years, in particular, there has been a rash of ramen shop openings, ranging from the traditional/authentic end to the more modern/Americanized renditions. Chicago still isn't exactly known as a hardcore ramen town like NY or LA, but there are still plenty of fantastic places to get your ramen fix. I make it my mission every winter to eat as much ramen as possible (while I do enjoy it all year round, my body goes into serious ramen-craving mode as soon as the temperature plunges). I've come to realize through my ramen forays that I prefer a creamy broth and firm, chewy noodles (I've also come to realize that I really shouldn't eat it in public because I will inevitably end up with broth all over my shirt! đŸ¤£).

While I have my favorites at just about every ramen stop in the city, the one that always keeps me going back for more is the perfectly done tonkotsu ramen with kuro buta at Strings Ramen Shop. The broth is so thick and rich that it coats your mouth with is meaty deep roasted flavor. The noodles (unlike those at most other ramen spots in Chicago) are made fresh daily with an imported Japanese mixer and noodle maker, resulting in a thin and firm noodle that holds up in even the boldest of broths. Considering my love for Strings, it should come as no surprise that as soon as I heard they were hosting a summer omakase dinner, I was first in line to snag a ticket to this fab event held their new-ish Lakeview location!


Chicago Eats: Gibsons Italia

If you ask anyone in Chicago for steakhouse recommendations, it's guaranteed Gibsons will dominate the list. It's one of those rare Chicago spots that has been around forever (almost 30 years, which is forever in the world of restaurants) and is loved by locals, tourists, and celebrities alike. Not only is it an institution in Chicago, it's also the epitome of what you expect when you think of a classic steakhouse: celebrity photos lining the walls, dark old-fashioned ambiance, Sinatra pumping through the speakers, and giant slabs of meat and martinis everywhere you look.

While Gibsons embodies the old school steakhouse vibe, its new sibling spot, Gibsons Italia is the epitome of modern elegance. The three-level steakhouse is a bright and chic space complete with a retractable roof and floor-to-ceiling windows offering sweeping views of the Chicago River and skyline. Along with the departure from the old-fashioned (i.e. 1980s) ambiance, Gibsons Italia has an Italian theme - in addition to top-notch steaks, the menu features antipasti, pastas, and classic Italian entrĂ©es. While I definitely can appreciate the original Gibsons for what it is, its gorgeous sister restaurant has stolen my heart and quickly become one of my favorite places to spend a leisurely afternoon thanks to its beautiful setting and fantastic food.
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