We arrived in Chicago around noon and headed on the L to Hotel Allegro down in the Theatre District. We walked around dawning our packs until we found a spot for lunch and headed to check in to the Hotel. Hotel Allegro is part of the Kimpton Hotel group and was a fun way to go... they gave us free drink tickets and breakfast tickets for $1, have a complimentary wine hour each night, and are super modern... some of the couches were like foam blocks shaped like a wave and the work out room had a dark black city scene painted on the main wall.
After a nap... it was off to dinner... it was only about 30 degrees out and on the verge of snow, so I figured my light grey jacket and shiny silver open toed shoes would be the perfect outfit to wear as we walked a mile and a half to Spiaggia.
We almost made it and it started snowing... so a great place to stop was at the top of the John Hancock building to have a pre-dinner cocktail while overlooking the city. We warmed up just in time to head another 3 blocks to Spiaggia...
|Butter Poached Lobster with black truffles and some kind of really fancy sausage (Course 3)|
|Antelope with duck liver, mushrooms and of course more black truffles (Course 6)|
These delicious treats were a part of our meal at Spiaggia. Thanks to the Lavins, Top Chef has become one of our favorite TV Shows. One of the guest judges, Tony Montuano is the chef/owner of Spiaggia, a fine dining restaurant on the corner of Michigan Ave. in Chicago. We opted for the tasting menu... all 7 courses, and the first 6 topped with shaved black truffles (apparently it is truffle season in Italy.
I'm not sure what my favorite dish was, but I think it may have been course 1-- celery root moose with truffles and myer lemon. It was only one tiny bite, but it popped in my mouth like a creamy tangy zesty marshmallow. I've never had anything quite like it.
**Also, I should inform you that I have been gluten and dairy free for the past 6-8 months and decided to take a break for the week... my digestive system did not thank me (and still is working on recovering), but the tastes were so worth it.
I'm not a huge fan of Italian wines, so when I asked for some recommendations for a bottle of wine, and had to pick off a list at $400+ a pop.... I felt a little pressure, so I opted for the wine pairing and Matt just ordered a glass... we were splurging, but I don't like to make big decisions spur of the moment.
Anyways, the wine pairing was a treat because I have never gotten a true sense of flavors changing when a good wine goes with the meal. Seriously, one of the glasses completely transformed post fettucini.
I've never spent that much money on a meal before and probably will never again, but it was an experience that I enjoyed with all of my being, great company, great conversation, great service, deliciousness on my tastebuds... truly a once in a life time treat!
After dinner we headed to Blues Chicago to hear some traditional blues music. I must admit that I was a little over the top after my 7 courses with wine pairings and slipped on the snow a few times, so we only stayed long enough to enjoy a few great songs and let our food digest before cabbing it back to the Hotel to sleep...