Monday, March 02, 2009

Weekend Recap

Another full weekend! That's pretty much the name of the game around here.

Friday included two forays into Chicago Restaurant week. At lunch my friend Andy and I went to
Japonais. It was so good. The portions were a bit small, but I think that is kind of how they roll in general. You know, Japanese place, trendy little portions and servings style. I picked lobster spring rolls for an appetizer, cashew encrusted chicken as my entree and chocolate custard with raspberry sauce for dessert. It was all really really good. And look, they had some fancy topiary tree!!
For dinner, Mike and I tried The Chicago Firehouse Restaurant in South Loop. Appetizer was a cup of amazing lobster bisque. The broth was just the right consistency and the soup had big chunks of perfectly-cooked and sweet lobster in it, as well as some sweet corn. It was one of the best I've had (and I consider myself to be a lobster bisque Connoisseur. For an entree, I ordered the 8 oz CFH prime steak. It was OK, a bit more fatty than I am used to with a steak (I always order filets), but very good with a parmesan-peppercorn crust. It didn't include any sides, though, so if Mike hadn't ordered off the regular menu and gotten a family-style side of mashed potatoes I would have had to order a side separately. I thought this was super weird, because the whole point of the Restaurant Week menu is to have a whole meal for $32. A steak on a plate does not a meal make, at least for me. I wish I had tried a different entree; they all looked so good! And then I could have just tried a bite of Mike's steak to see what that was like. The only other complaint I had is that they had changed a few items on their menu from what was posted on the internet as the Restaurant Week Menu. This change meant not only that they bumped the one Mike-acceptable option of beef tips from the appetizer menu (this is why he ended up just ordering a regular steak from the main menu), but also that they weren't serving creme brulee for dessert. BOO. I was a little honked, as creme brulee is my fave. I ended up ordering the chocolate cake for dessert, however, and was not dissappointed. It was a big square piece of chocolate cake that seemed to be dipped in chocolate. It was very rich and very good. Mike and I scarfed the whole dessert down even though we were already pretty full at the end of the meal.
After dinner, Mike and I headed to Bucktown to meet up with another couple we know through an IU friend of mine. We usually only see them when our mutual friend is in town, but always enjoy seeing them so much! So we made it a point to set aside a night to meet up with them. They picked the location of Bluebird. The minute we walked into the place we picked up the hippy vibe... Mike commented that he wasn't trendy enough in a looked-like-he-didn't-try kind of way to be there. The beer menu was about 10 pages long with lots of international microbrews and such. The menu also had a long list of organic wines I had never heard of. I don't drink much hard alcohol and they didn't look to have any beers at all on tap... and I wasn't about to order a Miller Light in such a place. I was a bit at a loss regarding what to order until Mike motioned to the barkeep and said "Can you just give her something that tastes like Stella?" The guy popped open a brew and sat it in front of me in a fancy glass with a smile. At least he was super friendly and didn't mock my lack of interesting-beer knowledge!

Once Trevor and Lizzie got there, we got a table and the waitress was great about recommended brews she thought we would like based on us telling her our preferences. I would definitely go back and try more of the world's brews - but would definitely want a table to get the personalized attention the waitress was able to give us. Everyone there was super nice, and the food looked great (even though we didn't eat! so I don't know if it was actually good or not).

The next day I accomplished all kinds of stuff like going to Trader Joe's, the post office, Jewel, and the dry cleaner before leaving to go visit my friend Melissa in Northern Indiana (Crown Point). Before I left, I tried the mac and cheese I'd picked up at Trader Joe's for lunch. I'd heard it's the best frozen mac around and just had to try it. At first I was a bit disappointed that the tray held two servings, and I shouldn't eat the whole thing. However, after eating half of the tray I was stuffed! And it was SO FREAKING GOOD! I am going to have to head back to stock up on this stuff, for sure.
I tried to stop at the public library on the way out of town, but there were like 10 people in line and I don't even have a library card yet! I couldn't take the wait, and my car was wedged so tightly into a parking space that I was sure to get doored. So I cut my losses and just headed out to Melissa's. I do need to make sure to get back to the library soon... I'm almost out of books to read and I hear that they loan them to you FOR FREE.... haha... Let's just say that Free is definitely in the Budget.

I was so glad I took the time to go visit my friend Melissa... when I first moved to the city she was one of my roommates and we always have such a fun time together! She made tacos and we had wine and lots of good conversation. Plus we teased her dog, Red. When you put your finger in front of her face she crinkles up her nose. It's hilarious.
Why do dogs get green-eye and not red-eye? That is so weird.
On the way home on Sunday, I hit Target and DSW in Merrilville, which was awesome! It was so not crowded and I just wandered around checking out the whole place. I feel like you're constantly tripping over people/getting in people's way at those stores in Chicago so it was a nice change of pace.

Random chores/organizing and church rounded out the rest of the day. And that is my weekend! I swear I cram so much stuff into every weekend, they all fly by. But it's always a good time.


Bayjb said...

Glad to hear you were able to take part in Restaurant Week. Definitely want to check out the Firehouse.

Kevin said...

You should buy a kindle. Way cooler than going to the library. I just got mine. Books are so old fashioned!

Mich said...

I was actually thinking about hitting up the library for some new reads (I don't have a card and have never been so I have been slow getting there) - let me know how it goes for you if you make it there!