We lived in Chicago several years ago, and it still thrills me to visit there. It is such a gorgeous city full of great restaurants, exceptional architecture, and such an incredible variety of neighborhoods.
Last week we attended an amazing wedding in “Chi-Town.” We stayed with friends that live outside of the city, so we had a city experience, coupled with a nice relaxing time in the “burbs.” The best of both worlds!
The beautiful setting at our friend’s house was just perfect for creating a tranquil office in their outdoor gazebo. The weather was much cooler than here in South Florida and was a nice, refreshing change.
A day before the wedding, we attended a Chicago Architectural boat tour on the Chicago River and Lake Michigan. This was hosted by the bride’s family and was a real treat. The skyline from the water is spectacular, and it was a great start to kick off a beautiful weekend.
Before boarding the boat, we opted to visit the newly developed Riverwalk and were surprised by how many restaurants and bars that there are in the area. It’s made up of six coves or “rooms.” The City Winery is very popular and looked a lot like a Spring Break party patio. This was a little too much for us, so Smith & Wollensky is where we began our evening. It offered us a bird’s eye view of all of the action, excellent food, and it was away from the crazy crowds.
Sharing a couple of starters was just perfect! Beginning with a yummy crab cake, then the beet salad with goat cheese, drizzled with honey, followed by a decadent grilled bacon dish. All this and a nice crisp rose. What else could you ask for?
On to the wedding…
Morgan’s On Fulton was the venue for the wedding, and what a unique and funky location. The area where it is located is referred to as the West Loop and lies along the western bank of the Chicago River. The Fulton River District is a former manufacturing corridor that is made up of warehouses that have been converted to loft condos, retail, and restaurants. The area has definitely experienced a “rebirth” and has become very trendy and lively since we were there many years ago.
Morgan’s On Fulton is touted as Industrial-chic with weathered plaster walls, exposed brick and a gallery/reception area on the first floor. The ceremony was held on the second floor, and after the ceremony, we proceeded to the third floor for drinks, dinner, and dancing. Unfortunately, it rained that night, but the rooftop was decorated beautifully with a large tent with sparkling lights and long rustic tables.
The wedding party was all so beautiful that the pictures looked like a spread for an upscale bridal magazine. It was so much fun to celebrate with this special couple and their family and friends. We are definitely blessed.
As mentioned before, there are numerous dining options in the area. We got the inside scoop from a local that lives there and is “in the know”. Au Cheval is famous for their hamburgers. They have locations in New York and Chicago. Be prepared to wait, as the line can be very long and wrap around the corner. Bar Siena serves rustic Italian fare and serves everything with the intention to share. Mad Social is known for their unique menu and is true to the area’s warehouse vibe with a French industrial chic atmosphere. Saint Lou’s Assembly is also a great “find” and has a really lovely patio for dining. Lastly, there is always Girl & The Goat and Little Goat Diner. Both are excellent choices.
Another thing we like to do is dine at RH (Restoration Hardware) in the Gold Coast. Check out the Architercural Digest article featuring this special place. It is located right down the street from where we used to live and is a gorgeous transformation from a former Arts Center for girls. The building had fallen into disrepair over the years, and RH did an incredible job of bringing it back to its former glory. The 3 Arts Club Café is a perfect stop for a light nosh and perhaps some bubbly.
We also LOVE RL by none other than Ralph Lauren himself. This beautiful restaurant is located directly across from the Water Tower. The cozy, clubby atmosphere features quintessential RL style. A few years ago when we were visiting Chicago, the temperatures were sub-zero, and we took shelter at RL sitting in front of the fireplace in the lounge. This is the perfect place to stay warm and enjoy a libation!
Did I mention the museums? If you have a longer timeframe, it is imperative that you visit my favorites — The Field Museum and The Art Institute of Chicago. You will be in awe of the art collection at the Art Institure and the Field Museum has many interesting exhibits.
Something as simple as visiting the Lincoln Park Zoo, and just strolling through the park is so enjoyable. And, there are so many great dining options, free concerts and cultural programs in Millennium Park and the shopping on Michigan Avenue is BEYOND!
I could go on and on about the many places that we LOVE in this great city! So, in conclusion, if you are looking for a getaway, Chicago is a great option. There is something for everyone, and you can experience so many exciting places.