This blog is dedicated to Akshat T. Thanks for your suggestions. We tried every single place you suggested and you are now my official go to person, if I visit any city you already have.
Devyani N. Who visited Chicago, instead of Ireland!!
Chicago was 2 days of sheer debauchery. A friendly change from crowded busy and unfriendly NY.
Places to visit.
Millennium Park: This is in the centre of Chicago. Huge, with loads of things to do. There is the Crown Plaza, with the water fountain and digital face. It was hot, and kids were playing in the water fountain. I felt like joining them too.
Cloud Gate – know as The Bean, for its legume shape. I found this to be one of the most fascinating pieces of sculptor, I have ever see. I could not stop marvelling at the brains behind this fabulous design. When I researched, ofcourse it turned out to be an Indian. Anish Kapoor – 2006. Its a pure stainless steel structure, but the way it has been choreographed (there is not better word for it) is stunning. With every angle one sees myriad designs and reflections.
Theater – There was a Jazz festival going on. Open seating. People had come with garden chairs and picnics. I dont know much about Jazzz, but I believe the artists performing were fairly famous.
Willis Tower : Where the sky deck is located – on the 103rd floor. It’s a crazy experience. Once stands on a glass floor. And when you look down, huge container carrying trucks look like miniature dinky cars. Not meant for those scared of heights.
Navy Pier: It was a bright summer, wednesday evening. We went for a show (Cirque – Shanghai Warriors – amazing) and then roamed around the pier. Typical american peir. Open spaces, loads of restaurants and bars, and shops. Worth spending an hour or so. If you are lucky you might catch a fire work show.
Magnificent Mile and Oak Street: Shopping areas, boutiques and great restaurants. Walk!
Wicker Park: Local neighbourhood. A little further from central areas, so we could not visit. But I have been told its worth a visit.
Architectural Tour : The boats take you around Chicago, can be done with or without a meal and drinks. Again we could not make it. But heard its worth it.
Places to eat. And DRINK
The Aviary: What a concept. Its merely and only a bar. Very little eats menu. One can choose a 3 course or a 5 course cocktail menu. We took the 3 course one. There were 4 of us and 12 drinks. The mixes, the ingredients – pure mixology genius. Its an experience and one must absolutely go there. Lets leave aside the fact that we were walking at odd angles after this.
The Publican : Belgian brewery and restaurant. With close to 160 different beers. Communal tables. Definitely worth visiting. PS – even the food looked good – though we did not eat there.
Signature Lounge : The view from this place is crazy. Its on the 96th floor and has fantastic drinks. We had a ruby martini, which had lemon shorbet dissolving in it and leaving behind mild notes of citrus. If possible book a place by the window, difficult but worth it.
Fig and Olive: We went there for drinks as well as lunch. Wonderful place, fabulous service, great food, great music. Must go. Booking required.
The Girl and the Goat: We could not go there as we had no booking. Booked solid for atleast a month in advance. Our friends managed a walk in. They said it was fabulous.
Pump Room : Our first meal and Chicago and it was unforgettable.
Spiaggia : Even though we reached drunk and left even more drunk, I still remember tasting the food and going all round and goggle eyed. Great wines. Try for a window table. Book. BTW: fantastic service. They indulged our drunk rambling.
The Chicago Deep Dish Pizza : We had it in Lou Malnati. A must go, but go with time. Many different venues. Loooong cues. And amazing pizza, though the deep dish cheese did a number on our stomach. I also heavily recommend the thin crust pizza. We had a taste, and regretted not having an appetite to eat one of those. The spinach one was outstanding.
The other places where its available are Giordano’s. We did not eat there though.
Next: From the makers of Aviary. We heard about it, but it was under renovation. Name’s so, because it changes menu and CUISINE every few months. Innovative to say the least!
I loved Chicago. The vibe, the zest and the view. I would go there again in a heartbeat. Place for foodies and those who love their alcohol and are willing to experiment a bit.