Chicago Restaurant Week Trip Recap

You don’t want to miss the biggest restaurant event of the year! Chicago Restaurant Week returns for two weeks of dining deals from hundreds of celebrated restaurants all across the city.

And what a sweet treat it was to be welcomed home by having a quick getaway to my favorite city in the Midwest! Choose Chicago invited me for a sneak peek at the Chicago Restaurant Week 2019 and I can’t wait to share all the goodness with you guys! Jen got to come along with me and for that my friends you’ll definitely thank me (see the nicest pics!!).

This year’s Chicago Restaurant Week will be the largest ever, with nearly 400 local restaurants participating. That includes over 100 first-time participants and 45 suburban restaurants.

The 12th annual culinary celebration features special prix fixe menus starting at $24 for brunch and lunch, and $36 and/or $48 for dinner (excluding beverages, tax and gratuity). It’s the perfect excuse to visit an old favorite or try somewhere new. – Amazing deals!!!

We stayed at my beloved The Blackstone Hotel ( see my full stay there back last summer), located super close to Millenium Park with walkable access to the best shopping at Michigan Ave. known as the Magnificent Mile. After a free afternoon, we got ready and went down to the lobby to start our evening with a mini-tour of the historic hotel!

The Blackstone Hotel Chicago | Karina Reske | Chicago Restaurant Week Trip Recap featured by top US life and style blogger, Karina Style Diaries The Blackstone Hotel Chicago | Karina Reske  | Chicago Restaurant Week Trip Recap featured by top US life and style blogger, Karina Style Diaries

We then paid a visit to the Mercat A La Planxa located in the lobby at The Blackstone Hotel! “Mercat a la Planxa is a modern interpretation of timeless Catalan traditions. Located on Michigan Avenue, Mercat offers an authentic dining experience that combines fresh meats and produce with the energetic spirit of a Barcelona market. The interiors boast bright, rich fabrics and weathered mosaic tiles, accented by dynamic sculptural furniture and distinctive art murals.

Mercat a la planxa | Chicago restaurant week 2019 | Chicago restaurant week best deals | Karina Reske  | Chicago Restaurant Week Trip Recap featured by top US life and style blogger, Karina Style Diaries
Fried dates wrapped in bacon | Mercat a la Planxa
Mercat a la planxa | Chicago restaurant week 2019 | Chicago restaurant week best deals |  | Chicago Restaurant Week Trip Recap featured by top US life and style blogger, Karina Style Diaries
Fried potato wedges with chives and seasoning | Spanish version of Caprese salad with fresh cherry tomatoes

Next, we met up at the hotel’s entrance for the limo (yes, how fancy guys!!) and headed to our second stop of the evening. Tanta. “Tanta is dedicated to sharing the flavors and culture of Peru with Chicago, serving authentic Peruvian dishes and beverages in an approachable, fun and casual downtown setting. We provide service that is casual yet knowledgeable, genuine and attentive, utilizing locally sourced products and vendors that are sensitive to sustainable farming and fishing. The menu, created by Chef Gaston Acurio and Tanta Chicago Chef Jesus Delgado, takes guests on a voyage through Peru with its food. From the Pacific Ocean, through the Andes, to the desert, to the Amazon, Tanta celebrates the diverse landscape and various ethnicity that makeup Peru’s culture.”

Tanta restaurant Chicago | Pisco Sour | Karina reske  | Chicago Restaurant Week Trip Recap featured by top US life and style blogger, Karina Style Diaries
Tanta restaurant Chicago | Pisco Sour

Guys their cocktails are gorgeous!!!! But to be honest I’m on an alcoholic beverage fast for a few weeks and couldn’t try their signature drink, the Pisco Sour: santiago queirolo quebranta pisco, egg white, lime, sugar, amargo chuncho bitters. BUT they were kind enough to make me a mocktail with passion fruit and can I just say: IT WAS TO DIE FOR!!!! Seriously wasn’t that upset about it. It came with the same beautiful presentation. See all we ate via Instagram Stories.

We had the babiche (or something really similar to it): chef’s selection fish, 22 month aged parmesan cheese leche de tigre, garlic chips, mock fish skin, basil oil.

Tanta | Fried potato chips and Pisco sour  | Chicago Restaurant Week Trip Recap featured by top US life and style blogger, Karina Style Diaries

We then headed to Café Spiaggia. If the name sounds familiar you’re right. The Spiaggia is one of the top restaurants in Chicago (click here to see all of their awards). The Café Spiaggia is their more casual sister restaurant. I was definitely sorry I couldn’t try the wine, upon opening the bottle, the smell that came out was simply amazing!! But hey I couldn’t help myself but borrow it for the pic 😉

 

Café Spiaggia Chicago | Karina Reske | Chicago Restaurant Week  | Chicago Restaurant Week Trip Recap featured by top US life and style blogger, Karina Style Diaries Café Spiaggia Chicago | Karina Reske | Chicago Restaurant Week  | Chicago Restaurant Week Trip Recap featured by top US life and style blogger, Karina Style Diaries

We had an appetizer of fried mushroom risotto balls with prosciutto and Italian bread dipped in extra virgin Olive Oil. Left us all wanting for more…

 

Soon after we departed to Brazilian Steakhouse Zed 451, truly like nothing I’ve ever seen. Think upscale churrascaria, with very exotic foods and gorgeous presentation too! Take a look at their menu for Restaurant week here. We got to taste everything and it was heavenly. The hardest part was to leave room for our last stop of the evening 🙂

Zed 451 Chicago | Karina Reske | Chicago Restaurant Week 2019  | Chicago Restaurant Week Trip Recap featured by top US life and style blogger, Karina Style Diaries

The salad bar is lovely and very gourmet style. They have a big fire pit in the center and I couldn’t resist a shot!

Zed 451 Chicago | Karina Reske | Chicago Restaurant Week 2019  | Chicago Restaurant Week Trip Recap featured by top US life and style blogger, Karina Style Diaries

If you’re up for a cocktail, definitely have yourself a caipirinha! It’s a Brazilian National drink made with sugar rum (or vodka if you prefer a caipiroska), sugar and fresh lime juice! If mocktail is a choice I loved the Cuban soda. It’s a mojito-like drink with no alcohol!!!

Zed 451 Chicago | Karina Reske | Chicago Restaurant Week 2019  | Chicago Restaurant Week Trip Recap featured by top US life and style blogger, Karina Style Diaries

See Instagram stories under CHICAGO RESTAURANT WEEK for more footage of the main dishes. We captured this yummy dessert made of chocolate cake topped with cream cheese and beat ice cream. Sounds odd? It’s actually an explosion of flavors in your mouth! I love that it isn’t overly sweet. So so good!!

Zed 451 Chicago | Karina Reske | Chicago Restaurant Week 2019 | dessert | chocolate cake | beet ice cream  | Chicago Restaurant Week Trip Recap featured by top US life and style blogger, Karina Style Diaries You’re probably asking yourselves how I could still manage to eat more. Well, the last stop was one of the best foods I tasted that night.

It is a bummer we could barely manage to eat but what we tasted was INCREDIBLE.

I’m actually planning another visit back to Chicago just to eat at the Beacon Tavern. Phil Vettel from the Chicago Tribune calls this place ” a hidden gem” and it truly is. Located above the street side, just steps away from the Magnificent Mile.

Beacon Taven Chicago | Karina Reske  | Chicago Restaurant Week Trip Recap featured by top US life and style blogger, Karina Style Diaries

From the atmosphere, the service to the amazing flavors, textures, and colors of the foods. Everything was simply MARVELOUS!

I’m not a food expert by any means but I do LOVE to eat and to cook. Let’s say I can recognize a delicious dish! This place must be in your next visit to Chicago (there, I said it!!).

Beacon Taven Chicago | Karina Reske | Chicago Restaurant Week  | Chicago Restaurant Week Trip Recap featured by top US life and style blogger, Karina Style Diaries
Now, I want to hear from you! Have you been to any of these or Chicago Restaurant Week? What are your favorite spots in the city? What dishes do we all need to try next time we find ourselves in Chicago? By leaving us a comment with your suggestions you’ll be helping other readers to find other gems in the city! Not to mention helping me, since I do find myself in Chicago quite often!! ALSO, let me know if you decide to go to Chicago or out to try some of the Chicago Restaurant Week because of this post!!

Buon Appetito,

-K