Located at Queen Street West, Nota Bene is the perfect location for a relaxing meal after strolling along funky Queen West, or a refreshing cocktail and a light dinner before a heading over to the Opera house. It was named Canada’s top new restaurants by numerous magazines, including Toronto Life and Air Canada’s Enroute Magazine.
I took my mom to Nota Bene for lunch before we watched the Nutcracker. We arrived shortly after it opened and enjoyed the quiet dining room all by ourselves… for about 5 minutes, then the lunch-time crowd started pouring in.
One of the most well-known landmark of Chicago, is Cloud Gate, aka, “the Bean” in Millennium Park. On any given day in the summer, eager toursits (like myself and Charles) and avid photographers crowd the Bean, making snapping photos a challenging task. Our hotel was really close to Millennium Park, which allowed us to pop in one early more before everyone showed up.
We were so hot and hungry after our early visit to Cloud Gate. Luckily, Wildberry Pancakes and Cafe was just steps away from Millennium Park and was already packed with diners by the time we arrived.
Florida Stone Crab is a crab found in the warm waters of the Gulf of Mexico. The bodies of these crabs are relatively small and rarely eaten. In comparison, the claws are large and unequally-sized. The black-tipped stone crab claws are considered a delicacy. The claws are hand harvested, one claw at a time, and thrown back to the sea.
Joe’s Seafood, Prime Steak & Stone Crab is famous for its fresh stone crabs and I was super excited to try this new seafood.
Our last meal in Chicago took place in Cafe Ba-Ba-Reeba! We went there for a late lunch before catching our flight back to Toronto and it was a very delicious and memorable meal.
Cafe Ba-Ba-Reeba claims itself as Chicago’s first Spanish restaurant. It serves fresh, authentic Spanish cuisine ranging from small tapas dishes, one or two bite “Pintxos” snacks, made-to-order paella, and refreshing, fruity sangrias.
One of the things Charles and I were really looking forward to in Chicago, was the famous Chicago-style pizza. According to Wikipedia, there are two types of Chicago-style pizza: Deep-dish and stuffed. The deep-dish pizza was invented by Pizzeria Uno. The dough of deep-dish pizza is pressed up onto the sides of the pan, forming a bowl for a very thick layer of topping, with the sauce on the top before it is baked in a pan.
On the other hand, the stuffed pizzas apparently has much deeper topping density than any other type of pizza. Similar to deep-dish pizza, a deep layer of dough forms a bowl in a high-sided pan and the toppings and cheese are added. The difference between the two types is that a stuffed pizza has an additional layer of dough on top of the toppings before pizza sauce is ladled over the top crust. Two pizza chains, Nancy’s Pizza and Giordano’s Pizzeria, popularized this dish. We ended up going to Giordano’s because there was a restaurant just 5 minutes away from our hotel.
Voted as one of the ten best new restaurants in America by Bon Appetit Magazine in 2010, the Purple Pig serves up delicious Mediterranean tapas. The slogan “Cheese, swine, & wine” pretty much sums up what the Purple Pig is famous for.
Charles and I went to the Purple Pig after we finished our architectural cruise (which I highly recommend!). Located on Michigan Ave in the heart of Chicago’s Magnificent Mile, it was easy to find the Purple Pig. It was 4 pm on a weekday but the restaurant was packed!
My friend Becky and I were watching a show at Panasonic Theatre this Friday and Becky mentioned that she felt like Italian for dinner. I found Caffe di Portici on Urbanspoon and thought it would be a great alternative from typical “upscale” restaurants in Yorkville.
Just a stone’s throw away from the busy intersection of Yonge & Bloor, Caffe di Portici is hidden gem in the Yorkville area. The interior is simple, modern, brightly lit, and very cozy. The staffs were very friendly and welcoming.