Red Light and Santa Express

As I strolled to the Green Line to go downtown today, just by happenstance I was able to get on the “Santa Express” train. What a treat.  I was greeted by elves handing out candy canes. The whole train was decorated, Christmas music playing, and CTA actually removed the middle car and replaced it with Santa’s sleigh and his reindeer.

The Garfield Conservatory was having a Poinsettia holiday display and stopped in on my way downtown.  This place was very quaint and was a nice place to go and relax.

Since it was 23 degrees today, I can see why one would want to go take a book and sit amongst the jungle vines and warm up.

One of the big Chicago winter events near the Picasso statue was the Chriskindlmarket.

So, I know I am opinionated, but this seemed very touristy.  The Christmas tree, the hot cocoa was very sweet, but  my real objective was to hit Red Light for some food.

The chef is well known for  her Thai- French fusion food.

Directly across the street was Marche.  Which brought me back to 1999 when my mother and I went here for the newly introduced pomegranate martinis.  It’s funny now to think this cocktail  was all the rage 10 years ago.  Of course they were sold out at the time!  But to this day my mom and I laugh about that a good way.  The bill was $80 and in a nut shell we basically had maccaroni & cheese and fruit.  Flash forward, 10 years later, I hear about Red Light in Chicago magazine.  They have a pre fixe menu for $20 and it sounds delicious. Marche, Red Light, and two other restaurants are all run by the same company.  I get myself a comfy seat bar-side and order a glass of Chilean red wine, fried artichoke hearts, and roasted eggplant dumplings. Ummm…yeah….let’s see, artichoke hearts, fried, with three different sauces….how bad could that be???

Then got the roasted eggplant dumplings with peas and potatoes in a mushroom stock.

As the bartender was pouring me a round on “the house” I casually asked him what the stock was made of because it was really rich tasting. (p.s. he knew I was a vegetarian)  He came back and  said, “Veal stock…..long pause….”just kidding.”  Which about made me spit out my vino from laughter.  Got to love a smart ass!  Red Light has a lot of delicious items on the menu and would recommend it to anyone.  The bartenders are a riot and the ambience is one of a kind.

So grateful to be here this time of year!



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4 responses to “Red Light and Santa Express

  1. Norma Madeo

    Wonderul pictures of a great City…and it’s awsome food choices!! So glad you’re enjoying your new surroundings…. Happy Holidays!!

  2. Kelly

    Ok I might have to have a Chicago trip at Christmas next year!!!! Everything looks delightful. Next time I visit I want to take some time to visit that wonderful conservatory……..and food at the Redlight for sure!!!! I miss you and I can’t wait to come back to the “Windy City” with my best bud and foodie friend!!

    • fortyonthemat

      Red Light has a separate vegetarian menu. A lot of the fish entrees sounded amazing too. Mi casa su casa….anytime! See you in a few weeks.

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