Birthday Week

Chicago pride!  The Blackhawks won the Stanley Cup and the city has been going crazy.

Every where you look, something is decorated in a Blackhawk jersey.

And here I thought all those fireworks were going off for BIRTHDAY WEEK!  Well, I pretended anyways.

The food frenzy started off at The Peninsula Hotel for high tea.  Do they know how to do it right.  Up on the second floor tucked in an alcove was a cello & violinist who played elegant music throughout the entire experience.  Lucien rose champagne, lobster egg salad, pistachio raspberry tart, and Assam gold leaf tea are only a few of the highlights.

And a birthday could not be complete without a cocktail or two way up on one of the best sky bars in the city C-View.  For all you foodies out there, the chef of C-House (restaurant part of C-view) is competing on Top Chef; which starts this Wednesday.

The birthday week continued with an evening concert at Millennium Park with a picnic to go from Pastoral Cheese Shop.

The garden is in bloom and every day there is a concert at the outdoor theater as well as evening performances.

But the very BEST part of birthday week was Alinea.  Every year a list comes out of the best restaurants in the world.  The highest ranked restaurant in the U.S. is #7- Alinea.  Which also won the 2010 James Beard Award for Outstanding Service.  I’m still pinching myself!  Here is a great video of 24 hours at Alinea.

Where do I even begin???  This was unlike any dining experience I have ever been to. The building is unmarked and the entrance preps you for the extraordinary experience you will about to have. A dark lit narrowed hall leaves you wondering how you  even get into the place, when with enough foot pressure huge metallic doors slid open to reveal the spotless open kitchen and beautifully decorated rooms. Visually it was the most stunning looking food I’ve ever seen. I swear little flowers, chives, etc has to placed on the dishes with tweezers. It was pure perfection. Each dish was served in some sort of contraption that resembled a futuristic way to eat.  Lobster bite speared on a vanilla bean, one-bite taste explosions in your mouth, and wine pairings absolutely dead on.

The servers have you interact with the food, building strange contraptions to build a dish for the next bite, glitzed out magnetic contraptions to pick up your odd miniature utensils, and all the while laughing at how utterly bizarre but amazingly wonderful the whole experience is.  I could go on and on, but really if you are ever in Chicago, put it on your list of places to go.  You won’t be disappointed.

Ahh birthday week…maybe I’ll extend it to birthday month!

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