Eating around Chicago

We spent a total of 3 days/2 nights in the Windy City and made the most out of food itinerary by checking out some of these restaurants.  Not too many photos were taken because of poor lighting and because I was still trying to get used to adjusting the settings of the new camera that the Man had loaned me.

IMG_1638The Publican:

This made for a fun date-night and casual place to catch-up with friends after work or the weekend.  Loved the laid-back vibe and the buzz that the place had when we walked in.

An homage to beer, pork and oysters, The Publican’s eclectic menu is inspired by simple farmhouse fare in a space evocative of a European beer hall. Executive Chef Paul Kahan and Chef de Cuisine Brian Huston have developed a network of purveyors to supply the restaurant with hand-selected and sustainably-raised fish, seafood and pork.

IMG_1639The menu reflected just that.  We had the spicy pork rinds which shocked the Man for he had no clue that it was going to be fried pork skin.  He nearly fainted when the dish was set in front of us for he never imagined that I would order this.  I only ordered because of the rave online reviews.  Hehe… but he’s right, this dish would never be top on my list of things to order.

Having said that the seasoning given to the pork rinds was actually pretty good!  Not your usual mill of fried pork rinds, this actually went very well with a cold beer in hand.

We shared the mussels and a pork chop to round-up the meal.  Nothing was particularly stand-out but it was all very wholesome and hearty.

The Publican
Address: 837 W Fulton Market, Chicago, IL 60607
Telephone: 312.733.9555
Reservations recommended and can be done via Open Table.

Graham Elliot:

The Man reminded me of this restaurant when I was somewhat lamenting where else we should head for dinner.  So reservations were secured in a jiffy (again via Open Table).  I was excited more about actually meeting Chef Graham Elliot in person rather than the food.  When we were in Chicago, we later learned that the restaurant was actually going to be closing its door at the end of 2013, not sure why, but we are glad that we made it there before the doors closed.

There is no ala-carte menu so we had to go with the Tasting Menu which consisted of 14 over dishes (way too many, in my opinion).  Again, lighting was really poor so I will just share some of the pictures that managed to pass the QC process.


The sunchoke soup which was actually artichoke puree served with cream and bacon chips.  There’s always something comforting about soup and this naturally made it on my list.

L1010130The risotto which had a very zesty flavour to the taste-buds also helped to open it.  Loved the use of fennel shavings used as a topping on the dish which also gave it a fresh bite.

Processed with VSCOcam with g3 presetOkay, you can call me lame but the highlight of the meal was meeting Chef Graham Elliot in person.  He’s actually a lot smaller than on TV and is really friendly!  It’s no wonder why he’s one of my fave Masterchef US judges!  Hehe…

IMG_1681Complimentary popcorn and a signed copy of the menu to take home.  🙂


Shanghai Terrace:

This comes as a surprise because by this point in the trip, we were really craving for some Asian food.  And being overseas, we didn’t have high expectations on the quality of the Asian food after all, it would be adapted to suit the majority of the patrons in the restaurant and not cooked to suit our taste buds.  So we settled on the nearest Asian restaurant that we could find from our hotel – Shanghai Terrace over at Peninsula Hotel served the purpose.

IMG_1690The spicy beef pot stickers were actually pretty good.  And we had rice!  Loads of rice for the Man and half a bowl for me.  As I really wanted something spicy, the hot and spicy soup did just the trick.  Was expecting a watered down version of it but this was actually spicy enough for me.  IMG_1691Never been happier to see roast duck and roast pork slices that were best enjoyed with a simple steaming bowl of rice.  ;p

Well, that pretty much sums up our dining experience in Chicago.  On to LA next!


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