Thursday, February 18, 2010

The WAIT is almost OVER!!!!

I’ve made my list and checked it twice; okay, maybe I’ve checked it more like 500 times, but who’s counting. Who can count when I’m dizzied with excitement? To think in just mere hours, RESTAURANT WEEK COMETH! It’s almost too much to bear. Restaurant Week Chicago is almost here! Do you hear the hallelujah chorus?

I’ve waited for this my whole life for this; okay, maybe just a year, but it seems like a lifetime for this week to finally arrive. The culinary elite (over 160 restaurants) have crafted their menus, set their prices, and I feel like a kid awaiting Christmas. Too many choices, too little time, so many calories!!!!!! Oh yeah!

Confused? What is this restaurant week of which I speak? Here is the 411: For one week in Chicago (other major cities have restaurant weeks at different times,) restaurants agree to offer a three course prix fix lunch and/or dinner menu ($22 lunch; $32 dinner.) The restaurant offerings are diverse and the “limited” menus, in most instances, give diners an opportunity to select from a few menu samplings. This is a great way to “try-out” a new restaurant. Last year, we fell head over heels for the dry-aged steaks at David Burke’s and that cheddar cheese apple pie with salted caramel ice cream—um, um, good. This is not a slacker show either. Some of the best restaurants in Chicago are participating: Blackbird, The Capital Grille, Carnivale, Frontera Grille/Topolobampo (the Top Chef Master, Rick Bayless’ award winning restaurants), Lawry’s, Mercadito’s, and many more!!!! If you plan on going, make your reservations NOW!

With so many GREAT restaurants, I’ve done a lot of research; okay, maybe I’ve stalked a few chefs’ blogs, websites and yelp reviews, but all in the name of my love for their food. It has been a hard process to whittle down my list. Marcus and I have had to show restraint and allow for each others selections. Luckily, we were in agreement on where to go, or it could have been a show down or foodie war –ugly, yes, very ugly!

You heard right—our choiceS. We’d be fools to let a week of culinary nirvana pass with a meager visit to one restaurant. We are going for the gusto: four visits to four different restaurants! We’ve been prepping for this all year watching our diets and working out hard with this carrot (or better yet a chocolate peanut butter terrine from One Sixty Blue) dangling over our heads.

Do you have any suggestions on where we should go? Here is the link to the Restaurant week site Give us your opinion.

We can’t wait to share our experiences with you.