Monday, March 14, 2011

Get Your Foodie On

The boys are at the movies for the evening (Battle LA just didn't look like my kind of movie), so I thought I'd steal a few minutes to post a few long overdue pictures.  Chicago's famed "Restaurant Week" took over the city a few weeks ago, and Matt and I were so excited to share in the foodie goodness.  Over 200 restaurants participated this year, so trying to nail down a restaurant was a bit overwhelming at first.  But with some quicking Googling (i.e. top resturants in Chicago, best restaurant week picks) we were able to pinpoint a few frontrunners.  And after cross refercing those choices with available reservation times and our crazy schedules, Naha was the clear winner.  And thank goodness, because it was incredible!

DSCN4634I've been in this city for over 9 months, and I still insist on train pictures.  Pretty sure people still think I'm a tourist lol.

DSCN4636Naha is an informal Mediterranean and California fusion restaurant.  It is consistently voted one of the top restaurants in Chicago by diners and food critics alike.  The Restaurant Week menu was of course a paired down version of their full dinner menu, and choosing a course was almost a painful decision because everything looked so yummy!

DSCN4637My first course was the "Tarte Tartin," a blend of apples, raisins, glazed onions, and goat cheese, drizzled with medjool date puree and red wine anise syrup.  When in doubt I usually ask the server what his or her favorite is and then go with that.  Our server didn't let me down with any of the courses, especially this one.  So freaking good.

DSCN4640Happy happy me :)  PS: See that guy on the far right of the picture, who you can only see about half of?  Its world-renowed chef and restauranteur, Rick Bayless!  About three minutes after Matt snapped this picture, he calmly and quietly said, "Rick Bayless is over your left shoulder."  "Yeah right," I said.  After a "no I swear" by Matt, I squeaked, "Oh my gosh really?!"  I tried to casually turn and look, and sure enough, it was Rick Bayless.  It was especially fun to spot the celebrity chef because we dined at his famous Frontera Grill the very next night!  (See that post here.)  Another fun fact, Rick Bayless graduated from OU, making me like him even more!  Boomer!

DSCN4642The finale of my meal was the rich chocolate mousse cake, complete with homemade Crackerjacks.  Pretty and delicious, a winner in my book!

DSCN4647Happy, full, and oh so thankful for train station heat lamps.  Restaurant week was a total success, and Matt and I decided to make it a tradition to go every year.  If you have a resturant week in your city, I would definitely reccomend taking advantage of it.  It's a great way to eat at some of the best places in the city for a reduced price.  And if you're in Chicago and missed restauruant week, don't worry.  The smaller and less known Chicago Chef Week starts next week which means you've got another chance to get your foodie on.  You better believe Matt and I already have our reservation :)

Does your city have a restaurant week?  Share in the comments and let me know your favorite foodie spot!


Pilar said...

we went to PRIME for chicago's restaurant week this year. it was delicious! it was such a great experience! i've heard fabulous things about naha, so that may be our pick next year if they participate!

Lindsay said...

Boston has restaurant week but we've never gone... Maybe I should look into it though! Looks like you guys had fun and that food all looks so yummy!

PursuitOfLLT said...

love restaurant week!! david burke's was amazing :)

Table 52 is never on there but if you and Matt are ever looking for a special treat, definitely try it out! And on Sundays they have their famous buttermilk fried chicken. It's wonderful and the chef, Art Smith, is famous in Chicago and used to be Oprah's chef. It's pricey but so worth it. yummm

Alexandria said...

That all looks absolutely delicious! My hometown does restaurant week, but it's a little far of a drive just for dinner from where I am now. Sad, but hopefully I'll find something similar soon!

Allison said...

Love the Chicago suggestions, thank you! And Lindsay, if Boston has restaurant week, you should definitely take advantage of it, its so fun!

juli (sweetpz) said...

Yum! i love food pics =)
We have something like that up here in Canada called Dine Out Vancouver. Where select restaurants offer 3 different priced menus and wine pairings. Thats a good idea about googling the top restaurants,so hard to decide which one to go to when you have a huge list to scroll through!

Kinsey Michaels said...

yum, that looks like an awesome night!
i went to something in a neighborhood in boston last week. basically 50 restaurants participated, but it was set up in one room - each place had a booth, and you could sample unlimited "tastes" of a couple dishes, and their signature drinks! it was almost $100 to get in, but it supported a charity. it was so fun!

Arlene said...

I don't know if College Station has a restaurant week, but I just wanted to comment to let you know you look super cute in that last photo :)

wishful nals said...

i LOVE restaurant week. sounds like a delicious time. your hair looks gorgeous, too! xo