Restaurant Week Recap!

by Lauren


Restaurant Week is fun and exciting for many reasons! We enjoyed some delicious food, met some of the people responsible for that food, and also made some new friends! We finally decided to reach out to the one and only Chicago Food Authority aka Samantha Roby, who runs one of our very favorite Instagram accounts. She definitely shares our passion for discovering the best food Chicago has to offer. Samantha joined us for our meal at Sepia and we became fast friends as we swapped stories about our favorite dining experiences here in Chicago. Her Instagram account is @chicagofoodauthority and we highly recommend following her to get the scoop on all things yummy! We hope you were able to make it out to some great spots this week, and if so, we would love to hear about your experiences!

L+SC

Rustic House

To kick of restaurant week we spent Saturday evening at Rustic House. Nestled among the many trendy and fabulous restaurants in Bucktown, this restaurant's outside decor really stands out and is hard to miss. Going to Rustic House reminded us of taking a trip back home to the comforting flavors (and not to mention portion sizes) of our southern homes. From the rustic decor to the rustic food, this place stays true to its name. To add to the homey atmosphere, all the staff embodied southern hospitality at its finest. The pre-fixe menu could be described as simple dishes with a gourmet, modern flair. We began with grilled octopus and lobster bisque, both clean and delicious dishes. The main course was a salmon dish that we both found to be absolutely amazing. Finally, for dessert, we got the Blondie Brownie and Apple Tart( with accompaniments to die for). These two desserts were probably our favorite items of the night! We definitely want to return here when we are feeling homesick!

Sepia 

The next restaurant on our list was Sepia. We contacted Samantha Roby to join us for dinner, knowing how much she adores Restaurant Week! Having heard so much about it, we decided that this special week would be the perfect time to go. We must say that the decor was one of our favorite aspects of the night! It is an old renovated building from the 20's and is decorated with elegant chandeliers with shades to give it a more modern feel. We would love to have our future apartment decorated this way! The food here was definitely high quality and well prepared, but we have to say we were not as blown away as we expected to be. For starters, we had fresh salads with pears, walnuts, cheese, and a light yet tangy dressing. There was also a pasta dish that Samantha chose which was quite delicious(Papardelle). The main course for us was codfish, and we have to say it was deliciously succulent and paired with a sauce to remember. Samantha chose the veal, and said she enjoyed it but that it was not outstanding. Dessert options were a chocolate tart and coconut pecan cake, and of course we ordered both.  They were simple, yet very elegant and sweet. 

While there were some mishaps with the food here and there, there were other aspects about the restaurant that will definitely draw us back again. We got to meet the general manager who provided us with lovely drinks and a flavorful conversation about our favorite spots in the city, as well as giving us an inside look at the restaurant industry in Chicago. He then showed us around the private events room, which was absolutely gorgeous! Overall, we had a great night at Sepia and would recommend it for a night out. 

Vera 

Chicago Restaurant Week can be a bit hectic and with so many amazing restaurants we had to be sure we chose the best spots. With my (Spice) sister in town, we wanted to ensure she saw Chicago's best. We decided to cancel our reservations at Hub 51( at which we said we would be dining in our previous post) and chose something a little more unique for a Saturday night out on the town. Vera is a fabulous little wine bar that has amazing Spanish small plates. We had been eyeing this spot for a while and had seen it on all the top restaurant lists. We chose a cheese board to start off and then about four small plates to share. We could go on and on about each of these dishes! We chose three cheeses; a sheep, cow and goat, all of which were exceptional. The Roasted Eggplant and Calamari were our next choices of dishes, and both were very flavorful and also prepared perfectly. Finally, we got the flatbread topped with arugula, feta, dates, bacon and balsamic, as well as an herbed cheese dip paired with artisan toasts. These last two were to die for! The atmosphere at Vera is quite fun and all the waiters are so friendly, and not to mention knowledgeable. We really enjoyed this spot! Our only complaint was that I ( Sugar) was dead set on ordering Churros ( a Spanish staple) for dessert, but was informed that they had just sold their last batch. Of course I was devastated but I guess that just means we will have to make a second trip to this lovely spot!