28 February 2010

Weekend recap: Restaurant Week food awesomeness

By: Jessica B.
Tagged: Chicago, Food

Happy Sunday everyone!

After working last weekend in Houston, my weekend was pretty boring, meaning, this post could be lame.

So to avoid potential lameness, I decided to talk about Chicago Restaurant Week, which ends today. Restaurant Week is one of my favorite things about the city.

For two weeks, select restaurants in Chicago offer prix fixe lunches and dinners at $22 and $32 respectively to get people in their doors. It’s a great way to visit a bunch of restaurants and not break the bank. You can read about last year’s Restaurant Week adventures here.

When Restaurant Week is also announced, productivity goes way down in my office for a few hours. Getting reservations is difficult at certain places and I usually have multiple people call the “must go to” places, trying to see who gets through.

This year, I went to three places: Naha, Piccolo Sogno and Tizi Melloul. And not to tease, but some food porn is below.

Piccolo Sogno – Grade: A

Favorite dish: Wide noodles with spiced wild boar stew

Tasted like pot roast with egg noodes, but a BILLION times better

Naha – Grade: A+

Favorite dishes: Pork Belly and Organic Carnaroli Risotto with Matsutake Mushrooms, Roasted Zucchini, Tender Leaf Spinach, Parmesan Reggiano and Thyme and “Open-Faced” Banana Tartlette, Spiced Rum, Toasted Cashews, Vanilla Chiboust “Custard” and Salted Caramel

There are no words to describe how delicious this was. Absolutely perfect.

I cleaned this plate. And almost licked it too

Tizi Melloul – Grade: B

Favorite dish: Fire-roasted prince edward island mussels, warm harissa butter

(Restaurant had bad lighting which is why this picture sucks)

Never had mussels served like this before. Amazing. I would go back just for that dish

More pictures are available on my Flickr page too.

So there were a lot of good eats and atmosphere this week but I am excited to be back in my own kitchen and cooking for myself.

How was everyone else’s weekend? If you could pick one restaurant to go to for Restaurant Week, where would you go? Or what kind of things do you love to order when you go out?


  1. HELGALloyd28 says:

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  2. Meghan says:

    Hey! Just found your blog thru 20 Something Bloggers. I am from Chicago too and just did a Restaurant Week post myself! I went to Chicago Firehouse and Blackbird. Love it!

  3. Allison says:

    Cleveland restaurant week just ended and I didn’t take advantage of ANY Of it. I’m an idiot but oh well, we had to cut a stupid huge check for a damn house.

  4. ohhhh, looks awesome. i’m a picky eater but working at trying new things, so restaurant week sounds like something fun!

  5. katelin says:

    oh those beef stew looking noodles looks amazing. it’s a good thing i just ate otherwise i’d probably drool on my keyboard.

  6. charlotte has two restaurant weeks annually and I’ve missed them all since I’ve been a resident, which is quite shameful for a wannabe foodie like myself.

  7. Kyla Roma says:

    Looks amazing! We need to get a restaurant week happening, we have a light version of it here but not to the same extent. I hope you enjoyed the mussels! I’ve heard that when done right they are just outstanding =)

  8. kristina says:

    From one foodie city to another, I completely get the excitement about restaurant week. Here in Philly we have restaurant week twice a year, it is absolutely fabulous. My friends and I map out the week like a we are strategizing for a big game or something, it’s that serious around here. Saturday I got to try out a portuguese BYO, that has been nominated for a James Beard Award…it was delish! Yay, to good food.

  9. Those mussels are to die for. Love me some Tizzi!

  10. Kate says:

    I love Naha! I’m sure I’m not going to make any friends in the veg-friendly set with this comment, but I ate baby rabbit there and it was divine. Oprah also featured Carrie Nahabedian’s recipe for cream cheese-chocolate chip cookies (with orange zest!) in O magazine a few years back. It remains one of my favorite cookie recipes of all time! I posted it on my blog if you’re interested: http://punchitin.wordpress.com/2009/03/18/chocolate-chips-and-cauliflower/

  11. lbluca77 says:

    Oh now I am getting excited to eat my lunch. Not that my lunch is anything like these meals but I am so going to pretend it is.

  12. andhari says:

    TAKE MEEE NEXT TIMEEE :) my goodness those pictures just made my stomach screaming LOL

  13. Wonderful says:

    Looking at these pictures is making me hungry already! We have restaurant week here in Denver that’s two weeks long too, and it’s a three course dinner for $52.80. I didn’t go this year but I might next year.

  14. April says:

    Oooh, the wild boar noodles look SO good! I loved loved the haystack noodles with veal ragu I had at Piccolo – it was the best lunch ever the next day as well!

  15. jen says:

    mmm i wish i did naha! i went to tizi melloul and really liked it. i did prosecco too and the food was good but service was a nightmare. and last night i did gemini bistro where the service rocked but the food was so so. i can’t wait for chef’s week in a few weeks!

  16. Lil' Woman says:

    The Naha one looks yummy…but I’m not sure how I could handle pork belly

  17. Her says:

    I need to see these pictures–I’ll check back soon!

  18. I can’t see any of the pictures! I’ve actually always wanted to try Piccolo Sogno. Good to hear it’s not a letdown. I tried Aja and Wildfire last week. Both were delicious!

  19. shannalee says:

    Fun! I went to two restaurants for Restaurant Week – Cafe Spiaggia last Sunday (A – and the pistachio gelato was to die for) and Boka Friday night (B – loved the dessert again but the rest was just ok). Love an excuse to try new places, right?