As always, I had a fabulous time in Chicago. Kevin, Mom, MIL and I enjoyed some great meals, some great sightseeing, and of course, lots of quality time with family.
Our food explorations started before we even left the airport. The new Jet Blue terminal at JFK has a pretty aspirational food court. In one area of the terminal you will find a grouping of international restaurants: Italian, Spanish Tapas, Steakhouse, Asian Fusion, and Mexican. Kevin suggested we give one of them a try. I said we should try Piquillo, the tapas place. Some of us had eaten large, late breakfasts, and some of us had eaten small, early breakfasts. It was 2pm and half of us was starving and half was not really up to eating much. Tapas fit the bill since everyone could order as many small plates as needed. I didn't have my camera handy to dig out of my bags, but I had a pretty good deal on a 3-item meal. For $17 I had a dish of chorizo and potatoes, a dish of asparagus with sherry vinaigrette, and two croquetas. I was expecting smaller portions with the tasting menu, but they were full-sized plates (which were tapas plates, so they were smallish to begin with). Considering if I had ordered a la carte, two dishes would have cost me that much, I thought it was a good deal. The food wasn't brilliant, but it hit the spot.
We arrived in Chicago in the early evening. After settling into our hotel, Kevin's brother and SIL took us out to Abruzzo. It was a nice, casual Italian restaurant. Once again I forgot my camera. Although it had been almost 5 hours since my last meal, I had been well fed by the tapas and wasn't looking for anything heavy. I chose a chicken breast in tomato-basil sauce. It was a simple grilled breast, so it was perfect for my small appetite. I was trying to be a good girl and not eat the pasta that came with it, but the sauce was so tasty, I had to eat the pasta to make sure I got every bit of it.
The next day was Thanksgiving. Once again we went to Lovell's of Lake Forest. Once again I had the option of ordering turkey or not ordering turkey. So I ordered...
*cue drum roll*
(What you want more details?)
Dessert I was as predictable as always.
The next day we spent walking around Chicago, hiking up Michigan Avenue, fighting the Black Friday crowds, and showing Mom the Art Institute for the first time. To fortify ourselves for the sightseeing, we started out with an early lunch at the Signature Room.
We had a great table, decorated for Christmas, with a spectacular view.
Our final meal was at Mortons. This Mortons has some rather special meaning for our family. Three years ago it was where Kevin's nephew celebrated his bar mitzvah. It was the last time Kevin's entire family was gathered together before some of them passed away. I'll always think fondly of Mortons for that.
We went home the next day with full bellies and said hearts knowing we had to leave our loved ones again for a while. We are all so grateful for the generosity of Kevin's family with both their money and their time. We hope it won't be too long before we're all together again.