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Game of Thrones: Cocktails of Westeros

The 6th season of Game of Thrones set to kick off Sunday April 24th,   The hordes will gather in viewing parties across the seven kingdoms and beyond to watch this Sunday.  Best to be prepared with potent libations from some very creative minds in mixology worthy of the Alchemist’s Guild.  By now you know as there are no guarantees as to who will come out of this alive.  What we are sure of is that:  a) Winter is coming and b) These cocktails are prefect for a GOT party.   

 

The Crow's Old Fashioned

The Crow’s Old Fashioned

1. “The Crows’ Old-Fashioned” by Tad Carducci, bartender, mixologist and co-founder of Tippling Bros.

Highlighting a rustic, old-world brandy from Château du Tariquet, the Crows’ Old Fashioned is rich, warming, dark and brooding.  Just what one needs before going North of the Wall.

  • 1.5 oz. Tariquet VSOP Armagnac
  • 1 oz. Amaro Lucano
  • 2 dashes Green Chartreuse 
  • .5 oz. simple syrup
  • star anise
  • orange peel
Directions: Stir all ingredients with ice and serve in an Old Fashioned glass.  Garnish with star anise and orange peel.
 Night gathers, and now my watch begins. It shall not end until my death. I shall take no wife, hold no lands, father no children. I shall wear no crowns and win no glory. I shall live and die at my post. I am the sword in the darkness. I am the watcher on the walls. I am the shield that guards the realms of men. I pledge my life and honor to the Night’s Watch, for this night and all the nights to come. – Night’s Watch Oath

The Targaryen

The Targaryen

2. “The Targaryen” by Ryan Judson, Brand Ambassador, Usquaebach Blended Scotch Whisky

With a base of Usquaebach whisky, the name of which translates to “the water of life,” this satisfying mixture of ‘blonde’ ingredients reflects the Targaryen’s prosperous bloodline. 

  • 2 oz Usquaebach Reserve Blended Scotch Whisky
  • 5 oz Domaine de Canton ginger liqueur
  • 5 oz black tea – honey syrup (1 part raw honey, 1 part black tea)
  • 1 Dash aromatic bitters
  • Lemon peel

Directions: Combine all ingredients and stir with ice. Strain into rocks glass over large ice cube. Garnish with lemon peel. 

Every time a Targaryen is born the gods flip a coin. ― Cersei Lannister[


 

The-White-Walker

3. “The White Walker”
Ice cold and eerily foggy, the haunting cocktail’s blue tint from the London No. 1 gin channels the piercing eyes of the creatures beyond the wall.

  • 2 oz London No. 1 Gin
  • .5 oz Triple Sec
  • .5 oz Fresh lemon juice
  • 1 egg white

Directions: Combine all ingredients in shaker and shake with ice. Strain into a chilled martini glass

 

 

 

 

In that darkness the White Walkers came for the first time. They swept through cities and kingdoms, riding their dead horses, hunting with their packs of pale spiders big as hounds. – Old Nan


 

Blood of the Dragon

Blood of the Dragon

4. “Blood of the Dragon” by Emmanuel Pena, Domaine Select Wine & Spirits

Sweet, yet herbal, this warming punch recipe for 20 thirsty Thrones fans is sure to get the watch party off on the right foot. Like Daenerys, it’s seductive yet dangerous; a few too many glasses and you may just find yourself attempting to bond with mythical creatures. 

  • 1 750mL bottle Diplomático Reserva Exclusiva rum
  • 15 oz of lemon Juice
  • 10 oz rosemary & thyme simple syrup  (Combine 2 parts white sugar, 1 part water, 1 sprig of thyme, 1 sprig of rosemary in large bot and bring to a boil. Let stand until cool)
  • 5 oz of honey

Directions: Combine all ingredients in a punch bowl with ice. Ladle into punch glasses. Garnish each glass with sprigs of rosemary and thyme.

They’re dragons, Khaleesi, they can never be tamed. Not even by their mother. – Ser Jorah


 

Pay Your Debts

Pay Your Debts

 

5. “Pay Your Debts” 

Elegant and sophisticated, yet surprising stout (this cocktail is made entirely of boozy ingredients), this is a drink well suited for a Lannister, and Lannister always pays his debts.

  • 1.5 oz. G’Vine Floraison gin
  • 1 oz. Vermouth Royal Rouge
  • 3 dashes Fernet Branca
  • orange twist

Directions: Combine all ingredients and stir with ice. Strain into a classic martini glass. Garnish with orange twist.

 

 

 

A Lannister always pays his debts – Tyrion Lannister

 


 

Red Comet

Red Comet

6. “The Red Comet”

Fizzy and light red in color, “The Red Comet” channels its namesake in appearance and in theme. With a base of the “legendary biru”, this cocktail, much like the Red Comet of the show, is a sign of epic things to come (though admittedly, a high-octane night with friends is a much more favorable prophecy than the impending danger of dragons) 

  •  1 bottle Sapporo light beer
  • .5 oz. Vodka
  • .5 oz Campari
  • Orange slice

Directions: Pour vodka and Campari in glass over ice. Top off glass with Sapporo light. Garnish with an orange slice.

 

 

Stars don’t fall for men. But the comet means one thing, boy. Dragons. – Osha

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The Force Awakens – Time to celebrate!

Fans have been awaiting 10 years for the next Star Wars movie, though ask any die-hard fan and they’ll tell you the wait has been more like 32 years since the prequels don’t count.  With The Force Awakens crushing all box office records ($247 million domestic and counting) the folks at Disney, LucasFilm, and Bad Robot have reason to celebrate.  If you were lucky enough to witness the rekindled magic on the big screen it’s time to raise a glass with one of these cocktails inspired from a long time ago…. Read more…

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Level Two – Football inspired menu for the 2015 NFL Draft

FullSizeRender

The NFL Draft begins tomorrow in Chicago.  The last time the city hosted the NFL Draft was way back in 1963.  It’s a huge deal for football fanatics in the Chicagoland area.  The Draft itself will take place at the Auditorium Theater but for the legions of football fans who want to be a part of it, Grant Park is converting to “Draft Town” hosting a series of events starting Today, Wednesday 29th until the conclusion of the draft on May 2nd.

Draft Weekend promises to bring thousands to the city over the next few days and across the city restaurants and hotels are getting into the spirit.

Level Two the restaurant/lounge located on the second floor of the Hyatt Magnificent Mile is rolling out a special menu for the event that centers around beer and game-day snacks with an NFL theme and an gourmet twist. Read more…

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Happy Earth Day

earth_day

Earth Day began in 1970 and for 45 years it has served as a reminder that our collective actions have reprocussions that affect everyone everywhere regardless borders, class, or religious and political affliliations. The global environmental movement reminds us to be mindful of the legacy we leave our future generations.

It has been an uphill battle to get everyone to “think green”.   The issue of environmental change is for whatever reason still online casino a matter for debate.  I would suspect the proponents against climate change have a vested interest in keeping the status quo.  It is not all doom and gloom.  As more and more large corporations (e.g. Apple, TeslaNew Belgium Brewing, 360 Vodka, just to name a few) begin to implement eco-friendly policies and practices, and government making steps with greener initiatives, a more environmentally responsible way of living is slowly starting to sink into the social consciousness.

To learn more go to http://www.earthday.org/2015

You can also read more about 360 Vodka in the New Orleans issue of VODA Magazine

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A Saint Patrick’s Day Tradition in Chicago, The Dyeing of the Chicago River

Credit Choose Chicago_St Patricks Greening River Outside HRD 533

Dyeing of the Chicago River: Photo courtesy of Hyatt Regency Chicago

St. Patrick’s Day is almost upon us and all over the city of Chicago, local Irish-Americans and even”Irish for a Day” party-goers are gearing up for the festivities.

Irish Americans have very deep roots in Chicago.  In the history of our city over a dozen mayors have been of Irish descent.   Our south side major league ball park (Comiskey Park – Home of the Chicago White Sox) was named after its founding owner Charles Comiskey, son of Irish Immigrants. Even the cow, and suspected arsonistwho singlehandedly (single-hoofed?) was responsible for the Great Chicago Fire of 1871 which then ushered in the rebirth of the city into the world-class metropolis it is today was an O’Leary.    Indeed the Irish have played a huge part in shaping the culture of the city, including how we celebrate St. Patrick’s Day.

March 14th in addition to the usual suspects: green beer, corned-beef and cabbage,  pints of Guinness and shots of Irish whiskey, we also have the strange custom of Dyeing the Chicago River green.  This started somewhat unintentionally in the early 1960’s when local plumbers used a chemical dye called fluorescein to look for signs of pollution.  The whole thing looked pretty festive and has been a yearly tradition ever since…though the local plumbers union have long since switched to something a little more environmentally friendly.

The View from the Hyatt Regency Chicago.  Photo Courtesy of Hyatt Regency Chicago

The View from the Hyatt Regency Chicago. Photo Courtesy of Hyatt Regency Chicago

Each year thousands will line up along the river the event.  A great vantage point to see the river dyeing is at the  Hyatt Regency Chicago .    This year the Hyatt Regency has The Shannon Rovers Irish Pipe Band’s performing traditional Irish music in the lobby throughout the day to get you into the St. Patrick’s Day spirit.  Of course while you’re there you could go upstairs to BIG Bar and order Corned Beef Flatbread Pizzas along with Irish Mules and Irish Car Bombs; The view from up there is pretty good.  If you want to go traditional, head back downstairs to American Craft Kitchen & Bar and order the Oxtail Soup or Corned Beef and Cabbage; a pint obviously.  You can’t go wrong with way.

Corned Beef and Cabbage at American-Craft Kitchen Bar.  Photo courtesy of Hyatt Regency Chicago

Corned Beef and Cabbage at American-Craft Kitchen Bar. Photo courtesy of Hyatt Regency Chicago

 

 

 

 

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Amaro Di Angostura, the next logical step

Angostura Amaro Bottle HIlight_FINALThe House of Angostura is known for their Aromatic Bitters and can be found in almost every bar across the world.  For well over 150 years they have been making their signature bitters.  Now after 7 years in development, the House of Angostura has released Amaro Di Angostura.  Inspired by old-world Italian traditions but with a Caribbean soul; exotic and unique to Trinidad.

Before setting up shop in Port of Spain, Trinidad (1875), House of Angostura started making their aromatic bitters in 1824 in the town of Angostura, Venezuela now known as Cuidad Bolivar.  It was originally created by a german doctor in Simon Bolivar’s army and used to help soldier’s upset stomachs.  Eventually someone came up with the idea to use it as a flavor additive and since then has been a staple in bars and kitchens everywhere.

House of Angostura has also produced a line of award winning rums (if you’re keeping score, they racked up over 60 medals and countless accolades in the last 5 years alone)… so why get into the Amaro business?  Amaro, as everyone will tell you, literally means “Bitter” in Italian

I’ll pause here while you connect the dots

It is the logical next step for the House of Angostura.

Creating a classic amaro with a flavor profile that is distinctly Angostura was not too difficult.  All the ingredients for all their products from the rums and even their super-secret aromatic bitters (seriously, only 5 people on the planet know the whole recipe and they’re not telling), are sourced locally.  Each sip you are experiencing the flavors of Trinidad. It took years of tinkering however to get Amaro Di Angostura from good to great.

Amaro is generally a maceration of herbs, botanicals, roots, and citrus, mixed with a neutral spirit and aged.  Amaro Di Angostura uses cold percolation to extract the essential oils with none of the acidity or harsh bitterness.  The result is a well balanced herbal liquor that sits between sweet and bitter.  The flavors are well married and come forward together without one overpowering the others.  Spice forward with anise/licorice and citrus with a richness of toasted caramel and dark chocolate.  On the whole very pleasant with no heat or long aftertaste.  Restrained and elegant enough to enjoy on it’s own but can play in interesting part in cocktails.  Such as….

Gin Collins di Amaro

Gin Collins di Amaro

 

Gin Collins di Amaro

  •  2 oz. Amaro di Angostura
  • 1 oz. Ginger Syrup
  • .75 oz. Fresh Lemon Juice
  • 4 slips Fresh Ginger
  • Top with Club Soda
  • Garnish with Lemon Wheel & Brandied Cherry

Muddle fresh ginger slips with ginger syrup in mixing glass.  Add remaining ingredients with ice.  Shake vigorously and strain over ice into Collins glass.  Top with club soda and garnish.

 

Angostura Amaro Side-Kick

Side-Kick

 

Side-Kick 

  • 1 oz. Angostura 5yr Old (blended gold rum)
  • 1 oz. Amaro de Angostura
  • .5 oz. Dry Orange Curacao
  • .5 oz. Lemon Juice
  • 2 dashes Angostura aromatic bitters

Place all ingredients into a cocktail shaker with cubed ice.  Shake well and strain into a chilled coupe (cocktail)glass.

 

 

Amaro is generally a tricky proposition for the typical American drinker.  Cocktailians and Mixologists have generally accepted Amaro with open arms and have created some wonderful recipes with it.  Lately you can’t hit a single craft cocktail joint without running into a least a couple amaro drinks on the menu, it’s been really hot the last couple years.  Those guys get it, for the casual drinker it has been something of an acquired taste.  Amaro however has been catching on here in the US as it has years ago in Europe.  With time, patience, and increased market exposure, good taste will prevail.

Available:  Initial rollout in Chicago, New York, and San Francisco.  We are seeing Amaro Di Angostura starting to arrive in finer restaurants, lounges, and retail stores.  If you see it, it’s definitely worth trying.  For the uninitiated it is a great introduction to Amaro … which eventually turns to Amore.

 

For more information check out www.angostura.com 

 

 

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Chicago 2015: The Resolution of Giving

Now that the new year is underway, everyone is looking to get a start on their resolutions.  The gyms across town are packed every night, for now.  Sales of healthy food at the supermarket is going up, for now.  You are probably even getting to work early every day, for now.  (just speculating)

If your resolution is to do some good in the world, the task of truly giving back can seem daunting.  The thing to remember is it is ok to start small, the little things add up.  The other thing to remember is that you don’t have to go it alone.  There following are just a few products/places that will donate proceeds of sales to charitable organizations both in town and across the world.  Who says you can’t enjoy a night out while making the world a better place?

 

Ronald_McDonald_HouseBIG Bar & Brasserie at the Hyatt Regency Chicago, (151 East Upper Wacker Drive) is donating a portion of proceeds from the sale of their “Home Sweet Home” cocktail (Absolut Mango, St. Germain, Mango Puree and sour mix) to the Ronald McDonald House near the Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children’s Hospital.   The Ronald McDonald House  provides families a place to stay while their children are getting medical treatment.  You get a delicious cocktail and keep a family together at a time of need.  Cheers to that.

 

purple-asparagusDMK Burger Bar with locations downtown and in the suburbs is a mainstay of quality burgers and through their “365 Days of Giving” program, are also known for their big hearts.  Each month the DMK Burger Bar teams up with a different local non-profit organizations every month to help raise funds and awareness. In January they partner with Purple Asparagus,whose mission is to educate Chicago children, families, and communities about eating what is good for the body and the planet by bringing nutritious hands-on adventures to schools, community organizations, and farmers’ markets throughout Chicagoland.

 

lurie-childrens-hospitalLevel Two restaurant & lounge located on the second floor of the Hyatt Chicago Magnificent Mile offers guest a chance to donate to the Lurie Children’s Hospital through their is running Change for Hope campaign.   Nothing complicated about this one, guests are simply encourged to round up the change on their bill at the end of the meal.  All extra “Change for Hope” is collected and donated directly to Lurie Children’s Hospital across the street from the restaurant as a greater Room for Hope hotel-wide campaign to support Lurie patients and their families.

 

World_Wildlife_FundBranded Spirits’ Ice Fox Vodka  profits from the sale go in part to the World Wildlife Fund protecting the shrinking population of Artic Foxes that inspired the product.  Founded in 1961, the WWF is now the largest conservation organizations in the world, working on the restoration and preservation of endangered species and the environment.  The next time you are sitting back and enjoying a glass of this triple distilled premium all-american vodka, know you had a hand in saving a species from extinction. Definitely worth raising a glass to that.

 

 

Coral_Reef_AllianceBranded Spirits’ Motu Rum is donating a portion of profits from its sale  to the Coral Reef Alliance to help preserve the pristine coral reefs of the South Pacific.   The Coral Reef Alliance started in 1994 in Berkeley California to get the diving community involved in coral reef conservation.  Since then it has grown to a  premiere global non-profit conservation organization with initiative in reef communities around the world.  With every purchase of Motu Rum you are helping preserve this delicate ecosystem that urgently needs our help.

These are only some of the ways you can begin 2015 as your year of giving.  Even if it is limited to ordering a cocktail or picking up a bottle at the store, you are making a difference.  You shouldn’t dismiss these as trivial because again, the little things really can add up to something wonderful.  Knowing you had a hand in helping a local family stay close to their loved one at a difficult time, help keep the school kids healthy, or prevented a species in another part of the world from becoming a footnote in history, should warm your heart.  A step no matter how small makes you a part of the solution and a better tomorrow.

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A Chicago Foodie NYE

Chicago NYE 2014

 

New Years Eve in Chicago.  Time to celebrate another year in this great city.  There are the hotel parties and nightclubs which are always fun but may not be for everyone. For the gourmand/foodie in town and looking to do something a little different we have a few suggestions

 American Comfort Fare

DMK Burger Bar – Chicago and Lombard

DMK Burger Bar

DMK Burger Bar

At DMK Burger Bar, guests have a variety of packages to choose from to satisfy a range of party appetites – ranging from the single-admission ticket for draft beers, boozy punch, house cocktails, and passed Sliders (bite sized versions of DMK’s best burgers), Fries, and Shakes all night; to The King’s Table for you and up to 14 guests and including a Double Magnum bottle of Veuve Cliquot as well as two bottles of a liquor of choice and a classic breakfast served at 1 a.m. exclusively for their table.  Packages and pricing vary by location, see DMK NYE for more details.

Howells & Hood – 435 N. Michigan Ave.

Howells & Hood is home to the largest draft beer selection in Chicago.  This year guests will get to enjoy a one-of-a-kind New Year’s Eve celebration, no ticket required. Newly appointed Executive Chef Brett Neubauer presents a four-course, prix-fixe menu for guests to enjoy gourmet twists on American classics and then stay for the celebration with a DJ at 10 p.m. Additionally, a Champagne toast is offered at midnight with complimentary late night snacks for all guests. Some notable menu items and beverage suggestions include: 

  • Australian Truffle & Foie Gras Bites featuring truffle foie gras mousse, port, and espelette pepper paired with Beer – Brasserie St. Feuillien Saison, Wine – Segura Viudas Brut Reserva, or Howells Royale cocktail (Huckleberry Jam, Rosemary Simple, Bubbles).
  • 12-oz Painted Hills 60 Day Dry-Aged Rib-Eye with Australian truffle, buttermilk mashed potatoes, charred rapini, and red wine reduction paired with Beer – Founder’s Dirty Bastard Scotch Ale,  WineMitolo Shiraz Jester, or Hatting in the Hood cocktail (FEW Bourbon, House Brandied Cherries, Carpano Antica, Orange Bitters).
  • Butterscotch Bread Pudding made with Brioche bread, vanilla bean custard, rum raisin ice cream, butterscotch sauce paired with Beer –  Greenbush Distorter Porter,  Wine – Milbrandt Traditions Merlot, or a Butter Beer Cocktail (Root Beer, Butterscotch, Jameson, Horchata, Cinnamon, Egg White, Cherry)

The four-course prix-fixe menu is priced at $75 per person, or $100 with beverage pairing suggestions. Beverages served a la carte, if preferred. For more details see Howell and Hood NYE.  Reservations strongly encouraged, and can be made by calling 312.262.5310 or at www.howellsandhood.com.

Of course it doesn’t end there.  The next day Howells & Hood is hosting a New Year’s Day Hangover Brunch. guests can enjoy the following feel-good dishes:

  • Doritos Chilaquiles with short rib, nacho cheese Doritos, cotija cheese, and salsa roja
  • Doughnut French Toast with banana, caramelized pecans, and bourbon
  • Cheeseburger Strata with brioche, cheddar cheese, onion, and royale
  • Blackstrap Molasses Ham & Cheese Muffin with English muffin, Irish cheddar, and over-easy egg.

Brunch is offered from 10 a.m.-3 p.m. Reservations strongly encouraged, and can be made by calling 312.262.5310 or atwww.howellsandhood.com.

Their sister location, the Old Town Pour House – 1419 N. Wells St. is also hosting a New Years Day Brunch; offered at 10:30 a.m., with similar recovery fare and some hair of the dog if so inclined.  For more information, please visit www.oldtownpourhouse.com or call 630.601.1440.

Italian Elegance

Filini Bar & Restaurant – 221 North Columbus Drive

Filini Bar and Restaurant

Filini Bar & Restaurant

Filini Bar & Restaurant you can party like Gatsby at this transformed 1920’s fete with pre-prohibition cocktails, music, and décor. Flappers and Dapper Don’s are encouraged to wear their best golden age attire and enjoy delectable Italian fare and a live DJ performance. Along with hors d’oeuvres from 9-11 p.m., open bar from 9 p.m.-midnight, and complimentary Prosecco, party favors, and dessert bar when the clock strikes midnight.

 

Peruvian Exotic 

Tanta – 118 W. Grand Ave.

Foodies looking to ring in the new year with more exotic fare we have Tanta,  a Chicago standout for Peruvian cuisine.  Chef Jesus Delgado present guests with à la carte menu items showcasing the flavors of the culture including:

Tanta Cebiche ValienteCebiche Valiente – Lobster, rocoto leche de tigre coral, and huacatay;

 

 

 

 

Tanta Scallops and Chupe

Chupe – Grilled jumbo sea scallops with organic quinoa chupe in a aji amarillo-crab broth and roasted sweet peppers, and quail egg;

 

 

 

 

Tanta CorderoEstofado Cordero – Grilled Australian rack of lamb with anticucho sauce, cannellini beans, cilantro, criolla salad, and aji amarillo (ingredients subject to change based upon seasonal availability).

 

 

 

Ring in the New Year with a champagne toast and an unforgettable meal. Reservations are strongly recommended and can be made by calling 312.222.9700 or by visitingOpentable.com. For more information, please visit www.tantachicago.com.

 

Charcuterie

TÊTE Charcuterie – 1114 West Randolph Street

TETE

TETE

This hot west loop Charcuterie on restaurant row is throwing an all-out NYE bash that is much a celebration of the good life inspired by their passion for good food and drink as it is a celebration of a new year with its endless possibilities.  As expected there will be an enormous buffet of appetizers and TÊTE’s out-of-this-world Charcuterie, a DJ and ice shot luge to keep the party going all night, and, at midnight, The Salsa Truck arrives on the scene to hand out tacos (included in the ticket) to satisfy those late night munchies.   For more info go to TETE or go to http://tetenye.bpt.me to get tickets.

 

Mediterranean Sophisticate

Travelle – 330 North Wabash Ave.

Travelle

Travelle

Chef Tim Graham and Pastry Chef Scott Green at Travelle are offering a gourmet New Year’s Eve prix-fixe menu that is an exquisite way to bring 2014 to a close. There is a three-course menu from 5-7:30 p.m. and a five-course menu from 8-10:30 p.m.

The festivities begin with a Champagne cart at your table at the beginning of the meal.  Guest will enjoy live music along with diner.

Some of the featured dishes include:

  • Salad Lyonnaise, truffled frisee, fried egg, and bacon
  • Sunchoke Soup, hazelnut and black truffle
  • Risotto, white truffle and chive
  • Duck, crispy confit leg, truffled-potato rosti, and Cognac gastrique
  • Beef Tenderloin, with brioche, foie gras, and truffled sauce bordelaise
  • An assortment of Mini Desserts.

For reservations, please visit TravelleChicago.com or call 312.923.7705. Like Travelle on Facebook or follow them on Twitter.

New Years day Travelle will be open providing hangover relief through their travel inspired eggs Benedicts menu. Guests can select any one of the Benedictine Traveler’s line-up of six selections including:

  • English Benedict with rasher of ham and hollandaise
  • Moroccan Benedict with Merguez sausage, mint, and piquillo sauce
  • Norwegian Benedict with smoked salmon, fennel, and sauce choron
  • Florentine Benedict with spinach, artichoke, and sauce béarnaise
  • Travelle Benedict with lobster, spinach and truffled hollandaise
  • Burgundian Benedict with red wine braised short rib, crispy shallot, and sauce Dijon.

Diners can pair their favorite benedict choice with a mimosa or Bloody Mary for $29/person from 11am-3pm. For reservations, please visit TravelleChicago.com or call 312.923.7705. Like Travelle on Facebook or follow them on Twitter.

 

 

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Happy Holidays

xmas2014

 

The greatest luxury is the love of friends and family.  If you have that, you have everything.  We wish you and yours the very best this holiday season.

xo,  Xan

 

 

 

 

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Christmas Dinner at Travelle

Travelle

Travelle

The holidays are about family, friends, good will, and great food. That usually involves putting in some serious time in the kitchen.  Traditionalists however should not be quick to dismiss the idea of going out for Christmas dinner. The most compelling reason, for me at least, is simply not having spend the day cooking or the evening doing the dishes. The holiday should be about spending time with family and not stressing over dinner. Thanksgiving is somewhat obligatory, but for Christmas we have options. Travelle, located on the second floor of the Langham Hotel in Chicago, is offering a family-style dinner this Christmas Day.

Depending on how you’re feeling you could order from their “Naughty” menu, primarily rustic cuisine that focuses on (rich and substantial) meat dishes.  Notable dishes include the following:

  • Porky Bonbon with lime
  • Duck Leg Confit (duck slow cooked in its own fat) served with roasted apples and a Madeira glaze
  • Trio of Pate: Country Pate, Oxtail and Squab Terrine with foie torchon
  • Suckling Pig served with morcilla blood sausage, sweet Potato, and mustard
  • Dry Rubbed Beef Tenderloin with seared foie gras, roasted mushrooms, and kale

There is also a “Nice” menu for those getting a head start on their New Years resolutions. This menu is a lighter, healthier fare the centers around vegetable and seafood options. A few standouts in this menu are:

  • Crudité (raw veggies) with lemon aioli;
  • Lobster Bisque 
  • Grand Seafood Collection: Lobster, King Crab, Snow Crab, and Langoustine.
  • Bay Steamed Salmon with Brussels sprouts, and a cinnamon vinaigrette.

For those of us who are a little of both (and really who isn’t ?), items can be ordered from both menus.

For dessert, guests may choose from a Buche De Noel (Yule Log) selection.

Another dessert option guests can enjoy is down the hall at the Parlour at the Pavilion.  Here you can indulge in a-limited-time-only North Pole Sundae.  The great thing about the sundaes at the Parlour at the Pavilion is just about everything from the ice cream to the garnishes are made in house.

North Pole Sundae:

  • House-made Egg nog ice cream
  • House-made mint chocolate chip ice cream
  • Garnished with red and green sprinkles, candy cane, and a house-made gingerbread man

In case you’re too full from dinner you could always come back for dessert. Don’t take too long; The North Pole Sundae is only available from December 21st to January 3rd.

 

For Reservations or more information please go to TravelleChicago.com or call 312.923.7705

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