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All posts tagged Christmas

Christmas Dinner at 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


“A Night at the Nutcracker” at the JW Marriott Chicago

Female ballet dancer


For the third year in a row the  JW Marriott Chicago (151 W. Adams St.) joins official partner, the acclaimed Joffrey Ballet, to ring in the magic of the holidays with “A Night at the Nutcracker” package available Friday, December 5 through Saturday, December 28.

Throughout the month of December the world-class dance company will be performing the enchanting holiday classic Tchaikovsky’s Nutcracker Suite at the Auditorium Theatre of Roosevelt University.  Guests of the JW Marriott who book the “A Night at the Nutcracker” package will receive two VIP tickets to the performance as well as many extras.

On December 6, guests were treated to a one time only special ballerina meet-and-greet after the matinee show.  Also through the 28th of December the Lobby Lounge is mixing their signature drink The Dancer’s Delight, (vanilla vodka, simple syrup, soy milk, chai tea, and amaretto)

If you have a little ballerina in the family, this could be a start of a wonderful family holiday tradition (along with the lighting of the tree at Daley Plaza and lunch at the Walnut Room)  Of course if you love the splendor of classical dance, that’s fine too.


Photo Courtesy of The Joffrey Ballet

Photo Courtesy of The Joffrey Ballet

The “Night at The Nutcracker Ballet” package includes:

  • Overnight stay in deluxe guest room
  • Hot chocolate nightcap in-room (spiked hot chocolate for adults also available)
  • Ballerina welcome cookies
  • Breakfast for two in-room the next day
  • Two VIP tickets to The Nutcracker (additional tickets available for purchase upon request, an over $15 savings)
  • Nutcracker “swag bag” that includes a signed pointe shoe, Nutcracker commemorative program and poster, as well as a signed photo of a dancer
  • Package rates start at $429.00 with rate code ‘ZJL’ (an over $100 savings); availability December 5-28 here
  • Reservations can be made by calling 312 660 8200 or online; 72-hour cancellation is required

Happy Holidays from VODA Magazine


As 2013 quickly draws to a close we would like to take pause and reflect on another year gone by in hopes of gaining a better understanding about ourselves and each other.  People spend their entire lives trying to figure out what it all means; what role they have to play in it all.  It’s a endeavor that takes a lifetime and along the way the best we can hope for a little wisdom.

In the past year VODA Magazine has evolved from an upscale cocktail culture publication to a chronicle of true luxury.  Not in the pedestrian sense of the word, like an exposition of shiny expensive toys, but rather in the stuff that enriches life.   For us  that means seeing the world, eating and drinking well, finding a style that defines you.  It’s also about family, tradition, love, and friendship… all the things money cannot buy.

Looking to 2014 we plan to explore the definition of true luxury even further.  We invite you to open a dialog with us since real understanding comes sharing.  We’re all in this together.

VODA Magazine would like to wish you and yours a wonderful holiday season. May you find peace, love, and joy in the new year.




Neiman Marcus – The Christmas Book 2013

NeimanMarcua_FGWhat do you give to the person who has everything?  Those with the means, and by that I mean If money is no object, can look to the Neiman Marcus for an answer.  Every year the Dallas based luxury retailer releases their Christmas Book within it a collection of over-the-top offerings of pure extravagance aptly titled Fantasy Gifts.

Flipping through the pages you get wrapped up in its unabashed opulence. It’s a voyeuristic fantasy of the other side that inspires daydreams of “What if…” much in the same vien of when the powerball goes north of 100 million.  We dream of a day when we could give a loved one the world; beautifully gift-wrapped and shipped free when purchased online. Read more…