This Chicago dining guide for local fare just highlights some of my favorite spots. If you are serious foodie like me and are spending the day in Chicago, I recommend adding these to your list to check out while visiting. Most of these places fill up quickly so it is best to get your reservation in at least a few days ahead of time if not weeks before dining.
Click on the restaurants link for directions, hours and menu information
The Farmhouse Chicago, Stuffed French Toast
This locally owned cafe is located a few minutes from downtown but feels like an old rustic small town cafe you might find in the middle of Iowa. The decor will take you back to your Grandma’s childhood kitchen with antique furnishings and appliances placed throughout the space. Dishes are prepared using local and seasonal ingredients from area producers as well as the restaurants owners farm.
Must try: Stuffed French Toast with extra syrup
Lunch: Fronterra Grill
Frontera Grill Sopecitos Rancheros
Fronterra Grill owned by Celebrity Chef Rick Bayless, is always on my list when visiting the windy city. The elevated Mexican fare is like non other. Rick is passionate about using produce and meats from local farms. The flavor combinations he uses in his dishes set Fronterra Grill apart from any other Mexican restaurants I have tried.
Must try: Sopecitos Rancheros
Snack: Garret’s Popcorn Shop
A visit to Chicago is not complete without a visit to the iconic Garrett’s Popcorn Shop. Once in the door the caramel corn aroma will have your mouth watering. I prefer the Almond Caramel Crisp, but the Garrett Mix that combines sweet Caramel Crisp with savory Cheese Corn is the most popular.
Must try: Garret’s Mix
Dinner: The Girl and The Goat
The Girl and The Goat
Get your reservation in early for The Girl and The Goat owned by celebrity chef Stephanie Izzard. The dishes are served family style, which make them ideal for sharing. Most come in the “small plate” format so it is ideal to go with a group to try a variety of things. The restaurant serves only dinner and opens at 4:30 pm. This makes a great spot if you are need of dining late as it does not close until 11 pm Sunday – Thursday and 12 am Friday and Saturday.
Must try: Chickpea Fritter
The Girl and The Goat, Chickpea Fritter
The New Winter Menu is now available at Bonefish Grill and I’ve got $25 towards your meal to giveaway for you to try it!
I recently had the chance to use one of the $25 Bonefish cards to check out the new menu and I have to say that although it is only usable on food items, I recommend you splurge a little and get the new Winter White Cosmo! It is so delicious. My girlfriend and I met for lunch and started the meal with a couple of these beauties.
The white cranberry juice cocktail is studded with real red cranberries that add a festive touch for the holidays. Not to mention those little gems soak up some of the drinks goodness which makes the entire cocktail edible.
When it came time to decide to have another or not, my girlfriend admitted that if she did it would most likely turn her into a day drinker so we decided to move on to the main course.
With the both of us not being huge seafood fans we went for salads.
I chose the Florida Cobb Salad with wood-grilled chicken, avocado, mango, tomatoes, Blue cheese and citrus herb vinaigrette. My girlfriend ordered the Cilantro Lime Shrimp Salad with roasted corn, black beans, Feta, grape tomatoes, red onion and cilantro lime vinaigrette. When she asked the waitress if chicken could be used instead of shrimp the answer was an astounding yes.
The salads were fresh and delicious. I loved how the mango on the Florida Cobb is sweet and pairs nicely with the salty blue cheese.
I am also pleased to tell you that the amazing Swordfish and Pumpkin Ravioli is still available. We got an order of this to share, sans the swordfish. You can read about how amazingly delicious it is here.
The staff, food and service at Bonefish Grill is spot on and the is the perfect place to meet for ladies who lunch or really just anybody wanting a great lunch or dinner!
In addition to that fabulous Winter White Cosmo, the New Winter Menu features delights like NEW Lobster, Crab & Artichoke Dip with sweet lobster, lump crab and house-made tortilla chips and succulent Fresh Oscar Mahi Mahi. The wood-grilled fresh Mahi Mahi is topped with jumbo lump crab, freshly steamed asparagus and lemon butter.
With dishes indulgent enough to make any celebration spectacular, Bonefish Grill’s Winter Menu also includes Misoyaki Chilean Sea Bass grilled over oak, then topped with misoyaki marinade and pickled ginger relish, on a bed of sautéed spinach, mushrooms and jasmine rice.
Enjoy pairing these dishes with the tasty Wiinter White Cosmo, featuring Reyka Vodka, Cointreau, St. Germain Elderflower liqueur, white cranberry juice and fresh lime juice – handcrafted to order.
Guests can end their meal on a sweet note with seasonal Chocolate Crème Brulé, an indulgent twist on a classic dessert made in-house with a splash of delicious Grand Marnier.
If your looking for holiday gifts in addition to a great meal, receive a $10 Bonus Card for every $50 purchased in gift cards now through December 31. Plus, enjoy Free Gift Card Personalization with a greeting card and Free Standard Shipping when you purchase online, or pick them up at your local Bonefish Grill.
To score the $25 towards your meal at Bonefish Grill, just comment below on what New Winter Menu item you want to try. Is is the Winter White Cosmo, The Mahi Mahi, Chilean Sea Bass, Lobster, Crab and Artichoke Dip or Chocolate Crème Brulé?
Contest is open for one week and will end Midnight, Sunday, December 18. Winner will be chosen using random.org and notified via email.
If you were around the Kansas City area from 1980 to 2004, then you should be quite familiar with Tippin’s and are going to love this giveaway for two ways to win a fabulous Tippin’s pie. If you are not familiar with Tippin’s, here is a little history for you.
Tippin’s restaurants were sprinkled throughout Kansas, Missouri, Oklahoma and Texas and were a staple to those areas being famous for pie, in about every flavor you could imagine. The last Tippin’s closed in the summer of 2004 and although the restaurants have been closed for quite some time, the pies live on.
Ball’s Food Stores rescued a piece of the Kansas City pie legend, by buying the brand and creating Tippin’s Gourmet Pies. The pies are made fresh all day long locally in Kansas City, Kansas. The pies are available at grocery stores in the Kansas City metro and beyond including St.Louis, Tulsa, Wichita and more.
If your local grocery store happens to be a Dillons or Hen House, now is your chance to win one just in time for the holidays.
Tippin’s Pumpkin pie
Details on winning the pie will come in a bit but first I have to tell you that if you were a fan of the pies, they are as good now as they were back then.
How do I know? My sister and I recently got together and since this opportunity came up for me to write about their pies, we decided we had better try one for old time sake as she used to work there in high school.
Not all pies are available at every store and some carry only the cream, some just fruit and others both. You can check the pie finder on the Tippin’s website for the closest store near you. If you find there is no store close to you, fear not as you can order them online and they will be shipped right to your door! My store happen to be Dillons in Wichita, Kansas where I found the beloved and classic French silk.
If you end up browsing the Tippin’s website, you will find a page with stories from devoted fans sharing their memories of the beloved restaurant and pie! So in addition to the giveaway, I must share my beloved memories with you, so, back to the French silk pie…
It looked just like we remembered with the fancy lattice design of fresh whip cream topped with hand-made chocolate curls. Although, it looked the same, the question was, did it taste the same?
Tippin’s French Silk
It did! And wow, how that first bite brought back a flood of memories. The chocolate filling was decadent, rich and smooth and there is no mistaking the taste of the real whip cream topping. The combination of the crust which is slightly salty and crunchy paired with creaminess of the sweet pie filling is one reason why this pie is their most popular seller.
I certainly had my share of Tippin’s food and their pies growing up as both of my sisters worked there in high school. After every shift worked, they got to bring a piece of pie home and many times being the little sister, they let me choose the flavor. Between the two of them working we literally had pie everyday!
Tippin’s peanut butter merengue pie was one of my favorites! I also loved the Boston cream pie, coconut cream, key lime, pecan, fresh strawberry when it was in season, German chocolate and of course the classic French silk. Really, I never met one I did not like.
Tippin’s was our families go to place for pretty much every occasion. My mom always gave her parents Tippin’s gift certificates when gift giving was in order and they loved it. When they passed and we were cleaning out their things, we found a stack of the old gift certificates in a cabinet which gave us a good laugh at that much needed time.
In addition to pie, their cornbread and frisco burger was my go to meal. I have mastered the corn bread recipe and still make it to this day for our family.
Years ago, my husbands grandpa was visiting us from out of town and whatever meal I was making included the cornbread. He was a sweet man who was just a little rough around the edges and leaned over to my husband and said, “God damn that woman makes good cornbread.” I can still hear him saying that to this day and is one of my fondest memories. One of these days I will get the cornbread recipe up on the blog for you. If you cannot wait for it just email me and I will send it your way.
Now that I have taken a walk down memory lane, we can get back to business on that giveaway!
If your local grocery store is a Dillons or Hen House you can enter to win! Hen House is offering a gift certificate, good for one Tippin’s Pie and Dillon’s, a gift card for $20.
To enter just leave comment of you favorite Tippin’s memory, favorite Tippin’s pie flavor or if you are not familiar with Tippin’s, your favorite pie flavor in general. Also please specify if your store is Hen House or Dillons.
Contest will be open for one week and close midnight Wednesday, November 16. Winner will be chosen using random.org. Winner will be notified via email and the certificate or gift card will be sent to you to use on your favorite pie, just in time for the holidays.
If you do not have a Hen House or Dillons close to you but know someone who does, please feel free to share this giveaway with them.
Thanks for entering and while you are at it feel free to like and follow all of my social media channels:
Facebook: Discover Finer Living
Pinterest: Sharmin Meadows
Happy Eating and Good Luck!
If your a seafood lover, then you will love the giveaway for a $25 gift card to Bonefish Grill to try their new fall menu. Heck, even if you don’t care much for seafood, like myself you will still want this gift card to try out the new Fall Apple Martini and Pumpkin Cream Brûlée along with other menu items that feature chicken, pork and steak.
Bonefish Grill Apple Martini
I was graciously sent a gift card courtesy of Bonefish Grill to try the new menu and the timing could not have been any better. My parents were in visiting from out of town and my daughter was home for the weekend from college so it was a lovely night out and also gave us a chance to try a variety of the dishes.
My husband went for the new swordfish and pumpkin ravioli dish which was quite good. I rarely eat seafood but knew I had to try a bite and to my surprise it was quite mild and almost reminded me of a pork chop. While one bite of the swordfish was enough for me, I could have eaten all of the pumpkin ravioli that was on the plate! The ravioli are filled with a tasty pumpkin filling and topped with crispy onions, crumbled feta and butter. The filling was slightly sweet and paired quite nicely with the salty feta.
Bonefish Grill Swordfish Pumpkin Ravioli
Never having salmon as a child growing up in a household where mom does not cook fish, my daughter has learned through having it elsewhere that she really likes salmon. So whenever she gets the chance to order salmon, she is thrilled and the new cedar plank bourbon salmon dish did not disappoint her. I cannot comment on how it tasted as I did not have any but the presentation looked great. The maple and bourbon glaze on top of the fish was perfectly caramelized and I would love to create that glaze for some chicken sometime.
Bonefish Grill Cedar Plank Bourbon Salmon
I went for the lamb chops. Although, I love lamb I rarely cook it at home so it is always a treat to get it when I see it on a menu. The lamb was tender and the garlic mashed potatoes paired perfectly. One thing I really like about Bonefish Grill is the ability to choose the sides you want. If your watching carbs it is nice to have quite a few vegetable choices like asparagus, steamed broccoli, sautéed spinach and green beans or if you happen to be carb loading you can go for both the au-gratin potatoes and garlic mash and maybe even some fries!
Bonefish Grill Lamp Chops
Speaking of au-gratin potatoes, my dad ordered the pork chop and got those yummy cheesy potatoes along side. Being the foodie that I am and of course wanting to tell you about the dishes it is my job to try a bite of everyones dish and I have to say the pork chop was tender and juicy.
Bonefish Grill Pork Chop
My mom ordered Lily’s chicken which is a tender chicken breast with goat cheese, spinach, artichoke hearts and a lemon basil sauce. I don’t know who Lily is but I am glad she shares my love of goat cheese. This dish was my second choice if I had not got the lamb chops, so I was glad that my mom ordered it. iI was tasty as well and the creamy goat cheese paired with the spinach and artichoke reminded me of an elevated version of a spinach and artichoke dip.
Bonefish Grill Lily’s Chicken
My husband and daughter took advantage of the Dine and Discover menu where two can dine for $50 which is a special going on right now. This includes an appetizer of their famous bang bang shrimp to share, 2 entrees off of the new fall menu and dessert! I do not know what they put in the creamy spicy sauce that tops the bang bang shrimp but I like it!
Dessert included their new pumpkin creme brûlée, which is perfectly fitting for the season. The filling is comparable to that of the classic pumpkin pie and the toasted sugar crust and house-made whip cream adds just the right amount of sweetness. And although, it is now fall, I cannot help myself when it comes to key lime pie and will order it year around. All of the desserts at Bonefish Grill are house-made and the key lime filling is creamy and balanced with being sweet and tart at the same time.
Bonefish Grill Pumpkin Cream Brûlée
Well hopefully I have made you hungry and now is your chance to try Bonefish Grill for yourself by entering to win the $25 gift card! To enter just comment below if you have ever been to Bonefish Grill and what your favorite dish is there. If you can’t wait for the gift card giveaway and want to make a reservation to try the new menu now, visit the Bonefish Grill website.
Contest will end midnight Friday, November 4 and winner will be chosen using random.org. Please be sure to include a valid email with your entry as that is how the winner will be notified. The folks over at Bonefish Grill will then mail out the gift card to the winner. Good luck and Enjoy!
In Good Taste,
Cedar Plank Maple Bourbon Salmon
The new Dine and Discover menu from Bonefish Grill is the best deal in town, where two can dine on a three course dinner for only $50. In celebration of National Seafood Month in October, the new Dine and Discover menu from Bonefish Grill features items from their new fall menu.
This menu is only available for a limited time starting October 4. I’ve got a reservation to try out the new menu later this month so keep an eye out on a post that will describe my experience and a gift card giveaway to Bonefish Grill.
The Dine and Discover menu features a three-course dinner for two priced at $50 featuring a choice of entree, complemented by signature appetizer Bang Bang Shrimp and a delectable dessert to share. Entrees include fall favorite Fresh Swordfish with Pumpkin Ravioli, NEW Wild Snapper & Shrimp, NEW Cedar Plank Maple Bourbon Salmon and regional wood-grilled fish selections.
Fresh Swordfish with Pumpkin Ravioli
To accompany the seasonal dishes, a selection of wines given top 90 point ratings by well-known wine experts are available for $9 per glass to please even the most discerning palates. A 90 point rating indicates that a wine is outstanding and of superior character and style. Guests can enjoy Trapiche “Broquel” Malbec, Charles & Charles Cabernet Blend, Eroica Reisling and King Estate “Signature Collection” Pinot Gris, or choose from handcrafted cocktails including the seasonal Fall Apple and Fresh Pear Martinis, filled with the flavors and aromas of the season.
Fresh Pear Martini
Visit Bonefish Grill online to check out their full menu, find the location nearest to you or make a reservation.
Photos courtesy of Bonefish Grill.