Wednesday, July 18, 2007


I've been very lax about reporting on our 48 hours in Chicago last week. I've heard from several about my lack of diligence.
Marilyn and I drove to Chicago, with our Granddaughter, to meet our son and his son who were there for four days. Incidentally, if you plan to drive, to Chicago this summer, please, check with someone who knows the expressway repair schedule for your own sanity and speed of travel.
It was our Grandson's first visit and our son, who grew up there, wanted him to have the ultimate "Chicago experience", whatever that means. He left some plans in our hands.
For the first night dinner we chose Gene & Georgetti, 500 North Franklin, 60610, phone 312-527-3718. G&G has been in business 66years and is rated in several food magazines as one of the top 5 steak houses in the USA. Having been there I requested a table on the first floor, for the four of us, our son had a dinner meeting and Board meeting that evening and the next day.
G&G specializes in Meat, steak, and Italian and the staff is all professional. With the servers help we decided on a half order of fried calamari, a large strip steak, an order of ravioli, and an order of sauteed mushrooms. With the meal came one salad, which our server who understands tipping, brought divided in four, possible augmented, and excellent "home fried potatoes". For dessert we divided one very rich, large, piece of double chocolate cake. All of the food was excellent and prepared exactly as ordered. Marilyn and I each had a drink and we were very surprised when the total cost, including a 22% tip came to $140.
We all spent the night at the W Hotel at Ontario and Lake Shore Drive. The two of us were the oldest guests by at least 25 years. The place is very hip and when we returned from dinner the scene was 3 deep at the bar, in the lobby, with almost all in black and on cell phones.
The next morning the four of us, our son was still working, had Breakfast at Lou Mitchell's. The bakery and restaurant is located in the 500 block of Jackson Blvd. near Union Station. On the weekend or early morning this place is a zoo. We arrived after 10 AM, on a weekday, and so walked right in. If you are in line, or when you arrive you are greeted with fresh donut holes and a small box of mike duds. The breakfast menu is complete with all the egg dishes served in skillets and with very good hash browns and toast. The only problem is parking during the day, but parking lots have to live also.
After breakfast we dropped off our Granddaughter at the train for Highland Park and proceeded to Millennium Park, where we saw all the structures, including the wonderful curved bridge that crosses Lake Shore Drive and the Shell, both of which we designed by Frank Gehry. The Grant Park Orchestra was practicing for the evening concert so we sat and listened for a good half hour. Next was Buckingham Fountain and then is was on to The Chicago Institute of Art. An art report will come if I establish another BLOG.
We met our son for a late lunch of excellent "deep dish pizza" at Bacino's, 2204 N. Lincoln Ave, 60614( Lincoln Park). Phone 773-472-7400, that's important as the pizza is in the oven about 30 minutes, so it's best to call ahead. The four of us shared one Spinach Supreme ($15.25), which is their blend of spinach, herbs and spices, low fat cheese and mushrooms. One "small" comes cut in 6 mammoth wedges with the pie about 4" deep and the only crust being the bottom and back. We shared a large salad and all had drinks.
We took our son and Grandson back in the direction of the loop and headed to Glencoe. That night we joined 3 other couples, our infamous "Lobster group" for dinner at Demetri's, 660 Lake Cook Road, 847-940-0777. Demitri's is Greek with a smattering of other Mediterranean and specializes in fish. Besides their regular menu they had you a separate list of the fresh fish, a dozen or more. All of us had fish, except for one lamb shishkabob. We started with group appetizers for the table: Fried Smells, with a dipping sauce, wonderful grilled Calamari, with some tomatoes and mushrooms mixed with the grill and three dips, eggplant, cucumber and herbs and yogurt and caviar and cheese, with rye toast accompaniment. All had salads and the top fish of the evening was a fresh, grilled, whole Dover sole, never inexpensive but not outrageous. We had brought Graeter's to our host couple who shared with all.
There was a fair amount of imbibing, from Bombay to Greek beer with wine, Stoli and others making their appearance. Cost $45/person including a tip that was built in.
Next morning we all met at the " Walker Brothers original Pancake house" in Willmette. We picked up some other friends and there were 9 in all. A lot of sharing, Baked Apple Pancakes, Dutch babys, crepes and plain. After everyone's several days the appetites were beginning to react, so there were leftovers to be taken with.
A mandatory stop at a deli, on the way out of town and not following my own advice on routes got us to Cincinnati about 7 hours later.

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