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Sunday, September 29, 2013

Le Colonial and Other Dining Adventures

Le Colonial.  One of the best meals we've had in a while.  A vacation day in Chicago.  A VERY needed vacation day.  Two months ago I started the transition back to the broker/dealer I'd been with since 2003 and left in 2012.  Never should've left.  Should've listened to Connie.  But, I didn't.  But, you know the drill.  Things work out the way they are supposed to.  There are a couple of great things that happened because of the change and change back.  If I went into them I'd have to get everything I said approved by the wonderful folks in advertising review.  I'd rather talk about fun than work so let's just focus on that, ok? 

We've spent the better part of two months pushing paper and more paper.  We had NO business taking a day off.  But, we did it anyway.  A day trip to Chicago to see Mastering the Art.  And, lunch at Le Colonial.  The trip had an optional lunch included.  We, however, knew where we wanted to be for lunch.  Many years ago we'd been at a conference and stayed at the Sofitel.  They'd sent us down the street to Le Colonial.  We'd talked about that fabulous meal since then...  Every time we were in Chicago we were on business and someone else chose the restaurant.  Normally a steak place because the group was mostly guys and they wanted steak places.  Fine.  But, kinda boring don't you think?

They opened at 11:30.  It was 10:45.  We decided to kill a bit of time by wandering through Fourth Presbyterian Church.  Beautiful.  I'm so glad we had that 15 minute interlude.  Here are a couple of photos:

Then, off to Le Colonial.  Now, if you're there for dinner, please try dining on the balcony.  It's fun.  You get to enjoy Rush Street AND fabulous food.  But, for lunch we had a choice of a window table or a booth.  Window table please.  Yup, you got it.  Better light for photos :-)  Let's talk about the food first.  Amazing.  Vegetable spring rolls.  Oxtail pho.  Clay Pot chicken.  Barbecued Pork.  Just amazing.  Our favorite?  The clay pot chicken.  Hands down.  Chunks of perfectly cooked chicken with snow peas and rice in a perfectly balance sauce.  I wanted to lick the bowl it came in!  The barbecued pork was nuggets of grill-charred pork with loads of veggies on the side.  It was also VERY good.

And, the service?  I can't tell you how many times my water glass was topped off.  And the wine was perfect with our lunch.  I know.  We were on vacation.  Wine for lunch.  Whoooweee!  I didn't get any photos of anyone other than the two servers who took care of us but there were plenty of folks who so unobtrusively took care of us...  And, of course, you'd like to see what the place looks like.

Before I leave Chicago, let me say that Mastering the Art was SUCH a good play.  It centered around Julia's early days in France then their move to Cambridge where she finally found out (at age 48) that she was going to be a published author.  I'd go see it again right now. 

Now, we've been plenty of other places recently.

The normal "crew" at Chef Joseph's for his monthly wine tasting.

18 on the Square to meet our friends Chris and Mark.

Girls Night Out at Sangiovese.  Where, coincidentally, Connie and I had our first date. 


One wasn't quite as successful.  A new sandwich joint down the street from my Greenwood office.  I shall not use the name.  Let me just tell you how they make their mac and cheese.  They make a cheese sauce.  Not terribly thick and/or cheesy.  But, a sauce nonetheless.  Then, when the order is placed they boil the macaroni.  They drain it (kind of) then toss it with some of the cheese sauce.  Yeah, you're going ewwww too aren't you?  I'll not be back even though the hot dog was ok.

Out in Phoenix for my broker/dealer's women's conference.  Saw SO many good friends and had a fabulous time.  From my room I had a gorgeous view - including the mall where my friend, Melissa, and I went for a lovely lunch at Zin Burger.  Look at that yummy local brew!

AND, got to eat twice at a Tex-Mex place down the way called Fuego Taco.  The first night I had the pork tacos and a shrimp chowder.  The restaurant is in the midst of reinventing itself so the chef was trying out new things.  Evidently I was the only brave soul to try the soup.  It was more a broth than a cream soup.  Corn, shrimp, potatoes, cilantro.  All the flavors just danced together.  The second I had beef tacos.  But, that time I took photos of my friends instead of the food.

Our friends Gerry and Edna were traveling across the US from their Ithaca, NY home to their Yucca Valley, CA home.  Actually, they were finally making the big move to call Yucca Valley home.  They stopped in Indy and we went to dinner at Rick's Dockside.

Last, but certainly not least, our Kiwanis club did a fund raiser at Chef JJ's Backyard.  Now for those of you who read this regularly, you know that JJ does ALL his cooking on Big Green Eggs.  Amazing cooking it is, too.  We had pulled pork with pickled onions on grilled naan, crispy polenta with a spicy sauce, ginger fruit and a cookie.  Perfection on a plate!  That's JJ serving some lunches :-)

1 comment:

Debra Eliotseats said...

Well, this was an all-encompassing post! I have Le Colonial on my Chicago trip list. Where have I been that I haven't heard of Mastering the Art!!!!!!