Summer In The City

July 24, 2009

I love cities that feel ALIVE! This one sure did today.

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At 3PM, Whitney in Chicago, one of my favorite bloggers for her beau-ti-ful photography, met me for a walk around the city. She was an excellent tour guide! The highlight was Millennium Park to see tons of great art!

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But first, I was thirsty and hungry so we went to Intelligentsia for coffee! Whitney actually sent me some of their coffee this spring (along with some fantastic granola) and it was awesome.

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I got an iced coffee enhanced with skim milk, whole milk and cinnamon

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Whitney’s coffee was beautiful!

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With our coffees we walked for about an hour 45 mins.

GIANT American Gothic!!

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The bean!!! (Hey Kanz, I’m a bean!)

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More coolness – water “spits” from his mouth!

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Unfortunately it started to rain pretty hard, so we walked back to the hotel. I was starving with the time change, so i had a handful of trusty nuts from my snack bag to tide me until dinner. I did NOT want to spoil my appetite!

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I got to relax in my bed for a bit before getting dressed up for dinner and meeting the group in the lobby. This bed is the most comfortable hotel bed I’ve ever been in!! I think there’s a foam mattress under the covers, which is what we have at home and absolutely love. I got under the covers because I was freezing even in a sweater!

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At 6:15 I met the Edelman crew and Linda, the other Balanced Living blogger, in the lobby for dinner, and then we cabbed over to Graham Elliot’s restaurant!!!!!!! <—- Check out the totally unique menu + style! The food was phenomenal and totally about the flava. Graham Elliot uses such interesting flavor combinations, and this dinner went perfectly with my Gather post this week on using dining out as an opportunity to try all kinds of new tastes.

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[Sorry for all the yellow photos – it was the lighting!]

We split a bottle of Calera Pinot, which was rustic and delish. I had 3 half glasses throughout the evening. LOVE drinking red wine in fancy restaurants!

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We ordered a few appetizers to share across the table. I can’t even begin to remember all the different flavors in these dishes –

Scallop with pancetta and potatoes –

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Tuna sashimi with avocado puree, radish, plantain and cacao nibs!!!

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Asparagus salad (stalks molded in goat cheese!?) with egg and frisee –

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Chowder with corn nuts and a garlic marshmallow!!

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I had a taste of everything!!

For my entree, I couldn’t decide between the Land and the Sea!

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But I chose the Heritage Pork Loin with farro, grilled peaches, baby spinach and pistachio gremolata (mostly for the farro!)

It tasted better than it looks! (The wheatberries/farro, especially)

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Other entrees (they shared bites, so I had a taste of everything! Love sharing :) )

Sea Bass + Halibut

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Duck + Walleye – all with incredible ingredients!

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And for dessert we all shared the Dark Chocolate Layer Cake with ice milk, sea salt + caramel

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And the Deconstructed Strawberry Shortcake with strawberry gelato and some delicious granola-like stuff :)

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A huge thank you to the fabulous Edelman Team for treating us to dinner on behalf of Boca!! What a fun + intelligent group of women :)

Alexa, Linda + Danielle

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Teresa and me

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Once we were back at the hotel I checked out the People’s Party going on. I think it’s sort of an unofficial BlogHer thing? One thing about BlogHer – it’s soooo confusing!!! There are so many parties and events and exhibits and vendors and speakers and you are totally overwhelmed and don’t know where to go at what time. There are unlimited choices!! And it’s kinda intimidating that it seems that a lot of the other bloggers know each other already. Kind of like the first day at a new high school! I didn’t know if I was supposed to “be” at this part, but I think the point of the people’s party is that everyone is invited!?

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It was packed, but I got there a little late and have an early morning tomorrow with the 5K and all, so I called it a night.

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Back in my room I found a beautiful bouquet of flowers and a tote from iVillage!! How lovely!

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My stomach is feeling a bit funny today. It started on the plane and then got better and now it feels super full and fluttery and in knots again. I think I am just nervous and excited to be here. Hopefully I’ll feel better for tomorrow’s run.

The bed is seriously SO comfortable I can’t wait to close my eyes!



[So I just woke up and checked my email to find ZERO comments on this post. Uh-oh. Turns out it never went up! And you know what’s weird is that I almost always verify my posts go up and last night as I was closing my computer I realized I hadn’t done that but said “Eh, it’s up” Wrong!! Sorry for the delay everyone!]

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{ 65 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Amelia July 24, 2009 at 6:05 am

Isn’t Chicago great?! I think it’s such a perfect sized city because there’s so much to do but I don’t feel overwhelmed.
That restaurant looks incredible. I love how inventive the chef is with his dishes!
Enjoy all your activities today! :)


2 Christie @ Quit Your Diet July 24, 2009 at 6:12 am

Looks like a fun night!! All of the eats look delicious!


3 MarathonVal July 24, 2009 at 6:25 am

Glad you are having fun in our city!

I’ve never been to Graham Elliot – heard great things – that’s where Barack and Michelle went the last time we was in town :)


4 leslie July 24, 2009 at 6:52 am

your meal sounds divine! i love love sharing when i go out to eat too – my family always shares bites, and it makes it that much more fun. keep having fun out there!


5 Pam July 24, 2009 at 6:55 am

Those purple flowers with the city background looks so cool and I love the guy’s face that spits water…lol!!!

Very Creative!

Hope you are feeling A-Okay and have a great day,


6 Eve July 24, 2009 at 6:58 am

Everything looks fabulous! It looks like you made great choices.


7 jess July 24, 2009 at 7:04 am

That looks like so much fun – I’m going to have to try to get to BlogHer next year!


8 Andee (Runtolive) July 24, 2009 at 7:05 am

Wow the dishes look beautiful! I love the chocolate dessert, looks soo good. Have fun tomorrow!


9 Whitney July 24, 2009 at 7:06 am

Looks like dinner was as very and interesting as I have heard it is!

I had so much funny showing you around. Next time you will have to spend an extra day and I can show you the neighborhoods and what not.

Have a great day at the conference! I’m heading to a coffee shop right now to get one more big day of studying in. Sigh.


10 megan July 24, 2009 at 7:09 am

wow sounds like a great trip so far! Can’t wait to read about the rest of the conference :)


11 Leianna July 24, 2009 at 7:09 am

Food looks amazing!


12 Marisa (trim the fat) July 24, 2009 at 7:16 am

I love visiting new places and trying new foods when dining out. It all sounds so amazing!

So does that comfy bed! Enjoy:)


13 Paige July 24, 2009 at 7:25 am

I am going to visit Chicago for the first time in October. I’ve been there before (just passing through the airport). I’m glad you went to a great place for dinner…but today…how about some deep dish pizza photos!!! At least one slice! :)


14 Megan (The Runner's Kitchen) July 24, 2009 at 7:29 am

I’d love the visit Chicago someday! The duck looks interesting – kudos to you for being such an adventurous eater! That’s the best part of travellng :-)


15 AshleyP July 24, 2009 at 7:32 am

I really want to go to that retaurant!


16 Lida July 24, 2009 at 7:36 am

my dad curated the show in millenium park! sorry, just had to put it out there.
i’ve always wanted to try graham elliot… it looks amazing. have fun in chicago!


17 Ruby Red July 24, 2009 at 7:37 am

i looooooooove intelligentsia chicago! i need to go back soon!!!!!


18 Paige July 24, 2009 at 7:39 am

Ahh Chicago! I love Chicago. I’m about 2 hours south, though. Going there next weekend. I’ll try to get to that restaurant – looks awesome 😀 Good luck today!!!


19 Whitney July 24, 2009 at 7:39 am

What a fun night! BlogHer looks like a blast!


20 Daria (Summer of the CSAs) July 24, 2009 at 7:48 am

So many lovely things in this post! I love Anish Kapoor’s sculptures and Intelligentsia coffee. And that dinner looks outstanding!


21 gina (fitnessista) July 24, 2009 at 7:58 am

looks like such an amazing time!
ASPARAGUS MOLDED IN GOAT CHEESE?!? oh my. that sounds glorious.
keep enjoying yourself! <3


22 Recipes for Creativity July 24, 2009 at 8:02 am

Hope you’re feeling better. I just saw The Bean last weekend for the first time! I loved seeing your pics of it!


23 Ada July 24, 2009 at 8:02 am

That dinner looks so great! All of the appetizers were so beautifully presented. Enjoy the conference:)


24 Lindsay July 24, 2009 at 8:05 am

Your pictures of Chicago are fantastic! They make me miss living there! Enjoy yourself today!


25 Hannah July 24, 2009 at 8:08 am

So jealous you got to go to Graham Elliot – he was on Top Chef Masters (love that show!) and looked like such a creative and unique chef!


26 Marcy July 24, 2009 at 8:09 am

See “The Pioneer Woman” , Ree Drummond, speak if you have a chance. She is soo funny and her blog has fantastic photography too!


27 Rebecca July 24, 2009 at 8:26 am

That cafe looks fun! I love fun coffee shops!! Your dinner looks fabulous!! I want to go to Chicago!!


28 Katrina (gluten free gidget) July 24, 2009 at 8:26 am

There is nothing quite like Chicago in the summer. Loves it!


29 Jenn (www. ) July 24, 2009 at 8:30 am

Fantastic photos! The food looks amazing.



30 Susan @ Nurse on the Run July 24, 2009 at 8:31 am

Nothing beats summertime in Chicago!! Dinner looks crazy amazing!


31 Runeatrepeat July 24, 2009 at 8:45 am

Looks like fun! Can’t wait to hear more :)


32 Amanda (My Summerizations) July 24, 2009 at 8:47 am

you had a good tour guide–intellgentsia coffee is the best in chicago!


33 Melissa July 24, 2009 at 9:02 am

Looks like your already have an amazing time!! 😀


34 Jenny July 24, 2009 at 9:08 am

As you said, there’s nothing like a city that’s “alive.” That’s the prime reason I can’t imagine trading my apartment in DC for the suburbs! And more so, why I miss NY every day.


35 Amanda @ Cakes and Ale July 24, 2009 at 9:11 am

So glad you got to try such a fabulous restaurant as Graham Eliot! He is one of Chicago’s best chefs, by far. We’ve got reservations to go on Aug 8th, and I’m very excited!


36 Cait (Cait's Plate) July 24, 2009 at 9:15 am

You’re such a good tour guide Kath! Thanks for sharing :)

It looks like you’re having a blast so far – I hope tomorrow bring more fun!


37 Adventures of Alice July 24, 2009 at 9:16 am

That dinner looks delicious–grilled peaches–yum!


38 Angharad July 24, 2009 at 9:18 am

Fun fun fun!! that restaurant looks awesome. Like the “Land” and “Sea” options. I’ll be in Chicago in a couple of weeks and I can’t wait – thanks for reminding me of some stuff I love about it!


39 Ashley July 24, 2009 at 9:20 am

Graham Elliot according to my folks is fantastic. Cannot wait to try it!

Did you have your first Obama sighting yet? Haha.


40 britt July 24, 2009 at 9:23 am

dinner looked like lots of fun; very interesting food.

good luck on your run this morning!


41 Ashley July 24, 2009 at 9:25 am

Oo and since you like Farmer’s Markets, check out the Lincoln Park Farmers market on Armitage Ave. & Orchard St. tomorrow if you have a chance. I worked their for years. There is also the Green City Market on the south end of Lincoln Park between Clark and Stockton. It runs 7am-1pm on tomorrow too.


42 Madelin @ What is for breakfast? July 24, 2009 at 9:29 am

Holy yumbos – that food looks great!


43 Biz July 24, 2009 at 9:33 am

The weather did crap out yesterday afternoon – today looks beautiful though!

Hope your run went well – on the lakefront I presume?!


44 K July 24, 2009 at 9:43 am

I LOVE Chicago! It’s my favorite US city – enjoy your time there :)


45 Heather @ Health, Happiness, and Hope July 24, 2009 at 9:47 am

The city sure looks gorgeous! What a fun way to spend the day.

Wow, dinner sounds so amazing! All that food looks fabulous… a little bit of everything.

Hope you feel better soon! :)


46 Becci July 24, 2009 at 10:06 am

It looks like you are having a great time! I have never been to Chicago when it is summertime, only in the early spring and winter. It looks beautiful!!


47 Krissy (Single Serving) July 24, 2009 at 10:06 am

Great pics and looks like an even better dinner! Glad you are having such a great time. Stay warm!


48 AnnQ July 24, 2009 at 10:23 am

Looks like such a great time! Enjoy your weekend!


49 Jessica July 24, 2009 at 10:44 am

I love that huge gothic statue! Lol! the red man face is kind of creepy though, ill be honest. haha!
glad youre having a great time!


50 Amanda July 24, 2009 at 10:44 am

Seriously weird…my sister had coffee at Intelligensia at around the same time and I think that she might even be at the same hotel!


51 Susan July 24, 2009 at 10:54 am

I just clicked on the link for that restaurant and freaked out when I hear Sufjan Stevens playing! I love him! Anyways, looks like a wonderfully unique spot :)

I have been trying for years to create latte art and I just can’t get it!! 😛 Hope you slept wonderfully on the foam matress :)


52 Ryane July 24, 2009 at 11:22 am

Ooooh, I am definitely adding that restaurant to my must list for… well whenever I make my way to Chicago.
Also, because I loved the unexpected Sufjan playing on the site!

Have a great time at the conference!


53 Hallie (Healthy Twists) July 24, 2009 at 11:23 am

Chicago is a really fun city…I was only there for about half a day on a cross-country drive, but there is SO much to see! Glad you’re having fun so far at BlogHer…I’m sure you’re learning a ton.


54 Bec July 24, 2009 at 11:35 am

aww how much fun did you guys have :)


55 Sarah July 24, 2009 at 11:51 am

hi, i am a newer reader but i love your blog! i am from chicago so just wanted to say hope you are enjoying it! looks like you are so far:)


56 mikey July 24, 2009 at 12:22 pm

GREAT pictures around town! sounds like such a good time. and OMG that food! jealous and drooling over here, not a good sight. lol. hope you feel a little better now.


57 Michelle Hisae July 24, 2009 at 12:53 pm

What a GORGEOUS city!!! I want to visit Chicago so badly! That statue of the pitchfork couple (that’s what I call them…) is so cool. Huge, too!!


58 Allie July 24, 2009 at 12:53 pm

fabulous pictures!


59 Deva July 24, 2009 at 1:13 pm

The perspective on your pictures is really awesome :-)


60 Shannon (The Daily Balance) July 24, 2009 at 1:40 pm

SO FUN! Can’t wait to hear about what else you get into in Chicago 😉


61 katey July 24, 2009 at 2:30 pm

isn’t chicago the best? I love living so close to it! Im happy you got to see the bean! :)


62 lynn (The Actors Diet) July 24, 2009 at 2:44 pm

intelligentsia is so great – they have one in la too and they make the best coffee ever!!!


63 Run Niki Run July 24, 2009 at 7:23 pm

Beautiful pictures! Chicago is the greatest city in the world! :)


64 Joelle (The Pancake Girl) July 24, 2009 at 7:31 pm

Uh, that asparagus goat cheese is freaking me out. I do love your pretty flower pics though- Chicago looks gorgeous!


65 emily July 25, 2009 at 12:27 am

I’m from chicago and thats awesome that you went to graham elliot. I was just there on July 2nd for a birthday and its so interesting to see that some parts of the menu have already changed! Instead of chowder I had a delicious sweet pea bisque and it looks like the lamb dish on the menu was different as well. I’m glad you enjoyed it, I really want to return in the fall when they completely change up the menu.

I’m glad your enjoying the windy city!


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