Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Cafe Spiaggia and Carriage House - Chicago

TGIF!  Toronto in Chicago
Andy and I went to Chicago for our friend's wedding a few months ago and we decided to make a weekend of it!

After a 5-hour drive from Ann Arbor and checking into our The Westin Chicago River North we quickly got ready to meet our other friends, Matt & Lauren, who were also in town for the wedding.  They made reservations for the four of us at Cafe Spiaggia!

(Before I get to far, I have to tell you what the bride & groom did for their guests staying at the hotel.  When we checked in, they gave us vouchers for breakfast on the day after the wedding - what a cool idea!!!  Totally unexpected, generous and so convenient, and the breakfast was delicious.)

We met our friends in the lobby of the hotel and Uber'ed to Cafe Spiaggia.  Andy and I were ready for a drink by now, it had been a long work week and a long enough drive!

This Toronto cocktail had me at rye whiskey ;)

We ended up waiting an extra 45 minutes at the bar for our table even though we had reservations so when we finally sat down for dinner they brought us all these extra goodies, on the house!  What a nice surprise because we don't normally order 4 appetizers on top of our mains.  It was a lot of food but wow was it good!

Our friends are vegetarian and we don't normally eat beef but this Carpaccio with horseradish, sunchokes and Grana Padano was divine!  The Polpette with San Marzano tomato and pecorino Romano was rich and succulent; the perfect combination of salty, acidic and meaty, rarr.

Luckily our vegetarian (pescetarian is more accurate I suppose) friends had some nice options too!

Burrata with apple mostarda

Andy went with the half chicken, Brussels sprouts, butternut squash and leeks

Three drinks in and plans to meet our other friends at the bar after...Bucatini Carbonara hit the spot!

Thanks for letting me photograph your food, Lauren!  ;)

After dinner we met up with Kara and Ben, whom we also got to see at our wedding two months before!  It's always fun to hang out with this little lady!  (Fun fact, Kara and I went to Cafe Spiaggia during our internship during the summer of 2007.  I remember loving it then, I was so excited that it was just as delicious, if not better this time!)

Slightly hungover and sleep deprived, the next day we met up with my other Chicago girl friends Rochelle and Katherine for brunch at Carriage House in Wicker Park.  Oh my goodness, this place was outstanding!  When I used to live in Chicago I remember being too lazy to leave my neighborhood, Old Town, for brunch.  How naive I was.  If you are in Chicago and need food, this place will not disappoint.  I can't wait to go back!

Chicken and biscuit with pimento and sausage gravy

Classic fried eggs and bacon to bring me back to life

This was by far my favorite dish.  The fried green tomatoes with yellow pea salad, hot sauce vinaigrette and buttermilk aioli yummmmm

My lovely Chicago friends <3  By the way, Elizabeth Olsen was DEFINITELY sitting right next to us!

Coach & Biddy's pretty ceremony at Kendell College!

The bride & groom got creative and swapped out the champagne toast for a Malort toast.  Apparently it is Chicago's polarizing cult liqueur, whatever that means.  Have you had Malort?  I wanted to be a good sport even though the smell of it was shocking to say the least.  Oooh boy.  You should try it sometimes.  Just to say you did.  No other reason.

The bride and groom were adorable and charming and the wedding was beautiful!  What a fun and memorable weekend!


  1. What a fun trip! I am seriously drooling over that Italian dinner, it looks SO GOOD!


    1. Everything was amazing!

      I like your blog :) thanks for sharing the link!

  2. Replies
    1. Thanks! So much yummy food :)

      Btw, your outfits are so cute!!!

  3. Sounds like you had a fun time in Chicago. The food looks delicious!

  4. So much food porn happening right now. It's just hit 11am where I live and damn I'm hanging for lunchtime to hit so I can sate my belly and stuff my face silly!


    1. Haha, yes!! Make sure to eat at these places if you ever visit Chicago! They are crazy good ;)


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