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Culinary Experience of Chicago

Updated on January 22, 2016

What Happened Last Week

Last week, I was on a business trip/tour in Chicago. I checked in to a nice hotel and hours later, I was hungry. Expectedly, I should eat in from the hotel’s restaurant, right? Well, I didn’t. I wanted to have an experience of eating and drinking at various diners, restaurants and pubs in Chicago. Here are some restaurants and pubs I discovered:

  1. Quartino.
  2. Stella Barra Pizzeria.
  3. Hub 51.
  4. Three Dots and a Dash.
  5. Girl & the Goat.

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Quartino

Quartino is an Italian restaurant and wine bar in 626 N. State St. Chicago, IL 60654 which operates between the hours of 11:30am-1am (Sunday), 11:30am-2am (Monday-Friday) and 11:30am-3am (Saturday).

There are over thirty dishes to try out: Eggplant Parmigiana for $8, Chicken Soup for $4, Broccoli Rabe for $5, Pepperoni for $13, Potato Puree (with Parmigiano-Reggiano) for $5, Steamed Clams for $12.50, Roasted Baby Octopus for $11.75, Shrimp for $10.25, Beef Filets for $13.75, Salmon for $14.50, Spaghetti Pomodoro for $10 and lots more dishes at affordable prices.

You can either eat in or book online on www.quartinochicago.com

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Stella Barra Pizzeria

Kevin James was quite smart when he said, “There’s no better feeling in the world than a warm pizza box on your lap.”

Imagine dashing into Stella Barra Pizzeria at 1954 N Halsted St, Chicago, IL and dashing out with that pizza box, jumping into your vehicle and biting deliciously into each part that tastes yummy.

To make this better, Stella Barra has red and white pizzas in different categories. You can get these flavours of the red pizza: Rossa (arugula, roasted garlic, calabrian chilies, sweet basil) for $13.95, Margherita (buffalo mozzarella, san marzano tomatoes, basil, olive oil) for $15.95, Smoked Bacon & Goat Cheese (gruyere, charred tomato) for $16.95, Hobbs Pepperoni (fresh mozzarella, parmesan) for $15.95. Or these flavours of the white pizza: Quattro Formaggi (gruyere, melted onion, truffle) for $15.95, Prosciutto & Egg (4 cheese, chilies, sunny side up egg) for $17.95, Driftless Ricotta (arugula pesto, parmesan, herbs) for $16.95.

I echo Nick Jonas’s thoughts, “…you can’t really go wrong with pizza” from Stella Barra especially when you down it with the available wines: Chardonnay, Riesling, Barbera d’asti, Sangiovese, Super Tuscan or Pinot Noir.

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HUB 51

Hub 51 at 51 W Hubbard offers meals from sushi to tacos to burgers: El Segundo sol burger, premium grilled fish tacos, chickpea hummus, grandma bea’s chocolate pudding pie, shrimp & avocado ceviche, black bean turkey chili, big city cornbread, ahi tuna poke, shaki-shaki tuna, tempura sweet potato, miso-glazed salmon, spicy tuna, rainbow, tuna & thai basil, king crab California, crunchy tuna and hamachi & Serrano chili.

Just like the Stella Barra Pizzeria, there are drinks to go with your sushi, taco or burger bought at Hub 51. These drinks range from sauvignon blanc (St. Supery, Cloudy Bay or Grgich Hills Estate); Merlot’s One Hope, Parcel 41 and Waters; Zinfandel’s Bradford Mountain, Ridge and Mauritson; Cocktails such as: Hub Punch, Gilligan’s Gal, Demerara, Old Forester Bourbon, Angostura Bitters and Cazadores Reposado Tequila.

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Three Dots and a Dash

As her name suggests, she’s pretty straightforward with the menu she offers residents living close to her 435 N Clark St. Chicago restaurant and tourists from other cities. Her menu is split into cocktail menu, food menu, private parties & special events and large party carryout.

On her cocktail menu, you can purchase Mai Tai, Three Dots and a Dash (Don the Beachcomber, 1940s) or The Original Bunny’s Banana Daiquiri for $13 or any of her classic cocktail selections: Jet Pilot, Saturn, Demerara Dry Float and Aku Aku Lapu for $13 too.

On her food menu, you can purchase Tuna Crisp, Flaming Shrimp, Hanali Spring Rolls, Crab Rangoon, Luau Chips, Thai Fried Chicken, Crispy Wings, 5-Spice Ribs, or Pork Belly Buns.

On her large party carryout which is the best bet for tourists in a horse drawn carriage, you can book for the Appetizer half pan which serves up to ten people (Luau Chips for $30, Crab Rangoon for $60, Hanali Spring Rolls for $40, Papaya Salad for $40, Blistered Green Beans for $28, Thai Fried Chicken for $50, Coconut Shrimp for $70 and Polynesian Spare Ribs for $48), the Satays half pan which serves up to ten people too (Thai Peanut Shrimp for $46, Yellow Curry Chicken for $42, Black Pepper Beef for $45 and Kaluha Pork for $42). Additionally, there are complements such as canned pop for $2.50 each and/or bottled water for $5.00 each.

Also, you can book ahead of time from wherever you are in Chicago and when you come around to Three Dots and a Dash, your order will be packed hot and ready for you to continue on your trip.

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Girl & The Goat

Ensure you travel through 809 W Randolph St, Chicago, IL 60607. That’s where Stephanie Izard wows clients with great dishes and a palatable menu. Reviews on Opentable.com, Yelp.com, Facebook and Google speak high of her restaurant; her menu is a delight.

From warm marinated olives to chardonnay, Stephanie lives up to her clients expectations and fills their hungry stomachs with dishes ranging from sautéed green beans, pan fried shishito peppers, roasted cauliflower, kohlrabi salad, wood grilled broccoli, sweet potato bleu cheese pierogies, hamachi crudo, seared diver scallops, escargot dumplings, cape cod mussels, sugo, braised beef tongue; bread: say cheese! olive you, pretzel); oysters: raw, fried, wood fired; goats: goat liver mousse, goat carpaccio, goat empanadas, szechuan goat satay; desserts: goat cheesecake, sticky squash cake, chocolate bavarian and blood orange surprise!

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Buy Me a Meal If You Can

When next you visit Chicago, you can fill your stomach at Girl & the Goat, Hub 51, Quartino, Three Dots and a Dash or Stella Barra Pizzeria. Buy a meal for me if you can! :)

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