Saturday, August 16, 2008

Chicago, Day 3 - Hey, is that Scarlett Johansson and Topher Grace?

We spent our morning today at the amazing Art Institute of Chicago. We were a bit early so we sat in a beautiful sunken-down garden next to the museum. We've had beautiful weather for our days here. Once inside the museum, we wandered around the more classical exhibits first (taking in the Georges Seurat painting of "Ferris Beuller's Day Off" fame) and then headed for the modern area. We saw Monet, Degas, GĂ©ricault, Cassat, Picasso, Pollock, and many more. Our time in the modern area culminated in seeing the "American Gothic" (which I didn't know was in the museum) as well as the famous "Nighthawks" painting of a lonely American diner at night. (Also, randomly, we saw a painting of Tara as a Russian princess in the basement. I kid you not.)

We walked around some more and had lunch down by the river at a place called "O'Briens" – and thought of our favourite O'Briens, of course. After that, we walked along the Magnificent Mile – a feast of Chicago's downtown architecture. When we couldn't walk anymore, we took the subway back to Chinatown and crashed for a while.

Later in the evening we had an amazing, delicious meal at a place called Landmark, a few subway stops away from us. If you are ever in Chicago, I highly recommend you go here. We had a genuinely friendly waiter who explained to us that the chef cooks with only local and seasonal ingredients, bought at the neighbourhood market down the street. Very Jamie Kennedy – I couldn't help but be reminded of our wedding. Before our food arrived we were treated by the chef to a cold carrot soup cup. I had a delicious heirloom tomato and mozzarella salad to start, followed by the best pork chop I've ever eaten – with cheddar grits, sweet onion relish and dill. (The pork chop was enormous of course, but I shared with my dining buddy). With our dinners the chef also treated us to a side of grilled zucchini – we started to wonder if they'd mistaken us for somebody famous...! We had a great dinner and great conversation.

When you try this restaurant (and I know that you'll run off to Chicago right now just on my recommendation) you have to have the "Gigantic Chocolate Cookie" topped with ice cream and chocolate sauce for dessert. Well, maybe no one would appreciate it as much as me; it was like someone looked into my heart and made a dessert out of what they found. ;) David and I both agreed that this was a big success, especially for a place we just chose online.

Tomorrow we board the overnight train to Dallas! Here is a map of the route we'll be taking, and our very cool city-by-city route guide.


Larry said...
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Larry said...

I have been loving your descriptions of Chicago. I have been there many times in the past. My company participated in a medical trade show there every year. Sadly, it was in November! Not the best time to see that city. I have always wanted to return in spring or fall to see it in a more attractive light :). I am now all the more eager to do just that! :)