Monday, January 5, 2015

New Years in Chicago

I'm not sure whose idea it was, but sometime after Christmas, Kissy Missy and I decided that it would be fun to celebrate New Year's in Chicago. We had no solid plans, but we knew it would involve good food, some interesting places, and some wind chill. We dressed warmly!

One of our first stops was the Bohemian House, styled as BoHo, in River North. It's central European cooking the way I wish my grandmother had done it. For an appetizer, a fabulous knackwurst.
Kissy Missy got the chicken paprikash - excellent!
I dined on pork schnitzel.
And they call the dessert "coffee and doughnuts." Those are fresh - right from the fryer - doughnut holes, still warm, served with coffee-flavored gelato. And yes, that's real coffee.
We stayed at a hotel called the Club Quarters, in the tall, spired building to the left. It's on East Wacker, right on the Chicago River. It's a business hotel, but on weekends and holidays, when there aren't many business travelers, you can get great rates there.
It's a 41-story spire on a tiny piece of land. It was built in 1923 and refurbished in the 1990s.
New Year's Day was sunny and bright - and Millennium Park, with its famous Bean, was full of people.
The skating rink was open.
And the city was beautiful!
Dinner at the Hard Rock Cafe, Chicago, next to Chuck Berry's guitar.
While we were there, we decided to check out some Chicago history. Say hi to your Uncle Al, Al Capone.

Harry Caray's Italian Steakhouse on West Kinzie, on the Near North Side, has a marvelous display of Mob memorabilia. Ya just gotta know who ta ask!
They even have mobster Frank Nitt's draft card!
The Biograph Theater, in the 2400 block of Lincoln Avenue near Lincoln Park, is where the FBI found bank robber John Dillinger. The theater is still standing, and now presents live shows.
Kissy Missy does her best Dillinger in the very alley where the feds took him down in a hail of gunfire.
Later, we discovered Harry Caray's actual Holey Cow.
And who would have thought that Cheech and Chong were so hot?

One of Chicago's best performance venues is the House of Blues, part of the Marina City complex.
Dinner at the House of Blues' restaurant was excellent!
And the show featured five Chicago bands, including Fletcher Rockwell, which combines rock and roll and the heartland sound. Watch for these guys on an alternative station near you!