Year 12 was a guaranteed success, and the Illinois Restaurant Association left no stone unturned in bringing together incredible menus for food, wine and spirits.
Even the weather, which started out dreary, eventually cooperated with the sun peeking out. You know the heavens ere with us on making sure that one of the world’s best food destinations gets to do it right!
There can be no better host for this event than Millennium Park which always presents the perfect layout for navigating through the various pavilions, set up by food type. So here are some of my highlights from this year:
· The Seafood Pavilion is always the most popular one with the longest lines. What does that say about pescetarianism, huh?! The buttery Shrimp Roll by Roanaoke wins the seafood title for me this year.
· Outside of that pavilion, Farmhouse had an insanely delicious Smoked Trout Tartare with roasted corn, poblano and jalapeno on seed crackers, that I could not stop eating.
· Field Roast was serving warm Portuguese Stewed Fava Beans that was made entirely with vegan sausage, but you could’ve fooled me. Delicious!
· The Indian in me can never get enough of my staple, but Bombay Wraps Chana Masala (curried chickpeas) on rice was to die for!
· The best vegetarian dish I tried had to be Irazu’s Jalapeno and Cheese Empanadas, although the sauce on top was super spicy!
· La Pinta’s Pomegranate Liqueur was my favorite drink discovery and I went crazy for Chloe’s 2016 wine.
· At the Thai Pavilion, my favorite dish was Jimmy Thai Restaurant’s Green Curry Noodles (made vegetarian for me)!
· And Farm to Fork had these mini Spicy Baked Ricotta and Pepper Dips that could easily become your new party favorites!
· I was pleasantly surprised to discover that Sarah Jessica Parker now has a new wine line, and I’m so in!
This was just the tip of the ice-berg (not lettuce), and I already can’t wait to see what next year brings! I’ll be full for days, but I’m so happy for new discoveries and foodie friends I made along the way!