If you haven't spent time in Chicago, you should! Most people will tell you the spring and summer are fabulous in Chicago (and they're right), but January was also lovely in its own winter way.
My author retreat at the Waldorf Astoria in Chicago was even better than I imagined it would be! The hotel, the staff, the bedrooms, the spa, the restaurant...SUPERB!
I've always loved Chicago, but staying at the Waldorf Astoria, watching the snowfall from the balcony, and eating some of the best food in the city was such a heart-filling adventure. If you're interested in luxury accomodations in a place where the staff makes you feel loved and cared for, the Waldorf Astoria is just what you need.
Speaking of food, you should know about a few places you don't want to miss! Let's start with my first Chicago deep dish pizza experience. I was directed (possibly ordered) to have Lou Malnati's pizza, which, they said, would elevate my life. And it did! A small pizza is big enough for two, and I encourage you to order the butter crust. You won't be sorry. It's butter, right? Butter = love.
The next stop is Velvet Taco, tacos without borders. The creativity of the taco options is equally as impressive as the flavors. I had trouble choosing (because I wanted to try all of them), but I can vouch for the yumminess of Buffalo Chicken, Grilled Salmon, Fish n Chips, Ahi Poke, and Chicken n Waffle.
Brunch at the Waldorf Astoria's Margeaux Brasserie was an elegant, yet cozy, experience with delicious French cuisine prepared by a friendly and attentive staff. Eggs Benedict is my favorite brunch food, so anytime I see it on a menu, I have to try it. The smoked salmon croissant Benedict comes with poached eggs, sauce béarnaise, sautéed spinach, and perfect salmon. I could eat that meal on repeat forever. For-eh-ver. The Croque Madame Crepes are also divine.
It was Restaurant Week in Chicago while I was there, and Ditka's offered a special 4-course menu that couldn't be turned down. It is also walking distance from the Waldorf, which made getting there in the snowfall a breezy, but still easy, experience.
So...I ate salmon again because I love salmon, but it should count that this was a different type of preparation. That counts, right? I encourage you to try the Ora King Salmon, which is orange glazed and served with stir fry, sticky rice, and eel sauce. The filet mignon served with Maryland Crab Cakes is also a winning choice. Don't skip the dessert! The chocolate cake and banana cream pie are a definite touchdown. See what I did there? Sports reference? That's all I got :)
One last fun suggestion! Because of all the snow and the desire not to freeze off my face, I spent the day at Adler Planetarium. It was so much fun. Anyone who loves the universe, stars, out-of-this-world information, helpful and informative staff, and taking flights into deep space should definitely spend some time here.
Special thanks to Bedside Reading for showering authors with such support, love, and kindness. I still do a happy dance whenever I see my book out in the world!
Have you been to Chicago? I'd love to know your favorite places to eat and activities!