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swirl and savor

Chicago, Day 2 in the Big City

Beth Ribblett

Yesterday we crammed in sooooo many things that today we just decided to focus on a few important items:

#1 Find really good coffee. Mission accomplished! Coffee snobs that we are we have a very difficult time drinking coffee other than our home roasted, freshly brewed espresso blends. But, through a little research on yelp!, Kerry found the "Italian Coffee Bar" in the 680 Lakeshore Drive building where we had absolutely delicious cappuccino and Sicilian pistachio cookies. So good that we will go out of our way again tomorrow to have it again.

#2 Find a hip neighborhood to poke around it. Again a success! We hopped on the blue line to Wicker Park where we wondered into 2 small, eclectic wine shops (Cellar Rat, Red & White) where we saw lots of familiar labels and others we'd love to try.

Then a fabulous lunch at the Birchwood Cafe packed with people and a great menu focused on local ingredients and products.

#3 Do something touristy. We went to the top of the John Hancock building and took in the 360 degree view of the city from the 94th floor, then up 2 more floors with our new friend Irina for a drink and great conversation.

#4 Find a place that could "wow" us for dinner. Slow Food Chicago recommended "Coco Pazzo" and we were not disappointed. By far the best venison I've had since Anne Kearny left Peristyle, the food was phenomenal from appetizers to handmade pastas, entree and then probably the best dessert either of us has ever had!

Tomorrow we will run around a bit in the morning and then head to the tasting with Marco de Grazia at the Ritz. Since this is a work thing, I'll take lots of photos and notes and share them on the blog.

A presto!