Soccer, Pub97

Get Your Game On at Heineken Pub97

Welcome to soccer paradise. Heineken Pub97 is a full service restaurant and bar designed by soccer lovers, for soccer lovers. Located inside the 12,500 square foot clubhouse at The PrivateBank Fire Pitch, which is owned by the Chicago Fire Soccer Club, Pub97 offers something for everyone – food, drinks, games, game-day shuttles to the Chicago Fire games in Bridgeview, and a front row seat to the action taking place on the state-of-the-art soccer fields just feet away.

Soccer, Pub97

Photo: Chritiques at Heineken Pub97

Pub97 offers more than your average bar food; tortilla and potato chips are made in-house, and the quality ingredients, including all-natural chicken, stand out. A full bar offering beer, wine and specialty cocktails is available, as well. I recommend the house-made margarita, with a spicy and smoky salted rim.

Soccer, Pub97

Photo: Heineken Pub97

Twelve 4k flat screen TVs adorn the walls, and during the warmer months, an outdoor patio, complete with its own televisions for convenient soccer viewing, sits next to the Chicago River and 125,000 square foot, year round sports facility and soccer fields, which are open air from April through November, and within an inflatable dome between December and April.

Soccer, Pub97

Photo: Chritiques at Heineken Pub97

Work off those wings by playing ping pong or bags outside, or foosball, Jenga, and other bar games, as well as FIFA16 on Xbox, inside the pub. Step it up a notch by joining one of the many rec leagues that play at the adjacent fields.

Soccer, Pub97

Photo: Chritiques at Heineken Pub97

Pub97 is open for dinner, Monday through Friday, for lunch on Friday, and for brunch, lunch and dinner on the weekend. Sunday movie nights occur every week, with $2 specialty popcorn, and during English Premier League games, a full serving of English breakfast is offered.

Soccer, Pub97

Photo: Heineken Pub97

Heineken Pub97

3626 North Talman Avenue, Chicago, Illinois

Tastefully,

Christina

Event, Chicago Magazine

A Toast to Chicago’s Best

Event, Chicago Magazine

Photo: Chritiques at Best of Chicago Event

Chicago magazine hosted its annual event on August 11, 2016, toasting some of Chicago’s best. Best of Chicago 2016 honored the city’s top culinary, cultural, and business talent selected by Chicago magazine’s editors and readers.

Event, Best of Chicago

Photo: Chicago Magazine

Hundreds gathered inside Morgan Manufacturing for small bites provided by Monteverde, Dos Urban Cantina, Swift & Sons, Stan’s Donuts, and more, and specialty cocktails by the city’s best mixologists and wines from Chloe Wine Collection.

Event, Best of Chicago

Photo: Chicago Magazine

Mario Tricoci was on hand offering manicures, makeup touch-ups and massages, and Kia was showing off some new rides.

Event, Chicago Magazine

Photo: Chritiques at Best of Chicago Event

The evening’s charitable partner, SOS Children’s Villages, which builds Villages that unite brothers and sisters in foster care, surround them with a community of hope, and help them grow into caring and productive adults, spread its mission to the attendees, as well.

Event, Chicago Magazine

Photo: Chritiques at Best of Chicago Event

DJ Lani Love, voted Best DJ in the Readers’ Choices awards in 2015, ramped up the revelry and capped off the evening by getting everybody dancing and celebrating some of Chicago’s best. Overall, it was a wonderful evening of sampling bites and drinks from some of the city’s top restaurants, bars and mixologists, being pampered, and celebrating Chicago in one spot.

Tastefully,

Christina

While I received complimentary passes to this event, all opinions expressed herein are my own. 

Chicago, Private Club

University Club of Chicago

The University Club of Chicago, one of the nation’s finest private clubs which was founded more than a century ago, exists to broaden opportunities in the business world, and to nurture and sustain social successes. Established in 1887, the Club was founded for the purpose of fostering an appreciation of literature and the arts. College or university graduation remains the basic requirement for membership, and within the membership nearly every business and profession is represented. In addition to professional and social opportunities, the Club also offers unparalleled food and beverage offerings, a bevy of cultural programs, and well-appointed accommodations for members and guests.

Chicago, Private Club

Photo: The University Club of Chicago

I recently visited the Club in order to tour the facilities and learn more about its dining program. James Beard nominee Mark Baker has served as Executive Chef of the Club since 2002, after nearly 23 years with the Four Seasons Hotel Group. During his time at the Club, Baker has brought his sensible, distinct style of cooking to each area, blending the history and tradition that make it such a unique place. And, the food at the Club is one of the reasons why I selected it to be my wedding venue in 2012!

Chicago, Private Club

Photo: Chritiques at The University Club of Chicago

The Club offers various dining options, depending on the time of day and year. During my visit, I dined on the patio of the Gallery, which is open from May through September, and boasts one of the finest views of Millennium Park and Chicago’s lakefront. The Gallery is open for lunch, dinner and cocktails, and focuses on local produce, seasonal ingredients, and a tapas-inspired menu of shareable plates.

Chicago, Private Club

Photo: Chritiques at The University Club of Chicago

During colder months, Cathedral Hall is available for fine dining during dinner hours; College Hall offers self-service lunch dining; and the Front Grill offers a full service grill menu seven days a week, for breakfast, lunch and weekend brunch. And, rumor has it that the Club is currently building out an 8th floor rooftop deck that is slated to open late summer, 2017, and will be available to members only for food and drinks.

Chicago, Private Club

Photo: The University Club of Chicago

Built in 1908, the Club recently underwent a full renovation of its guest rooms, featuring Restoration Hardware bedding and Molton Brown bath amenities. Additionally, the Club offers a wide range of special events and activities, as well as several special interest groups, which foster both business and personal relationships with other members.

Chicago, Private Club

Photo: The University Club of Chicago

The Club is also well-known for its squash program, and courts, leagues and lessons are all available, in addition to a full service Pro Shop. Additionally, a strength training center, cardio center, golf center and aquatics center are all available in the Club.

Chicago, Private Club

Photo: The University Club of Chicago

For those interested in membership at the University Club of Chicago, initiation fees are currently being waived. To learn more about membership, please email membership@ucco.com or call (312) 696-2226.

University Club of Chicago

76 East Monroe Street, Chicago, IL 60603

Tastefully,

Christina

While I received a complimentary meal in order to facilitate this post, all opinions expressed herein are my own. 

Chicago Loop

Revival Food Hall

Forget what you think when you hear the phrase “food hall.” A sleek, modern version will be arriving in Chicago’s Loop any day now, and it is unlike any other. Operated by Chicago hospitality collective 16″ On Center (Moneygun, Dusek’s, Longman & Eagle, among others), Revival Food Hall is an all-local dining concept spotlighting the best of Chicago’s acclaimed culinary scene all in one spot.

Chicago Loop

Photo: Nick Fochtman, Eater Chicago

The massive, 24,000 square foot venue is located in the heart of The Loop and on the ground floor of the fully restored 1907 Daniel Burnham designed building, The National. Featured are 15 of Chicago’s favorite neighborhood restaurants in a grab-and-go setting, plus a handful of all-new, quick-serve concepts from several acclaimed Chicago chefs. Some vendors offer wine, beer and cocktails, with Revival Bar serving draft cocktails, as well.

Chicago Loop

Photo: Chritiques at Revival Food Hall

The space is modern and bright, with a high-energy atmosphere that promotes people to get in and get out, rather than linger over a long meal. Counter seating is available at some of the kiosks, with communal seating spread throughout the space, as well.

Chicago Loop

Photo: Nick Fochtman, Eater Chicago

Breakfast-time favorites will include a stop at Graze Kitchenette for the Avocado Matcha bowl, with mango, coconut, goji berry, lime and granola, Harvest Juicery for Green Juice #3, and at the Revival Café for La Colombe’s Draft Latte. You have not had a latte until you have had a La Colombe Draft Latte.

Chicago Loop

Photo: Chritiques at Revival Food Hall

Popular lunch spots will be Smoque BBQ for some of the best ribs and brisket in the city, The Budlong for Nashville Hot Chicken, Antique Taco for its Crispy Fish Tacos and House Rosemary Margarita, the food truck favorite The Fat Shallot for Grilled Cheese and Truffle Fries, Aloha Pokê Co. for pokê bowls that all the kids are going crazy for, and, especially in the winter or when fighting a lingering cold, Furious Spoon for the Citrus Chicken Shio Ramen that will have you sweating from the first slurp.

Chicago Loop

Photo: Chritiques at Revival Food Hall

And how can you forget dessert? Three words: Black Dog Gelato. With a rotating menu of seven options, made fresh in-house daily, cones, cups, and both Root Beer and Turkish Floats will be available. Chicago pastry queen Mindy Segal of Mindy’s Hot Chocolate is also in the house, serving up her acclaimed cookies, hot chocolate, and other sweets.

Chicago Loop

Photo: Black Dog Gelato

Finally, for happy hour, Revival’s bar will be serving beer, wine and cocktails, and Danke, from the team behind the popular Logan Square restaurant Table, Donkey & Stick, will serve customizable charcuterie and cheese plates designed to pair with a curated list of unique and affordable wines and craft beers.

Hungry Loop workers, rejoice!

Revival Food Hall

125 South Clark Street, Chicago

Hours: Monday – Friday, 7:00 a.m. – 7:00 p.m.

Tastefully,

Christina

River North, Chicago

Joy District

In the space that Epic used to call home, the folks behind Hubbard Inn have masterfully renovated the interior, and overhauled the menu of shared plates, meats and seafood, and have recently reopened the three-level monolith called Joy District. Where Epic was more about the weekend drinking scene, Joy District concentrates on food, but still offers a trendy bar where you can see and be seen, and enjoy an array of specialty and classic cocktails, and a formidable listing of wine and beer offerings.

River North, Chicago

Photo: Chicago Magazine

Joy District’s first floor is the main dining area, while it’s second floor will be used almost exclusively for private events. Its rooftop, opening Thursday, will resemble what you would find at a high-end Miami nightclub, with white drapery, chic brown furniture, and unmistakable River North views.

River North, Chicago

Photo: Chritiques at Joy District

Order the St. Germain Cocktail or an Old Fashioned and peruse the menu. All items are plenty large to share among two or more people. The Grilled Spanish Octopus Tacos are a must-order. Three flour tortillas are filled with marinated octopus, sweet corn relish, green garlic aioli and micro arugula. It was the best thing that I have tried at Joy District.

River North, Chicago

Photo: Chritiques at Joy District

Skip the unmemorable Spicy Tuna Hamachi Roll, however, and order a Burrata & Heirloom Tomato salad for the table. Wedges of seasonal heirloom tomatoes are served along side sweet & sour onions, buttery grilled bread, and a lovely aged balsamic. The creamy Burrata melds the flavors together and melts in your mouth.

River North, Chicago

Photo: Chritiques at Joy District

The Spiced Wedge salad is just huge, and can be described as a sightlier healthy version of nachos. Too salty for my taste, an entire head of iceberg lettuce is served with a chipotle buttermilk dressing, corn bread croutons, fire roasted chilis, cilantro, avocado, and baked black beans. This salad has a lot going on, and quite powerful flavors.

River North, Chicago

Photo: Chritiques at Joy District

The Sautéed Sea Scallops make for an excellent entree, also worthy of sharing. The perfectly seared and meaty scallops sit atop a bed of nicely cooked sweet pea risotto, with Cippolini onions, pea tendrils, and shaved Marcona almonds, along with a drizzle of white balsamic.

River North, Chicago

Photo: Chritiques at Joy District

The “Jucy Lucy” Slagel Farm Cheese Burger may be the only item on the menu not easily shared. The cheddar cheese-filled burger with both grilled and raw onion and house made pickles makes for a messy meal. I found the house made tots served on the side to be quite doughy and lacking flavor, but they were improved by the house made ketchup that had notes of cinnamon. Skip the burger, and stick with the shareables.

River North, Chicago

Photo: Chritiques at Joy District

Forego the Blueberry Lemon Cake, which other than the buttermilk sorbet I found to be inedible, and head to the rooftop for an after dinner drink and some excellent people watching.

River North, Chicago

Photo: Chritiques at Joy District

Joy District is a great spot to grab an after work drink, or to enjoy dinner with friends. It is open seven days a week,  beginning at 3 p.m., until late night. Reservations are accepted.

Joy District

112 West Hubbard Street, Chicago, Illinois 60654

Tastefully,

Christina

While my meal was complimentary, all opinions expressed herein are my own.