State and Lake Chicago Tavern. _
An expressive menu from award-winning chefs, one of the best cocktails in America 2014 and an extensive selection of beer with welcoming service.
When I first walked into The State and Lake Chicago Tavern, a great warm energy ran through me. The warmth and darkness from the gastropub vibe complemented by a dining area filled with the an array of people. Both families, guests from the Wit hotel and even a tour group sat catching up in the late Sunday morning.
My eyes were drawn to the amazing artwork on the wall adding to the sexy lounge feel. Our server ( Luis ) was warmly welcoming of us and showed the same consistency with other patrons. The easy to read menu was much appreciated in the somewhat dimly lit dining room. I have been here twice before with a group of friends. We stopped by at the State, and Lake Tavern after my friends have run the biannual half marathons. After they burn all their calories running, they enjoy coming here to fill up with some good food and drinks. State and Lake Chicago Tavern has a consistently satisfying menu and these running friends I call friends love it.
The menu is selection is big enough and well thought out. The selections include variations for everyone from traditional brunch lovers to the more healthy eater and even pastry and or meat lovers. My favorites include all the egg selections, the pastry chef's whim, and burgers.
The more popular brunch items on the menu are the smoked salmon bagel, the tavern Benedict, and crispy chicken & malted waffle.
A healthier option is the Egg white omelet with a green energy smoothie and fruit.
Meat lovers will enjoy the crispy fried chicken thigh served with a malted waffle.Completely decadent and so delicious. The steak and eggs, fried chicken buckets and the butcher burger are all superb options for those nursing a hangover.
For those of you with a sweet tooth the light and fluffy roasted apple pancakes, the hearty bread pudding french toast and amazingly soft biscuits all created by pastry chef Toni Roberts.
For beer enthusiasts, I strongly suggest you plan a weekend stop here. They have beer brunch menu featuring Two Brothers Brewing Company paired with their favorite menu items. My favorite pairings are the
- Smoked Salmon Benedict with the Ebel's Weiss
- Crispy Chicken Thigh & Waffle with the Wobble IPA
- Bread Pudding French Toast with the Peppermint Bark Porter
I started with chef cut market fruits. The serving included berries and other seasonal fruit served with refreshing citrus cream. It was a perfect starter to prepare my palate before my main course.
The Smoked Salmon Benedict usually paired with the Ebel's Weiss. I love stout beer, so I switched to Peppermint Bark Porter. Smoked Salmon Benedict was an outstanding choice served with homemade shallot hollandaise, creme fraiche, and cured Meyer lemon. The combination was by far one of the best benedicts I have had in a long time. The Peppermint Bark Porter is luxurious smooth medium body beer with a great peppermint chocolate tones. For the adventurous this is a must try item.
Steak and eggs offering features grass-fed New York strip served with house made tavern potatoes and roasted shishito mushrooms. The steak was well seasoned and cooked to perfection. The tavern potato was a standout in its merit boasting a crispy outside and tender inside.
For those of us looking to hang onto these mild December temperatures, the aptly named SUMMER DON’T GO cocktail features Hendrick's gin, st.germain elderflower liqueur, lemon juice, spindrift sparkling grapefruit soda, hopped grapefruit bitters. This cocktail will have you dreaming of rooftop parties on a summer night.
Atmosphere: A warm and inviting gastro-pub in a popular hotel.
For the healthy choice: the Egg white omelet, green energy smoothie, and chef cut market fruit.
For meat lovers choice: Crispy Chicken thigh and malted waffle, steak and eggs, fried chicken buckets and the butcher burger.
For Sweet pastry lovers: Roasted apple pancakes, bread pudding french toast and biscuits ( Created by BY PASTRY CHEF TONI ROBERTS)
What to drink: craft cocktails, wine and an extensive selection of beer.
Thank you for stopping by and reading.
JELLYFISH_: - fresh fish sushi, great desserts, fun mixologist created drinks and good service. Jellyfish solidified itself as one of the best sushi restaurants on Gold Coast.
I got an invite from “The Strange Foods Chicago” to tag along toJellyfish this past week to photograph some food. I was blown away that the food not only photographed well but tasted phenomenal.
With it sleek interior, cool blue lighting and incredible skylight Jellyfish, made me feel like I was inside the Shedd Aquarium jellyfish display, made only better with the stellar sushi and sublime cocktails.
The menu has a largely Pan-Asian influence. On the Dinner menu, you will find roasted pork belly, spicy chili tofu, squid cucumber salad and togarashi fries.The brunch menu has a distinctly Asian flair like New York steak salad with yuzu vinaigrette, the ginger waffle and 5 spice french toast. Many of the dishes have a decidedly French influenced style flair.
The standouts on the sushi menu are Kiss of fire, Sweet P and Torched salmon offerings.
Hector , the head chef creates the dishes including his signature ramen broth which he says takes 10 hours cooking for it to be just perfect to the taste.
Kiss of fire: - spicy tuna inside the roll topped with white tuna, salmon garnish with jalapeno and wasabi tobiko. Spicy tuna brought the roll to life with a great compliment from fresh salmon and the white tuna gave the roll a nice balance.
TorchedSalmon:-crispy shrimp, sweet potato and avocado tucked inside the roll topped with torched smoked salmon and spicy mayo. This quickly became one of my favorite sushi bites in the city so far with a great smoky flavor from the charcoal torched salmon. Simply delicious and awakes all the senses.
Sweet P: spinach and sweet potato tempura, cream cheese and avocado inside the roll with outside rice rolled with wasabi tobiko. Crunchy and creamy roll an especially delicious treat for vegetarians.
As I took pictures and sampled of all these bite sized pieces of heaven from their menu, the
bartender Oliver Figueroa made me a black cherry Old Fashioned. I had not had a whiskey in over 4 months and this old fashioned was the best way for me to be welcomed back into the world of whiskey.The hints of orange bitters, black cherry syrup, and the cherry liqueur made this drink perfection.
I couldn't leave without trying their dessert menu. I embraced the idea that the sugar rush was inevitable and ignored the fact that I had 5 different desserts for one sitting.
Warm Banana Donut: - bruleed bananas, blueberry compote based served with espresso cream and vanilla ice cream. This banana donut hole was a decadent surprise, and the combination of flavors is a party in your mouth.
Taro Bread Pudding: - Traditional bread pudding, taro sauce with vanilla ice cream. I found the bread pudding was so light and luxurious much like pillow floating on a heavenly taro sauce.
Ginger Apple spring roll: -a crispy apple spring roll seasoned with cinnamon sugar and served with a side with mango sorbet topped with orange candied peel. This dessert can on initial contact be too sweet so savor the sour bite of candied orange peel as it will cut the sweetness just enough.
Green tea panna cotta: - a silky custard with green tea flavor served with wild berry compote and strawberry sorbet. The combination of the custard, sorbet, and compote, while similar in texture, the flavors compliment each other well and make for a not overly sugary dessert. Definitely one of my favorites.
Chocolate Brownie: - a Chocolate brownie topped with vanilla ice cream and a vodka cream served with bruleed banana. I liked this dessert to a chocolate martini on a plate. The perfectly bruleed bananas were a delightful surprise.
Atmosphere: Lounge concept with vibrant under the ocean colors.
What to eat: Brunch - Ginger waffles ( 8 ), Tamago Omelet ( 11 )
Sushi - Torched Salmon (18),Cherry blossom ( 33 )
Dinner - Roasted pork belly (20),Oxtail Dumpling ( 14 )
Dessert -Green tea panna cotta ( 8 ),Warm Banana Donut (8)
What to drink: crafted cocktails, wines, sake, and imported beer. Olive Figueroa, the bartender, can help to create your favorite drink.
Where to sit: If you come for the drink and sushi, sit in the bar area. For sunlight, lovers sit down in the open area.
Thank you for stopping by and reading :)
Day trips always are an opportunity to appreciate sights and sounds that are not too far from home.
Last Sunday was all about friends, food and some photos. I spent a perfect fall day in New Buffalo, Michigan, which was only an hour drive.
My Taylor Swift playlist set the tone for what was to be a good day. The quaint little beach town is almost empty at this time of year but still had an inviting feel to it.
We grabbed some lunch at The Stray Dog Bar & Grill where my Cobb salad was the perfect cure after Halloween fun night. My amazing Cobb salad: mixed greens, chicken, avocado, chopped eggs, tomatoes, bacon, red onions, green peppers and Blue cheese served on a big round plate with a side of balsamic vinaigrette. The salad itself is a great healthy way with little help from a nice balance balsamic vinaigrette made it to the home run.
The following lunch; we walked to the beach where the blue sky and sun made Lake Michigan look almost tropical. Three different shades of blue danced on the horizon. The contrast of blue against to brown beach grass just screamed to be photographed.
My friends who always take pictures of them too. Later we left the beach and headed to an apple farm. Rows and rows of apples to sample and pick at our leisure. I left with a bag full of them for an upcoming apple pie recipe on my blog.
Last Sunday was fun and perfect, nice warm weather of fall. Just four friends were enjoying a perfect fall day.
Happy Sunday Everyone
What a long weekend for me but I enjoyed it so much in between work / food styling/ photographer. I haven't cooked anything new this weekend. All I did was working as photographer/food styling. Styling food alongside with tasting some new dishes from a new spot in the west town called "JJ Thai Street food restaurant".
For Chicagoan, who live in the west town, river west, Ukrainian Village and Logan square ....... This is the new spot for you all to try.
The menu is focused on street food dishes that famous and staple from Thailand, as Khao mun gai, Bamee haeng moo daeng or som tom.
Khao mun gai is beautifully presented in a colorful dish and served with fresh cucumber alongside with traditional spicy soy sauce and traditional Thai squash simmered in chicken broth.
Bamee haeng moo daeng is one of the most famous noodle dish from Thailand. Egg noodle infused with garlic oil and soy sauce presented in a traditional big bowl and served with steamed vegetables topped with BBQ pork and Gyo tod ( fried wonton stuffed with marinated ground chicken).
Som tom is luscious presented with variety of colorful vegetables ( tomatoes, papaya, green beans and carrots ) served in a unique bowl alongside with fresh lettuces. A fresh and tasty papaya salad comes topped with roasted peanut gives a crunchy and nutty to this fresh papaya salad, A dish makes me feel like I am in Thailand.
I would recommend this place for easy lunch, Brunch through dinner or date night. Plus this place is BYOB....
Atmosphere: The open kitchen is the focal point of this chic restaurant, interactive with the chef and her team. Which edge counter provides guests a front-row, filled with charm and personality.
What to drink: BYOB
What to eat: Som tom (8$), Bamee haeng moo daeng (8$), Khao mun gai (9$) and Gyo tod (4$)
Soft Opening day: October 14,2015 for Friends and Family's
Have a good week everyone
Hi, I am Natty! And Thank you for stopping by!! I am a foodie girl who has a passion for cooking, exercise and photography. There are so many favorite recipes from my family and friends I have tried throughout my journey that balances out and makes a healthy meal. I would like to take you on a journey to a different pantry around the world to share my favorite stories and recipes. My hope is that they inspire and benefit you.
"You love someone, you open yourself up to suffering, that's the sad truth. Maybe they'll break your heart, maybe you'll break their heart and never be able to look at yourself in the same way. Those are the risks. That's the burden.Like wings, they have weight, we feel that weight on our backs, but they are a burden that lifts us. Burdens which allow us" Bones
Don't wait for the perfect moment,take the moment and make it perfect. - Zoey Sayward-