Maggiano’s! My Personal Little Italy

Love, love, love this place!

I have to start by talking about the restaurant itself as a whole being one of my favorites. The atmosphere is truly family oriented. I have been to many Maggiano locations, but this one is by far my favorite!

The service here is incredible. I was greeted by the host staff immediately upon walking in. I believe the girl mentioned her name to be Cici. Reminds me of a childhood favorite pizza spot, so I was already enjoying talking to her. They had a bit of a wait that evening, but I wasn’t surprised because of how popular they are. The hostess assured me that I would be seated shortly, and offered a spot near the bar at high tops or the bar itself to grab a glass of wine while I waited. I really liked this offer because in my opinion she did a great job of comforting our group since we had a bit of a wait but kept us involved by recommending starting with a drink. She made sure to check in with us and kept us laughing till a table became available. That definitely made the wait seem much shorter, and we were seated before we knew it.

Once seated our wait staff was wonderful! Very attentive and kept making sure our water was full and our food was out in a timely fashion. The food was incredible per usual, and I love their portion sizes. They always have amazing deals going on and the take home options are the greatest.

I don’t even know where to begin about the food. It’s so delicious and the kitchen staff cooks to perfection. I have basically had everything on their menu, since I am a major food connoisseur. My favorite would have to be the Spaghetti & Meatball and Chef KB’s Lobster Carbonara (when I used to be able to eat seafood).

I have never utilized them for banquet services, but I sure plan to for my gender reveal and baby shower!!

Photo of Maggiano's Little Italy - Skokie, IL, United States. Spaghetti with meat sauce and meatballs.
Photo of Maggiano's Little Italy - Skokie, IL, United States. Maggiano's is a great place for lunch, brunch, cocktails, and celebrations!

Photo of Maggiano's Little Italy - Skokie, IL, United States. lobster carbonara

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Moretti’s I’m Sad to Say Goodbye

I hate having to say goodbye to one of my most favorite restaurants! I was probably the happiest person to have Moretti’s open in Morton Grove. It’s been a spot I have been coming to since opening day with my friends. It’s become a local hangout spot for us. We watch all our games here, enjoy evenings out on the patio, and I was even planning to use them for my gender reveal, baby shower, and large scale events through the University I work for. However, all of that has changed due to a particular staff member. Unfortunately, this staff member decided to personally attack me verbally after work hours through facebook. She brought in her personal opinion on my pregnancy and what I eat/drink at Moretti’s.

This was quite upsetting for me due to the fact that I am a well educated person who has several degrees, & I have the best doctors and medical professionals through my health insurance. I am in amazing health as is my baby. I enjoy Moretti’s because their food is not only delicious but their banquets seemed like the perfect fit for me. I have at least spent over a couple hundred to a thousand dollars in service here.

My doctor said it was perfectly safe for me to have a non alcoholic beer along with my food at this restaurant/bar with my friends because I am free to live my life. I am pregnant, not in jail. In no way would I ever dream of harming my child and this waitress assumed the worst and belittled me, as well as harassed me for days. She made claims that DCFS would take my child, that I am a bad soon to be mother, and many more allegations that were untrue.

I heard that during pregnancy everyone will weigh in their opinions; however, I never believed it would be to this extent!!

I do not like to call out staff members by name, but Sara Dolan caused quite a stressful experience for me at Moretti’s (especially during my pregnancy) and although I had a chance to speak with management and they assured me it would not continue, it did continue. She continued to message and harass me even when I was not responding to any of her messages or comments.I was also made aware by her that an upper management manager (Gary) ignored my complaint and supposedly, “He really doesn’t care” I have never felt more upset by an establishment.

I have to say, I will not be returning there and I hope people, especially expecting Mothers, take their business to more respectable places such as Maggiano’s or other restaurants that can accommodate woman who are pregnant and not make them feel as though they are a bad person for enjoying some food with their friends over a Bears or Cubs game. I feel extremely sad for this establishment, seeing as this is how employees treat well paying customers.

It’s a sad day for me to say my goodbyes! Take care my old friend, and if staff changes I hope to return one day.

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DryHop Brewers.

If you love hop-centric ales, IPAs and Pale Ales, Belgian, and experimental craft beers – DryHop’s brewmaster, is a ninja-genius when it comes to balancing elements like acidity, bitterness, aroma and mouthfeel to derive the perfect combination of flavor.  They believe in the power of the palate over a recipe any day.

They brew more than 150 in-house beers since they opened in 2013, and the styles range from seasonal IPAs to traditional Belgian farmhouse ales.


.EAT.

“Craft beer culture on a plate.”

As a regular DryHop patron, I would say my husband/friends & I will stopover there at least once a week. The menu constantly brims with dishes showcasing the flavors and seasonality of the brewery.

My personal favorite on their menu is The Burger! Mind you this is no ordinary burger.  It was named one of, 2013’s Best Burgers in Chicago.

The burger is blended from brisket and short rib with a chile-tomato jam, aged cheddar, arugula, and pickled sweet onions. You also have the option to add Applewood Smoked Bacon and/or an Egg) (which are both optional, but we know you’ll do the right thing). Now go eat!


.DRINK.

 SHARK MEETS HIPSTER

  • WHEAT IPA—6.5%

It is literally your next love affair. Light bodied American Wheat Ale featuring truckloads of Galaxy hops. Expect strong notes of passion fruit.

This is my FAVORITE beer on tap. This is one of their very first brews. It’s a bit lighter, without all the fresh citrus aroma; something licoricey, prickly, and herbal mingles with peach and white grape, and the bitter finish reminds me of grapefruit. It pairs wonderfully with the burger and much of their other menu items as well.  I was impartial to it at first, but it has quickly grown into my first choice.


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New Year New Food

New Year’s Eve is considered one of the most overrated holiday’s. Which is why my husband and I considered changing up our plans.  Both of us being large food connoisseurs decided it would be nice to incorporate delicious noms along with wine/drink pairings.

Along with us, we had some friends and family join us at a popular restaurant in Lakeview, Chicago – Bites Asian Tapas.

Many of Bites’ bites have a fusiony flair. Korean sliders incorporate pork shoulder marinated in a Korean sauce. The spicy Thai steak is called Crying Tiger with lettuce, cherry tomatoes, and avocado in corn tortillas. Oriental Paella resembles crab fried rice with scallions, cherry tomatoes, white onions, carrot, and daikon. Drunk Chicks were fried boneless chicken karaage, with house whiskey soy sauce.

The special that evening was Fried Lemongrass Quail with soy-lemongrass marinade served with tamarind lime sauce from their Special Menu.

    

Their small plates makes it easy to share amongst everyone, and provided us great drink options to pair our delicious dinner. The Pink Lotus Cocktail was the perfect drink. Bringing the natural colors of a Lotus to this cocktail makes it perfect to be enjoyed on a special evening such as this one.

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If you are ever in Chicago, it’s worth checking out! Sake, sake, sake bomb!

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Wurst lunch 😉😋

If your dining in Lake Geneva, stopping at Sprecher’s is a MUST!

From trendy German beers to impeccable sausages, you feel right in Germany. My husband and I travel to Lake Geneva once a year starting the day after Christmas, and we wouldn’t miss a good old Oktoberfest & Bloody Mary, paired with the Wisconsin’s Best Wurst Platter.

The Oktoberfest is traditionally brewed to celebrate the harvest season, this reddish-brown lager has a rich caramel character and a long flavorful finish. Its delicious malty sweetness is nicely accented by a slightly fruity bouquet and a mild hop flavor.

The Wurst platter uses Bockwurst, Knockwurst and Weisswurst served with house-made spaetzle and spicy red cabbage. Spicy beer mustard served on the side

Check out more of our photos on Instagram & hope you make a point to visit!! 

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