So...I ate snails...

Hello Joyflakes!

This past weekend, we went to visit Misha's family in Chicago. Her aunt from California was visiting for a family wedding and Misha was going to be her date. So we took it as an opportunity to come and see everyone at once.

We met up with everyone at her sisters's house and headed off to 90 Miles, an amazing Cuban restaurant for dinner. This was the second time that Misha and I had been there (the first was for a friends birthday party) and it may be one of my favorite places to eat in the city. The empanadas are spectacular and I'm pretty sure I would eat anything that came out of that kitchen. SO GOOD!

After dinner, we headed back to the apartment, picked up Izzy, and walked a few blocks over to Black Dog Gelato. I got blackberry passion fruit and graham cracker and it was OUTSTANDING. The perfect balance of sweet and tart. On previous visits I had gotten milk stout and salted caramel...basically every flavor they create is delicious and over the course of the weekend I ate a LOT of gelato...when in Rome Chicago, eh?

The next day, Misha and her aunt headed off to Michigan for the wedding and I spent the day with her sister and her sister's fiancé. We had originally planned on going to a museum and to the dog park but it was such a beautiful day that we ended up skipping the museum. Instead, we ran some errands and went for a long walk and some dog park time.

After the dog park, we headed home to change clothes and then went for an early dinner at The Cotton Duck.

The Cotton Duck is a Chicago restaurant and art gallery where the menu changes with the artwork. We were seated in their patio, which was probably the cutest patio I have ever seen in my life. It was full of bistro lights, sculptures, and flowers. And with the entrance to the street looking somewhat like a brightly painted construction wall, it is like walking into a secret garden in the middle of the city.

The current installation is called "Forage" and all of the food had a very earthy, organic feel. The portions sizes are small so I would definitely suggest an appetizer. We opted for the burrata and it was fantastic.

The Cotton Duck, like many of the restaurants in Chicago, is BYOB, which I love because it makes not drinking really easy. It also o means that there are REALLY good options for non-alcoholic cocktails. I opted for the Monarchy, which was a mixture of peach rooibos and champagne peach sparkling water.

For my main course, I asked our server for a suggestion of what she thought was the best dish on the menu and orders that. The Alaskan Halibut. It was served over fennel with escargot tapenade and a drizzle of olive oil.

Not only do I love halibut, but I've always wanted to try escargot. Served as a tapenade, it was much less scary than if it had been served in the shell so this was a perfect opportunity.

After a delicious dinner, we had just enough room for dessert. So, we walked back past Black Dog Gelato and stopped for a scoop (or two).

Talk about a perfect day in Chicago! Have you ever been to The Cotton Duck? Where is your favorite place to eat in the city, I'd love some suggestions for when we go back in June!