Category Archives: Chicago Hotels

Loire Valley Wine Tasting in Chicago at the W Hotel on Lake Shore Drive

French red wine from the Loire Valley region o...

Image via Wikipedia

What a great day for the Loire Valley French Wine Tasting on the 33rd floor of W Hotel on Lake Shore Drive in Chicago. It was definitely a Vino con Vista opportunity with plenty of French wine and wine-makers. The central part of the  Loire Valley between Sully-sur-Loire and Chalonnes-sur-Loire in France was added to the UNESCO World Heritage Site List  in  2000.

 

The Loire is the longest river in France and it is characterized by elegant historic chateaux and 300 miles of distinctive terroir that supports numerous vineyards along the river banks. This region is the leading producer of white French wines. The region is cloaked  with lovely vineyards and microclimates that produce distinctive varietals and wine styles. It is one of the most diverse wine regions in France with 69 appelations that include red, white, elegant sparkling wines and refreshing rose wines. There are distinct climates and a variety of soil types that divide the Loire Valley into 5 distinct regions.

The first vines were probably planted during Roman occupation 2000 years ago. Afterwards, the Augustinian and Benedictine Brothers enhanced the wine-making practices in this region.

I tasted some interesting Rose wines and plenty of earthy 100% Cabernet Franc. Cabernet Franc is one of the world’s major red grape varieties and was introduced to the region in the 11th century. It  is frequently blended with Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot to produce a Bordeaux style wine. In the Loire region, it is  not blended with other grapes so it is lighter in color than Bordeaux blends. It is used in the development of Chinon and certain roses in the Touraine appelation.

Today I spoke to Philippe Porche, a charming wine-maker from the Saumur-Champigny region in Parnay located on the south bank of the Loire River decreed an AOC in 1957.  Cabernet Franc is the predominant grape in the area.  He and his viticulturist wife founded the estate in 2005 and produce some interesting Cabernet Franc wines. I favored the garnet-colored full-bodied and velvety  “Le Fou du Roi” that was aged in oak.  This lovely couple is looking for an importer @ www.domainederocheville.fr. Feel free to contact them if you are interested in importing  luscious wines from this region. Tell them that Vino con Vista sent you.

There is a breathtaking view of Lake Michigan, Navy Pier and Chicago’s Landmark high rises from the former “Pinnacle Room” of the hotel where I spent my Senior Prom.Chicago Illinois It’s always exciting to re-live your youth.

Chicago Architecture

Domaine de Roche Ville Winery

Lake Michigan

It was such a beautiful spring day that I decided to stroll down Ontario Street heading westbound after the wine-tasting. I longingly gazed at the wide array of restaurants on Ontario Street that I patronize. They run the gamut from divine to sublime. Here’s a sampling of my “Chicago Foodie Nation” favorites:

Les Nomades is an outstanding French Restaurant that offers a Prix Fixe menu of four courses for $115 in a swanky turn-of-the-century brownstones mansion on Ontario Street. It is the perfect place to enjoy French cuisine after a Loire Valley wine-tasting event at the W Hotel down the street.

Chicago Restaurants

Chicago French Restaurants

Another one of my favorites is the Capital Grille Steakhouse where I can’t stop eating the crunchy potato chips at the bar. I love the grilled salmon served over a bed of  veggies with a side of creamed spinach. They have an extensive wine list and have won numerous awards for their outstanding burgers!

Chicago RestaurantsOntario and St. Clair in Chicago

Capital Grille ChicagoChicago Restaurants

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Italian Restaurants in Chicago

Chicago Italian Restaurants

Across the street from the Capital Grille, I enjoy dining on the outdoor patio of the Coco Pazzo Cafe when the weather is nice. They have an outstanding lunch menu and recently won an award from the Italian government for their “Authentic” Italian cuisine. Quartino was another “Authentic” Italian-award winning restaurant. I took cooking lessons with the chef and he taught me to add some water from the pasta to my sauce–what a novel idea!! The Red Head Piano Bar is another one of my favorites night spots. They have great wine-tasintg events.

Authentic Italian Restaurants in ChicagoRestaurants in Chicago

There are plenty of famous classic Chicago  “Steak-Houses” on Ontario. Lawry’s serves an incredible Prime Rib and I love the “Aged Filet Mignon” and mushrooms at David Burke’s Primehouse in the James Hotel. The Chicago Chop House has a wide array of delicious “sizzlin steaks.”

You will never be hungry or thirsty on Ontairo Street in Chicago. This city is a haven for Foodies!

Chicago is a Haven for Foodies

Chicago Steak HouseDavid Burke's Primehouse

Stop in at the the Hard Rock Cafe if you’re up for some live music. There are also some landmark fast food joints on Ontario including “Rock and Roll” McDonalds with a Rock and Roll Museum filled with memorabilia that my guitar-playing son adores.

Portillo’s has a great Italian Beef sandwich and classic Chicago hot dog and the drive-thru is always packed. Make sure you try the decadent chocolate cake . Chicago DestinationsM Burger is another fast food option that people are raving about.

Chicago Hot Dogs and Beef Sandwiches

Burgers in Chicago

Plan a trip to the Loire Valley and explore some of the majestic castles with spectacular medieval architecture: Chambord, Cheverny, Villandry and Chenonceau.

 

1. Villandry was built by the same man that designed much of Chambord (François I Finance Minister Jean Le Breton). Villandry is actually most renowned for what is outside of the castle. However, while Chambord remains Le Breton’s main achievement in construction, it is Villandry where he used all of the Renaissance gardening tricks he had picked up while working as an ambassador in Italy. The castle remained in the Le Breton family until the early 20th century, when it was purchased by Joachim Carvallo, who spent a whole of time, money and devotion to rebuilding, expanding and repairing the beautiful gardens. Today the gardens at Villandry are considered one of the best examples of Renaissance style gardens in the world and boasts a water garden, flower gardens and vegetable gardens laid out in formal patterns created with low box hedges—making it a must-see on any castle tour of the Loire.

2. Chambord is one of France’s most recognizable castles known for its distinct French Renaissance architecture, which blends late French Gothic and newer Italian Renaissance motifs. Chambord is also the largest castle in the Loire. Chambord was first built by King Francois I as a hunting lodge (I know you picture a hunting lodge as being more of a log cabin than a magnificent model of French Renaissance architecture, but it was a KING’S hunting lodge, after all).  Chambord has 440 rooms, 365 fireplaces and 84 staircases. It is most known for its façade, which through more than 800 sculpted columns was designed to look like the skyline of Constantinople, with 11 kinds of different towers and different types of chimneys. Chambord also has a double-helix staircase that serves as the centerpiece to the castle and was rumored to have been designed (or inspired) by Leonardo da Vinci during his time at nearby Clos de Luce.

4. Chenonceau is one of my favorite castles in the Loire Valley. Chennonceau was built in 1513 by Catherine Briçonnet and later embellished by Diane de Poitiers and Catherine de’ Medici, the Chateau de Chenonceau contains exquisite interiors and has idyllic gardens that look over River Cher.

Originally a small castle along the banks of the River Cher, the castle got its current design in the 16th century when it was seized by the crown for unpaid debts. In 1547, King Henri II offered the castle to his mistress, Diane de Poitiers. and she had Chenonceau’s  arched bridge built. It spans the river. She is also responsible for the gorgeous flower and vegetable gardens set in buttressed stone terraces.

Upon King Henri II’s death in 1559, his clearly bitter widow and regent Catherine de Medici had Poitiers expelled from the castle and she moved into the scenic spot herself, adding even more extensive gardens. Since then the castle was privately owned for years and even used as a make-shift hospital for soldiers during WWII; its gallery bridge’s southern door provided access to the unoccupied Free Zone while the castle’s main entrance was in the Nazi occupied zone. Chenonceau today is one of the most visited and popular of the Loire castles and its Renaissance architecture and well-lit gallery and beautiful gardens.

5. Amboise is perched up on a strategic point along the Loire River and was originally built as a fort. In 1434, the castle was seized by King Charles VII after its owner (from which the castle got its name), Louis Amboise, was convicted and killed for supposedly plotting against the King. In the 15th century that the castle was lavishly rebuilt and added onto, starting with its late French Gothic architecture, until Italian builders were brought in and the castle’s style changed to Renaissance.While the castle became a favorite retreat for many French Kings (King François I was raised primarily at the castle), Amboise’s most famous guest was Leonardo da Vinci, who came to the castle in 1515 as a guest of the King and stayed in nearby Clos de Luce. What is most notable about Amboise, however, is known for its unique blend of Gothic and Renaissance architecture and large formal garden.

6. Blois was always a favorite getaway town for French kings; the castle in this quaint little Loire town is best known as the birthplace of King Louis XII as well as the primary residence for Henri IV’s exiled wife Marie de Medici, and later for the Duke of Orléans (brother of Louis XIII and uncle of Louis XIV). However, the castle has a long and prominent history and its Renaissance architecture and picturesque spot along the banks of the Loire make it a definite worthwhile stop on your Loire castle tour. In fact, the castle was the main resort for the French court during the 16th century and was also the location for the famed States General meetings held by Henri III in 1576 and 1588, where several prominent nobles were sentenced to death. The castle also plays a role in the famous Three Musketeers series by Alexandre Dumas as an important retreat for some of France’s most famous and powerful kings.

7. Cheverny was also given to Diane de Poitiers by her lover, King Henri II. Chenonceau was her favorite and primary residence. Poitiers sold Château de Cheverny to the former owner’s son who had originally built the castle between 1624 and 1630. The castle passed between owners until 1914, when the owner made it the first castle to be opened to the public; the family still owns and operates the castle to this day. The castle is renowned for its beautiful interiors and collection of furniture, tapestries and rare objects d’art. There is also a pack of about 70 dogs that are kept on the grounds and taken out for hunts twice weekly.

 

8. Clos Lucé is not really a  “Château de la Loire”; it is a large mansion located just 500 meters from  the Château d’Amboise by way of an underground passageway and is notable mostly for its most famous resident, Leonardo da Vinci. In 1515, King François I invited the Italian painter and inventor to Amboise and offered him the manor to use as a home and studio. When Da Vinci arrived in 1516 he came with three paintings, including the famed Mona Lisa, and lived in the mansion for the last three years of his life. Visitors to Amboise should not hesitate to hop on over to Clos Lucé, where you can peruse a museum that includes forty models of various machines designed by Leonardo.

9. Langeais is a perfect example of Medieval French architecture. It is located near the Brittany frontier and had a significant role in the battle between the French and English. The structure dates back to the 10th century and was built on a cliff which offered a strategic location overlooking the Loire River. The castle was actually fortified and expanded under the rule of Richard I of England (when English kings ruled this region of France) until King Philippe II of France recaptured the castle in 1206. The castle was also where Anne of Brittany and King Charles VIII wed, thus uniting France and Brittany. Today, the dark and ominous looking castle is replete with a great collection of Medieval tapestries.

Château de Langeais

 

 

Destinations in Chicago

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I Love the Oenology Wine Room in the Intercontinental Hotel in Chicago

From the California wine producer in the Centr...

From the California wine producer in the Central Coast (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Display your wine on a Barrel if you can find one

Display your wine on a Barrel if you can find one

Flavor Napa Valley Winemaker Dinner

Flavor Napa Valley Winemaker Dinner

Cathedral Ridge Winery

Cathedral Ridge Winery

If you feel like a wine-tasting event but you can’t find one, here’s a solution. I suggest that you check out the Oenology Wine Bar at the Intercontinental Hotel on Michigan Avenue in Chicago. This incredible Hotel was the former home of the Medinah Athletic Club in Chicago. Like the Medinah Temple in Chicago, it was commissioned by the Shrine Organization. The building was designed by the architect Walter W. Ahlschlager. The cornerstone of the Medinah Athletic Club was laid on November 5, 1928. After your wine flight, take a tour of this gorgeous building.

Eno Wine Room in Chicago

One of the professionally-trained sommeliers at the Wine Spectator, award-winning Eno Wine Room at 505 N. Michigan Avenue will pamper you. They will offer a wine flight paired with the appropriate cheese and chocolate combination.

Eno Wine Room in Chicago

Since I like Pinot Noir, I opted for the “Pinot Envy” flight with a nice Oregon Pinot Noir. My flight included a 2008 Brandborg Bench Lands Pinot Noir from the Umpqua Valley in Oregon. I also had an opportunity to taste the 2009 Yamhill Valley Vineyard Pinot Blanc from Oregon and the 2008 Kenneth Volk Pinot St. George from the Calleri Vineyard in San Benito California.

Eno Wine Room in Chicago Wine Flight

Once you have selected a wine flight, you can select your cheese selection to accompany your wine. My sommelier suggested the Challerhocker from Switzerland with an edible rind, a dense Ocooch Mountain sheep cheese from Wisconsin and the Barely Buzzed Cheddar from Utah rubbed with coffee grounds and lavender.

Eno Wine Room in Chicago Cheese Flight

Now, it’s time to select your decadent chocolate desserts. Once again, just go with the recommendation of your professionally trained server and you won’t be disappointed. Have a Black Truffle Sea Salt, Macadamia Praline and Salted Chocolate Caramel. Now this is living!

Eno Wine Room in Chicago Chocolates

Of course, you can just select wine or cheese from the menu without opting for a personal “Pinot Envy” tasting party. Have a selection of cheese for $12 or just order a glass of wine.

Try a glass of red Amarone or Barbera D’Alba  from Italy. Those are 2 of my personal favorites from Italy.

If you want to learn more about wine pairing, here’s an informative video: http://www.restonsunocosubway.com/Reston-Sunoco-Wine-and-Beer-cellar.htm.

Wine tasting and wine pairing are interesting topics. Some of my favorite events in Chicago are wine dinners held at my favorite restaurants. I loved the Gibson’s on Rush Street Duckhorn Vineyards Wine Dinner!

Gibson’s on Rush Street Duckhorn Wine Dinner

Dr. EveAnn Lovero writes Travel Guides @ www.vino-con-vista.com

Eno Wine Room

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Chicago’s Magnificent Buckingham Fountain

Buckingham Fountain in Chicago, Illinois.

Image via Wikipedia

I am a Travel Junkie who loves to travel around the world. I can’t resist taking pictures of  beautiful fountains; I find them so intriguing.

One of the most magnificent fountains in Chicago is the Buckingham Fountain. The fountain was designated as a Chicago landmark on August 30, 2000.

Buckingham Fountain in Chicago

It is located at the intersection of Congress Parkway and Columbus Drive, just west of south Lake Shore Drive in Grant Park. Grant Park is a popular venue for Chicago Festivals like Jazz Fest and the Windy City Wine Festival.

The park was an integral part of Daniel Burnham‘s 1909 city planning efforts that involved integrating a series of projects into Chicago’s  lakefront.  He envisioned Chicago as a “Paris on the Prairie” with French-inspired public works projects and beautiful fountains.

Burnham’s magical vision generated our horizontal kingdom with gorgeous skyscrapers. Chicago’s magnificent skyline, monuments and sculptures are a result of the convergence of vision and technology.

 

Grant Park’s Sculptures

Daniel Burnham

Buckingham Fountain

Buckingham Fountain is one of the largest fountains in the world. Any time of the day or night, people converge upon the fountain to take pictures. It’s a favorite spot for newlyweds.

Chicago Wine Festival at Buckingham Fountain

The pink marble fountain was designed by beaux-arts architect and city planner Edward H. Bennett who was also involved in Burnham’s Plan of Chicago and the construction of Grant Park.

Bennett’s office was located in the penthouse of the Santa Fe building (pictured below) with the large “Santa Fe” logo on the roof, at 80 E. Jackson in Chicago. From his eagle’s nest view, he could supervise the construction of Grant Park. The 17-story office building is located on the Historic Michigan Boulevard District. The Santa Fe building has distinctive round porthole  windows along the cornice.  The center of the building features a  lightwell that was covered with a skylight in the 1980s.

Buckingham Fountain and the Santa Fe Building

From Bennett’s penthouse office, he could also supervise the construction of   the Buckingham Fountain and the original ornamental Peristyle. A reproduction of the Peristyle majestically crowns  Millennium Park.

Peristyle in Chicago

The Peristyle (pictured above), is a replica of the curving row of paired Greek columns that were originally on the corner of Grant Park near Michigan and Randolph from 1917 to 1953. The statues (pictured below), were created by the French sculptor Marcel F. Loyau. The whimsical sea-horses depict mid-western states.

Buckingham Fountain Sea-horse Statues

The fountain was dedicated on August 26, 1927 and was constructed at a cost of $750,000.  Water streams through the fountain’s 193 jets. The design looks like a wedding cake and it was inspired by the Latona Fountain at the Palace of Versailles. The central structure allegorically represents Lake Michigan and it is surrounded by four sea-horses. Each sea-horse represents the states that surround Lake Michigan: Illinois, Wisconsin, Michigan and Indiana.

The fountain is operational from April to October with interesting water shows  every hour on-the-hour that last for 20 minutes. During the show, water spews from the central jet. The center jet shoots up vertically up to 150 feet.  There are lovely evening light shows.  After dusk, these shows are choreographed with lights and music. The last show begins at 10:00 p.m. During the winter, the fountain is decorated with holiday lights.

Dr. EveAnn Lovero writes Travel Guides @ www.vino-con-vista.com

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Chicago Loop is the Perfect Setting for Hollywood Movies

The League of Supermen (Part Seven)

Image by fengschwing via Flickr

I love the Chicago Loop. When I was a little girl, my Dad and I would take the “El” downtown and go to Trader Vic‘s in the historic Palmer House Hilton hotel on East Monroe Street. I loved the skyscrapers and the historic buildings like the 17-story Boston Store Building at 22 West Madison Street, the Mentor Building and the Palmer House.

Chicago's Palmer House Lobby

Chicago’s Palmer House Lobby

This was the perfect setting for the  Superman Movie that was released in 2013. In September, filming for “Man of Steel” the new Superman movie took place in Chicago’s Loop. The film stars Henry Cavill as mild-mannered journalist Clark Kent who is transformed into Superman. Kevin Costner plays the superhero’s father and Diane Lane will portray his mom. The film is expected to feature the Loop’s Chicago Board of Trade Building and the Willis Tower.

The facade of the Chicago Board of Trade Building located at 141 W. Jackson will be used as “The Daily Planet” in the movie. This 1930’s building designed by Holabird and Root is known for its art deco architecture, sculptures and large-scale stone carving. It has large trading floors. A three-story art deco statue of Ceres, goddess of agriculture caps the building.

The Chicago Board of Trade Building is a skyscraper located in Chicago, Illinois, United States. It stands at 141 W. Jackson Boulevard at the foot of the LaSalle Street canyon, in the Loop community area in Cook County. Built in 1930 and first designated a Chicago Landmark on May 4, 1977,[2] the building was listed as a National Historic Landmark on June 2, 1978.[3][4] It was added to the National Register of Historic Places on June 16, 1978. Originally built for the Chicago Board of Trade (CBOT), it is now the primary trading venue for the derivatives exchange, the CME Group, formed in 2007 by the merger of the CBOT and the Chicago Mercantile Exchange.[5] In 2012, the CME Group sold the CBOT Building to a consortium of real estate investors, including GlenStar Properties LLC and USAA Real Estate Company.[6]

The 141 W. Jackson address hosted the former tallest building in Chicago designed by William W. Boyington before the current Holabird & Root structure, which held the same title for over 35 years[7] until being surpassed in 1965 by the Richard J. Daley Center. The current structure is known for its art deco architecture, sculptures and large-scale stone carving, as well as large trading floors. An aluminum, three-story art deco statue of Ceres, goddess of agriculture (particularly grain), caps the building. The building is a popular sightseeing attraction and location for shooting movies, and its owners and management have won awards for efforts to preserve the building and for office management.

Architecture[edit]

In 1925, the Chicago Board of Trade commissioned Holabird & Root to design the current building. The general contractors Hegeman & Harris built it for $11.3 million, although the reported twenty-year mortgage value was $12 million[16][17] ($12 million in 1925 equates to about 160 million in 2017 dollars). Clad in gray Indiana limestone, topped with a copper pyramid roof, and standing on a site running 174 ft (53 m) east–west on Jackson Boulevard and 240 ft (73 m) north–south on LaSalle Street, the 605 ft (184 m) tall art deco-styled building opened on June 9, 1930. It serves as the southern border for the skyscrapers hugging LaSalle Street and is taller than surrounding structures for several blocks. The Chicago Board of Trade has operated continuously on its fourth floor since the 1930 opening, dedicating 19,000 square feet (1,800 m2) to what was then the world’s largest trading floor.[18]

The advent of steel frame structural systems allowed completely vertical construction; but as with many skyscrapers of the era, the exterior was designed with multiple setbacks at increasing heights, which served to allow additional light into the ever-deepening concrete valleys in urban cores. At night, the setbacks are upwardly lit by floodlights, further emphasizing the structure’s vertical elements. The night illumination design was a common contemporary Chicago architectural theme, seen also in the Wrigley Building, the Jewelers Building, the Palmolive Building, the LaSalle-Wacker Building, and the Tribune Tower.[19]

Ceres, at the top of the building

Interior decoration includes polished surfaces throughout, the use of black and white marble, prominent vertical hallway trim, and an open three-story lobby which at the time of opening housed the world’s largest light fixture. Though One LaSalle Street had five more floors, the CBOT building was the first in Chicago to exceed a height of 600 ft (180 m). After surpassing the Chicago Temple Building, it was the tallest in Chicago until the Daley Center was completed in 1965. Known for its work on the Brooklyn Bridge, the family-operated factory of John A. Roebling supplied all of the cables used in the building’s 23 Otis elevators.[20][21] Beneath the main trading floor over 2,700 miles (4,300 km) of telephone and telegraph wires were once hidden. No less than 150,000 miles (240,000 km) of wires (considered possibly the most direct long-distance wire from any building) once ran from the room.[22] Although the building was commissioned for the Chicago Board of Trade, its first tenant was the Quaker Oats Company, which moved in on May 1, 1930.[23]

Artwork[edit]

John W. Norton‘s three-story mural of Ceres.

Sculptural work by Alvin Meyer, the one-time head of Holabird & Root’s sculpture department, is prominent on the building’s façade, and represents the trading activities within. On each side of the 13 ft (4.0 m) diameter clock facing LaSalle Street are hooded figures, a Babylonian holding grain and a Native American holding corn.[24][25][26] Similar figures are repeated at the uppermost corners of the central tower, just below the sloping roof. About 30 ft (9.1 m) above street level, representations of bulls protrude directly from the limestone cladding on the building’s north side and to a lesser degree on the east side, a reference to a bull market.

The central structure is capped by a 6,500 pound, 31 ft (9.4 m) tall aluminum statue by sculptor John H. Storrs of the Roman goddess of grain, Ceres, holding a sheaf of wheat in the left hand and a bag of corn in the right hand, as a nod to the exchange’s heritage as a commodities market. This statue was assembled from 40 pieces.[27][28]

Commissioned in 1930 but removed from the agricultural trading room in 1973 and stored until 1982, John W. Norton‘s three-story mural of Ceres shown bare-breasted in a field of grain underwent extensive restoration in Spring Grove, Illinois by Louis Pomerantz before being displayed in the atrium of the 1980s addition.[29][30]

The Daily Planet is a fictional broadsheet newspaper that is Clark Kent’s employer in the tales of Superman. The building’s original features were based upon the AT&T Huron Road Building  in Cleveland, Ohio. The Daily Planet is based in Metropolis and employs Clark Kent, Lois Lane, and Jimmy Olsen. The Editor In Chief is Perry White.

Ceres crowns the Board of Trade Building in Chicago

Ceres crowns the Board of Trade Building in Chicago

Sometimes, my Dad and I would dine at  the Berghoff Restaurant for lunch or the Walnut Room in Marshall Fields. I loved strolling down State Street at Christmas to see the lavishly decorated windows.

Berghoff Restaurant

Berghoff Restaurant

Berghoff Restaurant

Berghoff Restaurant

Downtown Chicago Loop Map

Downtown Chicago Loop Map

This area is brimming with incredible architecture, steel skyscrapers and a wealth of outdoor sculpture.

Here’s my “I Love Chicago”  Loop Video http://youtu.be/vLWpv39Dm7U . I have dedicated this video to my fond memories of the time I spent downtown with my Father.

The Loop collection of impressive collection on publilc art and outdoor sculptures.You can find work by famous artists and sculptors including: Pablo Picasso, Joan Miró, Henry Moore, Marc Chagall, Alexander Calder, and Jean Dubuffet.

Downtown Chicago Sculpture

Downtown Chicago Sculpture

Chicago’s cultural heavyweights include the following Chicago Gems: Cultural Center, such as the Art Institute of Chicago, the Goodman Theatre, the Chicago Theatre, the Lyric Opera at the Civic Opera House building, and the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, are also in this area, as is the historic Palmer House Hilton hotel, found on East Monroe Street.

Dr. EveAnn Lovero writes Travel Guides @ www.vino-con-vista.com.

Chicago's Picasso

Chicago’s Picasso

Chicago's Picasso

Chicago’s Picasso

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Medinah Temple’s Incredible Moorish Revival Architecture in Chicago

front, Medinah Temple (1912), 600 North Wabash...

Image by lumierefl via Flickr

Graceland Cemetery, Chicago, Illinois

Graceland Cemetery, Chicago, Illinois (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

List of Masonic buildings in the United States

List of Masonic buildings in the United States (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Chicago is endowed with an incredible lakefront, beautiful sandy beaches and a magnificent skyline filled with legendary architecture.

Oak Street Beach on Lake Michigan in Chicago

Brilliant architects like Louis Sullivan created an atmosphere for world-class design. Sullivan’s influential designs inspired the Chicago School of architects like Frank Lloyd Wright who have come to be known as the Prairie School.

Although Chicago is loaded with magnificent architecture, one building that stands out for it’s innovative design is the Medinah Temple at 600 N. Wabash.

The Medinah Temple in Chicago

 The building is located in the upscale North Bridge neighborhood of Chicago on the Near North Side where Wabash intersects Ohio Street.

This area is a tourist mecca; loaded with plenty of interesting hotels and stores. There are outstanding restaurants like Joe’s, Benny’s and Flemings in the neighborhood.

The area also is home to some landmark Chicago deep-dish pizza establishments like Pizzeria Uno and Due in this River North neighborhood of Chicago, Illinois. The first Uno’s was established in 1943 by former University of Texas football star Ike Sewell and his friend Rick Ricardo.  The original recipe was created by chef Rudy Malnati, the father of Lou Malnati‘s pizzeria, another one of my favorites. Pizzeria Uno claims to have created the original Chicago deep-dish pizza.

 

But one of my all-time  favorite buildings in this area is the Medinah Temple. The Medinah Temple was the venue for the annual Shrine Circus that was affiliated with theAncient Arabic Order of the Nobles of the Mystic Shrine (Shriners). The organization is best-known for administering the Shriners Hospitals for Children. The members wear red fezzes (hats) and the fellowship is based upon the “Masonic principles of brotherly love, relief, and truth”.

Shriner’s Fezz Hat

I grew up near the Shriners Hospital in Chicago. When I was a young girl, I remember going to their circus in the Medinah Temple and being awestruck by the massive auditorium and the gorgeous Austin Organ Company pipe organ.

 In 2000, the building’s exterior was lovingly restored and the inside of the ornate auditorium was converted into a Bloomingdale’s Home and Furniture Store. The store is loaded with artistic displays that highlight the architectural beauty of the building.

Bloomingdale’s colorful display of art-glass in Chicago

The building designated as a Chicago Landmark on June 27, 2001.

I love the intricate detail on the exterior of the building.

Facade of the Medinah Temple in Chicago

The colorful Islamic Moorish Revival architecture of the Medinah Temple was built in 1912. It was built by the Shriners architects Huehl and Schmidt. The colorful domes, ornate ceiling  and arched stained-glass windows resemble the Alcazar in Segovia Spain.

Ceiling of the Medinah Temple in Chicago

Moorish Revival Architecture in Chicago

Ceiling medallian in the Medinah Temple in Chicago

Stained glass windows in the Medinah Temple in Chicago

Originally, the building served as an ornate auditorium with  U-shape seating  for about 4,200 people on three levels. The building is also famous for the acoustics of the auditorium. The fine acoustics of the Medinah Temple’s auditorium made it a favorite site for recording. Many of the Chicago Symphony‘s most famous recordings conducted by Sir Georg Solti were created in this building.

Dr. EveAnn Lovero writes Travel Guides @ www.vino-con-vista.com. Follow us on Twitter for Blog Updates.

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Taylor Street’s Taste of Italy at Festa Italiana 2015 in Chicago

Trevi Fountain - The fountain filled with coin...

Trevi Fountain – The fountain filled with coins, from another perspective. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Are you going to Taylor Street’s Taste of Italy at Festa Italiana 2015 in Chicago?

Chicago’s popular Little Italy neighborhood will celebrate its history and heritage from August 13-16 2015 as the annual Taylor Street Festa Italiana returns for its ninth year.

The Taylor Street Festa Italiana is produced and managed by Star Events. Entry to the event is a suggested $5 donation with proceeds benefiting the University Village Association, a community development organization dedicated to enhancing the quality of life for the Near West Side community.

Taylor Street Festival

Taylor Street Summer Festival

Taylor Street Summer Festival

Festa ItalianaFesta Italiana

Thursday, August 13 – Sunday, August 16, 2015

1453 W. Taylor St.

Chicago, IL 60607

Taylor Street Italian Festival 2012

Trevi Fountain at Taylor Street in Chicago

Thursday, August 14: 5-10 pm; Friday, August 15: 5-11 pm; Saturday, August 16: 12 Noon-11 pm; Sunday, August 17: 12 Noon-10 pm

FREE Admission; $5 gate donation requested

Taylor Street in Chicago

Taylor Street in Chicago

Chicago’s popular Little Italy neighborhood will celebrate its history and heritage from August 14-17 as the annual Taylor Street Festa Italiana returns for its eighth year. More than 50,000 fest goers are expected to attend, saying “Ciao” to new neighbors, and “That’s Amore” about the authetic Italian activities, delectable (or “buono” Italian cuisine, and energetic live entertainment in three dynamic stages.

Legendary Drifters at Taylor Street Italian Festival 2012

Legendary Drifters at Taylor Street Italian Festival

Last year I listened to  Bobby Rydell perform  at the Italian Festival Taylor Street/ Little Italy in  Chicago IL.

at The Rosebud Stage  (Ashland  entrance of the festival).

Bobby Rydell

Cover of Bobby Rydell

Here’s the entertainment schedule:

http://www.festaitalianachicago.org/Entertainment.html

Here’s the official website: http://www.festaitalianachicago.org/

They will have a “Great Grape Stomp” at the Vintage Lounge. Last year, I took a picture of the replica of the Trevi Fountain and participated in the Meatball Eating Contest.

Taylor Street Italian Festival 2012

Taylor Street Italian Festival 2012

Taylor Street Italian Festival 2012

Taylor Street Italian Festival 2012

Taylor Street Italian Festival 2012

Taylor Street Italian Festival 2012

You have to go to Rome to see the real Trevi Fountain.

A 5x5 segment panorama taken by myself with a ...

A 5×5 segment panorama taken by myself with a Canon 5D and 24-105mm f/4L IS lens. Stitched with rectilinear projection to keep lines straight. This view is about 100 degrees horizontally, close to the upper practical limit of rectilinear projection. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Italian neighborhoods in Chicago celebrate summer with annual traditions in historic Italian neighborhoods. Taylor Street was the port-of-call for many Italians who immigrated to Chicago from the shores of southern Italy.

Taylor Street Italian Festival 2012

Taylor Street Italian Festival 2012

In previous years, I saw the Legendary Drifters perform on Friday night and Sunday night! Listen to them play their famous repertoire including: “On Broadway”, “Dance with Me”, “Saturday Night at the Movies“, “Under the Boardwalk”, “There Goes my Baby”, “This Magic Moment” and “Save the Last Dance for Me”.  There were plenty of dancing opportunities at the annual event.

Legendary Drifters at Taylor Street Italian Festival 2012

Legendary Drifters at Taylor Street Italian Festival 2012

Legendary Drifters perform on Taylor Street Italian Festival 2012

Legendary Drifters perform on Taylor Street Italian Festival 2012

On Broadway (song)

On Broadway (song) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Hours:  Thursday 5 – 9 pm,

Friday  5 – 10 pm,

Saturday 12 – 11 pm,

Sunday 12 – 9 pm

Taylor Street Festa Italiana

The Drifters' Golden Hits

The Drifters’ Golden Hits (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

WHERE:  Little Italy

Address:  Taylor St. at Ashland Ave. Chicago, IL 60606

In Little Italy, Chicago, some Italian languag...

In Little Italy, Chicago, some Italian language signage is visible (eg. Banca Italiana) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

taylor street

Taylor Street

There Goes My Baby (The Drifters song)

There Goes My Baby (The Drifters song) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Here’s a link to the schedule:

There’s also a fun Italian Festival held annually over Father’s Day Weekend at 24th and Oakley in Chicago

For information on that Festival visit: http://wp.me/pRq9Q-3Ea

Here’s a short video of the Festival

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Za3laHrq66I

The Drifters

Cover of The Drifters

They anticipate 55,000 visitors to the historic Italian neighborhood over the weekend and many will be Italian American. Many suburban Italians, whose roots trace back to Taylor Street maintain a regular pilgrimage to “the old neighborhood” on the near-west side.

Taylor Street Italian Festival in Chicago

RoseBud Restaurant on Taylor Street During the Festival 2012

Many businesses have been in this neighborhood for many generations like Chicago’s legendary Gonnella bread family.

Alex Dana runs the famed Rosebud Chain in Chicago and has earned his own street sign in the neighborhood. The Taylor Street location has an incredible outdoor space for dining alfresco.

Another one of my favorite Taylor Street eateries is Tuscany with multiple locations throughout the Chicagoland area. Try the Chicken Parmigiana Sandwich or the Pork Chop Vesuvio.

The festival is a mecca for foodies who want to enjoy Italian cuisine and listen to live entertainment on multiple stages.

This weekend when you attend the annual event on Taylor Street on the near-west side of Chicago, you can enjoy treats from the food booths of legendary establishments like Rosebud, Pompei and Francesca’s as well as new-comers like Ethyl’s Beer and Wine Dive.

Trattoria-style restaurants, the National Italian American Sports Hall of Fame and the historic Roman Catholic churches like the Shrine of Our Lady of Pompeii and Holy Family populate Chicago’s most popular Little Italy precinct.

Visit Joe DiMaggio Piazza with the fountain. Enjoy a frozen lemonade from Mario’s Italian Lemonade or an Italian Beef sandwich. I enjoyed the “Juicy” (dipped in gravy) combination beef/sausage from The Patio food booth and the baked clams from Pompei.  All of my friends that are not from Chicago make fun of the way I say “saaaa-sage.”

Buy some olive oil from the “Italian Iron Chef”. The Conte di Savoia Italian grocer and deli are offering meatball sandwiches, Italian subs and Italian desserts. Scafuri’s bakery will all be offering tasty cookies. Don’t forget to take a stroll in Arrigo (Peanut) Park to see the statue of Columbus.

Piazza DiMaggio on Taylor street in Chicago

.

Here’s a list of Italian Festivals around the country: http://www.niaf.org/research/festivals.asp

Dr. EveAnn Lovero writes Italy Travel Guides and Apps @ www.vino-con-vista.com

The Bronx Wanderers on Taylor street in Chicago

Live Music on Taylor Street in Chicago

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Happy Birthday Chicago!

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The University of Chicago Logo

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English: Source: http://www.chicagob2b.net/lin...

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Happy Birthday Chicago! Uncork your favorite bottle of wine or champagne and toast to Chicago’s 178th birthday was held on March 4, 2015. Crank up your iPhone as you listen to Frank Sinatra sing “My Kind of Town“; originally part of the musical score for Robin and the 7 Hoods, a 1964 musical film starring several members of the Rat Pack.

Cover of "Robin and the Seven Hoods"

Cover of Robin and the Seven Hoods

Chicago is famous for many things including gangsters like Al Capone and the city definitely has some offers that you can’t refuse:

Chicago is also famous for sports teams: Bears, Bulls, Hawks, Cubs and Sox. We have had pretty good record for start-ups: Kraft, Motorola, Baxter, Sara Lee and don’t forget Groupon just to name a few.

English: Chicago Cubs logo

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Chicago Bulls logo

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We have plenty of famous politicians including: 2 Mayor Daleys and President Barack Obama.

President Barack Obama discusses the bid for C...

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Chicago Mayor Richard M. Daley

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Richard J. Daley, mayor of Chicago, c. 1971

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Chicago is home to a plethora of superlatives: our higher learning institutons are world-class with some of the best business schools in the world like University of Chicago and Northwestern. The city is brimming with world-class chefs and we have some of the best restaurants in the world like Charlie Trotters and Alinea.

Chicago is a city of neighborhoods with distinctive architecture and ethnic roots.

Map of Chicago's community areas, grouped by c...

Map of Chicago’s community areas, grouped by color by “side” (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

But one or our most endearing and enduring blessings is our world-class architecture! Generally, to celebrate Chicago’s birthday, some of her architectural shining stars will turn blue including:

the Willis Tower, the Trump Tower, the Merchandise Mart and the Prudential Building.

Deutsch: Chicago am Ufer des Lake Michigan Eng...

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Chicago‘s Columbian Exposition in the 1890’s spawned a flourishing legacy of global architectural pre-eminence and outstanding architecture in Chicago. Daniel Burnham’s passion for Beaux Arts priniciples of design generated a flurry of world-class structures. Chicago architects and structural engineers are still staking claims to global architectural marvels.

Much of new classical research was conducted a...

Much of new classical research was conducted at the University of Chicago. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Chicago World's Columbian Exposition, 1893

Chicago World’s Columbian Exposition, 1893 (Photo credit: Smithsonian Institution)

Bill Baker is a structural engineer who works at Skidmore, Owings and Merrill‘s (SMO) Chicago office in the landmark, 17 story Sante Fe Building. He can be credited with more supertall buildings of over 1000 feet than any other structural engineer in the world including the Trump Tower. The “Burl Khalifa” in Dubai is world’s tallest building at 160 stories. It is almost twice as tall as the building formerly known as the Sears Tower in Chicago. Bill was instrumental in designing The Burl with architect Adrian Smith at SMO.

Two of my favorite vintage buildings include the majestic Wrigley Building and the Gothic Revival Tribune building located at the intersection of Michigan Avenue and the Chicago River.

The Gothic Revival Tribune Tower in Chicago

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The distinctive clock tower of the Wrigley Building reminds me of Big Ben in London. There are 250,000 glistening glazed terra cotta tiles covering the classical structure that was completed in 1924 by Graham, Anderson, Probst and White. Quite appropriate for the great “White City.” The beautiful neo-gothic Tribune Tower is across the street from the Wrigley building. The 26 foot Sculpture of Marilyn Monroe is next to the Tribune Tower.

Wrigley Building

chicago wrigley building

I love the juxtaposition of the classic architecture with the modern architecture of buildings like the sleek Trump Tower. There’s a great view of the Wrigley Clock from Trump’s 16th floor restaurant aptly named “Sixteen.” They have an outstanding Sunday Brunch so why not celebrate Chicago’s Birthday party there!

Chicago Architecture

Chicago is a mecca for world-class museums, restaurants and hotels with plenty of “Vino con Vista” opportunities. The Michelin Guide for Chicago was released in November 2011.

Dr. EveAnn Lovero writes Travel Guides and Vino Con Vista Travel Guides can be purchased at these sites

Happy Birthday Chicago from www.vino-con-vista.com

Chicago River Walk

Chicago Restaurants

Chicago Park Hyatt

Meioi Pinot NoirChicago Water Tower

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Valentine’s Day Restaurants that I Love in Chicago

Chocolate Bar at the Peninsula Hotel in Chicago

Image by benchilada via Flickr

Oysters and Oatmeal dish from Schwa in Chicago

Oysters and Oatmeal dish from Schwa in Chicago (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

English: Chicago River is the south border of ...

English: Chicago River is the south border of the Near North Side and Streeterville and the north border of Chicago Loop, Lakeshore East and Illinois Center (viewed from Lake Shore Drive with Trump International Hotel and Tower at jog in the river in the center. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Joe's Stone Crab

Joe’s Stone Crab (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

English: Location of Schwa (restaurant) in Chi...

English: Location of Schwa (restaurant) in Chicago in detail south of North Avenue (Chicago), north of Division Street (Chicago), east of Milwaukee Avenue (Chicago) and west of Chicago River and Kennedy Expressway (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Chicago Skyline

Chicago Skyline (Photo credit: Frank Kehren)

Here’s are some of the restaurants that I love!

1. The impressive Lobby Restaurant of the Peninsula Hotel offered a starter buffet of roasted vegetables, crabmeat ceviche over a medley of fresh fruit and an assortment of cheeses and charcuterie options. I usually order  the salmon.

2.  Sepia is a delightful restaurant in Chicago. The dining room is located in a former 1890’s print studio and it is filled with photography memorabilia. Executive chef Andrew Zimmerman graduated first in his class at the prestigious French Culinary Institute and it is reflected in his Meditterranean influenced cuisine. The urban eatery has exposed brick walls and is located at 123 N. Jefferson Street in Chicago just east of the Kennedy Expressway between Washington and Randolf. I love the porchetta.

Restaurant Week Chicagao 2011

Sepia Restaurant in Chicago

3. NAHA is located at 500 N. Clark St. where executive chef Carrie Nahabedian merges her Armenian roots with Mediterranean influenced flavors that earned her a Michelin star. She was the former executive chef at the Four Seasons Properties in Beverly Hills and Santa Barbara. I love the  braised Mishima Ranch “Kobe” Wagyu Beef Brisket with Beluga lentils, bacon roasted parsnips and carrots. For dessert order bananas with vanilla mousseline and salted caramel.

Restaurant Week Chicago 2011

4. David Burke”s Primehouse is located in the James Hotel at 616 N. Rush. I love the Surf and Turf Dumplings filled with lobster mousse or braised short-ribs. Have a dry-aged classic fillet served with a side of mushrooms and mashed potatoes. For dessert, I enjoy the pinapple upside down cake with rum caramel and sour cherry sorbet.

5. Le Colonial has one of my favorite French-Vietnamese inspired menus. It is located Rush Street and is housed in a two-story vintage townhouse  decorated in the millieu of 1920’s Siagon. I indulge in the Cha Gio for starters; these fried spring rolls are outstanding! Follow up with the “Bun Thit Nuong”;  BBQ pork served over angel-hair noodles. For dessert try, the crispy banana wonton.

Restaurant Week in Chicago

6. Schwa’s Chef Michael Carlson worked under Spiaggia’s chef Paul Bartolotta. He turned down the position of sous-chef at Alinea. Since then he has earned a string of prestigious press:  he graced the cover of Food & Wine magazine as one of the Best New Chefs, won the Jean Banchet Award for rising chef of the year, GQ magazine did a nine-page feature on Schwa and Chef Carlson saying that Schwa was “The Most Revolutionary Restaurant In America” and in 2010 he got a “Best Chef” nomination from the esteemed James Beard Foundation. Schwa is at 1466 N. Ashland in Wicker Park seats 26 people; good luck getting in. There is no liquor license or wine list. Just amazing food! Call 773-252-1466 for reservations.

Famed Quail Egg Ravioli from Schwa in Chicago

Famed Quail Egg Ravioli from Schwa in Chicago (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

“Our Philosophy – A restaurant that is part of a new movement; a community of chefs who work collaboratively and share openly. A house with no front or back; a house where chefs are servers, and serving is about creating dialogue. A menu that moves with the seasons; a menu designed to illustrate the diversity of a dish and highlight how one ingredient can be presented in a variety of ways. Taking the unusual and making it enjoyable. Taking the rustic and making it unforgettable.” http://www.schwa.com

Schwa (restaurant)

Schwa (restaurant) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

7. The Atwood Cafe in the loop on State Street is one of my favorite dining rooms and is located in the elegantly-renovated Hotel  Burnham across from Macy’s on Washington. I love the Ahi Tuna appetizer. They serve one of the best pork chops in town. The chocolate dessert is always decadent.

Upper facade

Upper facade (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

8. Blackbird’s award-winning restaurant at 619 W. Randolph has fabulous seared scallops for a starter with a roasted chicken entree and a choclate ganache dessert.

9. Joe’s Seafood, Prime Steak and Stone Crab at 60 E. Grand is the Chicago outpost of Miami’s legendary Joe’s Stone Crab. For dinner have a cup of chowder of bisque with crab claws, king crab legs or steak and don’t leave without indulging in the famous key lime pie for dessert.

10. I also love Terzo Piano at the Art Institute and Aria on Chicago’s east side at the Fairmont Hotel  http://www.ariachicago.com.

11. You can never go wrong at Piccolo Sogno, one of my all time favorites Italian restaurants in Chicago!

For French Food head over to Les Nomades in a lavish Streeterville townhouse. You will never be disappointed!

.Happy Valentine’s Day!

Dr. EveAnn Lovero writes Travel Guides @ www.vino-con-vista.com

Salute and Buon Appetito 

English: Executive Chef and Owner of the Stant...

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The Naperville Wine Festival 2014

From the Esterlina Tasting Room in Mendocino C...

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Plan to attend the Naperville Wine Festival 2014. Wine festivals offer outstanding and affordable Vino con Vista opportunities. Wine connoisseurs can discover new wines, attend wine seminars and meet wine-makers in an outdoor festival setting.

Here’s a short video with some of my favorite Vino con Vista Buddies that I met at the Naperville Wine Festival in 2011:

http://youtu.be/gPrJhCRmXSQ

For the full schedule visit:

www.napervillewinefestival.com

The Naperville Wine Festival will return for the 12th Consecutive Year August 22-23, 2014.

The Event will take Place at CityGate Centre, The Home of Calamos Investments, and will Showcase More than 300 Wines From Around The World.

 A Portion of the Proceeds From The Event will Help Support the Naperville Area Humane Society.

 

Naperville Wine Festival hours are Friday from 4 to 10PM and Saturday from 2 to 8PM Friday Night Ticket Sales End at 8:30 p.m. and Alcohol Sampling and Sales End at 9:30 p.m. Saturday Ticket Sales End at 6:30PM and Alcohol Sampling and Sales End at 7:30PM

  • Adult Wine Tasting Tickets are $28 in Advance and $35 at the Door. This Ticket Price Includes a Souvenir Wine Glass, Ten Tastings, a Festival Program, Access to Food and Wine Demonstrations and Musical Entertainment. Additional Tasting Coupons May be Purchased at the Festival. Designated Driver Tickets are $10 in Advance or at the Door. Tickets can be Purchased Online at www.napervillewinefestival.com or by phone at 877-772-5425 as well as at all Peterson Wine Cellars locations.
  • CityGate Centre is a True mixed-use development that encompasses 31 acres in the quickly growing East-West Corridor submarket of Chicago. In addition to Calamos Investments and Continental Audi of Naperville, the Naperville Wine Festival is sponsored by: Wells Fargo Advisors; Whole Foods; Petersons Wine & Spirits; BlueCross BlueShield of Illinois; Stella Artois, Hoegaarden and Leffe; Hotel Arista; Pepsi and Aquafina.

    Naperville Wine Festival Map

    Naperville Wine Festival Map

    Naperville Wine Festival Map

 

Location: Calamos Investments, Naperville, IL 60563
Start Date/Time: August 23, 2013 – 4 pm
End Date/Time: August 24, 2013 – 11 pm

A celebration of wine, food, music and friends with a wide array of wines to choose from and food from some of Naperville’s most popular restaurants.  Friday 4 pm – 10 pm, and Saturday 3 pm  – 9 pm.

 

 

Hess Winery

Hook and Ladder Winery

From author: "From left to right: Iron Ho...

From author: “From left to right: Iron Horse 1997 Cabernet Sauvignon Testarossa 2006 Garys’ Vineyard Syrah Calera 2006 Ryan Pinot Noir Chateau Montelena 2007 Chardonnay Ridge 2007 Zinfandel” (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Tickets: Adult Wine Tasting Ticket – One day admission
$28 in advance or $35 at the door.
Admission ticket good for either day. This ticket includes a souvenir wine glass, ten tastings, Festival Program, Food & Wine seminars, cooking demonstrations, musical entertainment, and the opportunity to purchase wine at a discount.Designated Driver Ticket – One day admission
$10 in advance or at the door.
Admission ticket good for either day. This ticket includes two non-alcoholic drinks, Festival Program, Food & Wine seminars, cooking demonstrations, musical entertainment, souvenir wine glass upon departure. Under 21 admitted free when accompanied by paid adult.

Assortment of wine from Domaine Chandon in Yar...

Assortment of wine from Domaine Chandon in Yarra Australia showing their sparkling Chardonnay and Pinot noir wine as well as a still pinot noir. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Local chefs will offer foodies an opportunity to taste some of their cuisine. Here’s a list of the restaurants that will be serving food at the 2012 event:

Caoba Mexican Grill and Bar 1619 N. Damen Avenue Chicago, IL 60647 773-342-2622 www.caobachicago.comCityGate Grille 2020 Calamos Court Naperville, IL 60563 630-718-1010 www.citygategrille.com
Heaven on Seven 224 S. Main Street Naperville, IL 60540 630-717-0777 www.heavenonseven.com/napervilleLe Chocolat Bouchard 129 S. Washington   Street Naperville, IL 60540 630-355-5720 www.lechocolatbar.com
SugarToad Restaurant2139 Citygate Lane Naperville, IL 60563630-778-8623 www.sugartoad.comSullivan’s Steakhouse 244 S. Main Street Naperville, IL 60540 630-305-0230 www.sullivansteakhouse.com

The outdoor festival will feature more than 200 wines from around the country and the world with wine seminars and cooking demonstrations. For a nominal charge you can sample pinot Noirs, Cabernet Sauvignons, Merlots and chardonnay wine from various regions.

Here’s a complete list of the wineries and distributors that will be attending the 2012 event:

Peterson    Spirits and Fine Wines
Valley of the Moon Pinot Blanc
Lake Sonoma Chardonnay
Kenwood Table Red
Peterson Zero Manipulation
Peterson Dry Creek Zinfandel
Cantina Aurora Dolce Stilnovo

Peterson    Spirits and Fine Wines
Villa Puccini Pinot Grigio
Villa Puccini Tuscan Red
Entwine Pinot Grigio
Entwine Chardonnay
Entwine Merlot
Entwine Cabernet Sauvingon
Haus    Wines
Schug Sauvignon Blanc
Cline Albarino
Cline Field Blend
Scott Harvey Red Label Barbera
Scott Harvey Red Label Zinfandel
Schug Pinot Noir

Jarvis-Tomei
Coloma Chardonnay
Lady Slipper Pinot Noir
Nomad Red Blend
Tomei Barbera
Jarvis Tomei Syrah
Lonati Moscato d’Asti
Essential    Wines
Arabella Chenin Blanc
Enon Chardonnay
Arabella Viognier
Arabella Merlot
Arabella Cabernet Sauvignon
Grinder Pinotage

Laird    and Company
Moletto Prosecco
Stival Pinot Grigio
Lunae Vermentino
La Pisara Primativo
Pietrafitta Chianti
Moletto Refosco

Wine    Cru
Secret Coast Sauvignon Blanc
Bennett Lane Maximus White
Prezzolini Chianti
Zolo Malbec
Zolo Cabernet Sauvignon
Bennett Lane Maximus Red
Eola    Hills
Eola Hills Pinot Gris
Eola Hills Chardonnay
Eola Hills “La Ceole” Reserve    Chardonnay
Eola Hills Pinot Noir
Eola Hills “La Creole” Reserve Pinot Noir
Eola Hills Vin d’Or LH Sauvignon Blanc
Martin    Ray Winery
Angeline Sauvignon Blanc
Martin Ray Chardonnay
Angeline California Pinot Noir
Martin Ray Pinot Noir
Angeline Cabernet Sauvignon
Martin Ray Merlot

Cabernet    Corp
La Playa Sauvignon Blanc
Don Rodolfo Torrentes
La Playa Cabernet Rose
La Playa Cabernet Sauvignon
La Playa Block Selection Carmenere
Don Rodolfo Malbec
Ventana    Winery
Ventana Riesling
Ventana Sauvignon Blanc
Ventana Gewurztraminer
Ventana Pinot Noir
Ventana Rubystone Syrah/Grenache
Ventana Syrah

Broadbent    Selections
Broadbent Vino Verde
Broadbent Gruner Veltliner
Dr. Hermann H Riesling
Chateau Musar Rouge
Quintas do Crasto Flor
Warwick Three Cape Ladies
Small    Vineyards
Trevisiol Extra Dry Prosecco
Tre Donne La Perlina Moscato d’Asti
Giocato Pinot Grigio
Perazzeta Sangiovese
Palama Negroamaro
Antonio Sanguineti Nessun Dorma Red

Fess    Parker Family of Wines
Fess Parker SBC Riesling
Fess Parker SBC Chardonnay
Parker Station Pinot Noir
Fess Parker SBC Pinot Noir
Hodge du Podge Red
Big Easy Syrah
Vinilandia
Good Pinot Grigio
Belpoggio Verdicchio DOC
Nicolis Valpolicella Classico
Poggio Amorelli Chianti Classico
Villa Donna Moscato d’Asti
Scagliola Petali Di Rose Brachetto
Hahn/Other    Guys
Huntington Sauvignon Blanc
Cycles Gladiator Pinot Grigio
White Knight Viognier
Cycles Gladiator Syrah
Leese Fitch Pinot Noir
Plungerhead Lodi Zinfandel
Duck Pond Winery
Duck Pond Pinot Gris
Duck Pond White Blend
Duck Pond Pinot Noir
Duck Pond Red Blend
Desert Wind Ruah
Desert Wind Barbera
Hook and    Ladder Winery
Hook and Ladder Chardonnay
Hook and Ladder Pinot Noir
Station Ten Zinfandel Blend
Hook and Ladder Zinfandel
The Tillerman Cab Blend
Hook and Ladder Cabernet Sauvignon

E&J    Gallo
La Marca Prosecco
Whitehaven Sauvignon Blanc
Martin Codax Albarino
Las Rocas Garnacha
Bridlewood Cabernet Sauvignon
Louis Martini  Cabernet Sauvignon
E&J    Gallo
Laguna Chardonnay
William Hill Chardonnay
Bridlewood Blend 175
MacMurray Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir
William Hill Napa Cabernet Sauvignon
Gascon Reserve Malbec

Kobrand
Domaine Carneros Sparkling Brut
Craggy Range Sauvignon Blanc
Benziger Sangicamo Chardonnay
Domaine Carneros Pinot Noir
Benziger Sonoma Cabernet Sauvignon
Sequoia Grove Cabernet Sauvignon
Pinnacle    Fine Wines
Long Boat Sauvignon Blanc
La Crema Monterey Chardonnay
Gaga Rose
Gaga Rouge
Calina Carmenere
Arrowood Cabernet Sauvignon
Bronco    Wine
Silver Ridge Sauvingon Blanc
Silver Ridge Chardonnay
Silver Ridge Pinot Noir
Hacienda Riesling
Hacienda Merlot
Hacienda Cabernet Sauvignon

Maritime
Graham Beck Brut Sparkling
Jules Taylor Sauvignon Blanc
Skyleaf Riesling
Graham Beck Game Res. Chenin Blanc
Jules Taylor Pinot Noir
Graham Beck Game Res. Cabernet

Wente
Hayes Chardonnay
Wente Riva Ranch Chardonnay
2009 Tamas Double Decker Red
Wente Reliz Creek Pinot Noir
Spur Meritage
Wente Charles Wetmore Cabernet
Quintesential    Wines
New Age Rose
New AgeWhite
Elsa Bianchi Torrentes
Simonsig Chenin Blanc
Grand Rojo Garnacha
Morse Code Shiraz

Prestige    Wine Group
Starling Castle Riesling
Michel Picard Vouvray
Michel Picard Bourgogne Pinot Noir
Broke Ass Red
Le Grand Noir GSM
Luccio Moscato d’Asti
Jomad    Imports
San Hubberto Torrentes
San Hubberto Reserve Chardonnay
San Huberto Bonarda
San Huberto Malbec
San Huberto Reserve Syrah
San Huberto Cabernet Sauvignon

Cartlidge    and Browne Winery
Cartlidge and Browne Sauvignon Blanc
Cartlidge and Browne Chardonnay
Cartlidge and Browne Pinot Noir
Cartlidge and Browne Zinfandel
Cartlidge and Browne Cabernet
C&B Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon
Vibrant    Rioja
Cortijo White
Cortijo Rose
Ramon Bilboa
Ramon Bilboa Limited Edition
Gloriso Reserva
Campo Viejo Gran Reserva

CIV
Vina Arnaiz Roble Tinto
Salneval Albarino
Antano Virura
Conde de Valdemar Reserve
Opera Prima Moscato
Don Simon Sangria
V2 Wine    Group
Toad Hollow Risque Sparkling
Dry Creek Chenin Blanc
Dry Creek Sauvignon Blanc
Steel Head Chardonnay
Steel Head Pinot Noir
Dry Creek Meritage

Indigo    Wine Group
Bon Cap The Ruins Organic Sparkling
Bon Cap The Ruins Organic Sauvignon Blanc
Bon Cap The Ruins Organic Syrah/Cab
Robertson Shiraz/Mouvedre/Viognier
Casa de Campo Moscato
Robertson Sweet Red
Classical Wines
Mont Marcal Cava Rosada Brut
Legado del Conde Morgadio Albarino
Bodegas Garci Grande Verdejo
Guelbenzu Red
Lorinon Crianza
Carchelo “C”

Lagnaippe    Beverage
Boomtown Pinot Gris
Schild Estate Chardonnay
Schild Estate GMS
Dexter Lake Red
Boomtown Syrah
Revah Pomegranite
Maverick
Alias Chardonnay
Cannonball Chardonnay
Alias Merlot
Cannonball Merlot
Alias Cabernet Sauvignon
Cannonball Cabernet Sauvignon

Cape    Classics
Buitenverwachting Beyond Sauv Blanc
Indaba Chardonnay
Mulderbosch Rose
Buitenverwachting Beyond Cabernet
Mulderbosch Faithful Hound Red
Jam Jar Shiraz
Robert    Kacher/Winebow
Tariquet Classique
Tariquet Rose de Pressee
Clean Slate Riesling
Gournier Grenache Noir
Cazes le Canon du Marechal Rouge
Root 1 Carmenere

Winebow
Kris Pinot Grigio
Argiolas Costamolino
Catena Chardonnay
Valle Reale Vigne Nuove    Montepulciano
Allegrini Palacco Della Torre
Catena Malbec
Palm Bay
Twin Vines Vinho Verde
Arrogant Frog White
Arrogant Frog Pinot Noir
Arrogant Frog Lily Pad Red
Periquita Duoro Red
Santa Rita Reserve Malbec

Hess
Peter Lehmen Layers White
Glen Carlou Chardonnay
Peter Lehmen Layers Red
Sequana “Sarmento” Pinot Noir
Artezin Zinfandel
Amalaya Malbec Blend

Sequana Pinot Noir

Sequana Pinot Noir

Boisset
L. Buillot Rose
DeLoach Heritage Chardonnay
Lyeth ‘Fleur de Lyeth’ Red Blend
Raymond ‘R’ Merlot
Raymond ‘R’ Field Blend
Batoisiolo Moscato d’Asti

Winesellers
Francois Lurton Blanco
Tortoise Creek Pinot Noir
Santa Julia Reserva Cabernet
Tortoise Creek Zinfandel
Araucano Carmenere
Familia Zuccardi  Q Malbec
Heritage
Hirschbach & Sohne Liebfraumilch
Lucky Star Pinot Noir
Milbrandt Traditions Merlot
Oxford Landing GSM
Oxford Landing Shiraz
Bricco Riella Moscato d’Asti

Diamond    Imports
Domaine Sigalas Athiri/Assyrtiko Blend
Domaine Sigalas Assyrtiko
Domaine Skouras White
Domaine Skouras Moscofilero
Domaine Skouras St. George
Alpha Estate Xinomavro Hedgehog Vnyd
CLD
Sidewood Sauvignon Blanc
Deviation Road Chardonnay
The Garden Path Shiraz/Cab
Smidge Houdini Shiraz/Zin
Deaf Galah Red
Alliance Shiraz

Opolo    Winery
Opolo Chardonnay
Opolo Viognier
Opolo Sangiovese
Opolo Maestro
Opolo Summit Creek Zinfandel
Opolo Serenade Cab/Malbec
Underdog    Wine Merchants
A Mano Pinot Grigio
Concannon Conservancy Chardonnay
Concannon Conservancy Crimson &    Clover
Cupcake Red Velvet
Flip Flop Moscato
Helfrich Gewurztraminer

Barefoot    Wine and Bubbly
Barefoot Pinot Grigio
Barefoot Bubbly Brut
Barefoot Bubbly Pink Moscato
Barefoot Bubbly Moscato Spumante
Barefoot Moscato
Barefoot Sweet Red
Easley    Winery
Reggae White
Reggae Rose
Reggae Red

Evaton, Inc
Anakena Sauvignon Blanc
Gazela Vino Verde
Gazela Rose
Finca Flichman Cabernet Sauvignon
Finca Flichman Reserve Malbec
Finca Flichman Tupungato
Lynfred    Winery
Vin de City White
Vin de City Red
Illinois Seyval Blanc
Oktoberfest Wine
Rose
Plum Wine

St.    James Winery
Velvet White
Velvet Red
Cherry
Blackberry
Blueberry
Strawberry
Raspberry
Cooper’s Hawk    Restaurant & Winery
Almond Sparkling
Semi-Dry Riesling
Cooper’s Hawk White
Barbera
Cabernets
Rhubarb Fruit Wine
Cass Winery

Cass Winery

Cass Winery

2010 Oasis Rose
2010 Roussanne
2009 Grenache
2009 Mourvedre
2008 Syrah
2008 Cabernet Sauvignon
2008 Cass Reserve

Constellation Wines
Blufield Riesling
Nobilo Sauvignon Blanc
Estancia Pinot Grigio
Toasted Head Untamed White
Diseno Malbec
Primal Roots Red Blend

Wine Festival

The ticket includes a souvenir wine glass, ten tastings, Festival Program, Food & Wine seminars, cooking demonstrations, musical entertainment and the opportunity to purchase wine at a discount.

Dr. EveAnn Lovero writes Travel Guides and Apps @ www.vino-con-vista.com and attend many food and wine events.

Last year, I fell in love with Cass Winery’s Reserve and had a case shipped to my home from the winery. Try the Cooper’s Hawk Barbera; it’s from a local winery near Naperville.

Naperville Wine Festival

Naperville Wine Festival

For more information visit http://www.napervillewinefestival.com

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Filed under Attractions in Chicago, Brunello Wine, Chianti Classico, Chicago, Chicago Hotels, Chicago Restaurants, ebooks, IPad, Italian Food, Italian Food and Wine, Italian Wine, Italy Travel Guides, Naperville Wine Festival 2011, Pinot Noir Wine, Pinot Noir Wine from the Russian River Valley, Travel and Tourism, vino con vista, Vino con Vista Chicago, Vino con Vista in Chicago, Wine Events in the Chicago Area, Wine Festivals

I Love the Sepia Restaurant in Chicago

Cooks at work.
Image via Wikipedia
Pastry chef Français : Pâtissier

Pastry chef Français : Pâtissier (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Sepia is a delightful restaurant in Chicago. The dining room is located in a former 1890’s print studio and is filled with photography memorabilia.

Chicago Restaurants

Executive chef Andrew Zimmerman graduated first in his class at the prestigious French Culinary Institute and it is reflected in his Meditterranean influenced cuisine. The urban eatery has exposed brick walls and is located at 123 N. Jefferson Street in Chicago just east of the Kennedy Expressway between Washington and Randolf. For the first course, order the English pea soup garnished with ricotta and mint. The entree was bacon wrapped trout glazed with a rosemary vinaigrette surrounded by red bliss potatoes and watercress. Cindy Schumer, the pastry chef, created a citris meringue tart with a scoop of brut-rasberry sorbet for dessert that was incredible!

Visit Sepia on Sundays for half price wine specials from their extensive wine list and treat yourself to Andrew’s famous porchetta www.sepiachicago.com.

Buon Appetito from www.vino-con-vista.com and

Vino Con Vista Travel Guides can be purchased at these sites
 

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