Category Archives: Chicago Restaurants

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

@ www.vino-con-vista.com.

Vino Con Vista Travel Guides can be purchased at these sites
 

Happy Spring!!

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A Bust for Charlie Trotter Charity Event April 3rd 2017 in Chicago

If you wanted to dine at one of Chicago’s top restaurants, you made reservations at Charlie Trotter’s

which closed on August 17, 2012.

Attend the fundraiser in Chicago and buy tickets at: www.abustforCharlie.com

Monday April 3rd 2017

The 2017 Charlie Trotter

Food & Wine Spring Festival!

http://cyranosfarmkitchen.wixsite.com/abustforcharlie

A Bust for Charlie

Don’t miss the best part of the evening, when Sculptor Virginio Ferrari unveils the magnificent masterpiece:

Life-Size Bronze Statue of Charlie

Galleria Marchetti

825 W Erie St, Chicago, IL 60642, USA
Monday, April 3rd, 2017
5:30 pm –  9:30 pm
SCULPTOR VIRGINIO FERRARI BIOGRAPHY:
“VIRGINIO L. FERRARI (b.1937) is an internationally acclaimed contemporary sculptor, who has exhibited his work in Argentina, Belgium, Brazil, China, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, and throughout the United States. Ferrari’s monumental sculptures can be found on street corners and public parks, at universities and libraries, corporations and in private collections in Chicago, and all over the world. “
Charlie Trotter's poularde dish

Charlie Trotter’s poularde dish (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Here’s my Video Tribute to Charlie Trotter: http://youtu.be/KaXHBY9CU9g.

His iconic Michelin-starred restaurant received James Beard Foundation Awards.

Charlie Trotter opened Charlie Trotter’s (Chicago) in 1987 with his father, Bob Trotter as his partner. The restaurant has been open for almost 25 years.

Charlie went to the University of Wisconsin in Madison where he earned his Bachelor’s of Science degree in Political Science. After graduating from college, he traveled around the U.S. and Europe to dine at only the finest restaurants.

University of Wisconsin–Madison

University of Wisconsin–Madison (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The figure who most impressed  Charlie during his culinary development was Fernand Point (of the famed Ma Gastronomie). Trotter never went to culinary school. His first cooking job was at Sinclair’s on the North Shore. He was a cook there and worked under Norman Van Aken and Carrie Nahabedian.

Chef Trotter established the Charlie Trotter Culinary Education foundation. This foundation supplies scholarships to students entering culinary programs. He also spearheaded the Excellence Program which allows high school students to come in and experience the cuisine of the restaurant.

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

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Shake Your Groove Thing at Chicago’s Green Tie Ball 2015 at Venue One

English: Screenshot of Alice from the trailer ...

English: Screenshot of Alice from the trailer for the film Alice in Wonderland (1951). (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

This year’s GREEN TIE BALL will be held at Venue One on Randolph.

Green Tie Ball 2015 by Gateway green

http://www.gatewaygreen.org/event/green-tie-ball/

Alice in Wonderland, John Tenniel, 1865 Deutsc...

Alice in Wonderland, John Tenniel, 1865 Deutsch: Von John Tenniel stammende Illustration aus Lewis Carrolls Alice im Wunderland. Polski: Alicja z powieści pt. Alicja w Krainie Czarów autorstwa Lewisa Carrolla (ilustrator: John Tenniel). (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The Cheshire Cat from Carroll's Alice in Wonde...

The Cheshire Cat from Carroll’s Alice in Wonderland is a figure Beckjord has used for illustrating his ideas regarding Bigfoot. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

WHEN: Saturday, Oct0ber 10, 2015

WHERE: Venue One

Times: 7:00PM Entry Time for VIP Tickets, 8:00PM Entry Time for General Admission Tickets. Event continues until 12am with after parties at Underground and Bar Siena.

Tickets: $250 VIP Tickets, $175 General Admission, VIP Lounges $3,500 (includes 10 tickets for each lounge pod)

Special Presale Prices: $125 Aug 3-Aug 23, $150 Aug 24-Sept 13, $175 Sept 14-Oct 10 and at the Door. –Purchase tickets at: bit.ly/greentieball24

One year I stepped into my Ruby Slippers and joined Dorothy, the Tin Man and her little dog Toto in the Emerald City at the Finkl Foundon Southport. This year I’ll don my disco wear and step into Studio 54.

Cropped screenshot of Judy Garland from the tr...

Cropped screenshot of Judy Garland from the trailer for the film The Wizard of Oz. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

 

Proceeds beautify the City of Chicago’s public spaces including the expressway.

Summary: Green Tie Ball XXIV raises money for “CGG’s Expressway Partnership Program, which creates and maintains beautiful, sustainable landscapes along Chicago’s major expressways thereby reducing air and noise pollution and adorning the gateways into the City’s communities.”

The gala attracts Chicago’s prominent movers and shakers.

 

This year’s gala will include dozens of Chicago’s top restaurants, premium open bars, eclectic entertainment such as special guest performance by Matt LeGrand, DJ appearances, the Dr. Bombay band, experiential silent auction packages and charitable gaming from River’s Casino

After parties:

-Underground (56 W Illinois St, Chicago, IL 60654)

-Bar Siena (832 W Randolph St, Chicago, IL 60607)

 

The “Supreme Lobster Chef Challenge” featured the final round of the Chicago Summer Chef Challenge Series at the Green Tie Ball. Chicago’s Food Trucks offered plenty of goodies to the elegantly dressed guests at Finkl Foundry’s Emerald City on Southport.

The Emerald City’s bartenders were pouring super-premium Wizard of Oz cocktails.

The Green Tie Ball is also offered a silent auction, gaming and multiple stages of live entertainment.

Tickets are available  @ www.gatewaygreen.org.

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

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Chicago’s Creative Design Harvest Festival 2015 in West Town

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

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

Chicago’s 2015 Design Harvest Festival is sponsored by the West Town Chamber of Commerce.

WHEN:

Design festival

September 26 – 27, 2015

Grand Art & Design Festival (formerly Design Harvest) has local furniture and accessory makers, live music, a square dance, food trucks, hayrides, and pumpkin painting on Grand Ave. at Wood. Donation.

The live musical entertainment area is programmed by Chicago’s legendary live music venue, The Hideout. There is usually a big square dance in the street!

Beer sponsor Blue Moon will feature their Harvest Pumpkin Ale along with Crispin Cider and Coors Light.

FESTIVAL & SURROUNDING GRAND AVENUE DESIGN DISTRICT MAP

1. Creative Claythings / 2. State Street Salvage / 3. Artemesia / 4. Christy Webber Landscapes Farm & Garden Center / 5. European Furniture Warehouse / 6. Modern Times / 7. Space 1858 / 8. Martyn George / 9. Urban Remains / 10. Design Inc. / 11. SG Grand / 12. Buckingham Interiors / 13. The Find / 14. The Painted Lady / 15. Urban Remains / 16. Salvage One

Come and check out the Food Trucks http://youtu.be/igyjbER5hqA.

There’s live music, food, wine and beer.

Harvest Design Festival 2011

Harvest Design Festival 2011

Design Harvest 2011 in Chicago on Grand at Damen

Design Harvest 2011 in Chicago on Grand at Damen

The new festival features Chicago’s best local home decorating stores and designers like Room Service and The Painted Lady.

Harvest Design Festival 2011

Harvest Design Festival 2011

Harvest Design Festival 2011

Quilt from Chicago’s Painted Lady on Grand Ave. in Chicago

Harvest Design Festival 2011

Chicago’s Harvest Design Festival 2011

Harvest Design Festival 2011

Interesting artwork fro Room Service in Chicago

There will be furniture and home accessories, vintage goods, antiques and  design retailers located in Chicago’s Design District on Grand Avenue.

Chicago Design District

Chicago Design District

Chicago Design District

Chicago Design District

Harvest Design Festival 2011

Harvest Design Festival 2011

Harvest Design Festival 2011

Harvest Design Festival 2011

Get your creative mojo working this weekend with great food and music from The Hideout. The Naked Grape Winery is offering wine tastings.

Live Music at Harvest Design Festival 2011

Live Music at Harvest Design Festival 2011

 Harvest Design Festival 2011

The Hideout at Harvest Design Festival 2011

Live Music provided by The Hideout at Harvest Design Festival 2011

The Naked Grape Winery at Havest Design Festival

The Naked Grape Winery at Havest Design Festival

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

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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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Chicago’s Guinness Oyster Festival 2014 in Roscoe Village

It’s time for the annual Guinness Oyster Festival in Roscoe Village at Damen and Roscoe in Chicago.

WHERE: Roscoe Village Pub, Roscoe Village Friday September 11 2015 – Saturday September 12 2015

Guinness Oyster Fest

They’ll be serving plenty of oysters served many ways including Oysters Rockefeller.

Oysters Rockefeller as served at Galatoires of...

Oysters Rockefeller as served at Galatoires of New Orleans, Louisiana, USA. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Date: September 11 & 12, 2015
Time: 11 a.m. to 10 p.m.
Location: Roscoe Village (Damen & Roscoe) | Chicago
View Map
Beneficiary: Roscoe Village Chamber of Commerce – Suggested Entrance Donation $7.00

Fresh oysters help kick off the unofficial start of autumn at this acclaimed festival in Chicago’s red hot Roscoe Village neighborhood.

Chicago Oyster Fest in Roscoe Village

Chicago Oyster Fest in Roscoe Village

Oyster Fest in Roscoe Village

Oyster Fest in Roscoe Village

Tents housing fresh seafood as well as other culinary delights from local restaurants are but one highlight of what has grown over the years to become a truly unique post-Labor Day happening. There are also arts & craft booths.

 Oyster Bar

Oyster Bar

 

Oyster Fest in Roscoe Village

Oyster Fest in Roscoe Village

Another major draw? An eclectic music lineup which this year includes Irish faves The Tossers, alt-rockers Rusted Root and many more!

 

Oyster Fest in Roscoe Village

Oyster Fest in Roscoe Village

East Coast Delaware Blue Bay Points
Harvested from the waters of the Delaware bay, these slightly salty oysters have a mild sweet flavor in a nicely rounded shell.West Coast British Columbia Oysters

English: Oysters Rockefeller

English: Oysters Rockefeller (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

There’s live music, plenty of oysters and other food options.

Oyster Fest in Roscoe Village 2011

Get ready to drink plenty of Guinness Beer.

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

 

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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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Chicago’s Renegade Craft Fair 2015 in Wicker Park

Attend The Renegade Craft Fair in Wicker Park today. Here’s my Vino con Vista Video of the event http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=H1ORosP2S8Y.

Craft fair

September 19 – 20, 2015

Shop from independent artisans and chefs at the Renegade Craft Fair in Wicker Park.

The annual festival features hand-made goods. It was initated in 2003 on Division Street in Wicker Park . Now, it travels all over the country. Events are held annually in five American cities; Chicago (IL), Brooklyn (NY), Los Angeles (CA), San Francisco (CA), and Austin (TX). In 2011, the Renegade Craft Fair will hold its first international event, in London (UK).

 

The Festival dates are September 10th and 11th from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. There’s a wide variety of  independently designed jewelry, clothing and artwork. Here are some of the booths that I loved:

 

The neighborhood offers plenty of Vino con Vista restaurants and bars with plenty of outdoor seating. I like Via Carducci, The Boundary and Smoke Daddy.

 

 

The most innovate bakery in town is in the heart of this neighborhood. Stop in the Alliance Bakery to enjoy some of their artistic cakes designed for kids of all ages. Dr. EveAnn Lovero writes Travel Guides @ www.vino-con-vista.com

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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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