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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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My Spectacular Vino con Vista Weekend in Traverse City Michigan

English: Downtown Traverse City, MI, USA, as v...

English: Downtown Traverse City, MI, USA, as viewed from West Grand Traverse Bay. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I love to savor the flavor of succulent cherries at The Annual National Cherry Festival on Lake Michigan’s picturesque

Traverse City, Michigan.

This annual festival is located along the shores of Lake Michigan’s Grand Traverse Bay. For a fabulous Cherry Vino con Vista, go to the top of the Park Place Hotel for a panoramic view of the Bay.Traverse City Michigan 2016 018

There are more than 150 events at the annual festival: Traverse City is headquarters to the “Largest Cherry Growing Region in the World!”

But there’s much more to Traverse City!

There are many outstanding food and wine tourism adventures waiting for you in and around Traverse City. The region has 2 distinct Wine Trails to indulge your passion for wine. The Leelanau Peninsula is divided into 3 mini trails. I love to visit the scenic wineries on the Old Mission Peninsula.

Relax at the beach on the East Bay

Relax at the beach on the East Bay

I love the sun-drenched shores of Traverse City Michigan! After a day of water sports and sun bathing, Traverse City offers a plethora of dining options with more than 150 restaurants. Bon Appetit Magazine named it one of America’s top Foodie Towns. Traverse CIty has a vibrant Food Truck Scene called the Little Fleet. Here a list of the trucks and their operating hours:

Food Truck Hours:

Roaming Harvest: Wednesday thru Saturday 11am – 8pm, Sunday 11am – 4pm

Daily Blend: Monday thru Thursday 11am – 9pm, Friday and Saturday 11am-10pm, Sunday 11am – 8pm

White on Rice: Wednesday thru Saturday noon – 9pm, Sunday 12pm – 7pm,

Happy’s Tacos: Tuesday thru Saturday 11am – 8pm, Sunday 11am – 4pm

Pigs Eating Ribs: Monday thru Sunday 11am – 9pm.

Pleasanton Pizza: Sunday thru Thursday 11am – 9pm, Friday and Saturday 11am – 10pm

Nitrology: Everyday 10am – 10pm

Anchor Station: Tuesday thru Saturday 11am – 9pm

The Big Squeeze: Tuesday thru Friday 5pm – 10pm, Saturday and Sunday 12pm – 10pm.

The best restaurant in Traverse City is right across the street from the Little Fleet at 115 Wellington Street. Make a reservation well in advance if you want to dine at The Cook’s House. Serious foodies will adore the 7 Course Tasting menu and wine pairing.

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The chef and co-owner Eric Patterson is a former veteran of a Michelin restaurant in Las Vegas. Mario Battali spends his summers in Leelanau County and has helped put this place on the official national foodie map. This restaurant has also earned its place among Wine Spectator’s awards for its comprehensive Wine List.

The Cooks House for serious foodies in Traverse City

The Cooks House for serious foodies in Traverse City

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With more than 150 restaurants, there are also plenty of dining options in Traverse City:

Red Ginger’s Japanese cuisine, Amical’s French Fare, and Georgina’s Latin /Asian fusion restaurants are on Front Street. Check out The Grand Traverswe Pie Company. They will blow you away with the delicious pies! The Apache Trout Grill is a perennial favorite outside the historic downtown area. I also like Patisserie Amie for breakfast or lunch with avant-garde French cuisine.

I love the live music at the Top of the Park Place in Traverse City Michigan

Park Place Hotel in Traverse City Michigan

Cherry Festival in Traverse City Michigan

Cherry Festival in Traverse City Michigan

Official logo of Traverse City, Michigan

Official logo of Traverse City, Michigan (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

 

 

 

 

National Geographic once said “Traverse City is one of the best summer trips” The magazine calls it one of the “biggest little beach towns on the “Third Coast” with a gorgeous Great Lakes coastline.

Cherry Festival 2012 in Traverse City Michigan

Cherry Festival 2012 in Traverse City Michigan

State Theater - Traverse City

State Theater – Traverse City (Photo credit: ktylerconk)

State Theater in Traverse City during Traverse...

State Theater in Traverse City during Traverse City Film Festival (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

 

 

Cherry Festival 2012 in Traverse City Michigan

Cherry Festival 2012 in Traverse City Michigan

Cherry Festival 2012 in Traverse City Michigan

Cherry Festival 2012 in Traverse City Michigan

Walk up and down the main drag on historic Front Street in downtown Traverse City.  Check out the Traverse City State Theater while you’re there.

English: Inflatable movie screen at the Traver...

English: Inflatable movie screen at the Traverse City Film Festival (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The renovated State Theatre was originally built in 1918. It’s the official home of the Traverse CIty FIlm Festival.

 

 

 

If you stay on the East Bay, rent a jet ski or a pontoon boat and cruise through the crystal clear water.

A day on the Pontoon in Traverse City

A day on the Pontoon in Traverse City

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You don’t have to drink wine, you can drink hard cider in Traverse City.

When you’re done crusing the bay, jump in your car and head 12 miles north of Traverse City on M-37 to the Old Mission Peninsula for some touring and tasting adventures. Near the tip of the Peninsula you can visit the Mission Point Lighthouse, built in 1870.

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Traverse City WIne

Traverse City WIne

Wineries on the Old Mission Peninsula north of Traverse City Michigan

Wineries on the Old Mission Peninsula north of Traverse City Michigan

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Chateau Chantal is one of my favorites. Try some of their sparklling wines. I liked “Tonight.” Chateau Chantal, Chateau Grand Traverse and Black Star Farms in SuttonsBay offer interesting lodging options.

Black Star Farms

Black Star Farms

Old Mission Peninsula Wineries in Traverse City

Old Mission Peninsula Wineries in Traverse City

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While you’re in town, try your luck at the Turtle Creek Casino. Check with your hotel for the shuttle schedule to the casino.

You can also visit the Dennos Museum Center at Northwest Michigan Collegewith one of the world’s largest collections of art by Inuit artists from the Canadian Artic region.

Head over to the The Village at Grand Traverse Commons for more shops and restaurants.

Before you head home, check out Gallagher’s Farm Market.

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Cherry Festival 2012 in Traverse City Michigan

Cherry Festival 2012 in Traverse City Michigan

Map of Michigan highlighting Grand Traverse Co...

Map of Michigan highlighting Grand Traverse County.svg (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

For more information visit:

www.cherryfestival.org

www.traversecity.com

 

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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Top Ten Places to Watch Chicago’s 57th Annual Air and Water Show 2015

chicago

chicago (Photo credit: MPBecker)

English: Vapor cone/Prandtl–Glauert singularit...

English: Vapor cone/Prandtl–Glauert singularity. Taken at the 2011 Chicago Air and Water Show. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Make plans to attend The 57th Annual Chicago Air & Water Show.

FREE Admission • North Ave. BeachChicago Air and Water Show slideshow

Aug. 15 & 16, 2015 • 10 am – 3 pm Both Days

 

Chicago Air and Water Show Performers

Performers

This year’s performers include the U.S. Navy Blue Angels (pictured), the U.S. Army Parachute Team Golden Knights and many more.

About the Show

About the Show

Find out more information about the Chicago Air & Water Show.

 

Media Image Gallery

Media Image Gallery

These images are available in high resolution for press purposes only.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

There are some interesting places to watch the show at North Avenue Beach. Try the Castaways Bar and Grill or Sand Bar Beer Garden.

English: Chicago skyline at sunrise Deutsch: C...

English: Chicago skyline at sunrise Deutsch: Chicagos Skyline bei Sonnenaufgang Français : Panorama urbain de Chicago au lever du soleil. {| cellspacing=”0″ style=”min-width:40em; color:#000; background:#ddd; border:1px solid #bbb; margin:.1em;” class=”layouttemplate” | style=”width:1.2em;height:1.2em;padding:.2em” | 20px |link=|center | style=”font-size:.85em; padding:.2em; vertical-align:middle” |This image was created with hugin. |} Chicago sunrise 1.jpg (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

WHEN: August  from 10:00 am – 3 pm.

Here’s the official website:

http://www.cityofchicago.org/city/en/depts/dca/supp_info/chicago_air_and_watershow.html

1. Go to Belmont Harbor

2. Diversey Harbor

3. Oak Street beach

4. Navy Pier

5. Get tickets for one of the

Spectacular Chicago-area Boat Tours including:

http://www.seadogcruises.com/Chicago/home

http://www.cruisechicago.com

http://www.mysticbluecruises.com

http://www.mysticbluecruises.com/Chicago/air-water-cruises-navypier

http://www.odysseycruises.com/Chicago/chicago-air-show-cruises

http://www.odysseycruises.com

http://www.spiritofchicago.com/Chicago/air-water-show-cruises

http://www.wendellaboats.com
6. Watch the action from the 94th floor

of the Hancock Building at 875 N. Michigan Ave.

7. Go to the John Hancock Observatory

while enjoying a drink at the Lavazza Espression Café.

The John Hancock Observatory provides a 360° view

of the city, up to four states and over 80 miles.

English: John Hancock Tower as seen from Willi...

English: John Hancock Tower as seen from Willis Tower in Chicago, IL, USA. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

8. One of my favorite Vino con Vista Spots is on the 95th floor at the Signature Room. When the building was completed in 1968 it was the tallest building in the world outside New York City. “It is currently the fourth-tallest building in Chicago and the sixth-tallest in the United States, after the Willis Tower, the Empire State Building, the Bank of America Tower, the Trump Tower Chicago and the Aon Center.”

9. Check out the rooftop terrace at the J. Parker at Hotel Lincoln or the WET Deck at W Chicago Lakeshore Hotel.

The Lindbergh Beacon atop the Palmolive Buildi...

The Lindbergh Beacon atop the Palmolive Building can be clearly seen at night. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

10. Your best bet is to hound one of your Chicago high-rise dwelling buddies with a Lake Michigan view to invite you over. Promise to bring plenty of champagne, wine and appetizers. That always works for me.

English: Five tallest skyscrapers of Chicago -...

English: Five tallest skyscrapers of Chicago – 1.Willis Tower, 2.Trump International Hotel & Tower, 3.Aon Center, 4.John Hancock Center, 5.AT&T Corporate Center. Česky: Pět nejvyšších mrakordapů v Chicagu – 1.Willis Tower, 2.Trump International Hotel & Tower, 3.Aon Center, 4.John Hancock Center, 5.AT&T Corporate Center. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Chicago from across Lake Michigan.

Chicago from across Lake Michigan. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

 

The Chicago Air And Water Show is one of the largest free air shows in the United States.”The Chicago Air And Water Show is an annual event that began in 1959 and attracts over2 Million aviation spectators every year.The annual event takes place over Chicago’s Lake Michiganand features various aviation acts raging from military aircraftto corporate sponsored aerobatic teams.

A North American F-100D Super Sabre from the U...

A North American F-100D Super Sabre from the U.S. Air Force Thunderbirds aerobatic team at the National Museum of the United States Air Force at Dayton, Ohio (USA). (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

There is also a water-skiing and boat-jumping element to the annual event. You don’t have to be an aviation guru to enjoy the show. The Chicago lakefront offers plenty of fun events during this annual beach-front extravaganza.

 

Chicago Air Show.com is a proud sponsor of the U.S. Armed Forces.
 You can watch the show from the beach or attend a Yacht Party.
English: Chicago, Ill. (Aug. 22, 2004) - The U...

English: Chicago, Ill. (Aug. 22, 2004) – The U.S. Navy flight demonstration team, the “Blue Angels,” delta formation performs the loop break crossover maneuver over Lake Michigan during the Chicago Air and Water Show. The Blue Angels fly the F/A-18A Hornet, performing approximately 30 maneuvers during the aerial demonstration lasting over an hour. U.S. Navy photo by Photographer’s Mate 2nd Class Ryan J. Courtade (RELEASED) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Lake Michigan Boat Cruise on the Kanan Yacht

Lake Michigan Boat Cruise on the Kanan Yacht

Air Show...

Air Show… (Photo credit: naathas)

View of downtown Chicago, seen from the Sears ...

View of downtown Chicago, seen from the Sears Tower. The tall, black building in the center of the image is the John Hancock Center, and Lake Michigan is in the background. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

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

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Grant Park is a 319 Acre Urban Oasis in Chicago

Chicago Downtown Panorama, By Marcin Klapczyns...

Chicago Downtown Panorama, By Marcin Klapczynski, 2004. opened by author as GNU FDL (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

 

English: View of Chicago, United States from t...

English: View of Chicago, United States from the 340 on the Park skyscraper. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

English: Art Institute of Chicago Maim Buildin...

English: Art Institute of Chicago Maim Building from across Michigan Avenue from the North (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

 

 

English: Michigan Avenue, outside the Art Inst...

English: Michigan Avenue, outside the Art Institute of Chicago, Chicago, Illinois. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

 

 

English: Fountain and garden in Grant Park Chicago

English: Fountain and garden in Grant Park Chicago (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

 

 

 

 

Grant Park is a 319 acre urban oasis in downtown Chicago. Originally known as Lake Park it was renamed in 1901 to honor Ulysses S. Grant. Grant Park is the home of many Chicago attractions including: Buckingham Fountain, the Art Institute of Chicago and the Museum Campus. It is bordered on the north by Randolph Street, on the south by Roosevelt Road and McFetridge Drive, on the west by Michigan Avenue and on the east by Lake Michigan.

The park contains performance venues, gardens, outdoor sculptures and harbor facilities. It hosts many annual events and festivals: The Taste of Chicago the Grant Park Music Festival; Chicago Jazz Festival and the Chicago Blues Festival. It is also the site of the start and finish lines of the Chicago MarathonLollapalooza is also held in Grant Park.

Championship celebrations were staged here for the Chicago Bulls during the 1990s, and the Chicago Blackhawks after Stanley Cup victories. In 2015, Grant Park hosted the first outdoor National Football League (NFL) draft and a related festival.

Grant Park has served as a venue for many historic events in Chicago: it was the staging ground for the city’s funeral procession for Abraham Lincoln. Pope John Paul II celebrated an outdoor mass to a large crowd here in 1979. The park was the location for President Barack Obama’s Election Day victory speech on the night of November 4, 2008.

The park’s area has been expanded several times through land reclamation, In the early 20th century, Grant Park was expanded with landfill and was blessed with a  formal landscape design by Edward Bennett. More landfill in the 1910s and 1920s provided sites for the current Museum Campus which houses: the Adler Planetarium, Field Museum of Natural History, and Shedd Aquarium. In 2004, a section of Grant Park, previously occupied by Illinois Central railyards and parking lots, was covered and redeveloped as magnificent Millennium Park.

 

 

Grant Park in Chicago, Illinois, USA, as seen ...

Grant Park in Chicago, Illinois, USA, as seen from the Sears Tower in 1981. The rail yards and parking lot became Millennium Park, Richard J. Daley Bicenntennial Plaza is beyond with tennis courts and white squares. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

 

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

 

Buckingham Fountain in Chicago, Illinois.

Buckingham Fountain in Chicago, Illinois. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

 

 

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Edgewater Edge Fest 2015 in Chicago

Fried bramboráky, potato pancakes

Fried bramboráky, potato pancakes (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

 

English: Historic Edwgewater Beach Neighborhoo...

English: Historic Edwgewater Beach Neighborhood Chicago, IL USA (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Edge Fest 2012 in Chicago

Edge Fest 2012 in Chicago

Edge Fest 2014 is held in Chicago’s Edgewater neighborhood close to Lake Michigan’s shoreline. There are plenty of coffee shops, ice cream parlors, stores and ethnic restaurants. Edgewater also offers great beaches, like Hollywood Beach, Osterman Beach and Foster Avenue Beach.

WHERE: 5900 Broadway

WHEN: August 1-2,2015

There will also be an Edgewater art fair

September 26 – 27, 2015

Edgewater Fall Art Fair features 60 local artists, live music, a beer garden, fashion show, kids’ corner, and pet parade on Granville Ave. at Broadway. Donation.

16 Candles Band at Edge Fest 2012 in Chicago

16 Candles Band at Edge Fest 2012 in Chicago

Hollywood Beach looking North to Thorndale

Hollywood Beach looking North to Thorndale (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

There will be over 40 local artists and live music on 2 stages.

There will be plenty of Foodie Opportunities offered by local eateries.

 

Edge FestEdge Fest

Saturday, August 2 & Sunday, August 3, 2014

5925 N. Broadway

Chicago, IL 60660

Friday, August 2: 12 Noon-10 pm; Sunday, August 3: 12 Noon-9 pm

FREE Admission; $5 donation requested

Bacon Donuts at Edge Fest 2012

Bacon Donuts at Edge Fest 2012

Bacon wrapped Shish Kabob at Edge Fest 2012

Bacon wrapped Shish Kabob at Edge Fest 2012

Bacon Elvis Sandwich at Edge Fest 2012

Bacon Elvis Sandwich at Edge Fest 2012

Edge Fest is Bacon Fest in Chicago 2012

Edge Fest is Bacon Fest in Chicago 2012

Bacon Kabob at Edge Fest 2012

Bacon Kabob at Edge Fest 2012

 

For some reason I can’t resist the crispy potoato chips or the potato pancakes!

Crispy Potato Chips at Edge Fest 2012

Crispy Potato Chips at Edge Fest 2012

Potato Pancakes at Edge Fest 2012

Potato Pancakes at Edge Fest 2012

Excellent BLT w/ Cheese

Excellent BLT w/ Cheese (Photo credit: dane brian)

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

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Chicago’s Magnificent Mile Shopping Festival 2014

English: Wrigley Building clock tower and Trib...

English: Wrigley Building clock tower and Tribune Tower from Sixteen at Trump International Hotel and Tower (Chicago) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Need to update your wardrobe? Want to score some deals at a designer trunk show in Chicago this weekend? Head over to the The Magnificent Mile Shopping Festival.

Saturday, August 23, 1:00 PM

To kick off our weekend of “Pop-Up Shopping”, Southwest Airlines presents Andy Grammer, live in concert at the John Hancock Plaza (875 N. Michigan Avenue)! Following the concert, enjoy a meet-and-greet with the star (location TBD).

Music on The Magnificent Mile
Starting August 4th, Southwest Airlines will host a sweepstakes on southwest.com/magmile. Enter for your chance to win a trip for two to Chicago to see Andy Grammer perform at The Magnificent Mile Shopping Festival Presented by MasterCard, including roundtrip airfare, two-night hotel accommodations at the Talbott Hotel (20 E. Delaware Hotel), a $500 shopping certificate to Bloomingdale’s (900 N. Michigan Avenue) and a meet-and-greet with Andy Grammer.  Sweepstakes registrants will have the opportunity to download Andy Grammer’s new single, “Back Home,” after signing up for the sweepstakes.

GNMAA2013-0826

<!–

ShopFest

–> August 23 – 24
For the first time ever, North Michigan Avenue turns inside out as fashion takes to the streets! Join us for a weekend of unique “pop-up” displays that will line the sidewalks and fill John Hancock Plaza (835 N. Michigan Avenue). Popular brands and major attractions confirmed to participate include Macy’s, American Girl Place, 900 North Michigan Shops, GAP, H2O+, AT&T, Sunglass Hut and Art Institute of Chicago.

CLICK HERE FOR A LIST OF SPECIAL SHOPPING OFFERS,
HOTEL PACKAGES AND MORE!

For a full list of events, hotel packages and to purchase tickets for applicable events, visit themagnificentmile.com.

Magnificent Mile, Chicago, Illinois, USA (Wrig...

Magnificent Mile, Chicago, Illinois, USA (Wrigley Building, left; Tribune Tower, right (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Enjoy exclusive offers, shopping perks, designer meet-and-greets, celebrity appearances and special culinary events with live music entertainment and runway shows.

 

WHERE: The Magnificent Mile in Chicago on Michigan Avenue

Water Tower Place Michigan Ave Chicago, IL

Water Tower Place Michigan Ave Chicago, IL (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Water Tower Place
Water Tower Place (Photo credit: Bernt Rostad)
Westfield North Bridge

Westfield North Bridge (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

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I Love Chicago’s Iconic Water Tower

Chicago water tower

Chicago water tower (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

41.9224 -87.6565 ←↕→ -87.6039 41.8843

41.9224 -87.6565 ←↕→ -87.6039 41.8843 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Chicago Water Tower Pumping Station along Magn...

Chicago Water Tower Pumping Station along Magnificent Mile Category:Images of Chicago, Illinois (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Chicago Water Tower

The renovated limestone castle-like Chicago Water Tower is located at 806 North Michigan Avenue along the Magnificent Mile shopping district.  It is housed in the  a small park called the Jane M. Byrne Plaza. The cherished crenellated tower was one of the magnificent structures that survived the Chicago Fire of 1871. It was the only public building in the zone to survive. Many people never bother to go inside.

The tower was constructed to house a large water pump in 1869, intended to draw water from Lake Michigan. It now serves as a Chicago Office of Tourism art gallery. The Chicago Water Tower is the second-oldest water tower in the United States, after the Louisville Water Tower in Louisville, Kentucky.

The pumping station is still operational and it is filled with gigantic water pipes. Some of the structure serves as one of the Chicago Office of Tourism’s Official Visitor’s Centers.

The Water Tower is an art gallery called The City Gallery at the Historic Water Tower. The exhibition space is dedicated to the work of Chicago artists and photographers. Stop in and enjoy the on-going exhibits.

Here’s a video of some of the Chicago Highlights around the Water Tower http://youtu.be/wlfh4jezIh0

A Lion in side the Chicago Water Tower

A Lion in side the Chicago Water Tower

Chicago Water Tower

Chicago Water Tower

Chicago Water Tower

Chicago Water Tower

 

The neo-gothic Water Tower and the Pumping Station across the street on Michigan Avenue were completed  in 1869 and designed by architect William W. Boyington. He was one of Chicago’s most prolific architects of the mid-nineteeth century.

Chicago Water Tower

Chicago Water Tower

The Water Tower is 154 feet tall. It was created for Chicago’s municipal water system and originally housed a 138 foot iron standpipe used to regulate water pressure.

Chicago Water Tower

Chicago Water Tower

The Chicago Water Tower is the second-oldest water tower in the United States, after the Louisville Water Tower in Louisville, Kentucky.

Chicago Water Tower

Chicago Water Tower

Chicago Water Tower

Chicago Water Tower

Chicago Water Tower from Hancock

English: Chicago Water Tower at Night

English: Chicago Water Tower at Night (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

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I Love The Filini Bar and Restaurant for Italian Cuisine in Chicago

Filini on Columbus in Chicago

English: Aqua at Lakeshore East

English: Aqua at Lakeshore East (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I love Filini! The two-story Italian Filini Restaurant is a relative new-comer to the Chicago Restaurant Scene.  The restaurant in located on Columbus Drive inside the elegant Radisson Blu Hotel.

Here’s are a few of the items that I enjoyed:

Antipasto: Zuppetta made with Wild mushroom soup, celeriac and crouton or

Winter style caprese made with Buffalo milk mozzarella with baked pomodorini, yellow peppers, frisse and balsamic

Orecchiette at Filini

Secondi: Orecchiette made with home made pasta, lamb sausage, garlic, olive oil, broccolini, sundried tomatoe, pecorino crema or

Salmerino made with roasted artic char, thyme roaster parsnip, carrots, leeks and olivata sauce

Dolci: Sorbetto of lemon pudding, fruit compote and wild berry sorbet

Sorbetto at Filini

Filini at 221 N. Columbus in Chicago

Filini has an extensive wine collection. Try some Gavi with lunch.

Gavi at Filini

Filini on Columbus in Chicago

To view the full menu visit:

www.filinichicago.com.

Call 312-477-0123 for reservations.

The elegant Filini is located at 221 North Columbus Drive in the new Radisson Blu Hotel. The “Aqua” Building is the structure with the wavy balconies. The high-rise is across from the Fairmont and near the Aon Building. The Building’s nautical theme represents the wave-like forms of the balconies and the tower’s proximity to Lake Michigan and the Chicago River.

The distinctive landmark skyscraper-hotel opened in November of 2011. Aqua is an 86 story mixed-use (residential & commercial) skyscraper in the Lakeshore East (east of Michigan Avenue) neighborhood in downtown Chicago. The lower floors house the elegant Radisson Blu Hotel; the only one in the US. I love the artwork on the way to the ballroom.

3-D Artwork at the Hotel

Artwork at the Hotel

English: Western facade of Aqua in Chicago.

Image via Wikipedia

The building was designed by a team led by Jeanne Gang. This incredible  Skyscraper is the tallest in the world to have a woman as the lead architect.

It was designed by Loewenberg Architects and Studio/Gang/Architects at a cost of $475,000,000.

Inside the structure, Chef Christopher Fantoni has developed an intersting authentic Italian menu for Filini.

Felini

The menu includes the following categories: Affettati E Formaggi, Antipasti, Bruschette, Risotto E Paste, Secondi, Contorni, Piatti Del Giorno (Osso Bucco Milanese on Sundays) and Dolci. Order the Torta alla Ricotta, the Cioccolatissimo or the Filini Tiramisu.

Dolci at Filini

Filini on Columbus in Chicago

Filini in ChicagoChef Christopher Fontoni has prepared a Special three-course lunch and dinner menu for Restaurant Week 2012.Call 312-477-0234 for reservations. Filini Restaurant and Bar in Chicago

On their regular menu, I love the grilled  20 ounce “Fiorentina”; A Porterhouse steak served with spinach, potatoes and garlic. Try the Gnocchi with a braised oxtail/vegetable ragu and perorino fondata. For dessert have some Filini Tiramisu sith mascarpone crema, marsala wine and expresso or the Budino al Panettone; a woarm bread pudding with vanilla gelato. Dr. EveAnn Lovero writes Travel Guides @ www.vino-con-vista.comRead the “Related Articles” for more Restaurant Week options.

English: Jeanne Gang's Aqua Tower rises distin...

Image via Wikipedia

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I Love NoMI on the 17th Floor of the Park Hyatt on Michigan Aveunue

View from the Park Hyatt in Chicago, Illinois, USA
Image via Wikipedia
English: Chicago Water Tower at Night

Image via Wikipedia

Enjoy a glorious Vino Con Vista of Chicago from the NoMI Restaurant on the seventh floor of the Park Hyatt Chicago at 800 N. Michigan Avenue. From the street, the glass and steel facade shows the floor to ceiling windows. I love the panoramic view of Lake Michigan and the historic Water Tower from this dining room.

English: View of the restaurant at Park Tower ...

Image via Wikipedia

The Park Tower skyscraper , located at 800 North Michigan Avenue in Chicago, was completed in 2000. It structure has 70 floors. It was designed by the Chicago architectural firm of Lucien Lagrange Architects. The Park Tower is a mixed use tower; the lower floors of the building are the Park Hyatt Hotel and the upper levels contain luxury condominiums.

This was an excellent choice for Chicago Restaurant Week 2012.  The last time I had lunch at NoMI, I enjoyed the following meal: a seasonal field greens salad with roasted beets, manchego cheese with walnut vinaigrette dressing as a first course; roasted Amish chicken served over beluga lentils and for dessert, an assortment of colorful “Le Mac” cookies including passion banana, lime mint and milk chocolate Grand Marnier. I ordered a 2008 Meiomi Belle Glos Pinot Noir  from Sonoma that was divine.

Check out the Super Bowl Chili Recipe on Executive Chef Ryan La Roche’s Blog. Make your reservations for lunch or brunch at www.nomirestaurant.com.

The NoMI Kitchen at Park Hyatt Chicago will host a special culinary event as part of their “Chicago Masters of Food and Wine” program. The event will be held on Friday, March 23, 2012 from 5:30-7:00 p.m. At this event, participants will learn about goat cheese from artisanal cheese purveyor Judy Solomon. This interactive experience will be held in the wine cellar. Contact the restaurant for more information and reservations.

For a calendar of all Masters of Food an Wine Events follow this link: www.mastersfoodandwine.com

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Chicago water tower

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