The Best of Chicago Restaurant Week 2018

One of Chicago's best annual events has come and gone, all within a 14 day span of great food with even greater deals. Restaurant Week offers Chicagoans the indulgent opportunity to try two, three and four course meals at the city's best dining, all for an affordable price. Offering set prix fixe menus, guests can choose from a $22 Lunch menu, $22/33 Brunch menu, or $44 Dinner menu (all prices per person). Considering the fact that steakhouses and Gold Coast staples partake in these prix fixe menus each year, the deals are down right amazing. This year I was determined to take advantage of the event and try new restaurants.

My Restaurant Week experience began at a quaint farm-to-table establishment in the heart of Gold Coast, Blue Door Kitchen & Garden. A few girls from work and I chose to do their $22 lunch special during the work week, choosing from a 3-course prix fixe menu. Accompanied by a glass of bubbly, we cheered to Brussels & Kale Salad, Apple & Brie Sandwiches, and Hummingbird Cake (which was hands down the best cake I have ever had). The only thing I wish was different was adding another half of the Apple & Brie sandwich - it was so good!

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Toasted almonds, bacon, parmeson, maple tahini vinaigrette

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Honey, radish, Dijon aioli, ciabatta // served with sweet potato chips

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Banana and pineapple cake, cream cheese frosting

The next dining establishment had me feelin' 23. Michael Jordan 23 that is. Michael Jordan Steakhouse, nestled on Michigan Ave. in Streeterville, featured a full $22 per person three-course Lunch menu for Restaurant Week. My favorite dish of the afternoon was the chicken gumbo - it had just enough kick!

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Smoked Chicken Gumbo

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Brown butter potato puree, pickled garlic & cabernet sauce

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Sea salt, caramel & pecan crisp

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I had been wanting to check out Barrio in River North for the longest time, and I'm so glad I did! The Mexican fare restaurant's kitchen is run by "Top Chef" alumni, Chef Katsuji Tanabe, so you know the food will be delicious. My girlfriends and I chose to do their $22 Brunch menu for Restaurant Week, which included two courses. I added a guava mimosa for good measure and the table was brought Barrio's signature complimentary brunch shots (Horchata?). I loved the dragon fruit accents!

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Dragon fruit, grilled pineapple, horchata whipped cream

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Caramelized sweet potato, charred jalapeno, morita hollandaise

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Horchata

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Last, but certainly not least, Restaurant Week ended at a Gold Coast favorite. Fig & Olive, a Mediterranean fare restaurant on Oak Street, presented colorful dishes featuring flavored olive oil (my favorite is their Spanish Olive Oil). Each dish was bursting with unique flavor, and was officially my favorite overall experience out of the two-week event!

Red cabbage, butternut squash, pomegranate seeds, orange, brussels sprout, sunflower seeds, chive, citrus dressing

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Roasted kabocha, pumpkin seeds, fried sage, parmesan

Shortbread, mascarpone, black cherry

Did you partake in this year's Restaurant Week festivities? If so, share your favorite! Until next year...

xo