A Literal GGE POV
This post originally appeared on Girl's Gotta Eat, Lauren's chronicle of her dating adventures.
A really big part of my life, which you may have noticed given the title of this blog, is food.
Like, food makes me happier than….let’s just say ‘most things’. And while some might categorize me as an “emotional eater”, I just categorize myself as SOMEONE WHO RECOGNIZES THEIR WANTS AND NEEDS. GoddAMNIT.
Because of this, I’ve decided it’s time for a literal GGE post. Ima countdown my top 5 Chicago date spots, and what to order when you’re there. I didn’t keep a detailed list of every date I went on in 2016 for nothin’.
How much do you hate me right now? If it’s only low-moderate, we’re okay. If it’s above that…we’ll get through this TOGETHER. Just focus on the food.
I’m not gonna lie. A fucking great part of dating is being taken out on da TOWN. I always stress to whoever I’m going out with that I love wining and dining – I really don’t care to be with someone who doesn’t feel that same INFINITE JOY when they see their food coming around the corner at a restaurant. It’s primal.
GIRL’S. GOTTA. EAT.
Treat yoself, ma babies:
5. Billy Sunday– Logan Square
Billy Sunday feels kinda…bad. In like, your sexiest leather jacket type of way (which I obviously wore). It’s really dark inside, and the cocktails are crafty and strong. Almost painfully hip, but it still feels casual – the rarest of hybrids. If the time has come for you to go full-throttle hipster (or, as I did, go out with one), order one of their “Jars” – I recommend the Salmon Tartare. You’re there for the cocktails though, and you really can’t go wrong with anything on that menu.
4. Glenn’s Diner – Ravenswood
Full disclosure: this is my favorite Chicago restaurant and I’ve brought everyone in my life here. My Dad and I discovered it about 5 years ago, after a dude I was dating told me it was the best seafood in Chicago (insert my bratty rebuttal “seafood at a DINER? I’m from SEATTLE”). Lo and behold…it’s been love ever since (between me and the diner, not that dude). The adorably casual vibe, super fresh seafood, and CEREAL BAR just can’t be beat when it comes to one hell of a charming night out. Order the Mussels, and thank me later.
3. Willow Room – Lincoln Park
Okay, so the Willow Room opened just a few months ago, and the space is GORGEOUS. High lofted ceilings, various gallery walls, and plush velvet banquettes. I’ve had a couple super solid meals there, and can say there’s really no other atmosphere like it in Chi-town right now. A lovely date night option. Treat yourself to that NY Strip Steak.
2. Mott St. – Wicker Park
Anyone who’s ever hit up Mott St. can tell you it’s the coolest of the cool. The menu is crazy inventive, the service always nails, and the room is constantly buzzing – yet you still manage to feel like you’re having an intimate experience with your human of choice. I LOVE coming here – and the patio during the summer is not to be missed. The Oyster Mushrooms are INSANE. The guy who took me there was a restaurant owner who KNEW HIS ISH.
1. Boka – Lincoln Park
In all honesty – Boka might be too good for a first date; I didn’t even realize how much I liked the dreamy dude I was out with until we left the restaurant because I was having a GODDAMN SPIRITUAL EXPERIENCE W EVERY PLATE. Very distracting. However, across the board at Boka, NOTHING could be better. Gorgeous atmosphere, supremely excellent service, and food that’s just to DIE for – it’s criminally good. The menu’s constantly changing, but I do believe their Roasted Spanish Octopus just might be a constant….if you’re lucky. The night I went they were also serving truffles at market price which was truly the greatest miracle I personally experienced in 2016, so, thank you BOKA. And, thank you to the stud that took me there .
Pissed as shit at me right now because you’re not in Chicago? I don’t blame ya.
My advice however remains the same, regardless of your location: choose someplace you feel comfortable. Where you know you’ll enjoy yourself when it comes to food, service, and atmosphere. Don’t let anything about the dining experience (except maybe it being too good) get in the way of the money note: your date.