Rivers and Rhapsody
Last weekend we hired a babysitter and had a Friday night out on the town. As I've said before, Chicago is an amazing restaurant town. The city has so many different neighborhoods and most of them are full of eateries. My only disappointment is that I don't have the time to experience them all.
On this particular evening, Win and I met up with some of his colleagues for drinks at Rivers. Rivers, or Rivers Euro-American Bistro as it's officially named, is located on the ground level of the Chicago Mercantile Exchange. This was the starting point to our night so it was just drinks for us this time around. We sat outside on their patio overlooking the Chicago River listening to their live jazz band. The band was terrific but a little loud, since our group had (unknowingly) selected a table right in front of where the band would ultimately set up. Rivers appeared to have quite the after-work singles scene going. We had a couple drinks and then took a leisurely walk to our ultimate dinner destination Rhapsody.
Rhapsody is one of those places that completely captures what I mean about Chicago having so many good restaurants. Before leaving the larger group at Rivers, we mentioned where we'd be having dinner. No one knew the place, yet it turned out to be outstanding and had received accolades from Chicago Magazine and others. There are just so many good restaurants in this town that a lot of them can go undiscovered. Our theory is that we could eat and eat and eat out around town and still not scratch the surface of what's out there.
We had crab cakes and gazpacho with some crab for appetizers. Each was delicious and really flavorful. If you've read any other entries here, you can probably begin to see I'm a bit of a gazpacho freak...this one was exceptional. For dinner, I had Pan Seared Wild Labrador Ocean Trout with Boulangere Potatoes & Morel Mushrooms with Bordelaise Sauce. The fish was good, but the mushrooms might have been the best mushrooms I've ever tasted. So perfectly tasty in the bordelaise. Win had Butler Steak with delicious potatoes and spinach on the side. Rhapsody serves scrumptious homemade bread with dinner. My only issue with the bread is that it's brought around by a server and you select one piece and then have to wait until the server returns to dive into your next piece. When you are a bread glutton like I am, the bread man never comes fast enough and you sit wishing you had a bread basket on hand, even though it's much less stylish. I know the bread server conveys elegance and a refined touch, but when bread is that good, a girl needs to get her hands on it fast.
The meal was full of flavor and very satisfying, so despite an interesting dessert menu we skipped desserts this time around. After walking halfway home though, I couldn't resist the allure of a soft-serve vanilla ice cream cone from McDonald's. Sometimes the richest dinners are best capped off with something basic, right?