11 January 2010


view from our room - Trump Tower

Friday, Saturday, Sunday...

We love the Hotel Monaco. Very fun decor and ambiance. Hot chocolate in the lobby in the afternoon, and wine and hot toddies from 5 - 6:00pm. Our room is smallish, but perfect with views of the Chicago River and the new Trump Tower.

We have lunch at the South Water Kitchen which adjoins the hotel, and dinner at Harry Caray's just north of the river. Both restaurants are lovely, but the food is mediocre. We walk to Borders after dinner and stay until closing before heading inside for the night.

On Saturday morning we brace for the cold with coffee in the lobby and then walk across Wacker, up Michigan Avenue, and across Illinois Street toward Navy Pier and the Fox and Obel Market Cafe. We've had breakfast here in the past and look forward to a hearty one today. I love my Cobb omelet and CA enjoys his Eggs Benedict.

We wander the market for awhile--very high end food here--and by the time we walk back to the hotel it's been two hours. After a bit of time in the lobby and our room, we decide to head to Macy's. Our bankroll is mostly safe, and by the time we enter the hotel lobby the hot chocolate is available near the fireplace.

For dinner we decide on Mercadito at 118 W. Kinzie, but waffle a bit as we near Rick Bayless's three restaurants on North Clark. Guess what? Rick B. has closed all three from January 1 to 11, so we cross Clark and walk the half block to Mercadito. Little do we know what a special dinner this will be.

Chicago Tribune photo by Jason Wambsgans



VA-VA-VOOM!!! The tacos are outstanding. The steak tacos are perfect and melt in the mouth. Next, we have the Mahi-Mahi Baha tacos and they are equally wonderful. CA presses for an order of shrimp tacos, so we go for it. They are wonderful, but not as devastatingly so as the steak and Mahi. We will come back here. And, did I mention the Margharitas? Deadly.

Did I say how freezing cold it is in the City this weekend? And, someone stole my red leather gloves in the hotel lobby this afternoon, so I keep my hands deep in the pockets of my warm, warm coat. Back at the hotel we settle into the lovely ambiance and continue to congratulate ourselves on selecting this particular hotel for our weekend getaway. Perfect.

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