We had the best night downtown last night! We left the house around 2:00 and stopped at a place called Moretti’s for lunch. The place was huge and practically empty! When we asked the bartender if it was going to be a busy Halloween night, he shrugged his shoulders and said they’d be lucky to get 5 customers in! Tony said this place used to do a booming business back in the day and would fill up two parking lots!
I ended up getting a grilled avocado sandwich in a spinach wrap – no mayo, so it was a tad on the dry side, but the avocado made up for it! 😀
Then we continued our drive downtown – the traffic wasn’t too bad!
First we settled into our hotel!
Whenever we do priceline, we end up at this hotel – we got a King room for $79! 😀 I love the old world charm of this hotel!
After relaxing a bit, we headed out to dinner. While our go to restaurant was Smith & Wollensky, we decided to follow Chef Hans over to Trader Vic’s. The weird thing is that Trader Vic’s used to be in the Palmer House! But a 10 minute cab ride got us where we needed to be – its now in the lobby of a condo building on State Street!
One of the other things we knew we would miss was the bartender who always took care of us. He’s an Irish guy named Jerry and he always has the best stories about Black Hawks and other celebrities he’s taken care of.
So imagine our surprise about 20 minutes into our first drink when we hear this Irish voice and its Jerry! He moved over to Trader Vic’s after being with Smith & Wollensky for 14+ years! So we got the best of both worlds – best bartender and best Chef!
We started out with appetizers – I had the best crab rangoon of my life! Not greasy and the filling was so flavorful – you could really taste the crab! They came on this tray that had a candle underneath it to keep them warm!
Tony got the oysters – I’ve tried oysters in the past – I even worked for a chef that made me eat one against my will! I nearly threw up! These had a yuzu vinaigrette drizzled over the top!
That’s when our server came over and said that Jerry the bartender wanted to buy our next round of drinks – nice! Tony was drinking a cabernet sauvignon – I had pinot grigio – so light and crisp!
We listened to the most eclectic Hawaiian music during dinner – I loved the salt and pepper shakers!
And when a bowl of different kinds of breads was put on the table, it came with the most interesting spread – it turned out to be a combination of peanut butter, worchestershire sauce and Tabasco! 😀 Thank you Tony for being the perfect hand model!
Tony asked Jerry for a recommendation for dinner, and he didn’t hesitate to suggest the bone-in ribeye. I have to admit, having been in the restaurant business as a server for many years, its not uncommon to suggest the most expensive thing on the menu – or if someone just asks for a “glass of red” you bring them the most expensive one by the glass (and I’ve worked in places where a glass of pinot noir sold for $22 a glass!).
But holy cow this was THE best steak I have ever had in my life! It was a 20 ounce bone in and the seasonings on the top mixed in with the perfectly cooked marbled meat – one bit and all I could do was close my eyes and enjoy every savory bite! And had we not been going back to the hotel, pretty sure our dog Ed would have loved that bone!
I got this: The Beef and Reef
I actually thought the sauce was going to be really spicy, and while it wasn’t – it was so flavorful. Mine had a lobster tail in the shell mixed in with the tenderloin – and had I not eaten a bite of Tony’s steak, this would have been a great choice – still good – but not like Tony’s amazing steak!
The secret to the amazing steak is that it was cooked in a wood burning stove – a guy would stand on some sort of ladder on the back and open it up – I am guessing there is a huge grate on top? It was at this point Chef Hans started coming to tables asking how everything was. When he reached our table, I told him that Tony’s steak was even better than any other steak I’d had at Smith & Wollensky. He thanked us for coming in and next thing you know, our server is bringing us a round on the Chef! 😀
We finished our dinners and headed back to the bar. I noticed that Chef was sitting at the bar, and asked Jerry if he would mind me getting a picture with him. He said “of course! But I need to put my chef jacket on!” A few minutes later, and we took pictures!
This one is with Chef and Jerry!
And Jerry took this picture of me and Tony – which I love!
It was then that the server whispered in my ear – is it your husband’s birthday? And while Tony’s birthday was last month last night was the first time we were able to get away. A few minutes later, she brought this huge bowl of vanilla ice cream with toasted coconut and caramel. And the plate said “Happy Birthday” in chocolate!
Thanks to everyone at Trader Vic’s who made our night out wonderful!
Since it was Halloween night – we saw this couple in the lobby – kind of drunk – but I asked if I could take their picture – within 1 second Wonder Woman was ready for her close up!
We hopped into a cab and headed back to the hotel – belly’s very full! Um, I don’t think Tony trusts Chicago cab drivers too much!
It was an awesome night – and a nice leisurely drove back home. We drove over the bridge to where my old office used to be on North Michigan Avenue – this is right before you get to the Wrigley Building and about 6 blocks before Water Tower.
Hope everyone had a great Halloween weekend – thanks Tony for a wonderful night out – I always have the best time with you – I love you!
See you Monday night! 😀