I consider myself a social home body.  I love being home, in my kitchen, music on and all by myself.  But I am also a very social person – I love meeting new people!  My late husband couldn’t believe it that we would almost always run into someone I knew when we went back to Oak Park.

So I really have to be proactive in making plans.  Last week I had planned to meet up with my friend Morgan, but work got in the way and I had to reschedule.  I decided to pick a restaurant closer to her office, and chose The Publican in Fulton Market.

I love the west loop of Chicago, and if I could afford to live there, that’s where I would live.  It was a casual one mile walk from my office to the restaurant.  This part of the city has been booming in the last 10 years, boasting dozens of restaurants and bars.

The Publican is one of many restaurants from the One Off Hospitality Group that’s been on my bucket list for a while.  Hey Morgan – we need to go to all their other restaurants!  Blackbird, avec, Dove’s Luncheonette and Pacific Standard Time.    Just sayin’ šŸ˜€

It’s communal seating and its served family style.

The server suggested that between the two of us, we order 3-4 things.  We had no trouble coming to a consensus on what to order.  If there is a charcuterie board on a menu, I am almost always going to get that, and sometimes I will make that my main meal.

This was their HALF plate charcuterie – black pepper salami, pork pie! harissa pate, lamb souses, pickles mostarda and a super grainy mustard.

Can we just get a closer look at all those mustard seeds?  Dak’s – can you comment?! 

Serrano ham with goat butter and artisan bread.  Um, why do I want to only eat goat butter from now on?!

My favorite dish of the night, and one I can’t wait to create at home, is this scallop dish with endive, neonata (which is a fish condiment), spanish olives and citrus aioli – swoon!

And pretty sure I’ll be pickling all my veggies – I believe they added tumeric to the cauliflower to get it that color.  So good!

My friend Morgan not only went to culinary school, she also is quite the sommelier and ordered us a starter drink – she can explain it in this video – it was so good!

We also got the frites, because #balance

It was quite empty when we got there for happy hour, but filled to the brim by the time we left at 8 p.m.

If you are on Instagram, you need to follow Morgan – she makes amazing food, does cooking stories and I’ve learned so much from her already.  She even saves all of her veggie scrapes and makes homemade veggie stock!

We’ve already started talking about doing cooking segments in her condo – how fun would that be?!  It’s nice having friends that love food as much as you do. šŸ˜€

It was a nice half mile walk back to the train.  Since it was way past rush hour, I didn’t get home until 10, but totally worth it.

I wouldn’t trade my country life/city life combo.  Well, maybe if I hit the lottery and bought a loft in the west loop. šŸ˜€

Curious if you are a home body or a social butterfly – which do you prefer?  

Happy Wednesday friends – make it a great day!  Love, Biz