As if the showrooms at the Merchandise Mart aren’t drool worthy on their own, imagine Chicago’s hottest restaurants in each, serving you innovative, tasty, and well-portioned samples of food and dessert paired with different wines, champagnes, and beer. It’s not heaven, but it’s close: it’s the annual Chill event hosted by LuxeHome.
The Chill is one of my favorite events of the year. And while in full disclosure I received my tickets for free, it was without a doubt the Chill’s best year yet. First, it was a sold out event, raising money for excellent organizations such as the Respiratory Health Association, Chicago Youth Symphony Orchestra, and the Lynn Sage Foundation.
Second, the event was brilliantly run. Food lines moved quickly, chefs spoke excitedly about the food they were serving, and the wait-staff was abundant and attentive – it seemed as if the moment I finished each sample, its empty plate was swiftly whisked out of my hands. The atmosphere was also exceptional. Amongst glittering showrooms (one even had a $6,000 remote control operated toilet!) were live musicians, including two very talented dual pianists in the main lobby.
Finally, there was the food. Oh the food. My only regret is that I did not make it to each restaurant. Socca served fondue, savory and decadent, particularly with its bacon toping. There was also fried risotto accompanied with dual tapenades, a hearty black lentil dish served with squash puree and cream, and miniature buttery biscuits served with a lamb gravy. There were red wines, white wines, sake, champagne, beer, and port.
Brix Chocolate made a point of matching your chocolate sample to whatever you were drinking and Nonna Santis Biscotti made sure each person had a cookie in hand. The Palmer House’s Lockwood ladled a rich soup bursting with autumn flavors and Coco Pazzo, one of my favorites and a previous Chewables restaurant challenge, served up a perfectly cooked gnocchi, accompanied with tender pieces of meat.
Experience The Chill for yourself in Fall 2012 at the Merchandise Mart.
Filed under: Chicago Events