table for one, please

For me being an ex chef – a big part of the adventure of travelling is to enjoy good food and for every journey I make – I want to enjoy one of the best – this journey has 4 major destinations; Chicago, Seattle, Vancouver and Victoria, BC – and for my taste buds Chicago is one of the most exciting food cities in the world, so the big spread landed in Chicago.

Wanted to visit and enjoy Chicago best restaurant of 2012 – “GT Fish & Oyster” on 531 North Wells Street. Awarded 2012 Bib Gourmand and MICHELIN Guide Chicago 2012, on their website you can book online – through “Open Table” and when I tried I was told no table for at least 30 days. Good for them, but bad for me. So then I found an email address on the website – so I explained that I will be visit Chicago and heard so much about their amazing food and service – and wondered if they could squeeze me in one night during me stay. That’s now 14 days ago and I haven’t heard from them. So much for good service. How long time does it take for them to replay and say sorry we’re really fully booked. So the place is ticket off my list for good. What a pity. It’s their lost in the end. So no link from me to them *smile

There is so many good restaurants in Chicago, so my night of indulgence went to “SEPIA”, 123 North Jefferson St. – have booked for 3th July. A restaurant that have been around for a couple of years. It’s been up there with the best all the time. 4,5 stars rating out 5 stars – “Truly our best dining experience ever. Ambience, staff, sommelier, food was exceptional” 1890 it was a print shop and “SEPIA” today stand for commentary vintage with adventures American cuisine. Very exciting over my choice.

One of my favourite restaurants in Chicago is “Blackbird” – and I’m very temped to go back, but they have now open another place called – “The Publican”, 837 W. Fulton Market – 4,5 stars out 5 – very rustic and fare away from the commentary Blackbird – and it has been recommend to me through people visiting Chicago frequently. So 2nd of July I will try it out. It’s stands for American Cuisine too and famous for their pork dishes. “From start to finish, the experience was amazing”.

Have also been recommended “ The Purple Pig” and “Slurping Turtle” – Think I will try to make to the “The Purple Pig” – on my evening of arrival, will be at the hotel around 10pm and if they are only 5 mins walk from Hyatt Regency Hotel I should make it and unpacking can wait, will not be able to sleep anyhow the first nigh- Jet lag. “Slurping Turtle” – you just have to turn up and wait for a table. What I understand it’s a mixture of Asian cuisines. Love the names of both of the places.

For my last night in Chicago I have chosen and booked – “ZED451” on 739 N Clark Street, “The experience was wonderful and the food was even better!” – Unconventional steakhouse they class themselves as and also a special menu where you can chose so many small dishes you want from for $48.00/£25.50/€31.70 – called the THE ZED EXPERIENCE. Enticing!!!!!

The on the 8 … I move on to Seattle, so many years since Seattle was my favorite waterholes station, 1989 – every evening I worked I spent in Seattle during nearly a whole years time – a colorful and sparkling city, with a fantastic nightlife and great food. I have checked after my old places, that has changed names and owners … but The Metropolitan Grill”  on 820 2nd Ave. are still going strong and still one of the 10 Best in town – WELL DONE!
Decided that I will look for new adventures – and in my hotels neighborhood – in Belltown.
Arrive on a Sunday and “Lola Seattle”,  2000 Fourth Avenue, only a block down from my hotel on 4th Ave – nearly a 5 star rating and it stands for Mediterranean cuisine and belongs to Tom Douglas family of exceptional downtown restaurants. I have heard that their salmon kebabs are to do die for. “The tastiest and most aromatic food we’ve had for a long time!”

Only 3 nights in Seattle and one night I will just pop into a “whole in the wall” somewhere or have something at “Pike Public Market and that will be for my last evening in town.

Have also booked “SPUR Gastropub”, 113 Blanchard Street – been recommended this place too. 12 min walk from my hotel, and there I will dine 9th of July. It has it’s been recognized by Food & Wine magazine as one of the country’s top restaurants. “This really is the best meal I’ve had so far in the city.”

The early morning of 11th I will board the Amtrak to Vancouver and I’m expecting a magical train journey, first class … with stunning views. Vancouver was my number One city for years, until Chicago and I met – but a clear 2nd. Have 4 nights there and I have booked a table for 2 nights.
“Ensemble”, 850 Thurlow St – Top Chef Canada 2011 Dale Mackay is ruling in the kitchen there. Contemporary French French cuisine and not over pricey – love the look of their menu – there I dine on 11th and in 15 min walking distance from my hotel on Howe Street.
“We were extremely impressed with the good and the service. Every bite was exquisite”

And even my second pre-booking for Vancouver is French – wonder what I was thinking here, but this I have been recommended – better food then in Paris, friends told me – I promise you that is not difficult, even on my balcony the food is better than in Paris.

“Tableau Bistro”, 1181 Melville Street and it has a female Executive chef and that makes it exciting for me. “Lovely food and unpretentious atmosphere.”

In Victoria I will stay with a friends of mine and I will meet up friends I haven’t seen for years – some 23 years. So they have to decide where we go and where we eat.
Going to take the family I’m staying with out for a meal one evening I would love to try the “Cactus Club Cafe” – it’s a chain of restaurants all over Canada, but they have got such great review and I think it’s a place that both their teenage daughters and I will like.

Of course I will write reviews on all the places I eat and enjoy .. but I will not take photos – for me it doesn’t feel right to take photos of food and maybe interfere other guests eating and if the photos don’t come out that good … it’s not good for the restaurant either – so I don’t bring my camera to a restaurant in respect of the restaurant and other diners. So I have to trust google and the restaurants websites to give me something to post.

bon appétit – or in Swedish; smaklig måltid

“The other night I ate at a real nice family restaurant.
Every table had an argument going.”
George Carlin

Photos provided by and thanks to;

30 thoughts on “table for one, please

    • Doesn’t cost anything to have a look … *smile and I love checking menus out … and be picky where to go. The best thing with “Opentable” is it’s normal guests that have done the reviews – and if 90% out 400 say something is good – it’s good. Critics are okay, but they look at restaurants and food different way then you and I. Just like film critics!

  1. Hi,
    What a fantastic rundown on what seems some very nice places to enjoy a meal. A great way to work out where you may like to eat on your travels, great research, and I will be looking forward to hearing what you thought of them. 🙂

    • Mags, thank you so much … I don’t want to book every night, because I want visit places I maybe hear about or see when out and about. Also looking forward to see what they are up to. Have to take my little note book with to right down what I have been eating.

  2. I’m looking forward to hear about your food experiences from your trip! Less than 2 weeks left now!! The last photo is soooo funny!!! 😀

    • Thanks … Malin, Yes, the picture is brilliant .. not easy to make a choice there. Hope that it will not come to that on any of my adventures.

  3. Viveka, I’m born and raised in Chicago. When I moved to Florida I was so disappointed in the food here. Chicago truly does know their food. Thanks for sharing this Chef Lady. 🙂

    • Yes, Chicago is a fantastic city in overall, but their food is so good – in New Orleans the food was good too. Understand you miss Chicago – if I won some millions I would move there – a big penthouse apartment in one of the sky scarpers.

      • Yes, New Orleans is well-known for their food. However, I’m not a big fan of Cajun food. I went there and tried it, but it wasn’t for me, except for their beignets. It’s a yummy pastry.

      • I only had cajun food once during my stay … it’f French cooking at it’s best a lot – but they have some star chefs in New Orleans. I love the beignets too … wonderful breakfast stuff.

  4. Can’t wait to hear all your reviews. My step-son worked at The Metropolitan Grill in Seattle while he lived there and we had dinner there one night. Fabulous. I haven’t been to any of the others. Sounds like you have some wonderful places to dine.

    • Yes, Metropolitan Grill is a fantastic place .. and still going strong. Had some great meals there .. and then there was an Irish Pub, where I had my first “Irish Stew” ever .. and Italian called “Joe’s” along the seafront – had my farewell party there. Yes, I very exciting over my picks – interesting menus all of them.

  5. Looking forward to hearing more! I do love Chicago food too! Are you planning to get deep dish Chicago pizza (with the thick, buttery crust) – I would have to get it again if I ever travelled back to Chicago! 🙂

    • Hi there, little chef …. I know the Chicago pizza, but I want my very very thin .. and I would say Sweden has the best pizza outside Italy, even the Italians say we have a very good pizza. In the 50th loads of Italian workers came to Sweden for the industrial boom. I think the all open pizzerias so soon they could afford it.

  6. Hi you! Man you have got it down. I love it. We are on Orcas now and settling it with the deer in the yard. It’s great. Looking forward to your restaurant reviews. A nice choice at Pike Place Market is called Matt’s at the Market – use to be a whole in the wall and now is very popular. Also if you are up for some sweets – an apple fritter at Three Girls bakery… Always on my Seattle to eat list. I’m staying with a friend Friday night who just bought a little condo right at the market and I can’t wait.

    I’m hoping to try Sushi kappa tamura- It was on Bon Appetit mag’s top 10 sushi in usa. But do I remember you not being a fan of raw fish?

    • Will have a look at Matt’s – I think I was in looking at their website .. because it came up as a fish restaurant. With view over the seafront ???? Will check it out. Have one evening un-booked. Heard about the “Three Girls” – have to look them up – need a good afternoon coffee and some fantastic cake.
      So glad that you both are settled in now and can start to enjoy the summer – that part of the world is stunning .. will never forget that double rainbow. I like Japanese food – but not sushi – don’t trust the rice … have become violent sick from it once. Seattle is a fantastic city, everybody are talk about how wonderful San Francisco are – didn’t click for me – love Seattle with all the island outside and it’s green and very modern.
      Hope to see you … trail packing today – My GOD!

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