Chicago has long held a steady hold on the Midwest as a place to go for a nice weekend. Especially when one had to go there on a business trip, as I did several times a year for years. It was even a better trip, when I could take my Bride with me and we would make the most of it. While I was working away at a trade show, my Bride could visit her cousin or visit some of her girlfriends or business associates, or sometimes she just shopped or made a combination of the two.
While we were there we always made it a point to have a couple of dinners while we were there. Since I was not expensing any of my dinners, as they were not included on a per diem, because of my reputation for dining, the choices were endless. One time we went and had dinner at a restaurant my Brother-in-Law had recommended, and since he had similar tastes in food and wine, we looked forward to trying out his suggestion. We went to Coco Pazzo, which is on Hubbard Street, they have since opened up a second location, but we went when there was only one. Coco Pazzo is a very upscale Italian restaurant, the dishes are for the most part are very classic interpretations, the difference is that they use all fresh and quality ingredients. One may pay more, but the quality is very obvious and you know that you are not in a “pasta joint” and there are times when that time of restaurant does fit the bill, but not when we were out on the town. We started off with my Bride enjoying an Ahi Tuna Carpaccio dish, while I had a Chicken Liver Pate, a dish that I have enjoyed for years on end. My Bride is much more adventuresome and she had a Monk Fish entrée, while I went with a Grilled Rib Eye steak with an Italian twist to the presentation, and I do remember getting a side of Mushrooms and Garlic, which was enough for the two of us to share. They also had a great cup of Cappuccino and a wonderful warm flourless chocolate cake with white chocolate gelato for dessert, which we shared.
Even though we had a hard dinner to try to pair a wine with, my Bride enjoys a robust red wine with some of her fish choices. Especially when I was going to order a Vino Nobile di Montepulciano, we enjoyed a Boscarelli 2000 that evening. A lot of people confuse a Vino Nobile di Montepulciano with a Montepulciano D’Abruzzo and the two are as different as night and day, even though they both share the word Montepulciano. A Montepulciano D’Abruzzo is made from the Montepulciano varietal, whereas the Vino Nobile di Montepulciano is made from a minimum of 70% Sangiovese and usually blended with Canailo Nero and Mammolo varietals and aged for two years in oak barrels (three years if it is a Riserva, which alas this bottle was not). What more could one ask for than a great wine, with great food in a wonderful town for a little get-away, even if I was working the weekend.