Thursday, December 12, 2013
Wednesday, December 11, 2013
Tuesday, December 10, 2013
Saturday, December 7, 2013
Located on the hotel's second floor, Travelle features Chef Tim Graham's contemporary take on the Mediterranean cuisine. Drawing inspiration from the region's rich culinary history, the kitchen takes guests on a culinary journey that extends from the shores of Southern France to the exotic spice markets of Turkey and beyond. Sourcing the best local ingredients and offering Chef Graham's interpretation of Mediterranean-inspired cuisine, each dish is simply and creatively presented.
Travelle features interiors created by renowned designer David Rockwell, showcasing the pure lines of Mies van der Rohe's modern architecture. The wood and metal finishes pay tribute to the architect's industrial-age aesthetic, while a central digital art installation and floor-to-ceiling windows convey a contemporary elegance.
Beyond the bronze-enhanced glass entrance, Travelle's Wine Room offers a tasting table for up to 10 people and also can serve as an intimate semi-private dining room. The contemporary main dining area features a chef's table and seating for up to 125 guests as well as a glass-enclosed show kitchen, allowing guests to enjoy a culinary performance.
Occupying a corner of the building, Travelle's window-framed bar is ideal for pre-dinner drinks or late-night cocktails. While its leather-upholstered seating and ebony accents suggest old-world charm, the richly patterned stone floor and distinctive spun-brass pendant ceiling present cutting-edge design.
The adjoining lounge, overlooking the Chicago River, features panoramic cityscape and skyline views. A 30-foot digital artwork lines the lounge wall while midcentury-inspired furniture recalls the era of classic cocktail culture. Live entertainment fills the space Thursday through Saturday evenings where libations and conversations flow in a convivial setting.
It's absolutely stunning from the moment you step in. The one thing I immediately noticed was the central kitchen completely surrounded by clear windows so you can see all the magic happening before your very eyes. It was almost like being at home in an open kitchen, but on a much more elegant scale.
We started out with mimosas, the only way to start a proper brunch! Melissa and I peruse the menu and even before having any food come out, we were impressed. Their brunch menu offered so many delicious items, making it hard to choose. Some things to note - their Seafood Elevation. Unlike a tower of seafood coming to your table all at once, their Seafood Elevation comes in waves, where you're given a sampling of various seafood over a few courses.
Speaking of seafood, there's plenty of it represented on their menu. Much like a traditional charcuterie board of sausages, cheeses and breads, Travelle offers a 'Seacuterie' board which includes items like a scallop boudin sausage, octopus 'mosaic' carpaccio, and a fish paté. We enjoyed a Seacuterie board as one of our starters and it was delicious, different and a creative way to look at seafood a bit differently.
Another starter we had was their beet, puffed quinoa encrusted goat cheese and tangerine supremes. I loved how colorful this salad was and the varying textures really worked nicely together.
For our entrées, both Melissa and I got an eggs benedict. This happens to be my favorite breakfast/brunch dish of all time and not only does Travelle have it on the menu, they six different varieties. I opted for the Travelle Benedict with included succulent lobster, spinach and a truffled hollandaise sauce. Amazing! Melissa chose the Norweigan Benedict where smoked salmon, fennel and a choron sauce [which is similar to a Bernaise sauce made with tomato paste.]
Overall, we had a fantastic and delicious time at Travelle and I would definitely recommend it while visiting the city... or during this time of year, if you're checking out the holiday windows at the Macy's on State Street. It's a short walk over the Chicago River bridge and the Langham and Travelle are directly across the street from the Trump Building. I would like to come again and try out dinner for a taste of their Mediterranean inspired dishes but as for brunch, I really enjoyed this and would definitely go back!
Friday, December 6, 2013
Thursday, December 5, 2013
Tuesday, December 3, 2013
Thanksgiving is over and then bam! It's December. Despite how quickly the year has gone by, it really has been a wonderful year. And with the holiday season in full swing, I'm looking forward to the weeks ahead. I mean, aside from the holidays, there's still football and shopping! Those two things make it a win-win in our house. So if football and shopping are some things you can relate to, then this will be something you'll enjoy. But first, here's a recent sandwich I made for a lazy day of football. Real N'awlins Muffuletta Sandwiches will be something that will get folks raving. Layers upon layers of sliced ham, genoa salami, mortadella, provolone and mozzarella are piled high in between olive salad soaked loaves of Italian bread. Grab a napkin, folks... you're gonna need one!
So going back to football, we still have a few more weeks left to hopefully root on our beloved teams whether they are professional or college. It really doesn't matter to me because I clearly enjoy preparing a spread for those watching the games. This sandwich is one that will have folks asking what the recipe is for the olive salad. Or what was in that sandwich they clearly devoured. It may look like a crazy stack of meat and cheese but it is so worth it!
The olive salad definitely needs the time to marinate and have the flavors meld so I highly recommend preparing the salad a day if not two days before. It's also a good idea to get a really good crusty Italian loaf - a round boule would be more authentic but a standard long loaf works fine too (which is what I used). I would even recommend making the sandwiches a day in advance, slice them up after preparing and then wrap each sandwich individually so that the olive salad can get soaked up by the bread for even more delicious flavor. And it helps that the sandwiches are individually wrapped so folks can grab, go and cheer on their team.
With Black Friday sales and even Cyber Monday sales over, if you're all about shopping and saving money, I've got some savings to share for you. Thanks to my friends at Kraft, you can save up to $20 on participating Kraft products with coupons redeemable exclusively at Target. Simply go to Target.com to check out the special Kraft coupons and then redeem at your local Target store. In fact, for this recipe I used Kraft Mozzarella and Kraft Provolone sliced cheese to make these Real N'awlins Muffuletta Sandwiches. So, get your grub on and then get shopping with savings from Kraft!
Real N'awlins Muffuletta Sandwiches
recipe from AllRecipes
1 cup pimento-stuffed green olives, finely minced
1/2 cup drained kalamata olives, finely minced
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 tablespoons drained capers
1 tablespoon chopped celery
1 tablespoon chopped carrot
1/2 cup pepperoncini, drained
1/2 teaspoon celery seed
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1 teaspoon dried basil
3/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
1/4 cup red wine vinegar
1/2 cup olive oil
1/4 cup canola oil
2 (1 pound) loaves Italian bread
8 ounces thinly sliced Genoa salami
8 ounces thinly sliced cooked ham
8 ounces sliced mortadella
8 ounces KRAFT sliced mozzarella cheese
8 ounces KRAFT sliced provolone cheese
To make the olive salad, combine in a medium bowl the green olives, kalamata olives, garlic, capers, celery, carrot, perpperoncini, celery seed, oregano, basil, black pepper, vinegar, olive oil and canola oil. Toss to combine and transfer mixture into a glass jar. If needed, add more olive oil to cover the mixture in the jar. Cover with the jar lid and refrigerate overnight.
To prepare the sandwiches, cut the loaves of bread in half horizontally. Hollow the middle of each bread halves to create a well for the filling. Spread the olive salad mixture including the oil on each piece of bread.
Layer the bottom half of each loaf with 1/2 of the salami, ham, mortadella, mozzarella, and provolone. Top the sandwich with the top half of each loaf and cut sandwiches into quarters.
Serve immediately or wrap tightly and refrigerate for a few hours to allow flavors to meld and the bread to soak up the flavors of the olive salad.
From shopping for gifts to planning family dinners, it’s hard to keep up with all your holiday to-do’s. This year, Kraft is helping out with great weeknight meals and entertaining ideas to make the season a little bit easier. Plus, Kraft is offering up to $20 in coupons, redeemable exclusively at Target, to make food shopping easier and to help you have a happy holiday season.
This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Kraft. The opinions and text are all mine.