Foodie Paradise: First Bites 2014
What brings over 1000 people from various ethnicities and socioeconomic classes out to brave the below zero temperatures and converge on The Great Hall at Union Station located in my lovely city of Chicago? The answer is First Bites Bash.
First Bites Bash is the opening public reception for Chicago’s Restaurant Week (this year it lasts 2 weeks). Restaurants and liquor distributors around the city of Chicago provide tasty samples of the offerings they will showcase during this 2 week period.
I sampled a variety of tacos, seafood dishes, and delightful desserts while I bounced to the rhythms of the dj.
My favorite savory bites of the night were: El Barco’s Ceviche Tocho Morocho (fish, shrimp, octopus ceviche served on a tostado with salsa negra & chipotle), Standard Market Grill’s Crispy Thai Shrimp (crispy shrimp, spicy Thai dressing, lettuce cups, and candied sesame peanuts), and Big Star’s Mole Almiendero De Borrego (slow roasted lamb tacos with cherry almond mole, dark chocolate, chopped nuts, queso de chivo, and fresh mint).
My favorite dessert bites of the night were: ZED451’s Gluten-free Chocolate Marquis, Farmhouse Tavern’s Fruitcake (not your typical fruitcake), and TABLE fifty-two’s Oatmeal Sandwich Cookies with butter cream filling.
The best bites were on the main floor. The bites served in the Goose Island’s Beer Company’s To What’s Next Lounge fell flat on taste. I quickly returned to the main area.
My honorable mentions are:
Rockit Bar & Grill
South Water Kitchen
Tavern on Rush
By no means are the honorable mentions 2nd best. Each of these restaurants presented flavorful, thoughtful, quality dishes. NOTE: It is not my preference to eat pork dishes. There were a number of restaurants that showcased pork bites and they truly looked amazing. I didn’t experience those dishes.
My first First Bites Bash experience was amazingly awesome. This will not be my last.
If you are in the Chicago area during 1/24/2014 to 2/6/2014, visit one of the restaurants participating in Chicago Restaurant Week. Click on CRW for more information.