Hub 51

It was date night last Friday night! We decided to head over to Hub 51 – just steps from the Hampton! We entered the restaurant and immediately noticed the buzz from the bar area and a feeling of excitement flowing throughout the restaurant. Overall, a great exciting first impression.

We were seated, and our server approached our table right away. Her casual professionalism and overall personality made us feel welcome and excited to begin our meal. When it came time to start discussing food and drink options, she was able to answer all of our questions and gave several excellent recommendations. By the way she described the preparation and presentation of the appetizer and entrée recommendations, you could tell she had a great knowledge of the menu and that she was confident answering all of our questions.

 We started with the Del Mar Seafood Salad to share. There was a large portion of seafood salad which included fresh iceburg lettuce, poached shrimp and peekytoe crab, radicchio, green beans, jicama, red pepper, celery, edamame, carrots, and tomatoes served with a thick vinaigrette on a large white circular plate. Great fresh salad option overall! The crunch of the lettuce, tomato, radicchio, jicima, celery, carrots, and green beans paired nicely with the tender shrimp, crab, and edamame. The vinaigrette paired perfectly with the fresh salad ingredients and gave the dish a great sweet flavor. Excellent starter selection and perfect for two people.

 Next I tried their Fish Tacos – seasoned Mahi Mahi filet served with fresh corn tortillas, a green chili salsa, fresh diced tomatoes, guacamole, white rice, black beans, and a creamy cabbage slaw and served on a large white oval dish. The tender Mahi Mahi was seasoned extremely well with a unique baja rub and paired perfectly with the creamy cabbage slaw. The fresh green chili salsa complimented the fish and slaw and brought a slightly spicy and very unique flavor to the dish. Great flavors and textures overall!

 The overall pace of the meal was excellent. We had enough time to savor each course without feeling rushed. This restaurant is an excellent value, the food quality and presentation is excellent overall, and it is a fun, welcoming, and elegant atmosphere. The pricing is very reasonable for the quality of food presented and the location of the restaurant in Chicago.

 

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Scoozi: Exceptional food presentation and quality

My husband and I had date night, once again, this past weekend and wanted to try something new. We gave Scoozi a shot after hearing some great food reviews. The restaurant gave off a warm and inviting ambiance as soon as we entered making us excited to sit down and start the experience. Our server made us feel very welcome and immediately asked if we would like to start with drinks, wine, or cocktails and also started to discuss the nightly specials and layout of the menu. He did a great job describing the preparation and presentation of some of his favorite recommendations, and it was apparent that he had a good understanding of the menu. Overall, a wonderful first impression.

We started with the Mushroom and Truffle Pizza as an appetizer. Wow! It was a large rectangular thin crust pizza topped with roasted Portobello mushrooms, fresh green baby arugula, ricotta cheese, a porcini pesto sauce, and rich white truffle oil served on a wooden pizza server. Excellent crunch and flavor overall. The fresh and peppery baby arugula paired extremely well with the richness of the ricotta and truffle oil and the earthiness of the Portobello mushrooms. Very good value and portion size for the price. Great appetizer options overall.

Scoozi Gnocci/Ravioli Trio

For an entrée I ordered the Gnocci/Ravioli Trio. This included generous portion of three gnocci/ravioli choices – mushroom bolognese gnocci, tomato and cream gnocci, and seasonal butternut squash ravioli – on a white, divided dish. Overall, the ravioli and gnocci were prepared perfectly. The mushroom bolognese gnocci had a great meaty flavor that paired well with the smooth creamy texture of the gnocci.  The richness of the tomato cream sauce paired extremely well with the smooth light tender gnocci and the smooth butternut squash filling paired very well with the crunch of the candied walnut pieces served atop the ravioli. Overall, a great, unique dish!

What is a dinner date without dessert? We ordered the Strawberry Panna Cotta – a small white disc of fresh cool smooth panna cotta served with fresh sliced strawberries, a drizzle of dark balsamic, and a dusting of white powdered sugar. Excellent fresh light dessert option overall. The smooth vanilla flavor of the panna cotta paired very well with the sweetness of the fresh strawberries, the balsamic, and the powdered sugar.

After we finished our meal Brian wished us a good evening as we stood up to leave as did the host as we left the restaurant. There is no question that my husband and I will return to Scoozi. It is an excellent value, the food quality and presentation is exceptional, and it has a fun, welcoming and elegant atmosphere.

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Great experience at Wildfire Chicago!

Wildfire Chicago

It was date night last Friday night at Wildfire Chicago. My husband and I were graciously welcomed by the host. We were then greeted by the Maitre’d who showed us to our table. She engaged us in conversation on the way to the table, asking if we were out doing holiday shopping (we had several shopping bags with us). As we sat down, she made sure the table was in order and made sure we were comfortable before departing back to the host area. An overall wonderful first impression!

We started with the chopped salad to share for an appetizer. What a great appetizer option! A generous portion of mixed greens, roasted chicken, avocado, tomato, blue cheese, bacon, scallions, corn, and tortilla strips tossed with a light citrus vinaigrette dressing and served tableside in a large white bowl with tongs. Excellent blend of fresh flavors and unique textures. Each ingredient complimented the others extremely well. The crunch of the tortilla strips, fresh corn, and bacon pieces paired well with the smooth tender chicken, avocado, tomato, and blue cheese crumbles. The citrus vinaigrette dressing was very light yet flavorful and gave the dish a desired citrus flavor to balance the other ingredients.

For an entrée I ordered the Fillet Medallion Trio. Three filet medallions positioned on a circular white plate. Each was topped with a different signature crust- I chose blue cheese, parmesan, and horseradish. Prepared medium-rare, the filet medallions were extremely tender and juicy. The horseradish crust was surprisingly balanced and not at all overwhelming. The parmesan crust had an excellent cheesy aftertaste, and blue cheese crust was very rich and flavorful overall. An excellent entrée choice due to the difference in flavors you get with one dish. Great job!

After we finished our meal, our plates and flatware were cleared. Our server made sure to wait until the table was fully cleared and crumbed before presenting coffee and dessert options which was appreciated. He wished us a good evening and a happy holiday as we stood up to leave as did the host as we left the restaurant. Overall, a great experience at Wildfire Chicago!

 

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