Swirl Wine Bar & Market

Saturday, March 6, 2010

Let The Feeding Frenzy Begin!

We're running around Chicago this weekend, in town to meet and taste with Marco de Grazie, one of our favorite Etna wine producers and importers. The event is on Monday so we have two days to pack in all of the food and wine stuff we want to do! We took a 6am flight out of New Orleans and hit the streets here around 11am. Our first stop? No trip to Chicago would be complete without eating a big deep dish, stuffed pizza! Getting up as early as we did we knew alcohol would put us under the table so we just dug in to fuel up for the rest of our adventure.

Needing another type of fuel, we stopped at the Lavazza Cafe for a double espresso, trying to pretend we were standing at a bar in Italy. As you can see by Kerry's expression, it didn't work...

We spent the rest of the day doing "research" and checking out different bars and shops:

From Binny's wine warehouse.....the "little Italy" section...

...to Pastoral Wine and Cheese...more of our kind of place. The wines were organized by what type of cheese they would pair with. Great charcuterie, lots of local as well as international cheeses, olive bar, laid back, lots of atmosphere, no case stacks!

looked like a great place for lunch, but the pizza did us in, for quite a while....

Finally ready for a little beverage, we stopped at Pop's for Champagne. With over 100 champagnes on the menu, we were in heaven. But we needed something to take the chill off so we settled on a French 75 for me and a Glemet 1992 XO Grande Champagne cognac for Kerry.

Both delicious and warmed us up for the next stop. Kerry's pick this time....

The Clark Street Ale House which has tons of hand crafted American micro brews and over 40 types of whisky on the menu. We did 2 flites of 3 beers each, trying things that aren't available to us at home. What a shame they were pretty amazing...

Back to the hotel now for a quick nap and off to find some good ethnic food for dinner. I'll keep you "posted"!



  1. Where did you get the pizza? Best pizza experience I had was about 30 years ago when I first had the stuffed spinach pizza at giordano's. It's been awhile but its always been one of my favorites.

  2. Yes, where did you get that pizza. It looks delicious. I am going to Chicago in May.

  3. Hey Guys,
    It was Giordano's! Even though it is a chain, they've been doing this for a loooong time and are still doing it right! I recommend checking them out when you go. We went to the one on Rush Street I believe...thanks for the comments!

  4. I may just follow the whole Beth and Kerry travel/Food itinerary through Chicago.

  5. Kurt, just let me know. I can send you the "must sees" and some things we missed that we wish we didn't...we're going back in May as well for a food show.

  6. Did you hit Joie De Vine while you were there? I can definitely give you some recc's for next time...

    Sounds like you had a great time!



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