How I decide where to go for Chicago Restaurant Week (2014)

I love Chicago Restaurant Week! This year it’s actually two weeks and takes place from January 24th to February 6th. Last year we went to Kinzie Chophouse and Bistrot Zinc. Both were very enjoyable. We rarely go to steakhouses or French restaurants because they tend to be pricey, and we’re not rich. So Restaurant Week is a great time to hit them up. If you haven’t heard of Restaurant Week, it’s a week (two this year!) when all the fancy restaurants in town do special prix fixe menus for $22 for lunch and $33 or $44 for dinner.

Restaurant Week 2013 at Bistrot Zinc, Chicago

Restaurant Week 2013 at Bistrot Zinc, Chicago

Restaurant Week 2013 at Bistrot Zinc, Chicago

Restaurant Week 2013 at Bistrot Zinc, Chicago

I want to be adventurous, and I know I should be, but I don’t really like weird trendy food like kale and duck confit. But I also don’t like boring things like roast chicken. I appreciate a good beef dish and vegetarian dishes and Italian places, too. So this year maybe along with the steakhouse and French, we’ll go to a third, possibly more unusual spot. And, unless it’s something ridiculously fabulous, we stick to the $22 lunches and $33 dinners- another way I choose is to check out their regular menus and see if the places are a really good deal during Restaurant Week or if you can get basically the same thing any time.

So, based on all that, here are the contenders:

French: Bistro Voltaire, Mon Ami Gabi

Steakhouse: David Burke’s Primehouse, Sullivan’s Steakhouse

Italian: Riccardo Trattoria, Piccolo Sogno

Other: The Refinery, Two

Where else should I absolutely not miss? Where are you going to go?

The Container Store’s Omni Bucket

So, I just have to quickly tell you all about the best thing ever. As you know, I have a stupidly tiny kitchen. There’s actually a decent amount of storage but a lot of it is up high. I always have to drag a chair in to get to stuff off the top shelves which annoys me, disproportionately probably. I was looking for a real step stool for in there but they’re all so huge. The folding ones are better but I don’t have anywhere to put one of those, either. Since I hate my trash can, I was hoping someone made a combo step stool trash can. Someone does, but it’s not actually for sale. So anyway, my hopes of having a two for one item in the kitchen were dashed. UNTIL I came across this bucket from The Container Store.

The most excellent step stool/cat food container ever. The Omni Bucket from The Container Store

The most excellent step stool/cat food container ever. The Omni Bucket from The Container Store

I hardly ever shop there because it can be expensive for what it is. But I saw the buckets and thought they were cute and could replace some less cute storage I currently have, specifically cat food and other cat THINGS. When I saw that it was strong enough to step on, I about died. OMG I had to have it. Some of the colors are even on sale! So exciting. Now I keep the bucket on the floor filled with cat food. It can be gently slid across the floor to the kitchen, or if needed elsewhere, it has a handy handle. It’s plenty large enough and plenty strong enough to hold cat food and me! Genius!