Monthly Archive: September 2014



September 2014



Bohemian House, Chicago

Written by , Posted in Chicago, Restaurants

If you follow me on Instagram, you may remember my blast of deliciousness from dinner at Bohemian House a few weeks back. I’m sorry it has taken me so long to get it up on the blog because it was AMAZING and the bottom line is that you should go there, like now. I was beyond impressed and I can easily say this is the best new restaurant I’ve been to in Chicago for quite some time. Looking back at these pictures has my mouth watering because I remember exactly how delicious this meal was!

Bohemian House, Chicago

I was invited to Boho for a tasting and Executive Chef Jimmy Papadopoulos was in the building and ready to wow. Their Bohemian-inspired menu pulls from German, Austrian, and Czech cuisine, all of which I love (and am currently enjoying in Europe right now)! We tasted more than half the menu and I can confidently say that there was not a single dish I was disappointed in. This is saying a lot – not because I’m overly picky or anything, but because I’ve found that most restaurants will have at least something that I feel needs a tweak or two. I’ll get to the food in a second, but first let me just take the time to call out the gorgeous space. Dimly lit but not too dark, a bit of rustic, and a whole lot of charm make Boho the perfect addition to River North.

Bohemian House, Chicago

Bohemian House, Chicago, bar

We started the night off with cocktails because, duh. I tried the Strawberry Basil Martini and the Infused Fashion. Both were great and I’d recommend both, depending on whether you’re in the mood for a little sweet or a little bourbon. I’m not usually a big fan of bourbon and other brown booze but I think I’m slowly making the move there. The Infused Fashion was perfect for me because it wasn’t too potent and had a lot of great flavor from the vanilla-fig bourbon.

Bohemian House, Chicago, Cocktails

Once we were settled into our cocktails the food started to arrive, and it didn’t stop until we were just about ready to be rolled out. We started with a chicken liver amuse-bouche that was quickly followed by the Slow Roasted Beets with Apples, Smoked Walnuts, Caraway Vinaigrette & Molasses. I love beets and I loved this preparation, a bit lighter than the rest of the meal and such a great way to start. As we were finishing up the beets out came the Potato Pancakes with Cured Salmon, Apple Preserves, Kohlrabi & Dill. These mini pancakes were super cute and delicious. I loved the classic flavor combinations presented in a new, exciting way!

Bacon Buns with Bohemian Pickles & Plum Marinade and Beef Pierogis with Roasted Carrots, Sour Cream & Pickled Shallots were the next two dishes to be delivered to the table. I don’t even have a picture of the pierogis because I was so overcome with excitement that I forgot to snap one; they were probably my favorite small plate of the meal (the beets came in a very close second). The bacon buns were great as well and perfect for sopping up all the extra sauce the pierogis left behind.

Bohemian House, Chicago, Amuse Bouche

Bohemian House, Chicago, Slow Roasted Beets, Apples, Smoked Walnuts, Caraway Vinaigrette & molasses

Bohemian House, Chicago, Potato Pancakes, Cured Salmon, Apple Preserves, Kohlrabi & Dill

Bohemian House, Chicago, Bacon Buns, Bohemian Pickles & Plum Marinade

After polishing off the pierogis we were all on the edge of our seats waiting for the larger plates; we were so pleasantly surprised with the meal thus far and couldn’t wait to see what was to come. The first main out of the kitchen was the Spätzle – ours was a new preparation made with Pork Belly and it was fantastic. We also tried the Pork Schnitzel with German Potato Salad, Dill Sauce & Charred Lemon. Definitely no cardboard breaded pork here! Boho’s schnitzel was tender and juicy and the breading was ready and willing to soak up all the tasty sauce underneath – delish!

At this point we would have been more than happy to call it a meal, little did we know that 2 mains and 2 desserts still awaited us. Next up was the Czech Roasted Duck with Plums, Charred Kohlrabi & Poppy Seed Vinaigrette and the Grilled Chicken Paprikash with Hot Paprika, Pickled Sweet Peppers, Kale & Czech Potato Dumplings. Wow, just wow. Both of these dishes were packed with so many amazing flavors. The duck was so unique and the chicken paprikash was straight up delicious. Chicken is not normally something I’m drawn to on a menu because it seems a little boring to me, but Boho’s chicken was anything but. It had a bit of spiciness to it, which I loved, and the skin kept the chicken nice and juicy. I would recommend any of these dishes, but I think the chicken wins the vote for my fav.

Bohemian House, Chicago, Pork Belly Spatzle

Bohemian House, Chicago, Pork Belly Spatzle

Bohemian House, Chicago, Pork Schnitzel, German Potato Salad, Dill Sauce & Charred Lemon

Bohemian House, Chicago, Czech Roasted Duck, Plums, Charred Kohlrabi & Poppy Seed Vinaigrette

Bohemian House, Chicago, Grilled Chicken Paprikash, Hot Paprika, Pickled Sweet Peppers, Kale & Czech Potato Dumplings

So…there’s more. For dessert we had the Caramelized Plum Kolacky with Powdered Sugar, Plums & Poppy Seed Syrup and the Coffee & Doughnuts with Bow Truss Coffee Gelato & Hazelnut Brittle. The kolackys would make any Czech grandmother proud but it was the doughnuts that stole the dessert show. They were the perfect fried balls of dough – warm, soft on the inside, and coated with plenty of sugar. Alone they were amazing but paired with the coffee gelato they were just beyond. Make sure you save room for dessert, you don’t want to miss these!

Bohemian House, Chicago, Caramelized Plum Kolacky, Powdered Sugar, Plums & Poppy Seed Syrup

Bohemian House, Chicago, Coffe & Doughnuts, Bow Truss Coffee Gelato & Hazelnut Brittle


Bohemian House is located at 11 W. Illinois in Chicago’s River North neighborhood.




September 2014



Giveaway: Pevonia Stem Cell Phyto-Elite Line!

Written by , Posted in Beauty, Giveaway

About a month ago I wrote about the new line of skincare I was trying out by Pevonia Botanica. I was given the full Stem Cell Phyto-Elite line as part of the #Pevonialife program. This line uses plant stem cells designed to reverse the skin’s aging cycle. The Stem Cell Phyto-Elite line is designed for mature skin with severe aging signs, or for those (like me) who want to avoid it. Overall I enjoyed all of the products in this line. The packaging is very chic and I loved the scent. I also appreciate the fact that the line uses minimal, all-natural ingredients AND they’re products that are used in many professional spas around the world. The cream was just a bit on the heavy side for the hot and humid days we’ve been having lately, but I think it would be perfect for the Chicago winters when my skin needs all the moisture it can get!

Interested in trying Pevonia’s new Stem Cell Phyto-Elite line for yourself?? Well, you’re in luck, because Pevonia has provided me with 5 sample kits to giveaway to my readers! 5 winners will receive miniature versions of the cleanser, serum, and cream. Giveaway is open to U.S. residents over 18 years of age. All entrants must join the Pevonia Life Advocate Program in order to be eligible to win a sample kit. Giveaway ends on October 2, 2014, so make sure to get all your entries in before then! Use the Rafflecopter widget below to submit your entries. Good luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

This post was created in partnership with Pevonia. I have been compensated and/or given product for this post. However, all thoughts and opinions are my own.



September 2014



The Best of Lakeview

Written by , Posted in Chicago, Restaurants, Shopping

Today is a bittersweet day. Mike and I are packing up our lives and leaving behind the first condo we bought together 3 years ago. We’ve had some great times in this condo and Lakeview and the Southport Corridor have treated us well. We’re not moving very far, only to Lincoln Park, but it’s a move nonetheless. We’ve had some pretty epic get togethers with friends and family that I’m sure our neighbors remember well; our kitchen counter as seen a lot of butter and phyllo on our Greek cooking days and a lot of smoked meat and fireball whiskey when our friends get together. We also got engaged and then married while living here, so although we’re excited for things to come, it’s still a little bit sad thinking of all the memories we’re leaving behind. So rather than leaving them all behind, I’m going to keep a few alive here and also give you my version of The Complete Guide to Lakeview – all the places we love in our first Chicago ‘hood! If there’s anywhere I’m forgetting, make sure to add it to the comments below!


Champagne on closing day, May 2011

Butter, Phyllo

All the butter and phyllo (and mimosas) necessary for Greek cooking day


The pit master

Bjork, Swan Costume

Halloween party, 2013

Ugly Sweater Party

Ugly Sweater Party, 2012


Best Pizza

Best Deep Dish – The Art of Pizza 3033 N. Ashland Ave.    I’ve written about The Art before. Not only is it the best deep dish in Lakeview, it’s my pick for the best in the city.  

Best Thin CrustMichael’s 4091 N. Broadway St.    Ok, so Michael’s is technically in Uptown, but they deliver to Lakeview so I’m counting it because I love it. They’ve perfected the ratio of crust:cheese:sauce and I love that the sauce has some sweetness to it – sausage and giardiniera are my go-to toppings.

Best Late NightDimo’s  3463 N. Clark St.    There is not much better than a slice of Dimo’s Mac ‘n Cheese or BBQ Chicken Bacon Ranch pizza after a night on the town. Leftovers the morning after are an added bonus.

Best FastBlaze 953 W. Belmont Ave.   Recently opened and immediately popular. Their assembly-line style pizzas that are ready to eat in 180 seconds are as delicious as they are convenient. Don’t forget a glass of Blood Orange Lemonade and a S’more Pie.

Honorable MentionD’agostino’s 1351 W. Addison St.   A close runner-up to Michael’s for my favorite thin crust. Their super thin and crispy crust and sauce with a subtle sweetness always satisfies.

The Art of Pizza, Chicago, Deep Dish

Deep Dish from The Art of Pizza


Best Beauty

Best FacialAbsolute Precision Skin Care 1421 W. Belmont Ave. Kelly and Kimberly are the only ladies I trust with my pores!

Best Hair – Jane Roberts Salon 1404 W. Belmont Ave.  Samantha is my girl, and until I leave Chicago I’ll be making the trip back to see her at Jane Roberts.

Best NailsSpa Spot 3125 N. Lincoln Ave. Not all nail salons are created equal. Heat packs for your shoulders, paraffin wax, and a quickie shoulder massage are all included in a pedicure here.

Best Finishing Salon – Goldplaited 2803 N. Sheffield Ave. For all your blow-out and makeup application needs, sisters Mal & Co have created the perfect destination, complete with complimentary champagne.

Retro hair and make-up by Goldplaited

Retro waves and make-up by Goldplaited


Best Shopping

M2 3527 N. Southport Ave. For all your accessory needs, there is no better place than M2. Looking for a cute, inexpensive necklace to go with that outfit you want to wear tonight? M2 has you covered!

Blue Mercury 3512 N. Southport Ave.  Beauty lovers heaven! With great brands like Kiehl’s, NARS, Bobbi Brown, and many others, you’ll have no problem finding an excuse to fish out your wallet here.

Inkling 2917 1/2 N. Broadway St.  Cute, unique gifts with a little touch of Chicago.

Waxman Candles 3044 N. Lincoln Ave.  In case you weren’t sure, you’ll find a whole lotta candles here.

With Grace 1914 W. Cornelia Ave. Paper, paper, paper, and more super cute paper.

Spencer’s Jolly Posh 3755 N. Southport Ave.  For the British and Irish lovers out there – try the bangers, bring home some tea.

Two-sided/Foursided 2958 N. Clark St. and 2939 N. Broadway St.  If you’re looking to have something framed (four-sided) or find a unique greeting card or gift, these sister stores have you covered.


Best Sweets

Jeni’s Spendid Ice Cream 3404 N. Southport Ave. When Jeni’s opened on Southport last fall I knew I was in trouble. Their Salted Caramel and Black Coffee flavors are straight-up addicting, don’t say I didn’t warn you.

Scooter’s Frozen Custard 1658 W. Belmont Ave. A waffle cone with a scoop of chocolate and a scoop of vanilla from Scooter’s is probably my favorite frozen treat, ever. What can I say, I’m a sucker for frozen custard.

Bobtail Ice Cream 2951 N. Broadway St. Gotta show some love for East Lakeview ice cream as well. Bobtail’s Cubby Crunch is my go-to.

Bittersweet 1114 W. Belmont Ave. Beautiful pastries line the display cases in Bittersweet and they’re almost too pretty to eat….almost.


Best Bars

Higgins’ Tavern 3259 N. Racine Ave. Neighborhood dives are my jam, and Higgins is an all-time favorite. This is our version of Cheers, where everyone knows your name.

The Green Lady 3328 N. Lincoln Ave. If you’re looking for an impressive line-up of craft beers, look no further than The Green Lady. Darts, a jukebox, and a laid-back atmosphere make this the perfect spot for a relaxed night out.

Guthrie’s 1300 W. Addison St. Board games! A great spot to chill out and entertain your competitive spirit.

Delilah’s 2771 N. Lincoln Ave. Dark and awesome, the perfect spot for the whiskey lover in your life. Rumor is Courtney Love and Kurt Cobain met here…

Headquarters Beercade 2833 N. Sheffield Ave. Craft cocktails + free old-school arcade games, need I say more?

Northdown Cafe & Taproom 3244 N. Lincoln Ave. Great food and great beers made Northdown a regular stop for us. Lots of vegan choices for all the veggies out there.



Ukai 1059 W. Belmont Ave. Not only is Ukai our go-to sushi spot in the ‘hood, it’s our go-to sushi spot in Chicago. The Crunchy Spicy Tuna, Godzilla, Hawks, and Bears rolls are our favs.

Tango Sur 3763 N. Southport Ave. MEAT! Lots of delicious meat and an intimate atmosphere put Tango Sur at the top of our list for special nights out. The Pork Chop, El Filet, or Lomo Relleno are my tried and true favorites.

Big & Little’s 1034 W. Belmont Ave. A very welcome new addition to the neighborhood – quick and delicious tacos, truffle fries, po’ boys, and more.


Best Brunch

Southport Grocery 3552 N. Southport Ave. Don’t think about it – just order the Bread Pudding Pancakes. You’re welcome.

Harmony Grill 3159 N. Southport Ave. This little restaurant is attached to Schuba’s and is probably our most frequently visited brunch spot. Nice little outdoor patio and the food never disappoints. 2 thumbs up for their Bloody Mary as well.

Ann Sather 909 W. Belmont Ave. The most magnificent (and giant) cinnamon rolls you will ever eat.

Endgrain 1851 W. Addison A cute and very popular spot for brunch – their buttery biscuits are Oh, and did I mention they have some ridiculous doughnuts??

Bacon Doughnut, Endgrain, Chicago

Endgrain’s Bacon Butterscotch doughnut


Best Caffeine Fix

Heritage Bicycles 2959 N. Lincoln Ave. A coffee shop that doubles as a bike shop. A super cute spot to camp out, grab an iced coffee, and get a little work done. Make sure to treat yourself to one of their Snickerdoodle cookies.

Osmium 1117 W. Belmont Ave. This Dark Matter outpost just opened and is conveniently located on my way to the Red Line, so it has quickly become my go-to for a quick caffeine fix. Love their iced coffee and Mayan Mocha.

DAVIDsTEA 3530 N. Southport Ave. Tea seems to be the new “it” hot drink these days and DAVIDsTEA is my favorite.

Cafe Tola 3612 N. Southport Ave. You’ll find coffee and empanadas at this teeny tiny spot just north of Addison. Order a Spicy Mocha if you like a little heat with your chocolate and caffeine.


Best Workouts

Corepower Yoga 3232 N. Lincoln Ave. One of several Corepower studios in the city, their Hot Power Fusion class leaves me sweaty and in touch with my Om.

Body R+D 2940 N. Lincoln Ave. This megaformer workout is the best way to get serious about toning up. A couple days after a workout at Body R+D you’ll be feeling muscles that you never knew were there.

Crossfit Defined 1235 W. Belmont Ave. If you’re ready to step up your workout game a notch, Crossfit Defined will have you pushing your limits in no time.


Best Al Fresco Drinking and Dining

Crosby’s Kitchen 3455 N. Southport Ave. Family friendly with a nice little patio primed for people watching along Southport. Not in the mood to make dinner? I carryout the Wrightwood Salad pretty often.

Fish Bar  2956 N. Southport Ave. A small space that packs a memorable punch. Order the Lobster Roll if you’re looking to splurge, if not the Satchmo Po’ Boy is the perfect stand-in.

Sheffield’s 3258 N. Sheffield Ave. Sheffield’s has BBQ and a patio that is always hoppin’, and a great beer list to boot.

Schoolyard Tavern 3258 N. Southport Ave.  If Summer Shandy is in season, then it’s on tap at Schoolyard – and that’s why we love this place. Well, that and their delicious Queso.

Frasca Pizzeria + Wine Bar 3358 N. Paulina St.  An all-around winner that never disappoints. Great wine, great pizzas, and don’t miss the bruschetta.

Frasca, Chicago, Bruschetta

An assortment of bruschetta from Frasca


Best of the Rest

Best MexicanEl Mariachi 3906 N. Broadway St. 

Best Wings Crisp 2940 N. Broadway St.  Seoul Sassy all the way!

Best SoupSoupbox 2943 N. Broadway St. Their delicious soups got me through the Worst Winter Ever. The Lobster Bisque is sure to cure any winter woes.

Best Vegan The Chicago Diner 3411 N. Halsted St. 

Best Date Night HB Home Bistro 3404 N. Halsted St. 

Best Girls’ Night Bottle & Bottega 2900 N. Lincoln Ave. Wine & painting, pure genius.

Best Thai – Pho’s Thai 3332 N. Lincoln Ave.  No frills at this tiny hole-in-the-wall, but their Pad Thai is some of the best. (Also BYOB)

Best Burgers DMK Burger Bar 2954 N. Sheffield Ave. 

Best Fast Burgers Burger Boss 3208 N. Southport Ave. 

Best Brewery DryHop 3155 N. Broadway St. 

Best Fried Chicken Sandwich The Roost 1467 W. Irving Park Rd.  They started out as just a food truck and finally opened this brick and mortar earlier this year. The Spicy Chicken Sandwich on a biscuit (with pickles and chipotle sauce) is insanely good, and they also open at 9am for breakfast!

Best Sandwiches Panes Bread Cafe 3002 N. Sheffield Ave. 

Best Gyros Gyros On The Spit 2826 N. Lincoln Ave. 

Best Meat Market Paulina Meat Market 3501 N. Lincoln Ave.  You’ve never had jerky like Paulina’s homemade jerky – go for the cajun. Their pepper-crusted smoked pork tenderloin is also always a huge hit at parties.

Best Greek Melanthios 3114 N. Broadway St. 

Best Karaoke Trader Todd’s 3216 N. Sheffield Ave.  Anywhere that has “Nuthin’ But A G Thang” on their list of karaoke songs is a winner in my book. Their tiki theme makes it that much more interesting.

Best Lobster Roll New England Seafood Company 3341 N. Lincoln Ave. 

Best Hot Dogs Murphy’s Red Hots 1211 W. Belmont Ave.  Do not, I repeat do NOT order ketchup on your hotdog! (Only kind of kidding- they won’t say anything, but people will judge)

Best Chiropractor Aligned Modern Health 3514 N. Southport Ave.  Dr. Dever and team keep my aches and pains at bay, Aligned is so much more than your typical crack-and-go chiro.


What are your Lakeview favorites?? Share below in the comments!!


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