Even if you're not celebrating this month, chances are you know someone who is. Here's where to go in Chicago for dinner, the place to source dessert and a fresh list of gift ideas.
Where to Eat
For a Dressed-Up Affair: Baptiste & Bottle
Book the private dining room and take in the city's skyline from floor-to-ceiling windows over a customized menu and plenty of bourbon.
The Hard-to-Get-Into It Restaurant: Bellemore
Show your fancy side at this West Loop newcomer, with all its impressive lighting fixtures, millennial pink bar chairs and 200-bottle-deep wine list.
For a Milestone Birthday: Booth One
Throw it back to the supper club age at this revamped classic with elegant cuisine and lots of Champagne: the perfect backdrop for reminiscing about your own glory days.
A Cocktail Spot with a Small Group: Beatnik
Channel Jack Kerouac at this bohemian-inspired hangout, where the bar snacks are just as good as the expertly made drinks. And, no, that's not Hemingway writing in the corner, it's just the whiskey-sherry slushie talking.
Something More Casual: Hopleaf Bar
Don't sleep on a classic: It may have just celebrated its 25-year anniversary, but the Belgian bar is always relevant and you can rent out the second floor to yourself. Mussels, frites and more than 60 beers on tap are true cause for celebration.
Where to Get the Cake
Radical idea: Skip the cake and go for a collection of baked goods. Pastry chef Elaine Townsend just joined the team, and though the egg tarts and morning buns are crowd favorites, she's introducing new goods to the lineup. Ube milk bars, miso brownies (which are secretly gluten free) and snickerdoodles filled with salted egg yolk will have you wishing every day was your birthday.
What to Gift
Products we have our eyes on that will help your friend (or yourself) live more deliciously.
This chef-approved take on the kitchen staple is deceptively light, questionably thin around the edges and looks more like a bronzed antique than something capable of everything cast-iron pans are known and loved for. It even has a 100-year warranty, in case you have any doubts.
This one is for those who know the best gift is that of a seamless morning routine. This newly launched subscription service supplies packets that look like Earl Grey but taste like a coffee shop-level morning brew.
Nothing says "I appreciate your existence" like the most expensive chocolate in the world. The company treats chocolate making the same way winemakers or distillers approach their spirits, and no two batches are the same.
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