Five Fixations

What do you call a fat pumpkin?

Answer at the end of the blog.

This weekend I plan on wearing a fake mustache, painting my face, and dressing up in a leotard.

That’s a regular Saturday night for me, though.

I hope your weekend is just as fun as mine. Happy Halloween!

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My kind of pumpkin at Plum Market

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Perfect Bi Bim Bop from bopNgrill

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Still dreaming about this fixture from Restoration Hardware

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Kind of into this combination of activities for a weeknight (or weekend) unwind

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My two loves in one picture

Answer: A plumpkin!

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Heaven

Sunday mornings were made for bellinis, truffle butter grilled cheese and 5,000 dollar Chesterfield sofas.

Oh wait, they weren’t?

Life is about dreaming big, at least according to my friend Brooke, and the new Restoration Hardware design showroom and restaurant (3 Arts Club Cafe) is a good place to start.

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This might be a bold statement, but I think this past Sunday can go down as one of the best mornings of my life. Sure, I spent a semester in Spain and you know, went to a Billy Joel concert, but this.

We all know the kid in a candy store analogy. I was more like Oprah in a candy store. Or, me, in a candy store.

A twenty minute wait for the restaurant was just an excuse for my friend Lauren and I to snap pictures of exposed brick walls like they were Brad Pitt. “Excuse me, can you take a picture of me with this wall?”

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We also felt no humility in asking the hostess to move out of the way so we could get the perfect shot of the stone fountain and topiaries.

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Of course, the lunch was perfect. We all know how I feel about Hogsalt at this point. But based on the aforementioned statements, the grilled cheese could have been a box of Fig Newtons and I wouldn’t have noticed. But since I did notice, it was exactly as you would expect it to be.

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Grilled cheese with cheddar, truffle butter and fries

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RH Scramble with free range eggs, Texas, Toast, avocado and chives

And in true Sodikoff fashion, he found a way to slip in a Doughnut Vault spread in the too good to be true adjacent coffee shop. I knew he wouldn’t let me down!

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In our happy place. All photo credits to Lauren.

Five floors of perfection followed lunch.  Gallons of drool ensued as we traipsed through rooms filled with brass hardware, Belgian linens, steel coffee tables, and leather chairs more buttery than the grilled cheese.

Let’s face it. I have my priorities straight.

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Menu Musts: Joe’s Seafood, Prime Steak & Stone Crab

As a child, I remember spending hours upon hours with my grandparents waiting in line at the original Joe’s Stone Crab in Miami. We would basically order everything on the menu, including the liver and onions for my grandfather.

As an adult, I still love it, both in Chicago and Miami.

I do abide by one rule though. You only order stone crab during stone crab season.

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Even though the restaurant serves them year round (cryogenically freezing them is the method; think Walt Disney), they are not the same. Trust me. In season. Select. Done deal.

My Musts:


Joe’s Chopped Salad: Tomato, cucumber, carrot, black olives, feta, honey roasted peanuts and Joe’s vinaigrette. The peanuts give it a nice crunch and sweetness. A perfect starter.

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Select Stone Crab: Dunked, not drowned in mustard sauce.

Crispy Onion Strings: I wouldn’t plan a make out session after these, but really nothing beats making out with a fistful of fried onions.

Grilled Tomatoes with creamed spinach and broiled American cheese: They aren’t on the menu. The grilled tomatoes on the menu are different. Just give them a wink.

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Key Lime Pie: The peanut butter and banana cream are also fabulous, but the classic key lime is the show stopper.

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Saltstagram

As a follow up to my favorite photographs of sweet treats on Instagram, here are some of my favorite savories. WARNING: You may need a napkin for the drool that is about to ensue.

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Weeknight at Bernie’s

Finally! A restaurant within steps of my apartment that I actually want to go to for dinner. Bernie’s Lunch and Supper has a bit of nostalgia for me. The owner and chef, Zack Sklar, is from my hometown in Michigan. Apparently his restaurants are what keep suburban Detroit trendy. Now Sklar is taking on Chicago, and his restaurant group, Peas & Carrots, already has another project in the works.

So, I went with one other dining partner and I feel like we ordered like rock stars. When I go back, I’ll have a hard time not ordering the exact same things. That said, we peeked at the other tables and they seemed equally pleased. The  menu isn’t that big, so if you go with enough people you could technically order everything.

I also want to mention that Bernie’s offers a 6 and 9 ounce pour option for wine. Are we all in agreement that this is not a bad option?

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We started with the Lamb Hashwi with hummus, pine nuts, pomegranate seeds and warm pita, which is really like a hot naan pancake. This seriously embarrasses your standard pita and hummus.

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Next came the heirloom tomatoes with nectarines, burrata, torn bread and roasted onions. I think we all know how I feel about a salad with bread in it.

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Another winner. Sweet corn with basil pesto and spicy honey.

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I am a diehard Au Cheval burger enthusiast, but this one gives it a true run for its money. The Bernie’s Cheeseburger has dill pickles, aioli and grilled onions. Not too shabby.