MEDIA TOUR: CHICAGO + HELLO NEIGHBOR + THE HATCH + TUNA NICOISE SALAD

This week I had a whirlwind two-day trip to Chicago with a client to conduct a media tour. While media tours can be frustrating to organize, it is always worthwhile and that face-to-face interaction makes a huge difference as to whether or not a journalist will end up writing about your story idea. The inside of the Chicago Tribune building blew me away. The architecture is beautiful and I loved the row of American flags waving in the wind. Chicago is the Windy City, after all.

Inside the Tribune is a ginormous map of the World – from desk height to the ceiling. Two security guards checked us in and then we were free to find the elevators for our meeting. I’ve been told the Tribune was recently sold and the developers plan to turn it into apartments and mixed used space, which is sort of sad. I am sure countless journalists have graced those hallways, running in a mad dash to meet their deadlines.

I always imagine all newsrooms to be like Woodward and Bernstein at the Washington Post in All the President’s Men. If you haven’t seen it, rent it. It’s one of my favorite movies to nerd out to and Watergate was a fascinating time in American politics. That and The Newsroom is pretty good. I love the West Wing and Aaron Sorkin continued the witty, well written banter for the most part.

We had lunch at the Purple Pig, which was conveniently located across the street from the Tribune and they are known for Mediterranean small plates. We split roasted cauliflower with pickles and breadcrumbs. And I ATE THE PICKLES for the first time in possibly 29 years. I am not sure what happened, but it wasn’t bad. My favorite was the whipped feta spread with avocado and cherry tomatoes on thick pieces of toasted bread. So simple, yet so good. I plan to re-create this, but with goat cheese since it is a little easier to whip into a spread. We split a huge gyro and then made the cold and rainy dash across the street.

For dinner, we went to Harry Carey’s. It is a baseball themed steakhouse and reminded me of an upscale version of Buca di Beppo’s. I had the salmon with artichokes and tomatoes, mashed potatoes, and Brussel sprouts with pancetta. The sprouts were some of the best I have had in a restaurant – I will always love my own, drenched in butter and roasted to crispy perfection.

The best meal that I had during our stay was the tuna nicoise at the Chicago Athletic Association. If you haven’t been, you must go just for the view on the rooftop. The old tiles, the abundance of leather, and the wooden built-ins made it feel old school and classic. They were filming a television show while we were there, so we had to quietly make our way to the Cherry Circle Room without knocking over any filming equipment. Inside is also the fanciest Shake Shack I ever did see – lucky for me, we do not have a Shake Shack in Indy. Otherwise it would take all of my self-control to not eat there every day.

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PURPLE PIG

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Cold and rainy Chicago

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The Chicago Athletic Association – Cherry Circle Room

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Fighting rabbits on china! Fierce!

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The elevator crest

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The Shake Shack!

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The best $20 travel dress from Old Navy – I bought it in gray too. Add an old J.Crew blazer and it is the best travel wear.

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HELLO NEIGHBOR

I attended two of Indy Hub’s Hello Neighbor events this summer and I wrote about it for the Indy Hub blog, but never shared here. So, here are two re-caps of the tours: the Town of Speedway and the Village of Englewood. Both tours were really interesting and I love that Indy Hub showcases hidden gems around the city. #NoMeanCity

Doug Boyles, Indianapolis Motor Speedway

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Riding back downtown after exploring Englewood. Photo via Indy Hub.

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The uplifting mural at Pia’s Urban Cafe & Market

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THE HATCH

This month’s Creative Mornings was held at The Hatch, which is a new co-working space near the Glendale Target. I was so impressed with the space and it was founded by two women. I’m looking forward to hopefully finding more reasons to go to The Hatch and spend time in such a creative, fun place.

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Cookies + dancing = magic

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Love it.

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Snapped this on my drive to the ‘burbs.

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TUNA NICOISE SALAD

This is one of my favorite things to order when I see it on a menu and the key is to have perfectly seared raw tuna. I re-create it at home with frozen ahi tuna steaks from Trader Joe’s. Thaw the steaks ahead of time, have a sizzling hot pan ready, and sear only the outside of the steak – we’re talking 1-2 minutes.

The rest is easy: field greens, cherry tomatoes, cooked mini potatoes, olives, hard boiled eggs, tuna, and a mustard vinaigrette. I added parm cheese to mine because while it doesn’t usually have it, cheese never hurts. Sometimes I add capers too. There’s also no shame in using Starkist – canned tuna is my go-to for a quick salad. Although, if you’re going to be fancy, it is much cheaper to make this at home. It is about $4 per tuna steak and most salads will cost you $14 at a restaurant.

Mustard Vinaigrette

Recipe via the NY Times

  • 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
  • 1 ½ tablespoons red wine vinegar or sherry vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
  • salt and pepper
  • ½ cup  olive oil
  • 1 garlic clove
  1. In a small bowl, combine the mustard, vinegar, lemon juice, salt and pepper. Whisk in the oil.
  2. Peel the garlic clove and lightly crush, keeping the garlic clove intact. Place in the dressing and allow to marinate for at least 30 minutes. Remove from the dressing before serving.

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Xx, Libby (and Winston t00!)

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