Vacation in Chicago… Part One

After arriving in Chicago at the Midway airport, Nancy and I were off to the Godfrey Hotel in downtown Chicago. This hotel is designed for the millennial’s with a profound focus on advanced security and wi-fi while missing the mark on comfort and elegant design.

The outside of the hotel looks like one side of a Rubik’s Cube all in grey without any complement to the buildings of charm through-out the city. However the lobby does offer a look at a wine cellar lined with bottles of pedestrian Prosecco Italian sparkling wine right next to the elevator.

Entering the elevator becomes an exercise in patience as each person must scan their room key to advance to the next floor. So, people are reaching over one another to scan while others seem to be satisfied with “whatever” happens, or “whatever” floor they may end up on.

The room itself had all fixtures tilted at an angle (lamps, towel bars, etc.) giving them a perspective of being broken but were actually designed that way. The room was small with only a king size bed, a desk and two end tables… the shower however was spot on and the bed was perfect. In all fairness the Godfrey Hotel location was great and made it easy to navigate the city.

The first day we arrived we went to this little restaurant a few blocks away from the hotel that was very enjoyable, Doc ‘B’s. Nancy had the Ahi Tuna Salad and I had an Ahi Tuna Sandwich. Both were great and gave us just the right amount of energy for our next adventure.

Seeing Jazz in Chicago is a must. We love the Winters Jazz Club located at 465 North McClurg Court in the heart of the downtown area. This is a Jazz listeners club for those that appreciate the solitude of just listening to exceptional Jazz music. We listened to the Chad McCullough Quartet playing a tribute to Art Blakey.

Art Blakey was a world class drummer. Born in 1919, Art Blakey was the man that created the famous Jazz group, “The Jazz Messengers”. Art Blakey recruited young (as yet to be discovered) notable artists for his group such has Freddie Hubbard, Wayne Shorter, and Wynton Marsalis to name just a few. He is listed in the Jazz Hall of Fame.

The Chad McCullough Quartet (we were blessed to listen to) consisted of a piano player, bass, drums, and Chad McCullough on trumpet. Each note performed by Chad was a sound imbued with a deeper meaning, measured and deliberate, introspective, and gorgeously melancholic. Listening to the quartet brought back memories of some of the greatest Jazz groups I used to listen to live in the 70’s with my friend John Greene at the Keystone Corner in San Francisco.

Next up was a wonderful dinner at Ocean Prime near the river in Chicago. First course was a steak tar tar served with a glass of the Caymus Special Select Cabernet 2016. Lovely!

Next we had our main course while overlooking the beautiful Chicago river drinking Kistler Chardonnay 2018. Nancy’s entree was a Pan Seared Wild Caught Halibut with whipped garlic potatoes in a champagne truffle sauce while I had the Fresh Grouper served in a lemon beurre blanc with a lobster gnocchi garnish.

The server brought out a wonderful chocolate cake for dessert immersed in a smooth dark chocolate sauce accompanied with fresh raspberries…. Don’t miss Ocean Prime when you’re in Chicago for a great dinner and ask for Aaron, the general manager.

Day Two in Chicago Next Week!

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