5 Summer Sips not to miss

Pendrinks2unnamedSummer wine, or beer or cocktail wind down – don’t miss these 7 Outdoor Summer Sips in Chicago.

Don’t let the summer slip by without spending some time at one of Chicago’s freshest outdoor bars and / or an aAl Fresco dining spots.

Here are 5 not to miss; they are all very different, so I promise there is one here that will wet your whistle. You will find a variety of lively, engaged and interesting bartenders, selection of cocktails, cool atmospheres, and friendly faces.

Some of these places are just off the street others you have to take an elevator up to the spot.

The Whistler located at 2421 N. Milwaukee Ave, this spot is ever changing. Parking is easy to find.  When you walk in you might wonder, is it a gallery, record label, live music or DJ venue?  Yes, all of the above and more. The menu is always changing  the cocktails cleaver, creative it’s a never miss with a constantly changing selection of food and drinks. Small, cool and intimate a great spot to spend a few hours getting to know a new friend, or reminiscing with old friends. To the patio and enjoy the night


Cindy’s – This is a take the elevator up spot.  Located inside the Chicago Athletic Association at 12 S. Michigan 13 floor. You will wait, you will pay, you will enjoy. This is a very popular spot because of its location, selection of drinks, boozy popsicles, and solid good food, and that will help you to forget the wait, the cost, and maybe sitting close to or on top of someone you don’t know.

Atmosphere that’s open, relaxed, comfy, and loud and go for the view, bring a big wallet, and don’t worry if there is a lull in the conversation because the panoramic views of the lake and the park will be more than enough. They have a nice selection or drinks and lots of specials to keep you happy and coming back for more. Step outside enjoy the view, the firepit, the people and drink.

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Shanghai Terrace– This is a take the elevator up and be taken away to a quite elegant outdoor terrace. It’s furnished classy, and the food is some of the best in town. The summer drinks are special, light, tasty, classic, and flavorful. It’s located on the fourth-floor right outside of Michigan Ave, so you look around and you will see buildings surrounding you but not on top of you. This is a must stop spot over the summer, but they also have activities year round that will keep you looking forward to the next visit and menu at Shanghai Terrace – sit outside and listen to the traffic below it’s a low hum that add’s to the vibe.

Queen Mary 2125 W. Division St This off the street on west Division might be missed until you look up and see the crown. The name is not the story you think, and once there you can learn more. You may feel like you have walked into a British maritime throwback, it’s cozy, dark, friendly, and inviting. Outside on the sidewalk is the patio with table and standing rails. It’s a great place to grab a beer, or go with a rum, scotch, gin, I had the bartender whip me up something that warmed my insides and tasted great.


The WALKIN – 2727 N. Milwaukee Ave. Chicago, IL This is very cool, it’s connected to the liquor store – Red Star liquor and it’s kind of like walking from the store into their “Walk In”  cooler. The staff is half the fun; they are knowledgeable, friendly, creative, and low key. Their creative flow when they create the drinks served on the menu. They will customize your drink, and offer off the beaten path recommendations. The atmosphere is classy, low-key, and inviting. They don’t cook the food there, but you can get food from two nearby taverns Cafe Con Leche and The Harding Tavern. and have it delivered over to you. It’s dog friendly. Has a great vibe the night we sat there it was as cool outside and inside – sit near the street for great people watching.

Food’s from Barcelona – 3 to try and enjoy

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I will be posting more about my food adventures in Spain, but until then here is a quick look at some of them…

Found at a restaurant on the Beach of Barcelona

Found at a restaurant on the Beach of Barcelona

Love them

A very nice way to get started

What will I wear? Because I love to eat on Vacation

I recently had a quick few days in Las Vegas for a conference. I wanted to travel with a simple easy wardrobe that I could mix and match. I looked to pack a few pieces that could be dressy, casual, easy to layer, and items that I didn’t have to worry about wrinkles. By the way, is soft surroundings in financial trouble? because I really like the clothes in Soft Surrounding. offers stylish, luxurious, and comfortable women’s clothes for every size.


Love this simple pop of bright pink top – you can dress it up or down. Here I have it with a simple pair of jeans, faded black.

This silky black top can be worn for a nice dinner, off to a show, in a club. It gives you a lot of room to enjoy the food you may want to try in the restaurant. If you spill on it no worries, to make sure it’s wrinkle free when you arrive just hang it in the bathroom, and boom it’s ready to wear.


A great silky black top, with a dark dressy pair of jeans. Gold jewelry.

Love this simple clean look, with a pop of color in the red jeans. This black top is easy to layer and again you can dress it up or down. Looks very classy with the silver chain.


This is a great look to walk around the town. You can layer it up when your get a chill, and strip it down if you get hot walking in the warm Vegas air.

white shirt, black jeans, business look.

This is a great clean and classy look – I paired it with a black blazer and it was ready for business. A crisp white shirt, dark jeans, and high heals.

I love this look, it’s amazing that jeans with these big rips can actually be considered dressy. This is my casual  travel look when I fly, I layer a soft gray sweater over this, and also carry and wear my big gray poncho – pictured below. I wear my easy gray slip on shoes for going through the TSA lines, easy to slip my shoes on and off.


This photo was taken on a recent trip to NYC not Las Vegas, but I wanted to include it because you can see I have my gray poncho on. It’s like a big warm blanket perfect to travel on a plane with.


Eating Las Vegas

Food , Food, Food, and more food. Make sure you come to Las Vegas hungry, because the selection of food you will find is truly amazing. What makes the Las Vegas food scene different from Chicago, LA, New York is the condensed strip 4.1 mile area where all the hotels and casinos, shops, restaurants, attractions can be found.

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Las Vegas has more than 330 restaurants on the world-famous strip. What used to be known as the land of buffets and diners, Las Vegas has discovered that the way to a man or woman’s cash can also be found through the taste buds. Today variety of cuisine, talent of innovative chefs, and clients looking for cuisine that’s artsy and daring.

The rise of the celebrity and world-famous chefs makes Las Vegas a go to location to launch a spot for one of their top-notch restaurants.

  • Mario Batalia
  • Wolfgang Puck
  • Bouchon by Chef Thomas Keller
  • Mesa Grill by Chef Bobby Flay
  • Mr. Chow by Restaurateur Mr. Chow
  • Giada by Giada De Laurentiis
  • Table 10 by Emeril Lagasse
  • Heritage Steak by Tom Colicchio

Go to Las Vegas where it’s easy to get into these restaurants, parking is easy, and when you walk out you have a whole world that never sleeps. When you visit LA you need to travel in a car, or limo to try a selection of food from these different chefs, in NYC you could walk,  to find the vast selection of selections and choices as you do walking up and down the Las Vegas Strip.

FullSizeRender (6)I have taken a food tour in the past and being on a guided tour is where you get the history, the great gossip, background stories, fun facts, you can meet some of the chefs,  and taste an amazing selection of food. If you have the time I suggest a food tour, and now they have many to choose from.

IMG_0707This past trip, I had limited time so I decided to sample some small bites, and big flavors in a few of my past favorite restaurants. I choose them based on the location to where I was staying, the location of where the restaurant was based on shopping, site seeing,  and going to get a good meal.

The portions are big, the cost is reasonable, and the atmosphere is outstanding so get ready to enjoy your meal, and after you’ll be perfectly placed to continue your night with friends, as well as the best people watching, lounges and late-night entertainment.

Where I ate this time

  1. MICHAEL MINA – Seafood and american cuisine. The Conservatory and Botanical Gardens, adjacent to Café Bellagio.
  2. Wolfgang Puck- CUT Las Vegas The Grand Canal Shoppes
  3. The Country Club – Wynn 19th hole
  4. The Palm –  Forum Shops at Caesar’s Palace
  5. LAVO Italian Restaurant – entry of Palazzo
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A traveling “Cirque du Soleil has constantly sought to evoke the imagination, invoke the senses and provoke the emotions of people around the world” spotted at the NADA convention in Las Vegas

Getting the Low Down on Chicago Loews Streeterville Social



Screen Shot 2015-08-14 at 11.34.20 AMGetting the Low Down on one of the new Chicago Rooftop spots…by Beth Rosen

This summer has been made even better by the recent opening of Streeterville Social at the Loews Chicago Hotel. The well named Streeterville Social offers two bars, a wonderful coverd in real grass lawn area

This is a very cool location because it’s not a high in the skydeck, Streeterville Social is just a few floors up so your away from the hustle bustle of the city, but still close enough to enjoy the sites and the sounds. You can see the Lake and the City

The amount of space is amazing because of where it’s located there is about 9,000 square feet of beauty – with views, park like feel, and some extras that you will enjoy as you sip a wine, have a snack, and people watch.

A great spot for a first date they have some games and cool seating niches like  birdcage chairs,  high-top tables, cabanas that  make getting to know someone very comfortable.

I can imagen a girls night out, but not having to leave the large space with a delightful menu. Items you can find…Oyster Po’ Boy, chorizo,  Crispy Lamb Belly Gyro, you will love it.

It’s not like any other deck in our city so I suggest you head over and enjoy before we have to start thinking about the weather changing.

Streeterville Social at Loews Chicago Hotel


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For some tips, treat’s, and more tune into ChicagonistaLive.com Follow us on Instagram for some great food ideas

Some of my Top Picks Chicago 2014

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Go beyond the sushi bar at Sunda

Chicago is truly becoming on of the best food cities in the country. With so many new places to wine and dine arriving each week you can get very tempted to just keep trying new foods. We like to keep you up to speed, as we taste our way around the town. It was just this past week that I had an opportunity to get back to one of the places where I continue to return to have always enjoyed.

Tender strip steak formed into “lollipops” around lemongrass skewers

Tender strip steak formed into “lollipops” around lemongrass skewers

Sunda is in the very cool River North area. Always a fun crowd, great drinks, and some good tasting Asian-inspired dishes.

Oxtail Pot Stickers braised oxtail, caramelized onion jus, white wasabi cream

Oxtail Pot Stickers braised oxtail, caramelized onion jus, white wasabi cream

A great place to grab a group and sit around the table tasting an assortment of different types of food from China, Japan, but also dishes from other countries, including Cambodia, Vietnam and Thailand.

Tiger Shrimp Tempura candied walnuts, creamy honey aioli

Tiger Shrimp Tempura candied walnuts, creamy honey aioli

A dish to try is Crispy Brussels Sprouts brussels sprouts, red cabbage, carrots, chilies, fried shallots, minced shrimp nuoc cham, vinaigrette.

Go give it a try, eat, drink, and enjoy.

Sunda New Asian River North

110 W. Illinois


A trendy little restaurant to try

It’s so fun to discover and uncover little spots in Chicago that serve up a nice atmosphere and food where you enjoy both. With MJ Tam on a media preview night we were able to taste a selection from Executive Chef/Partner Pete Coenen’s The Monarch Restaurant Bar.

Goat cheese, licorice molasses, honey vinaigrette

Goat cheese, licorice molasses, honey vinaigrette

You will find a selection from what is called “American Fare” at The Monarch,”Gastro-Pub” located in Wicker Park neighborhood. I was please to find parking free and easy in this North Av restaurant. The Monarch is easy to  find at 1745 W North Ave, Chicago, IL 60622

Excellent flavor with pinot grigio, fine herbs, tomato

Excellent flavor with pinot grigio, fine herbs, tomato

Since we were there for a media tasting we were able to share selections from pre-selected items. I found the food to have a nice flavor, not overdone, and clean and simple. The Dessert was outstanding a Butterscotch Pudding with salted scotch caramel, and espresso powder.

Since MJ Tam and I produce content for social media it was fun to see this below sign, we love when our value get’s noticed.

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I have a son who lives in Brooklyn New York and the feel of the restaurant was a little like some of the places I like and bring me memories of the food and good times I have had when I go to visit him.

So I will be back, and will bring my NYC son to see if he too likes the vibe and food.

I was invited to sample the pub fare menu at The Monarch Restaurant Bar. I was not financially compensated and all opinions expressed are my own.

The Monarch


Ooh La La – Enjoy Bastille Day all Month

Ooh la la did you miss Bastille Day?

I’m a horrible mom – not because I missed Bastille Day, it’s because I made my youngest child stick in his French classes for 8 years. Well, I needed to insure that if he ever had an opportunity to go study abroad, that the deck would be stacked in his favor and that he might wind up in France.

 Have you been to France? If you know me, you know I love love love Paris, and almost anything French. This past semester my son did get to study in France, (because he did speak French) he studied in Paris and lived in the Bastille District. Since today is Bastille Day – we can all celebrate a bit…

"The July Column (Colonne de Juillet) which commemorates the events of the July Revolution (1830) stands at the center of the square -  Bastille prison stood until the 'Storming of the Bastille' and its subsequent physical destruction between 14 July 1789 and 14 July 1790 during the French Revolution"

“The July Column (Colonne de Juillet) which commemorates the events of the July Revolution (1830) stands at the center of the square – Bastille prison stood until the ‘Storming of the Bastille’ and its subsequent physical destruction between 14 July 1789 and 14 July 1790 during the French Revolution”

Why celebrate Bastille Day? The colors are easy, red, white, and blue. July 14th is often thought of as France’s Independence Day. I want to encourage you to at least if even just for today, do something, try something French inspired. Maybe grab a croissant, a macaroon, a sip of champagne for lunch, wear red, white, and blue, say a French word or even just think of the Eiffel Tower there you did it! It’s great to feel connected.

Want to feel even more connected, how about a taste of some delectable French fare? Near Chicago?  Lucky you!. Take a step inside the Pierrot Gourmet at The Peninsula Chicago. The French inspired decor warmed the atmosphere and simple elegant Red, White, and Blue touches set the mood. For me, it did bring my mind and senses back to my most resent visit to Paris. In the front is a display case deliciously looking pastry classics.


I spotted Macaroons, Tri Color Éclairs and other tasty looking deliclies.

Go try “All Things French” When I heard that The Peninsula Chicago was hosting a celebration to celebrate the hotel opening in Paris this year I was excited to check it out, my blogging pal @mjtam invited me to join her. Below are some of the items you can have this month. It’s so worth it and Ooh La La..enjoy

Salad Lyonnaise from Pierrot Gourmet, The Peninsula Chicago’s street-level European-style café

Salad Lyonnaise from Pierrot Gourmet, The Peninsula Chicago’s street-level European-style café

Short Rib “Bourgignon”

Short Rib “Bourgignon” as a part of this month’s menu

Tarte Tatin - such a treat

Tarte Tatin

Flan Parisien

Flan Parisien

Bouchot Mussels Bastille Day menu will be available through August 14.

Bouchot Mussels
Bastille Day menu will be available through August 14.

We were treated to mouthwatering tastes from the selection this month. You should try to stop over and taste some of what is being offered in Pierrot Gourmet, I’m going to be there next week with my “French” speaking son, I can’t wait to get back and have some more items. Let me know what you try at  The Peninsula Chicago’s street-level European-style café and bistro

Exceptional service, luxury beyond your expectations, and toss in some French Flavor…ohh laa laa. Having just recently stayed at the Beverly Hills Peninsula along with a past visit to the Hong Kong property I can tell you the attention to detail and service will dazzle and delight you.

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“To celebrate the opening of The Peninsula Paris in August 2014, The Peninsula Hotels invite you to enjoy a worldwide celebration of “All Things French” at each the hotel locations. To revel in “All Things French” at The Peninsula Chicago, experience French-centric Wine Dinners, French Afternoon Tea, a brasserie-inspired menu, specialty Spa treatments and more.”


I was invited to sample the Bastille Day menu at The Peninsula Chicago. I was not financially compensated and all opinions expressed are my own.