After being part of the awesome blog scene in London for so long, it’s a little bit disconcerting to be a nobody again. But really, I am starting completely over from scratch in terms of my blog and traffic and the people I know here and no one knows that better than me. Trust me.
So I was pretty chuffed–as we say in the UK–when @ThePeninsulaChi invited me out to dinner AND ice skating at the top of the John Hancock Tower. (Yes, seriously. More to come on the 2nd half of the evening in a later post.) How they found me, I don’t know. But I’m glad they did. What follows is a write-up of an invite to review.
I already knew that The Peninsula does one thing I love above all others–and I am not normally a sweets person–macarons. And they do them very very well. So on that basis alone, I had to say yes.
I had been having a pretty tough week…all co-workers all the time. (Note to co-workers: I love you. Really. But I needed an escape.) Monday, dinner at Rockit on Hubbard. Tuesday, dinner at Moe’s Cantina. Wednesday, dinner at 33 Club on Wells. (As two out of the three were corporate buffet-types-of-events, I won’t be writing anything up.) So it was nice to escape into the calm chalet-like surrounds of The Peninsula’s Pierrot Gourmet with a bunch of people I’d never met before.
First up, a lovely green salad, which was just what I needed after three nights in a row of few to no vegetables. Seriously, I was having one of those “My kingdom for a salad” moments. Great dressing.
Next up a plate of pickled veg–which dare I say it–cried out for some vodka. Although I don’t love pickles themselves (although I do love those tiny gherkins), I do love any sort of pickled veg. Vinegar…yum.
Next up, a plate of juniper berry-smoked speck. Regular readers might recall that I was an exchange student in Innsbruck, Austria for a year back when I was in university in the 90s. This plate brought back happy memories, as Speck (pronounced Schpeck in Tirol) is very much a part of the regular diet. This version leaned more towards berry than smoke.
Next up was a pot of amazing three-cheese fondue, made with Gruyere, Appenzeller, and Fontina cheeses. I will admitting to losing my bread more than a few times in the cheese, but it was a fun and social way of dining. I would highly recommend this for a girls’ night out.
The Verdict: An absolutely lovely way to spend an evening, and an evening I highly recommend. Chalet Nights at Pierrot Gourmet at The Peninsula run every Thursday evening through March 31st, 2011. Get a group of your friends together and go. Pierrot Gourmet is offering a special menu for $19 per person, for a minimum of two people; dinner includes the fondue with mountain bread, the speck, the pickled vegetables, the green salad, and a glass of eau-de-vie (pear brandy). This is, in this blogger’s opinion, an EXCELLENT value. Thank you to Chef de Cuisine and the PR team behind The Peninsula Chicago for such an amazingly lovely evening.
This was an “invite to review.” I roughly estimate the value of this evening to be $50, including the little bag of macarons I got to take home at the end of the evening.