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Hello, Chicago!

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modern baby shower

I’m so excited to be in Chicago today, getting ready for the Hip Hostess/Chambord event this Wednesday night at The Ivy Room! We had such a warm welcome from Chi-town that Chambord graciously offered to expand the event into 2 sessions – 6-8pm and 8-10pm – hooray! We hit capacity for both sessions, so the RSVP lists are closed online, but if you still want to come you can send an email to Courtney_Sandora@b-f.com and she will do her best to accommodate everyone as much as possible.

modern baby shower

On a side note – any great restaurant recommendations we should try to hit for a fun dinner while we’re in the Windy City? I’m really hoping to make it to Japonais one night…but would love to get some input on other favorites too!

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POSTED BY:jenn s.JENNIFER SBRANTI is the Founder and Creative Director of Hostess with the Mostess®, a hip and modern party planning resource.

19 responses to “Hello, Chicago!”

  1. Whitney Hill says:

    Hey Jennifer. I am in Chicago, too! Throwing a baby shower, in fact in the modern nesting theme. I’m using so many components you suggested on your site.

    Anyway – I’m from this area and one place I always go when I visit is m. henry (http://www.mhenry.net/gallery.html). Amazing for breakfast!!! Blackberry bliss pancakes – I dream about when I’m back home in California. So good – you should check it out for breakfast if you have a chance – it’s a great spot – beautiful artwork and the atmosphere is cozy.

  2. Jen says:

    Never been to Japanais, but I hear it’s a tad over-rated. Moto is a fabulous “molecular gastronomy” experience. Hot Chocolate (in Bucktown) has, as the name implies, fantastic desserts as well as terrific entrees. Service is a bit relaxed, so don’t go there if you’re in a rush. Bin Cafe (Wicker Park) is my favorite neighborhood bistro and specializes in wine flights. There’s SO many great places to choose from – have fun! Look forward to attending the 6pm session!

  3. Tracey says:

    Absolutely love Chcago! Check out the bar in the John Hancock building- better than their observation deck, and the cost is only a drink! A tiny secret- the views from the Ladies’room are breathtaking!

  4. Jenny J. says:

    Hey Jennifer! I’m a Jennifer, a Chicagoan, and an event planner so here’s some tips:
    Japonais is a fun place to check out. Their tempura comes with a fondue like sauce that is unique and super tasty! They have a fabulous lounge downstairs and an outdoor patio that is supposed to be fabulous (I’ve only been there in the winter).
    I’ve also heard great things about the patio at Zed 451 and the champagntini at Nick’s Fishmarket is oh so very delicious. Try the chicken nachos in the bar & grill upstairs at Nick’s. I looooove the food at Sangria but unfortunately, I was unimpressed by the different flavors of sangria and mojitos- but I would definitely give them a second try anytime!
    If you’re near O’hare, you have to hit up Hala Kahiki, a fun tiki bar with a multipage drink menu. Soooo many choices! The atmosphere in there makes me, a Chicagoan, feel like I’m miles away in the tropics. And when you’re done there, head a bit south to Gene & Jude’s for the BEST dogs in Chicago. We’re a hot dog town and those are my dogs of choice!

    I hope you have a wonderful time in Chicago. I found out about the Hip Hostess event a few days ago and it was already sold out so I hope you and everyone who attends has a lovely time! Thanks for all the wonderful ideas you provide!!

  5. jen g. says:

    If you want to go the trendy route, DeLaCosta ) is a great place for food (upscale Latin flare), atmosphere and view (try to get a cabana on the Solarium if you’re going with a small group!). I had a fabulous time there with my friends!

  6. hi.
    welcome to our fine city!
    I second the first comment – M Henry is the best brunch in all of Chicago.
    For sushi – Matsuyama (on Belmont and Seminary) is delicious.
    Incredible Italian at TerraGusto.

  7. Mare-Chicago Party Planner says:

    Hi Jennifer!

    If you’re downtown, I highly recommend Vong’s Thai Kitchen. Delicious, great service, they are very kind and accommodating.


  8. Stephanie says:

    HI !! I am soo excited that you are in Chicago. I may have cancelled my Birthday dinner to attend your event. I told DH I have a birthday every year this is a once in a lifetime chance :p As for dinner places, Chicago has a ton of great places. I love Nine for great lobster, Capital Grille is great for Steaks, Grand Lux is awesome with a HUGE menu. I could go on for days…. See you Wednesday

  9. Lauren says:

    I go to Chicago a good bit for work and one of my favorite restaurants is Carnivale – if time permits be sure to check it out. It is ‘Authentic Nuevo Latino’ cuisine and is downtown – 702 W. Fulton Street, (312) 850-3017, http://www.carnivalechicago.com. Atmosphere is great, as is the food and service.

    Have been to Japanais and it was very good as well . . .

  10. Oh fun! I was just there two weeks ago. A couple places to try: Le Colonial (vietnamese fusion), OySy (casual japanese fusion rolls – although Japonais looks great!), if you can get a reservation I hear Table Fifty Two is good as well. Have fun! It’s nice and hot in Chicago.

  11. Ely says:

    Hi Jen,
    I was wondering if you were coming anywhere near Miami.

  12. jenn s. says:

    Hi Ely –
    Yes! We’re coming to Miami – but not for a while – it’s the last stop on the series and is tentatively scheduled for March or April!

    Stephanie –
    Happy early birthday! I hope you’re not really missing out on your b-day dinner! Are you coming to the 6:00 or 8:00 segment? Come up and say hi so I can wish you a happy b-day in person! :)

    Everyone else – thanks so much for the warm welcomes and all the great suggestions! I’ve been gone all day today, but Sonny and I will definitely be trying some of them out tomorrow! I have to say that the weather was absolutely amazing today and we’re really enjoying it here! :)


  13. Welcome to Chicago!!! If you’re looking for a great place to eat in Chicago, I highly suggest going to The Oven Grinder – they have the most amazing pizza in Chicago! It’s a cozy little place with a bar inside as well – but the atmosphere is great as well as the food.

    That’s just one of our personal favorites, there are so many great restaurants in Chicago so I’m sure no matter where you go you’ll enjoy it. I noticed someone mentioned The Signature Room in the John Hancock building – I second that! It’s breathtakingly beautiful views will have you in awe.

    No matter what you do, have a blast, and let us know which restaurants you picked, we’d love to hear!

    Happy planning –
    -Jaime @ “It’s A Jaime Thing”

  14. Oh, Chicago! A great place to visit!

    ~ Gabriela ~

  15. Cara says:

    Just want to say I think there needs to be an event in San Francisco, since Chambord is my fav. liqueur, and I love your blog !

  16. Bianca says:

    so many places so little time…i do want to recommend 2 places: cafe iberico for tapas …anything on the menu will be great and also – a little off the beaten track – is bombon for excellent mexican pastries. they have a few locations. the original is in the neighborhood of pilsen, but they also opened up two new locations, one in the west loop and one downtown. see you wednesday and bon appetit!

  17. […] night, Mrs. Emerald and I went to an event thrown by the fabulous writer of the equally fabulous blog, Hostess with the Mostess. We had a […]

  18. Jennifer says:

    I would really love some suggestions on a few places to hold a fun and unique baby shower this summer. I’m looking for something in or around the western suburbs of Chicago, or perhaps the Naperville area. If anyone knows of an outdoor venue, please include those ideas as well…Thanks Much, Jennifer

  19. Alisha B. says:


    Not sure if Jennifer received any responses to her request for baby shower locations in Chicago. But I am desperately seeking the same thing. Ideally I’d like some place serving brunch, nice bright decor that can seat 50-60 people…any suggestions?