Once a month Jason and I hit gallery openings in Chicago. They are spread all over the West side of the city, so transporting ourselves around is always the number one pain. Do we go home first, eat, and then head back out spending time going back and forth...or do we save time but spend money on meeting near the galleries after work, and eating out at a restaurant? This is always the big question. Last night we decided to meet at a new restaurant on Randolph Ave., a street that always has a new restaurant popping up. "De Cero, a modern day taqueria" was the spot we chose. I looked at their menu beforehand and saw a chic looking decor with low prices, along with a page of raving reviews. Perfect!
While I waited for Jason I had a Hibiscus Margarita, which was the highlight of our dining experience there. It was a subtle flavor, with dried hibiscus leaves floating on top. My camera is broken, as you know, so no personal pics. Jason arrived and ordered a fresh Pineapple Margarita which i thought was tasty. He liked my drink better, and eventually we shared a Passion Fruit Margarita. Hibiscus won out as best. Jason had the Carne Asada, and I chose 3 tacos:
- ahi tuna, grilled medium rare, mango and habanero salsa
- braised duck, with sweet corn salsa
- al pastor, tender chile seared pork with onion, pineapple, cilantro and lime
I have to say I was sort of disappointed with my food. When they use words like "braised" and "Seared", I was expecting more succulence, especially with the duck, which is my favorite meat. Jason's food was better...the steak was cooked perfectly.
For dessert we shared a Jarritos float :
Mexican grapefruit soda served over a scoop of mango sorbet. Having bubbles in your mouth when you're eating sorbet added something really nice! The Mexican grapefruit soda was exactly like Ting(a West Indian grapefruit soda), if you've had that before. Also, Jason had Cinnamon coffee, which was really yummy! It tasted like a specialty of theirs. In fact, they only served this one kind of coffee.
On full stomaches we headed 2 blocks to the gallery area, popping into:
Monique Meloche: http://www.moniquemeloche.com/
Rhona Hoffman: http://rhoffmangallery.com.19.m6.net/exhibition.asp
Kavi Gupta: http://www.kavigupta.com/
Carrie Secrist: http://www.secristgallery.com/
Not as many galleries were open for some reason last night. There are usually about 5 others added to that list. I wasn't really blown away by anything, and some price tags were topping $15,000. The artist, Scott Stack, at Monique Meloche gallery definitely had patience and a steady hand. He created enormous paintings of what looked like Night Vision views of buildings. There was something very unique about them that I unexpectedly liked. I stared at them for a while trying to decipher his technique: Jason said it looked like he used some sort of plastic stencil for the sharp edges.
Finally, we hopped North West via cab to the Green Lantern Gallery to see our friend Karin Patzkes group show. http://www.thegreenlantern.org/
The atmosphere at this gallery was much more playful than the previous See-And-Be-Seen galleries we had just left. Many art pieces were interactive: Visitors were to cut out paper buildings and glue them to the wall, coloring in designs or landscapes around them; Adorning another table were cloth/paper masks you were invited to borrow and walk around wearing, and finally, Karins artwork was a collection of hand made paper dolls. The paper dolls were different from the norm in that human bodies were attached to animal heads(a bear, a wolf). The dolls had various outfits laid around them for us to dress them in. It was very creative! Her printmaking skills came alive, literally.
And then Home! I think we were in bed by 9:30.