Violet Hour

I'm convinced that Violet Hour is the best bar in Chicago. I absolutely freaking love this place. (and I love that it's so close to my house even more)
This is the violet hour, the hour of hush and wonder, when the affections glow again and valor is reborn, when the shadows deepen magically along the edge of the forest and we believe that, if we watch carefully, at any moment we may see the unicorn.
- Bernard DeVoto "The Hour"

meet Robby, one of our regular bartenders

as always...more pictures at ...emilia jane photography



Friday night we got engaged!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Wil's original plan was to propose before dinner at Alinea on Wednesday. But because we had to go through three rounds of CAD designs because I was being super picky with the ring (this should come as a shock to no one) it wasn't done on time.

We went to Bandera on Michigan and had an awesome dinner Friday night (I highly recommend the veggie platter). And we had been talking about going to ride the ferris wheel at Navy Pier before it gets too cold out, so that was our next stop.

We had the most incredible view of the skyline, I was busy taking pictures (of course) and talking about how pretty it was when Wil starts talking to me about when we first started dating and how much he loves me and looks forward to our future together. At this point I realized what was coming and got really really excited. He pulled the ring out of his pocket and got down on one knee and asked me to be Mrs. Schobeiri!!!!!! When we looked up it was time to disembark; pretty sure that was the fastest ferris wheel ride ever.

The first picture above is from when we were still on the ferris wheel just after he proposed.

After Navy Pier, we went up to the Congress Theater for the Dead Mau5 show. Both of these last two pictures were taken there. And yes, we were definitely the most dressed up people at the show.

More pictures of the ring to follow (of course).



For my birthday, we went to Alinea. For those of you who don't know, you're about to find out. Let's begin. 1723 N Halsted is completely unmarked. A doorman opens the door and you walk into this red lit hallway that looks like it leads to nowhere. And then halfway down the hall Wil stops me, and then seemingly out of nowhere doors open on the left. A lovely lady greets us, and tells us that our table will be a few minutes. Thankfully we got to wait by the kitchen. It is absolutely immaculate. I took this first picture on my iPhone while we were waiting. 

after a few minutes we were taken to our table upstairs.

these "flags" and rosemary were delivered to our table. quick sidebar, anytime you leave the table, they replace your napkin with a new perfectly folded one. 

first course, edible fall cocktails.

passion fruit, flor de cana 4 year, matusalem clasico, sailor jerry
lemon, luxardo bitter, luxard amaro, grapefruit
apple, laird's apple brandy, grenadine, thyme
squash, cynar, carpano antica, flor de cana 7 year
kumquat, rittenhouse rye, peychaud's, demerara

there are no tablecloths, instead you get pillows for new silverware

course two: golden trout roe, coconut, licorice, pineapple

course three: oyster leaf, white wine, mignonette

course four: chao tom, sugar cane, shrimp, mint  

with a stick that is yuba, shrimp miso, togarashi. you dip this shrimp stick in the most delicious miso.

the first pairing is a blanc de morgex et de la salle, vallee d'agoste, italy 2007

what you see here is hot water being poured over leaves and apple and fall fruit and vegetables so you get the beautiful scent while you enjoy the dish

course five: maitake, root vegetables, chestnut, and the lovely autumnal vapor

course six: a shot of apple, horseradish, and celery
pairing: can rafols del caus 'la calma,' penedes, spain 2003

course seven is the lovely monochromatic white course made up of halibut, parsnip, vanilla, and lemon

course eight: a pheasant tempura bite with green grape, walnut, and burnt leaves

pairing: quinta do noval, douro, portugal 2004

ninth course we found out the flags were tomato pasta. inside the pasta we were served short rib and then we added the other ingredients ourselves: olive blackberry, salt, and other miniature delicious things i can't remember

course ten: hot potato, cold potato, black truffle, butter
you pull out the pin and quickly eat everything all together

pairing for the next course was the chateau d'angludet, margaux 2004

the eleventh course is the only thing on the menu not created by chef grant. it is a hundred year old dish served on antique dishes. it is a pigeonneau a la saint-clair

the twelfth course is the black truffle explosion with romain and parmesan. one bite of pure bliss.

the next pairing is a cims de porrera 'classic,' from priorat, spain 2004

next, course thirteen, is three bits of lamb off an extremely hot dish with the lovely aroma of rosemary. 

pairing for the next course is the jean-luc pasquet, pineau des charentes

course fourteen is the next three pictures. first on the left are the flavors of pineaple, ham, and freeze dried cherry served rocking. you break off pieces of this to eat. on the right are the flavors of bacon, butterscotch, apple, and thyme. to eat this you simply pull it off the wire! 

the third part of this course was different for us because i am sensitive to corn. typically it is served with a popcorn soup. instead, we had the most delicious bite of bread, banana, and chocolate that tasted just like nutella.

the next pairing was a de bortoli 'noble one,' from new south whales, australia 2006

the fifteenth course is earl grey made up of lemon, pine nut, and caramelized white chocolate

the sixteenth course tastes like bubble gum. it is tapioca, long pepper, hibiscus, and creme fraiche. you literally suck the tube all at once.

then i got a surprise course! happy birthday "cake" amazing melted chocolate and creme. (wil took the next two pictures)

following my birthday surprise, i really didn't think the night could end any better. then they brought out these pretty dishes with little container of apricot, honey, peanut, and chocolate. oh i should say that they also took all of our glassware off the table and laid out this mat. 

the pairing was a toro albala 'don px' gran reserva, from montilla-moriles, spain 1966.

the sommelier quickly explained the pairing and basically sprinted from our table because he knew what was right behind him.

or rather who. ladies and gentlemen chef grant achatz himself came and plated our chocolate mat. i die.

that is his hand! and below, his masterpiece.

course eighteen. the chocolate mat, to be eaten off the table. freeze dried chocolate with liquid nitrogen pouring out, and the most amazing textural combinations of apricot, peanut, and chocolate.

at the end of your meal they bring your customized menu. mine says happy birthday. 
i think we're going to frame them.

as always, more pictures at emiliajanephotography.com 


Ultimate Frisbee

On Saturday I had the pleasure of watching and photographing a couple really intense ultimate frisbee games. I don't have much experience with moving targets, but I had a lot of fun trying to stay with the frisbee and follow everyone! Here are just a few snapshots...

and on to game two