The fiancé and I found an amazing bed and breakfast in Old Town, just a few blocks off the Sedgwick CTA stop. Called The Sono Chicago (South of North Ave.), the modern building is less than one year old and took just over a year from concept to opening. The Sono is owned by a husband and wife team who actually live on-site, ensuring your every need is met. The four story building is beyond gorgeous and features seven guest rooms, each with its own bathroom, and many with their own balcony.
|The Sono Chicago|
The entire place feels so cozy and homey, and we were absolutely in love with the open format kitchen where we all gathered for breakfast in the morning. The other guests were so friendly too and we were happy to chat with visitors about recommendations for places to eat and things to do.
|The Sono Chicago Kitchen|
|The Sono Chicago Kitchen|
The guestrooms were spacious, well-appointed and very comfortable! We loved the sleek bathroom and the balcony with a lovely view of the Chicago skyline. The bed itself was so comfortable, I honestly don't think I've had a better night of sleep since staying there. If only I could sleep there every night!
We loved the privacy we had at The Sono, but we also felt right at home. One of the best features of The Sono was the rooftop patio with a killer view. The roof is a perfect spot to sit next to the fireplace and sip a glass of wine (we did!). I also enjoyed my morning coffee there. I can't recommend The Sono enough for a staycation, or for out of town guests. I'm seriously considering them for my out-of-town guests for our wedding.
|Morning Coffee on the Rooftop|
|Tavern on Rush|
|Tavern on Rush|
|Tuna Avocado Tartare|
|Fried Egg Club|
Post meal, we walked around River North and went shopping!
After working up an appetite from shopping, we stopped at The Sono Chicago to quickly change, before heading to Chef Art Smith's Blue Door Kitchen & Garden. The restaurant used to be the famed Table 52, but don't worry, that famous fried chicken is still on the menu. Since it was a nice night, we sat outside in the adorable garden. The garden at Blue Door is a really special place to dine, I only wish it would stay warmer so we could enjoy it year-round!
|Blue Door Kitchen & Garden|
|Purple Potato Gnocchi|
|Cheddar Cauliflower Pierogi|
|Buttermilk Fried Chicken|
|Three Cheese Mac & Cheese|
The next morning after enjoying a continental breakfast with fellow B&Bers at The Sono, we ventured out to the Art Institute. I swear we didn't just eat the entire staycation...we also got in a little bit of culture, exercise, and a Cubs game!
The fiancé had never been to the Art Institute (shame) so this was at the top of our staycation agenda. We definitely didn't have enough time to navigate, but we walked through gallery after gallery, observing everything from Seurat, to Andy Warhol, to Grant Wood.
|Art Institute of Chicago|
|Seurat's A Sunday on La Grande Jatte|
|Andy Warhol's Liz|
|Grant Wood's American Gothic|
|Beers at Cruz Blanca|
At Leña Brava we chose to sit at the bar so we could get a front-row look at the cold bar where they were making ceviches, and other seafood-centric dishes.
Leña Brava's food menu is divided into two sections: fire, and ice, and its drink menu also features these sections. We tried our best to order from both sides, starting with the ice section. We tried the pineapple aguachiles with grill-roasted pineapple, orange lime broth, goat cheese, spicy hazelnut salsa macha, and knob onion tops. This dish was one of the best things I've eaten this year. The flavors were so unexpected, yet so refreshing. I also thought the plating was quite beautiful.
|Smokey Dry-Cured Opah|
|Whole Striped Bass|
|Sweet Corn and Blueberry|
Overall, our meal at Leña Brava was fantastic and I was truly happy with the variety of unexpected flavor pairings, and preparations. I'm giving Leña Brava 4.5 ghosts out of 5.
Overall, it was nice to get out of our standard environment for a long weekend. Being able to spend time in a beautiful place like The Sono made it easy to relax, and we blended set plans (eg Art Institute) with impromptu activities (eg drinks and dinner at Cruz Blanca and Leña Brava), which I think is the way to go!
Have you ever organized a Chicago staycation?
Note: I received a complimentary stay at Sono Chicago in exchange for this review, and my meal at Blue Door Kitchen & Garden was complimentary; however, all opinions expressed are my own.