Sunday, July 20, 2014

we come home and go out

Our road trip was planned to be completed in time for our return to Chicago for the Mark Cohn concert at City Winery (tickets we got long ago with Phil's folkie friends) We arranged to meet for dinner before the concert at a location other than City Winery as we are not huge fans of the food there.  We selected Macello - an Italian place around the corner.  We found the food decent and service friendly - if a bit laid back... 

the front of the house has a store

the dining area is spacious and airy- they have outdoors but since the place is right under the EL it seems less conducive to conversation than we wanted...

on to the concert-

Tall Heights the warm up act- were a bit to stylized for me but have lots of potential - lovely harmonies and I really liked the use of the cello - bought a richness to the melodies that enhanced the music IMHO-

sadly no one seems to pay attention to the message on the candles-

Mark at the piano

and on guitar

a good concert - he sang many of the big hits from the eponymous album Mark Cohn, including a rousing Walkin in Memphis... but what I really liked were the times he went for the blues or for soul variations in his performance.  I kept wishing he and his "bandmate" would break out into the Blue Notes hit of Wake Up Everybody - a song that was just made for his vocal and emotional range....

I never thought about it before but this guy has a fabulous voice for covering some of our greatest blues and soul music and it was the improvisation that most impressed me at this concert--- despite the fact that I had agreed to go based upon the hits I knew.

The following evening (now home two nights) we went to Senza for dinner on the recommendation of Alexa (from 42 Grams) - and had a knock your socks off meal that I have no photos of (phone in parking garage blocks away- WAH!) but since we will definitely be back I promise photos the next time.  And you are lucky because they did give us menus at the end of the evening.  We did not have the pairings because we brought a 1996 Corton Renardes from Marius Delarche (they do have corkage fees.)

so here it is- wish I had photos because it was a beautiful meal visually, as well as reading well....

while everything was excellent I particularly liked the onion soup with crab, the foie gras course and the steak tartare- those would be my first tier favorites - followed by the beet salad, the pork rib, the oatmeal dessert and the aerated cheese.  but seriously you can't go wrong with a menu as strong as this one was! Great time- every single one of the front of the house staff was friendly (genuinely friendly not professionally friendly) and the food was marvelous - thanks Cara and Noah Sandoval (front and chef) and thanks Alexa for recommending it to us.  

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