Full Disclosure: I paid for this meal with my own money and I am not being compensated for this post. As always, the opinions are completely my own.
Every time I visit Chicago I talk about the great assortment of restaurants that there are to choose from in the city. Every time I am there I manage to make another delicious choice. This time, I made plans to go out to dinner with my brother and his girlfriend who live in the city, so I had a bit more freedom than just what was within walking distance from my hotel since they have a car. (I know, I know, public transportation. But using public transportation while traveling alone and being unsure of where I am going just doesn’t sound like a fun plan to me.) We chose Hot Chocolate in Wicker Park for dinner.
The restaurant itself is small, cozy, and cute. The waiter was very friendly and helpful as well. The menu was not large, but it had quite a variety of fresh, local, and delicious sounding options. They also had their Fried Chicken Friday special going on which sounded appealing as well. My brother actually ended up getting it for dinner and he said it tasted good, and it was quite a large portion too!
To drink, I had a bottle of the Aspall Cider Co Demi-Sec. It was light, refreshing, and just what I needed after a long day talking about blogging and walking around Chicago.
As an appetizer we ordered the house-crafted soft pretzel with Carr Valley pepper jack cheese sauce. It was SO good. Warm and fresh. The cheese sauce was a little bit spicy for me, but still really delicious.
For my entree, I got the steak, which also included potatoes and corn (and peppers, which I got it without.) in a delicious slightly creamy sauce that I can’t for the life of me remember exactly what it was called. It was all delicious. Everything was cooked perfectly, it was seasoned just enough, and even though it was steak and potatoes it was actually fairly light and summery tasting. Simple, but delicious. It seems like it would be so easy to re-create for myself, I might have to try that!
For dessert (how could I not get dessert at somewhere called Hot Chocolate?!) the three of us shared some chocolate cake topped with chocolate sorbet and crema. (I promise it looks much better than it does in the photo! It got to be pretty dark by the time we were done eating so photography was a bit difficult.)
Overall the meal was really delicious. I should also note that they try to source locally whenever possible. I mentioned Carr Valley Cheese (yeah Wisconsin cheese!) already, but they also have a list of about 15 other local farms that they regularly get products from. Our server was very knowledgeable about this as well, and mentioned several components of each of our meals that were sourced locally. Their menu seems to change frequently to accommodate what is in season and available, which seems challenging but also keeps things interesting. (the menu that is currently on their website is not exactly the menu we had when we were there a couple of weeks ago)
Taste: A+, really delicious from start to end.
Cost: A-, it was a little pricey, but considering all of the local produce that they use, quality of the food, and the fact that it is in Chicago, I didn’t think it was all that bad.
Would I go there again? Absolutely. I hear brunch is amazing there, and I’d also like to actually try some of their delicious hot chocolate! Since they change the menu frequently I would go there again for dinner, too, since there would more than likely be things on the menu that I hadn’t tried before. Or maybe I would just order what I had last time because it was so good!