A very foggy Chicago didn’t keep us from finding our way to a delicious shop called Hannah’s Bretzel for lunch, and for the first time since visiting, I’ve decided it is possible for New York City to be missing something.

Mozzarella, pesto, arugola, vine tomatoes AND sundried tomatoes aren’t exactly all new ingredients, but imagine all of those, at it’s freshest, layered in a bretzel baguette, and you’ve got a little piece of Spring in sandwich form. If this shop existed in Park Slope, you can bet that you’d find me tapping my foot on the line packed with stroller-pushers.

Pesto + Mozzarella

Fueled and ready for more exploring, we ventured up to the Gold Coast where in between drooling in front of the shop windows at Jil Sander and Prada, we found a true cupcake boutique, More, complete with a cupcake filled vertical display case.

More Cupcakes

No country-kitchen rusticism here, this place serves seriously trendy cupcakes at seriously trendy prices. Here’s a tip: Check in on foursquare, and you’ll get a cupcake for free with the purchase of one. They’ll charge you for the most expensive ones, which can end up as pricey as $6. We called this a one-time experience and got a box of four and a sweet flight.

clockwise from left: bacon maple, white russian, red velvet, s’mores

moresel flight, from bottom left: cookies and cream, valrhona chocolate, chocolate hazelnut

After a quick wardrobe change, it was time for the main event, an act of such importance in this magnum opus of a day, that the mere scheduling of it was required 2 months in advance — dinner at Alinea. (I’m sure the dear BF had butterflies in his tummy the entire cab ride there.) Recently named the Best Restaurant in the US (which I am hesitant to agree with if only due to my unwaivering loyalty to my all-time favorite style of cuisine – Italian – and the chefs who master it – Scott Conant and Michael White) it was truly one of the most memorable and amazing experiences ever.

Pork Belly Spring Roll (diy, a diner’s composition. Check out my pork belly’s cucumber buttons)

Having booked an early dinner of the shorter menu, a seemingly spontaneous decision was made to cab it to the Chicago theater to see if we could score tickets to a one-night only appearance by Anthony Bourdain.

Inside the Chicago Theater

The crowd of people was insane. Who knew he had so many fans? The night was perfectly capped off with a 1.5 hour almost comedic-like set (including a story about a chilling encounter with Sandra Lee) followed by audience Q&A (favorite baseball team? Yankees!). A quick snack (s’mores cupcake) before bed, and my Saturday was perfect.