Fancy Schmancy Dinnertimes

Alternatively titled: “How I Drank ALL THE WINE”.

Here’s the thing.  I’m starting to think that I drink less because I’m on a budget.

For example, generally speaking, I will cut myself off after a glass or two of wine at a restaurant because after that I start thinking to myself, “Gee whiz, if I have another glass, I might as well have just stayed home and bought a case of wine for the amount of money I’m paying”.

So what happens when the wine is free?  And there is a very attentive server refilling your glass at frequent intervals?  I’ll let you put two and two together.

I had one such situation last night, at a fantastic dinner sponsored by Chobani at BOKA in Lincoln Park.

The awesome team at Chobani invited me to join a group of bloggers last night to eat and be merry (and drink all the wine, like I said).  I have always wanted to go to BOKA, but my wallet hasn’t ever been up to the challenge so I was incredibly excited for this dinner.

Both BOKA and Chobani delivered. In a big way.

First, if it wasn’t already excessively apparent, the wine was good and plentiful. Off to a good start, obviously.

The first course was a beet salad with a house-made Chobani cottage cheese, fir tree honey (I KNOW) and a pepper wheat cracker.

The second course was a soft shell crab served with Chobani grits (so imaginative and executed perfectly) grilled prawns and morel mushrooms.

This was my favorite dish.  Grits? Amazing. Mushrooms? Best I’ve ever had, no exaggeration. Soft shell crab? Thank you for molting your exoskeleton, because you are delicious.  I could’ve eaten 4 or 2,000 more of these.

The third was rack of lamb, rooibos, bulgur wheat, roasted baby vegetables, purple fingerling potatoes, fava beans with a roasted eggplant and Chobani sauce.

It was exactly as complex and nuanced (I’m sorry for the gratuitous snobby foodie word) as it sounds.  The lamb was perfect and purple potatoes are just my jam. So good.

For dessert, we were served a Chobani panna cotta with plums, honey and a streusel topping.

Streusel is also my jam.

I hated the dessert, obviously.

Emily, Jackie, Mariana and Amy did an amazing job organizing this dinner, and I’m not just saying that as lip-service or because they kept my liver well lubricated all night.  Also, I’m pretty sure they have some of the coolest jobs ever.  Chobani is a great company, I’ve learned that much.

The only issue is that I now want to eat at BOKA all the time, and let’s be honest, it could get pricey.

There may be a lot of soup and tuna in my future until I can make that happen.

21 thoughts on “Fancy Schmancy Dinnertimes

  1. I am all over anything beet-related…the first course looks amazing. The crab sort of scares me but I’m not an adventurous eater in the least. I admire you for being one!

    Have a fabulous weekend!

  2. Gah! I am so bummed I couldn’t go last night, especially now that I know you were there! Bottomless wine (yes, please)…and the food looks incredible. Fir tree honey? Morel mushrooms? Panna cotta? I’m swooning over here. So glad you had a nice time! Chobani definitely seems like an amazing company to work for.

    Also, we need to meet up for a dinner or foodie date sometime soon!

  3. Live it up! Whenever I’m on business I drink like you think I’ll never see it again, haha.

    What an awesome, cool, dinner! Loads of good ladies there as well. Yum!

    Have a fabulous weekend!

  4. I keep looking at my pictures trying to will the food back into reality and into my kitchen. Now that we’ve been spoiled with fancy food everything else seems so boring. And don’t even get me started on Stu and the wine…

  5. When I first read “attentive server” I thought it said “attractive server” and I was going to say, wooo Stu! Agreed on thanking the crabs for losing those pesky shells…my belly definitely appreciated it. SO glad you had a great time. The pleasure was all ours!


  6. I want all that food. All of it. It all sounds amazing.

    Oh – and I can’t be put anywhere near free wine. Thats when things start to get a little out of hand. 🙂

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