Cheese. What’s not to LOVE about cheese!?
I recently went to the Cracker Barrel Cheese headquarters in Chicago to learn more about the wonderful world of cheese and take an incredible food tour of Chicago. I literally ate and drank my way through Chicago for three days and came back 5 lbs heavier, but it was worth every heavenly bite. This trip was about getting up close and personal with cheese, it’s rich history and exploring the Chicago food scene. Our group was made up of some pretty savvy food and style bloggers that will be working with Cracker Barrel Cheese over the next few months to create some mouth watering content you won’t want to miss!
Getting cheese savvy with Cracker Barrel Cheese
We were treated to award winning cheeses, exceptional dining, tasty wine pairings, decadent chocolates and were even given a lesson in food styling. The first day we were imerssed into the Cracker Barrel Cheese brand by sampling a variety of cheeses, learning how cheese is made and shown how cheese is properly tasted and graded by an official cheese judge. Cracker Barrel Cheese has been making award winning cheese for 60 years and their Sharp Cheddar just recently won best in class at the U.S. Champion Cheese Contest and they were also awarded second runner up in the entire competition. It’s really some fantastic cheese. Trust me, I ate an obscene amount of it.
I’ve already been putting my new cheese savviness to good use. Check out my
stylish hostess post on 3 Spring cheese pairings and how to set a beautiful table. These were a huge it at our friends Easter brunch.
Staying at the Public Hotel, Chicago
We stayed at the Public Hotel which has recently been renovated and is a very modern, sleek and minimal hotel. The rooms are simple in design but very comfortable. They have a great library and coffee bar to grab a small breakfast in the morning and a great place to get some work done. The Pump Room is the hotels restaurant and a hot spot in Chicago for dinner and cocktails. The library doubles as a place for cocktails and light bites at night. I highly suggest the Moscow Mule for a cocktail and one of the flat bread pizzas.
Dining with The Girl and The Goat
Dining at Little Goat was honestly one of my favorite parts of the entire trip. Top chef winner, Stephanie Izard prepared a six course meal that was out of this world. We were taken to a private dining room upstairs that was literally apart of her private kitchen. Little Goat is Stephanie’s second restaurant which is across the street from the original Girl and The Goat, which you’ll need to make a reservation for months in advance. You may want to call now.
While we dined we were hosted by an extremely knowledgable wine sommlier who presented us with a different wine that was carefully paired with each course. She shared entertaining stories about the fine art of wine and food. Listening to her while we tasted each bite and sipped each wine made the dining experience even more incredible.
Our very first course was this sweet onion soup, and it was insane. I could have taken a bath in it. Each course was tastier than the next. I loved the seared tuna paired with the rose wine, it melted in my mouth. The scallops were divine and the escargot ravioli was truly unique. We ended with a ridiculous chocolate cake that had a cheese sauce, which Stephanie likes to call a “cheez-it crunch”.
The entire meal was amazing and probably one of my favorite dinners ever. Everything from the intimate atmosphere, family-style dining table, food and wine presentation, right down to the people I shared this meal with, it was truly one-of-a-kind.
There’s so much more! Stay tuned for Part II and III coming next.
Disclosure: I am working as a brand ambassador for Cracker Barrel Cheese. This is a series of sponsored content. All my savvy thoughts and sassy opinions are my own. I share this with you because I love this cheese and tried every single one of them! I also love traveling and sharing al the best places to eat, blog and shop!