I ate like it was my birthday.

On Saturday, I turned 24. Besides a few extra gray hairs sprouting up, not much changed. Then, we had dinner at Monteverde. Then we had dinner at The Publican. And then everything changed because I realized I had peaked in life and gave up on ever eating that much good food ever again. Just kidding. (Kind of...) All in all, though, it was truly a weekend filled with stuffing my face and relaxing, which is exactly what you want when you're turning another year older. Shout out to the expert dinner-reservation-maker below (along with the fam) for wining and dining me.

If you live in Chicago and you haven't been to either of these restaurants, you absolutely need to snag the next reservation available and go stuff your face. Below, find the run down on both places and my best wishes for trying to decide which one of these standouts you need to visit first.

Monteverde has been on my list for a while, mostly because of the stories I've heard about their pasta. I think we all know by now that if a restaurant has a pasta bar, I'm probably already there. Happily, the selection of pastas (both house-made to order and from Italy) did not disappoint. Also, may I just take this opportunity to brag that I had orange wine there? And it was amazing. And I never would have tried it if my fabulous waitress had not both explained to my clueless self what it was and recommended it. Also, get the ice cream. 

You guys know from my obsessive recipe replication plotting that I deeply loved The Publican the first time I went. In fact, I loved it so much that I used the gift card that my parents got me for Read It and Eat (another best place ever) on a cooking class focusing on their cookbook. It's not until Sunday, and yes, I've been counting down for ages. So I think we know that you're not going to get an unbiased report here. That being said, everything was amazing. Highlights included the yellowtail, the cauliflower (I LOVE IT SO MUCH), and the cookie jar, which made me want to die of cuteness. Just go, okay?

Monteverde, 1020 W Madison St, Chicago, IL 60607

The Publican, 837 W Fulton Market, Chicago, IL 60607