Choose Chicago – Certainly!
Lynn Osmond (CEO Choose Chicago) hosted a wonderful lunch in Hugo’s Restaurant on Merrion Row on June 22nd and Jacinta from Travelbiz was there! What a festive occasion it was. The weather was amazing and the food and banter was even better. Daniel Thomas (Choose Chicago) informed me that the company adores coming to Dublin as such a huge Irish connection exists between Ireland and Chicago. In fact, over 30.000 Irish visitors were welcomed to Chicago last year alone. Lynn advised that the excellent air lifts from Ireland are obviously a big advantage in fostering Irish US connections and the simple draw of Chicago as a vibrant, exciting city with its top-class dining experiences, performing arts and sports outlets is unparalleled. As Chicago sits directly at the beginning of the iconic Route 66 (those 2 golden lions outside the Art Institute mark the starting point), the city is perfectly placed to hit the highway and travel further across the States. By the way, that Art Institute houses a world class collection of paintings and sculptures – I know because I had the huge privilege of visiting.
Gina Murphy (Proprietor of Hugo’s Restaurant) was proud to showcase sublime food at lunch. Her Head Chef, Michael, joined forces with the Head Che, Aaron from The Dearborn in Chicago to give us course after course of unbelievable local food. These dishes were simply art on a plate. The two Lawless sisters (Clodagh & Amy) are owners of The Dearborn in Chicago. Galway born and bred, the sisters are totally passionate about their restaurant, but also about their adopted city and they manage to lure unsuspecting passersby into their restaurant if they look Irish! A magnificent partnership now exists also with Killarney Brewing Company in Kerry also and we supped samples of their beer as Tim O’Sullivan and Barry Spellman held forth on their brilliant enterprise. Good luck to all who sail in her!
Voted best big city by Conde Nast, its not much wonder as Chicago is a marvellous city break holiday. With its beachfront, riverwalk, professional outlook on hospitality and hardworking people, it’s definitely worth a visit and there’s always a festival going on. By the way, Chicago Cubs play St Louis Cardinals in London this weekend, so there’ll be fun for sporting fans. Chicago, Illinois, situated on Lake Michigan, has fabulous architecture, Golden Mile shopping and an interesting skyline with soaring skyscrapers. We even received a goodie bag as we left Hugo’s, but don’t breathe a word – I think someone was smuggling gin….. Once fondly referred to as the Windy City, Chicago will blow you away in all the right ways!