Bette’s Birthday 2008 – Green Zebra, Condo

At the Green Zebra we got a little of everything. Yes, it is loud and expensive, and yes, you may hit White Castle on the way home, but it was all good…

We had some beignets. We had two orders of potstickers (Curried Potato Potstickers, cilantro tamarind sauce, fresh coconut) for appetizers. We had roasted beets (Roasted Beets, wasabi gelee, cocoa nib foam, chippys) yum!

Good but small pricey plates. I had the chef’s selection which are all the items on hand in small quantities, each individually explained to me.

I had a rare Vos Amber Belgian-style ale — should have done wine, bottle was huge but good… Lots of wine all around. We had a Sha Na Nas, a Sundance and a Drunken Peach — sounds like Sara’s drinks! Should have gotten the wine flight, but I was smashed as it was.

Bette had a good halibut. (Vegetarian???) They have a great Tater Tot facsimile (Potato Tots, sunny-side up egg, nicoise olives, heirloom tomatoes).

I had the Thai spiced soup (Thai Spiced Carrot Soup, crispy rice noodles) and loved it. It had a cilantro foamy sauce on the surface. Actually, Brad had it too – was good to see him outside of his zone. Someone had Heart of Palm (Hawaiian Heart of Palm, blueberries, passion fruit cream, szechuan peppercorn). We had the tofu (Crispy Tofu, Thai basil, baby bok, Jasmine rice). Someone had the popover (Foraged Mushroom Popover, smoked cippolinis, Michigan cherries, manchego), a kind of pastry thing. We had artichokes (Marinated Artichokes and Feta cheese, arugula, preserved lemon). We had cucumbers (Cucumber and Radish Salad, sea beans, kohlrabi, greek yogurt panna cotta).

Desserts: French press coffee, I had ti kuan yin tea (no big deal), Alberto had a good looking cheescake, Bette and I split a chocolate cake. Someone had the Napoleon. One had poppy cake. None was poisonous.

We caught Gemma taking pictures of the food for Pro Bono Baker. She looked a little embarrassed, but I wondered how she got all those great food pictures for her blog. Now we know.

After dinner, Sara left to visit sister Liz and Alberto and Chellie invited us to their new condo on Franklin in the River North area. We cabbed back to the condo and went up the elevator to 11. What a nice place. They had nice art, a view of the buildings on the river. The club across the street was loud they said, but that what happens in the city.

Alberto talked me into some Lambrusco, a slightly fizzy wine. Good, but on top of the other wine I was flying. Good thing we were cabbing back to the Hyatt. Bad thing was I had to get up the next day for a train back to work.

They had art from Alberto’s trip to Guatemala, and also a 4-image panel from a local artist, who makes cartoony images in the style of Roy Lichtenstein. Their panels were of Chellie’s various pet sayings, but a lot of thought went into the characters and the placement. Amazing.

Chellie gave Bette her birthday presents, a small red book of Italian cooking, and a succulent e.g. cactus in a lovely pot. Very nice. We wobbled back to the hotel.

Green Zebra Chicago 1460 west chicago ave. • chicago illinois 60622

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