Friday 22 January 2016

Mindy's Hot Chocolate :: Hello Weekend

peppermint ($7) :: peppermint hot chocolate
black & tan ($7) :: 1/3 hot fudge, 2/3 medium hot chocolate
the “o.g.” doughnuts ($13) :: brioche doughnuts, hot fudge, caramel corn

Came here for after dinner desserts and despite not being a huge chocolate fan, left pretty happy! Been wanting to visit for quite some time and came at around 8pm. There was 20 minute wait and the restaurant was pretty busy. 

Ordered the peppermint hot chocolate and the OG doughnuts to share with my friend who ordered the black and tan hot chocolate. 

Our waitress was super friendly, attentive, and knowledgeable. Prior to coming, my friends warned me that the hot chocolates ran on the sweet side so I narrowed down my choices between the dark and the peppermint hot chocolate. I told the waitress my dilemma and she recommended the peppermint hot chocolate since it was less 'heavy' despite the dark hot chocolate being more popular. Glad I took her advice. I was pretty impressed when I saw one of the guests at the table next to me accidentally drop his two marshmallows and our waitress appeared with two new ones saying that he shouldn't miss out on them despite them falling on the floor. 

I thoroughly enjoyed my hot chocolate and the housemade marshmallows. As per the recommendation of my friends, I ate one and put one in the hot chocolate (as putting both may make the hot chocolate too sweet). The doughnuts were pretty good but not amazing/memorable. I did enjoy the presentation of the doughnuts on the cutting board. 

Despite Mindy's being on the pricier side (especially for a single hot chocolate for $7-10), I would definitely return for desserts and possibly dinner! I saw another table order the burger and it looked delicious. For those who love online reservations, Mindy's also has OpenTable.

Mindy's Hot Chocolate
1747 N Damen Ave
Chicago, IL 60647
Mindy's Hot Chocolate Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Izakaya Mita :: Restaurant Week #1

RainbowSashimi Avocado Salad
tuna, yellowtail, salmon over avocado and spring greens in a special wafu dressing

I enjoyed this dish but it was quite small and on the salty side.

Kani Ankake Tofu 
blue crab in a thick wafu-chuka sauce with carrots, onions, kale and shiitake mushrooms served over silken tofu

I personally didn't care of this. It was small and soup like. Didn't taste the blue crab and the sauce was too overwhelming. Considering it was a tofu dish, there wasn't much tofu.

Niku Katsu Panko 
breaded beef sirloin served deep fried with special ponzu dressing

I liked this despite it being very oily and not very crunchy. Note ponzu sauce was had hints of wasabi.

Kamo Misozuke 
cold smoked duck breast marinated in a miso and ginger sauce served with a special ume pickled plum puree

Pretty disappointed with this as it was pretty bland and the meat was very chewy.

Robusuta Slider 
rice slider topped with deep fried lobster and drizzled with spicy mayo

Was also disappointed by this. The slider was soggy and couldn't taste much of the lobster as the batter was overwhelming.

Mama Mita’s Matcha Green Tea Cheesecake 
the owner’s homemade matcha green tea cheesecake steamed in a custard bowl, topped with whipped cream and served with 2 green tea chocolate pocky biscuits

I really enjoyed the green tea cheesecake but wished it was bigger!

Came here for the first time during Restaurant Week. As an izakaya aficionado, I was pretty excited to try it after looking at the Restaurant Week menu and the 4 star ratings on yelp. Unfortunately, Izakaya Mita didn't meet my expectations and left underwhelmed. Despite arriving for the Restaurant Week menu, I also looked/considered the restaurant's regular menu. Despite the numerous menu items, I didn't find anything that caught my interest and I noticed it was slightly on the pricy side. As such, I stuck with my choice in trying the Restaurant Week Menu. One of the deciding factors in choosing Izakaya Mita over any other Japanese establishment for Restaurant Week was that there was more courses than the others (6 courses for $44). Don't let this fool you! The portions for each course was quite small and I left the restaurant pretty hungry. Since the portions were small, I was planning to split a ramen with my friend but the waitress never came back so we never ordered it. In terms of the food taste and quality, I was a little disappointed. Ingredients are good but average. Taste missed the mark as some items were either overly salty, overly bland, or overly fried. The one thing I did really enjoy was the matcha green tea cheesecake! Service is prompt and friendly, but not very attentive. We initially ordered the Restaurant Week menu to get the food order started and told the waitress to comeback after we decided on some additional dishes from the regular menu and she never came back. I also asked for some hot water in addition to my friend's beer, but only the beer came. Overall, I wouldn't say Izakaya Mita is a bad restaurant, but I've definitely had better experiences elsewhere.

Izakaya Mita
1960 N. Damen Ave
Chicago, IL 60647
restaurant week link :: menu
Izakaya Mita Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato