Chicago | Ritz-Carlton and Four Seasons. Doughnuts and Hot Chocolate.

Fun fact: Ritz-Carlton Chicago is owned and operated by Four Seasons.

It’s the only Ritz in the world like that.

So the official name of the hotel is: Ritz-Carlton Chicago (A Four Seasons Hotel). Just something to keep in mind ^_^

There’s also a Four Seasons in Chicago, located around the corner from Ritz-Carlton. Both properties have awesome pools…which is even more enticing when it’s a windy -15F in the city. I was only in Chicago for a week but that was enough to dry and crack my skin. Scary! I should have worn a face mask. Pictured above is the pool at the Ritz…

…and this is the pool at the Four Seasons. (It’s the pool where they filmed Home Alone 2.)

Also worth noting…food!

The must-eat dish at Ritz-Carlton is from deca RESTAURANT + BAR. Chocolate Cake! Ten layers of super moist dark chocolate sponge layered with whipped ganache. Heady and intense. And most impressively, not too sweet. 

At Four Seasons, order the Chicago-Style Hot Dog at Allium. Every component of the hot dog is made in house. The dog itself is snappy, so juicy. Careful when you bite, I ended up getting meat juice all over my dress. Totally worth it. 

And because I see tea everywhere I look/eat/drink…earl grey tea cookies with a smear of chocolate cream. There’s toasted oatmeal blended into the cookie dough to give a nutty crunch.

P.S. Serious Eats just ran a post on my 10 Favorite Bites from Chicago. I mentioned most the places in previous Chicago posts on this blog…with the exception of two desserts. First is this Aztec Hot Chocolate from Xoco. Four ingredients: fresh-ground chocolate, water, chile, and allspice. I love the earthy notes of the chocolate and had this for breakfast on more than one occasion. On another morning (after heavy drinking with Noelle), I paired it with pork belly chilaquiles. And that was just heaven.

The other dessert/breakfast is…doughnuts! Doughnut Vault closes when they’re sold out. That’s usually around noon. Daily specials posted on Twitter. So mark your dates and go early. This is the chocolate-dipped, strawberry-stuffed yeast doughnut. It looks heavy, but was light with only the thinnest dip of chocolate. This, too, was heaven ^_^

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