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Can’t Miss Dining at Filini Bar and Restaurant in Chicago

Posted by on May 20, 2013
Hosted Meal

Filini at Radisson Blu Aqua Hotel on Urbanspoon


Dinner at Filini

I scooped up a fork full of the delicious looking ravioli on my plate at Filini and took a bite.

And decided that it was the best tasting ravioli I had ever eaten in my entire life.

It was just that good.

We were staying overnight at the incomparable Radisson Blu Aqua in Chicago recently and one of the many, many wonderful things about this hotel is the fact that they have a truly fabulous restaurant right off the lobby. Filini is an Italian restaurant and bar with a philosophy of preparing the freshest food in the most delicious way possible and I am here to tell you that they succeed quite admirably in that goal. Considering how cozy it is, it’s surprising that there is actually seating for 150.

The restaurant is, like the rest of the hotel, a lovely and open space with a modern yet comfortable design.
Filini. Photo courtesy of the restaurant.

Filini. Photo courtesy of the restaurant.

We were seated immediately in a booth overlooking the street where we watched as people strolled by our window a story below us. We ordered water and our waiter immediately brought us an ice cold little glass bottle of water and a glass. Why does every restaurant not do this? It was wonderful to just refill our glasses with the refreshingly cold water.
So handy - and so classy!

So handy – and so classy!

We didn’t order drinks but could have as they have an extensive bar menu. They also offer monthly, complimentary cocktail classes which look like they would be a lot of fun. The classes are limited to 15 participants who learn all about the “art of mixology” at the Blu Bar in the restaurant. The cocktail demonstrations are conducted by Principal Bartender Roger Bailey and are inspired by the season and the holidays of each month. After the demonstration, guests prepare the chosen cocktails which will include such diverse offerings as a “Maximilian Affair”, a “Blue Cooler”, or a “Wacucumber”. Contact Filini for more information and to sign up for classes.

Everything on the restaurant menu looked and sounded absolutely wonderful as our helpful waiter described them to us but we finally made our choices and then just enjoyed the delectable smells wafting from the kitchen. They also have a completely new menu for spring which looks equally delicious. I had ordered a Caesar salad and, not reading the menu closely enough, I didn’t realize it came with grilled chicken on top and would have been sufficient for a meal all by itself. It was honestly one of the best Caesar salads I have ever eaten and I am a connoisseur of the Caesar salad. Some have dressing that is just a bit too sour but this one was perfection. Plenty of cheese and the chicken was delicious as well.

Delicious, fresh Caesar salad.

Delicious, fresh Caesar salad.

I had a hard time deciding between all the succulent-sounding Italian dishes on the menu but finally settled on the Ravioli. It was quite evocatively described as “Ricotta and spinach stuffed ravioli with tomato sauce”, but they should have added that it was going to melt in your mouth with deliciousness and you would dream about this ravioli for a very, very long time.

Best. Ravioli. EVER.

Best. Ravioli. EVER.

After we had consumed our entrees with much moaning and groaning (quietly of course) we faced the quandary of all travel writers who are writing about food and have quite effectively consumed so much delicious food that they don’t actually need dessert in any form.

Not at all.

But, like the true brave and hardy adventurers that we are who know you are consumed with curiosity about the desserts anyplace we eat – this is my story and I’m sticking to it – we did indeed order dessert. I don’t normally write about what Tom orders unless I manage to snag a sample or it’s something extraordinary and also because he gets a little impatient with taking photos of food when he is ready to eat it. However, he did mention that the tiramisu he had for dessert was the best he has ever eaten.

And my dessert was equally superlative. I love a dessert with several small items which I can sample and this one was perfect. “Selezione Di Gelati: Gianduia,with coffee, chocolate chip or rum raisin gelato” When I indicated a preference for anything chocolate, this is what our waiter recommended. Gianduia are chocolates shaped like an upturned boat  made with a mixture of cocoa and hazelnut paste.

And they are wonderful.

Yummy dessert.

Yummy dessert.

I am not a coffee fan at all but coffee gelato was perfect with the ball of chocolate decadence.

Every single item we ate was wonderful and obviously prepared with care and attention to every, single detail.

I would like to have the entire meal again.

At this very moment.

If you are in Chicago anytime soon, stop by Filini. You will not be disappointed, I promise.

Full disclosure: Filini provided us with our meal,  but as always, I will share my honest opinion about any travel experiences I have.


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3 Responses to Can’t Miss Dining at Filini Bar and Restaurant in Chicago

  1. Stefanie @ Roamancing

    Sounds delicious, especially because good ravioli is often hard to find! Thank you for sharing; I was born in Chicago and am wanting to go back and explore the city so I will definitely check this place out!

    • Jan Ross

      You are so right; it can be too mushy or too tough. We will be there again in June and are taking a pizza tour – maybe we will find the best Chicago pizza!

  2. Marcia

    I should have remembered that this is a foodie post and not read when I haven’t had breakfast yet. So now all I’m thinking about is that ravioli. It sounds absolutely delicious, Jan!
    Thanks for linking up!
    Marcia recently posted..Jerk Lobster, Little Ochie Style

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