Category Archives: Fashionable Dining

Under Construction…Back in 2015!

Where to begin… First and foremost I owe you a majorly humongous apology.  I apologize for disappearing and going black on the site for the last two months and with no explanation or even a sign of life of when I would be back.  The move to Dallas, TX for work has been such a rewarding experience but has definitely had it’s fair share of bumps in the road.  Like 99% of the blogging world I have a “9 to 5” that consumes a large majority of my free time and with this new position, at a brand new company I’ve struggled a bit finding the right balance.  This beautiful space that I share will all of you here is one of my most treasured creations. While I wished I’d have reached this discovery much sooner than now, I’m just happy I’m finally in a great space to get back to being an active member of the CSM community.

In preparation for the new year I’m currently working on a few new exciting updates and a few changes to help make the CSM community a more fruitful experience.  I’m bursting at the seams with excitement but will hold it in until 2015.

So cheers to an amazing year but lets raise our flutes to many more runways that await us in the new year!  In the mean time get sneak peeks of what’s to come in 2015 for CSM by following me on IG, Twitter & FB xo

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Taco Diner: Tex Mex 101

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Upon our arrival to Dallas the hubs and I made the ever important decision that the only way to explore and discover Dallas was through it’s food.  If you have ever had the pleasure of visiting the great state of Texas you may have noticed that Tex Mex is a cornerstone of Texan cuisine.  With a number of repeated suggestions telling us that Taco Diner was an absolute Dallas must we decided to give this Tex Mex gem a try and boy are my taste buds happy that we did.

Taco Diner prides itself on emphasizing the bold flavors found in traditional Mexico City Taquerias by presenting a lighter approach to authentic Mexican cooking in a bustling, high energy atmosphere.  The vibrant colors and cozy setting are the perfect balance to the off the chart flavors of their signature cocktails (ahem, Mambo Taxi is every bit of delicious nectar as it looks) and tasty tacos.  While tacos aren’t the only item on their menu they had me at “Felipe Cheesesteak” tacos and unfortunately were all that I seen on my second and third visit as well.  Seriously, CHEESESTEAK in a homemade flour tortilla-heaven.

photo (6) Taco Diner

So, if you haven’t yet added this foodie destination to your Dallas food list take 2 seconds and do it now.  Done?  Okay, now the next question you may have is what to wear.  No worries, I have you covered.  Now go and have a Mambo Taxi and another one for me too okay!

Fashionable Dining Board-Taco Diner

 

Top L to R: Colorblock Crossbody/ Mix Print Crew Top/ Leather Shorts/ Slip-On Sneakers

 

#WWAW: Chicago Love Letter…

About a month ago I received some pretty incredible news, and in a nutshell it consisted of : We’re moving to Dallas, TX!! For some of you this may not come as a total surprise what with my recent tweets and instagrams.  Since the realization of this one phrase it’s come to represent one giant ball of emotions that have had me reeling with every single facial emoji in my phone (and maybe even a few from Harper’s Bazaar).

After the initial shock of realizing I was  leaving the place I have called home for the last 9 years I decided that the only proper and respectful way to break-up with Chicago was in a way that would ensure that he understood how much I loved an appreciated everything he’s given to me and do so in a way that would preserve the amazing friendship that we sparked those few short years ago.

Seeing that I only had a mere 4 weeks to spend with my great love Chicago 2 tasks became an immediate priority: one, making a dent in my Chicago foodie list and second, crossing off the places I wanted to visit on my Chicago tourist list.  Naturally each item I crossed off both lists were done in the only way CSM knows how with an Edgy, Comfy, Chic fashion.

Chicago 1 Food 1

Dear Chicago,

When I stepped out of the taxi cab 9 years ago, I just knew that you and I were destined for each other.  The jaw dropping skyline that seemed to go on for miles coupled with that amazing endless blue water were what sealed my immediate infatuation for you.  While at first it was definitely all about looks for me, what with the bright lights and endless rows of beautiful boutiques stunningly framed by the majestic blue of Lake Michigan in the Gold Coast.  I found myself venturing over to the homey, yet vibrantly full of life neighborhood of East Lakeview.  While I will always be a Chicago Cubs fan by default because of the many day drinking expeditions spent on Clark & Addison cheering in camraderie for a Cubs ‘W’.   The hellacious commute out to the far northwest suburbs for work proved to be too much, but in the end brought me to my absolute favorite neighborhood in Chicago: Logan Square.  This beautifully eclectic and diverse foodie’s paradise is my soulmate.  This unassuming vibrant and unpretentious neighborhood so full of creative talent that just bursting at the seams that it’s such a common place to walk down Milwaukee and feel like I’m walking through an art exhibit.  Words can’t even begin to express how much I’m going to miss you Chicago.  Even while I was in Dallas, TX looking for a new temporary residence the only criteria I had while working with our realtor was this one statement: “What area in Dallas, TX resembles exactly or at least is a nod to the beautifully diverse artist & foodie paradise of Logan Square in Chicago?”  I don’t know what I was expecting to hear back or whether some small part of me was secretly holding on to some small hope that maybe there would be a Logan Square doppleganger in Texas but I knew.  I knew that there wouldn’t be, but I just couldn’t at that moment take in the notion that I would be leaving you Chicago.  

What I have discovered over the course of the last 4 weeks is that it is just not physically, mentally or emotionally possible for me to break-up with you Chicago.  Our love affair runs way too deep and let’s just be honest my heart couldn’t take it.  So for right now I’m going to be on a really, really long vacation so this is not goodbye, it’s see you later!

Love Always and Forever,

Ana xoxo

Chicago 2 Food 2

P.S.  While I was eating and sightseeing my way through my lists I wore some pretty fabulous ensembles because when you go on dates with Chicago the only right thing to do is step it up and no better way but in my Edgy, Comfy, Chic style!

photo 1P.P.S Even more of a bonus?  Here’s a funny outtake because you know I had way more outtakes than actual blog ready photos lol

photo 3What I’m Wearing: ASOS Run DMC Tank/ ASOS Midi Camo Skirt/ Melissa X Gareth Pugh Sandals/ Givenchy Pandora Bag/ House of Harlow Sunnies (Similar)

 

 

 

 

 

Revolution Brewing: Craft Beer + Gourmet Eats? Score!

Anyone else’s favorite day of the week Friday or is it just me?  Wait that was a silly question, everyone counts down the work week to this blessed day of the week.  Sorry, momentary lapse of judgement-it’s been a super long week.  Here’s a better question, who else celebrates the arrival of Friday planning out their weekend brunch plans?

Just in case you forgot or didn’t realize it the sole reason why I introduced Fashionable Dining to CSM is because I’m a serial bruncher and it’s my most prided talent.  Still no update yet on whether brunchin’ will be introduced as an Olympic sport so in the mean time let me introduce you to my go-to neighborhood brunch gem, Revolution Brewing.

Revolution Brewing is Chicago’s new hometown craft brewery.  The growth of craft breweries in the U.S. has been nothing short of a revolution, and this stand out Chicago gem is proud to be standing tall in this new crowd. The changing tastes of beer drinkers demand bigger flavors and more variety.  Alongside the variety of craft beers is the mouth watering and tantalizing food menu that pair perfectly in complementing their great selection of brews.

The setting of this brewpub features barrel wood walls & benches that are made from 100-year old beams salvaged during construction and immediately give the  space a warm and cozy vibe.   I know what your thinking, “What do I wear?”  Don’t fret, I got you covered.  Draw some outfit inspiration from key Fall/Winter trends I’ve pulled together for you:

P.S. Here’s what my husband and I had just the other day for brunch at Revolution Brewing to give you an idea of the amazing rollercoater ride your taste buds are in for:

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Sunday Dinner Club: A foodie’s dream come true!

One of the most exciting perks of the Chicago food scene is that it’s always evolving and creating tantalizing concepts to always keep our taste buds craving more.  It’s most recent salivating innovation? The Sunday Dinner Club

Chefs Josh Kulp and Christine Cikowski are the founders behind this hidden gem that touts itself on being an underground restaurant that isn’t really underground or a restaurant and yes, it’s not always held on Sundays either.  The best way to describe the Sunday Dinner Club is that it’s an experience that resembles more of a dinner party because of the amazing locales that SDC hosts their dinners with the great city of Chicago as their backdrop.  The dinners are multi-course meals that feature the best of what is available at the city’s local farmers markets.  The chefs pride themselves on, “The food that we cook is the food we want to eat-seasonal, simple, clean but also refined, thoughtful and painstakingly handcrafted”. 

Now here’s where it gets really interesting, in order to participate in one of Chicago’s most unique foodie experiences you have to get a referral.  The idea behind the referral is to further enhance the SDC experience by ensuring that the environment that they create where the food, the cooks and the guests are all interconnected.  But no need to fret because I just happen to be on the mailing list and if you shoot me an email I would personally ensure that I send along a referral for you to join the Sunday Dinner Club (just as a reminder here’s my email ana@csmstyle.com).

Now on to solving the issue of what to wear when attending one of SDC’s fabulous dinners.  The settings are always cozy and exude the feeling of having dinner at home (but naturally it’s the dream home we all fantasize and pin about on Pinterest) so draw some outfit inspiration that would be perfect no matter which dinner it is you choose!

 

 

P.S. Check out some of the mouth watering dishes that have been served at past SDC dinners:

photo (65) photo (57) photo (61) photo (62) photo (59) photo (58)

*Photo Credit: Sunday Dinner Club’s Instagram 

CSM has a new look!

I seriously can’t believe that the day has finally arrived and I can finally unveil CSM’s new grown and sexy makeover!  When CSM first launched back in April 2011 it was because I needed a pure, raw and tangible outlet for all of the fashion ramblings and opinions I had about the industry.  Over the years you the CSM community have helped me to truely mold and define who and what CSM is and should be.  My initial outlet has become so much more than I would have ever expected and so to have undergone such an extensive and much needed makeover was truly empowering.

The first and major change is CSM’s defining logo!  I’m not going to bore you with the details, but I literally agonized over what the logo would be visually for the first 2 months of this 6 month makeover journey.  Thank goodness for creative design guru and web genius, Laura Granlund of inTIMIDnation for taking all of the feedback you all have given me over the years (and yes, I had it all stored up in my brain).  To now have an actual visual representation of CSM is legit incredible.  So if you are in need of anything graphic/web design related I would highly recommend reaching out to her (literally kept my sanity for these last few months-trust me ask my husband).

CSM's New Logo

Okay I digress, let me get back to CSM’s amah-zing transformation.  The next major change and is the more obvious one, I’M NOT ON BLOGGER ANYMORE!  Yup, CSM needed to put on her big girl panties on and step into the real world of blogging and that required a new handy URL and so naturally it’s www.csmstyle.com.  Now, you all can update your favorites with the new link and what’s even more handy is that the name is in the new URL so you’ll never forget it right?

These next few changes were all about me keeping you all in mind.  One big important change for you is that I wanted to make it as navigationally friendly as possible.  With that in mind  it was really important for me to have a ‘Categories’ tab front and center so that you all would know exactly what the content of CSM is plus you could drill directly into whichever specific category you were looking for and/or wanting to delve deeper in to.

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Another great addition is that you can see I still have all of the old categories you all love like “Pasifika Fashion Series”;  “Shop Local”; “Fashionable Dining” plus a few new ones like “WWAW” (What Would Ana Wear) and “Splurge vs. Save.

Now, peruse and make yourself at home because I’m looking forward to seeing more of you and for a longer time.  Next time, cocktails are a must! xo

 

[Chicago Dining] Fashionable Brunching at Little Goat!

In my continued quest to petition for ‘Brunching’ to be added as the next Olympic sport I’ve been staying busy with a rigorous training schedule (I know, I know it’s not realistic but hey if they cancelled wrestling you never know right?).

My most recent visit was to Stephanie Izard’s latest addition, Little Goat.  It did not take much prodding for me to add Little Goat to my long list of Chicago treasures to nosh at.  One of my absolute favorite restaurants is Little Goat’s older sister, A Girl and The Goat.  Foolish me believed that I had experienced a number of food-gasms before but did not realize until that moment that I ate Izard’s ‘sauteed green beans’ that I was experiencing my real first.  So naturally once I heard that she was opening an extension to her food concept with an American diner it was a definite given that I’d be making a visit.

Little Goat is nod to the vintage American diners of the past with a wide variety of food options and most importantly breakfast is served all day long.  The key difference of what separates Little Goat from any other diner is that everything is made from scratch.  This is Izard’s signature attention to detail that swept me off my feet in the first place.

Not sure what to wear? Don’t worry, I have you covered.  Draw some outfit inspiration from key Spring/Summer trends that you can wear now:

Items pictured above: ONE by Marna Ro Maxi Dress/ Givenchy Shark Tooth Earring/ Clover Canyon Printed Blazer/ Maison Martin Margiela Ankle Boots/ Givenchy Braided Shark Tooth Bracelet 

Check out my pics from my visit to Little Goat:

[Chicago Dining] Valentine’s Day Dinner is so passe, so Brunch it up with Love!

This Valentine’s Day I’m advocating a non-traditional approach to this holiday of love ladies & I hope that you all will join me.  Year after year this holiday rolls around and each time I fall victim to the belief that if the man in my life truly loves me he will show that by planning an over the top romantic dinner and shower me with gifts, flowers and whisper sweet nothings in my ear all night long.  Well, here’s the reality check: it never happens.  My husband either forgets but won’t fess up to forgetting so it leaves me to live out my romantic fantasy by planning it out myself and needless to say it’s always a crap show because I’m bitter he didn’t do it and I had to “plan everything myself”.

This year join me in skipping all of the passe romantic dinner stuff & plan a brunch of love.  I’ve picked out my Top 3 favorite brunch spots that not only have the perfect ambiance, decor but most importantly the food   does not disappoint.

P.S. To help you plan your “Brunch of Love” with ease I’ve even picked out an ensemble of inspiration to wear that would be perfect for each locale! xo

1. Terzo Piano

Items pictured above: Sigerson Morrison Booties/Azure Bib Necklace/ Balmain Top/ ASOS Striped Jeans/ DVF Lips Clutch

2. Nellcote

Items pictured above: Markus Lupfer Top/ Richard Nicoll Pencil Skirt/ Camilla Skovgaard Sandals/ Gold Wrap Bracelet/ Fallon Jeweled Bracelet

3. RL

Items pictured above: Monika Chiang Top/ Valentino Bracelet/ Eddie Borgo Earrings/ Thakoon Skirt/ Commando Tights/ Bass Oxfords

[Chicago Dining] Roka Akor Winter Menu Preview!

Anytime I get to infuse food and fashion together it’s always a match made in cosmic heaven.  Roka Akor extended me the opportunity to join them recently to preview their food & cocktail winter menu.  As an appreciator of artistic cuisine featuring premiere fresh seasonal, natural and local ingredients it was definitely an event I was looking forward too.  The tasting menu was comprised of 5 different courses, a dessert and 3 different cocktails.

Being a contemporary Robatayaki Japanese restaurant, it was so refreshing to see “food as theater”.  Of the 5 courses that were served my favorite was the Robata grilled Wagyu confit Short Rib with truffle maitake mushroom; grilled sweet potato with ginger teriyaki sauce.  Roka Akor is most notably known as a sushi master, but their impressive offering of succulent steak cuts is what left me craving for more.

This new seasonal menu will launch this Friday with the Winter Solstice, on December 21st through March 20th.  Check out my pics below (warning, may cause drool):

Wondering what to wear to this contemporary eastern experience? Play up the fun and sleek vibe in this “Edgy Sparkle” ensemble:


Shop the look here:

[Chicago Dining] Fashionable Brunching at Nellcote!

Sundays in Chicago are synonymous for one thing: Brunching!  In a city known for it’s eclectic food it only makes sense that a meal time is given the adjective of action and therefore qualifying it as an actual event.

Personally I’m hoping that one day it will become an Olympic sport, but until then I guess all we can do is continue to practice until we are experts.  After all doesn’t the saying go “Practice makes Perfect”.  So, for this Sunday’s brunching edition we ventured over to Nellcote in Chicago’s West Loop.

Why Nellcote?  Easy, all of the reviews and press surrounding this establishment’s authentic locavore experience that is defined by humble dishes that focus on simple yet approachable dining.  To compliment the  stellar menu the setting is just to die.  Ornate luxury was the apparent design concept with its Italian marble stairs, extravagant woodwork, crystal chandeliers, etc.

One charming quality I immediately fell in love with was that with all of the opulence in decor and rich foods, Nellcote has personality.  Being that Chicago is a major sports city (probably a total understatement) it was really refreshing for my husband and other fellow football fans to see that they were able to dine in luxury while at the same time not miss a minute of Sunday NFL football.

Needless to say today’s brunching pick was a total touchdown (I know, I know total cliche).  Enjoy my pictures from today’s #FashionBrunch:

*Disclosure: This is a sponsored post.  All of my comments and this review are completely my own opinion and no one else.