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Girls Night Out, Chicago Art Institute & Wildfire Restaurant

Posted Jun 16 2011 11:12am

Good morning everyone! I hope that you are having a wonderful Thursday. I know, I start so many posts this way, but I truly do always hope that you are having a great day!

I slept in a bit this morning because it’s been a busy week so far. I worked my butt off yesterday morning to get things done so that I could head downtown to meet up with Fran for a wonderful ‘Girls Night Out’!

Girls night out Chicago Art Institute Rainy Chicago day

The Art Institute of Chicago

For our first activity, we took advantage of the Art Institute of Chicago’s half price entry for the last hour of the day and saw a few stunning exhibits. The first greeted us immediately upon entering.

Girls night out Chicago Art Institute Stairs

Indian artist Jtish Kallat created this illuminated staircase titled Public Notice 3 to highlight two moments in history: the First World Parliament of Religions Held on September 11, 1893 and the World Trade Center attacks that occurred exactly 108 years later. The illuminated words are taken from the speech that Swami Vivenkanada delivered at the Parliament in 1893 and the colors are borrowed from the U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s color coded threat alert system.

After moving into the main galleries, we found a stunning stained glass exhibit created by Marc Chagall.

Girls night out Chicago Art Institute Marc Chagall Stained Glass

Chagall created America Widows in 1977 as a gift to the City of Chicago to commemorate the American Bicentennial and celebrate the life of the late Mayor Richard J. Daley. The work celebrates the United States as a place of cultural and religious freedom and contains tributes to music, painting, literature, theater, and dance.

Girls night out Chicago Art Institute Chagal Stained Glass Windows 2

We spent a while basking in the warm glow of the stained glass and reading up on Chagall before moving on to the Institute’s new Modern Wing to see a room full of Russian and German Avante Garde propaganda and experimental photography.

Girls night out Chicago Art Institute Avavte Garde hand Girls night out Chicago Art Institute Two faces Avante Garde

Upon leaving the Avante Garde exhibit, I was mesmerized by this statue in the lobby.

Girls night out Chicago Art Institute Avante Statue Totalitarian Regime

It is clear that the artist was trying to a strong statement, particularly with the sheer size and material of the figure. However, I wasn’t sure what exactly he was trying to express. Do you have any ideas?

Apparently, the figure represents a totalitarian regime whose ‘arms’ are bound. I wish that I could find more information on it but it’s not listed on the Art Institute’s website!

Wildfire Restaurant

When the Institute closed for the evening, we took a lovely walk the River North neighborhood to Wildfire , a wonderful restaurant that Fran had found by Googling for gluten free restaurants in downtown Chicago. She had a hankering for a burger and typically has to eat them sans bun! Sad smile

Girls night out Chicago Art Institute Wild Fire Restaurant

My photo doesn’t do the restaurant justice as the ambiance was warm and comfortable and the servers were friendly and accommodating. Not only did they have an entire menu devoted to gluten free dishes but they served complimentary gluten free bread as well!

Girls night out Chicago Art Institute Wild Fire Restaurant Gluten Free Bread

I am always on the hunt for the best veggie burgers in town, so I asked our friendly server whether he recommended it Wildfire’s. He said that he had tasted it when he first trained for his job but had forgotten what it was like. However, he did share that a recent customer had been disappointed by the softness of the burger and that he could ask them to cook it longer for me. I always appreciate such honesty from servers! After considering the menu a bit longer I decided to go for it.

Girls night out Chicago Art Institute Wild Fire Restaurant Veggie Burger

The interior of the burger was indeed soft but I actually loved the texture. The menu didn’t list the ingredients but it tasted like it had a base of pinto beans and potato. The combination of the soft burger, fluffy bun, avocado, gooey Monterey Jack cheese, and arugula was absolutely delicious. I had a few of the fries as well and was pleasantly surprised to find that they were made in house and seasoned to perfection. To top it off, the meal was only $10!

Although the gluten free bun wasn’t the best, Fran also enjoyed her burger which she ordered with a side of roasted veggies.

Girls night out Chicago Art Institute Wild Fire Restaurant Gluten Free Burger

We had such a fun time catching up and chatting about all sorts of different topics. We might have even gotten into a discussion about celebrity crushes that made a few heads turn but hey, that is what Girls Night Out is all about!

Last night was such a wonderful reminder of just how lucky I am to have Fran in my life. She truly is a friend that has stood by me through thick and thin and I truly don’t know what I would do without her! There is a possibility that Nick and I will be staying in Chicago after the end of the month and Fran and I have already decided that as long as we’re around we are going to make Girls Night Out a monthly occurrence. Yey, love you Fran!

I would love to hear from you…

Do you ever do Girls/Boys Night Out and what is your favorite activity?

Don’t forget to check out the new workout and stop by later today for the announcement of the
Sunwarrior value pack giveaway winner AND the start of another great giveaway!

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