Last night my cousin Justin and his girlfriend, Desiree pulled out all the stops for my finale dinner in the Windy City. We arrived at the swank restaurant, The Pump Room located inside Chicago’s posh Public Hotel formerly the famous Ambassador East.
This legendary landmark was established in 1938, and was a popular hangout for celebrities such as Frank Sinatra and his Rat Pack entourage, Bill Murray, Clark Gable, Paul Newman, and a whole gaggle of who’s who.
I immediately felt sophisticated after stepping foot through the newly-remodeled hotel lobby, as I passed under a cluster of crystal chandeliers hanging over stark-white steps leading to the bar and dining area. It also helped that we had reserved the booth where Sinatra had spent many hours throwing back drinks, swapping stories about broads with Dean Martin, and taking calls from The Pump Room’s white rotary-dial telephone.
But Justin had one more card up his sleeve. An evening of wine tasting with renowned wine expert, John Cressman and his lovely wife, Cricket. John had brought his own bag of tricks with him, filled with velvety Pinot Noir, and a crisp Chardonnay.
In a crescent-shaped booth we dined under the weirdest lighting fixtures that I have ever seen. It looked like a giant hanging mobile of fused-circular beige lights, welded together without rhyme or reason, not that you need one. I was not only fascinated, but intrigued by this labyrinth of illumination.
It was a night to remember, and I want to thank all of you (even the little people) that made this trip an extraordinary one.