A Few of My Favorite Things

Melinda Sheckells, editor-in-chief of Sophisticated Living magazine, shares the Chicago spots fueling her infatuation with the Second City.

By Melinda Sheckells

August 05, 2019 10:00 AM

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The Darling Buds of May at The Darling

Also in the West Loop, I visited The Darling for a night of revelry. This multilevel venue is divided into a flower shop @mydarlingfloral, The Library cocktail bar and The Ballroom social club. Rum makes me wild and I was feeling especially daring on that warm spring night, so I ordered The Darling Buds of May cocktail, which is an Insta-worthy favorite, featuring two types of rum, passionfruit juice, apple cider, lemon, agave syrup and basil. @thedarlingchi

Brunch at Eden

I recently checked out Sunday brunch at Eden in the West Loop. I kicked it off with a Frose cocktail, which is rosé wine, peach puree and vodka, and then transitioned to the Bountiful Bloody with pepper and citrus-infused vodka, garnished with fried chicken and pork belly—of all decadent things. On the food front, the grilled avocado Eggs Benedict with crab was an absolute delight. Plus, Eden offers a doughnut of the day, like the orange sugar with butterscotch dipping sauce—the perfect weekend daytime sweet treat. @edeninchicago

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Housemade doughnuts at Eden

Claridge House 

I love a good staycation and I rested my head one weekend at the Claridge House, a boutique hotel in the Gold Coast. The staff, the accommodations, the food and beverage program were all top-notch and made me feel as if I were staying at a close friend’s house instead of a hotel. Last year, the 1923 building underwent a $9 million renovation. One of my favorite places was the lobby where I worked every morning, surrounded by stunning original artwork including a large gallery photo wall which I gazed at during breaks from writing. Plus Juniper Spirits & Oysters, the hotel’s restaurant, serves a divine lobster roll as well as avocado toast. @claridge_house 

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Claridge House hotel in the Gold Coast

MCA x Off-White Culture Wall bag 

One of the most exciting events I have been to in Chicago was the ArtEdge Gala at the Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago to usher in the new exhibit Virgil Abloh: “Figures of Speech.” While I was attending a preview I snapped up this limited-edition purse from Abloh’s Church & State pop-up shop that features special products and rereleases from the multihyphenate designer. The images on this bag are taken directly from the ‘Culture Wall’ Abloh designed for the space—which runs the length of its entrance—depicting things that have influenced his life. I was told the bag was one of three in existence when I purchased it. Well, it quickly became a one-of-a-kind when Abloh so kindly monogrammed it for me with his signature quotation marks: “Melinda.” @mcachicago

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A limited-edition purse from Virgil Abloh’s Church & State pop-up shop at the MCA

“Southern Gothic” at Windy City Playhouse

Immersive theater is one of my guilty pleasures—where audiences interact with actors within the performance space—and “Southern Gothic” at the Windy City Playhouse’s South Loop location is a phenomenal night of entertainment. With just 30 audience members, you wander around the set and watch the drama unfold during a dinner party where lots of secrets and indiscretions are revealed. Through July 28. @windycityplay

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A scene from “Southern Gothic” at the Windy  City Playhouse
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SL mag Editor-In-Chief Melinda Sheckells