Curiosity takes us to new places, and we just might be inspired.
Trump International, Hotel and Tower- Chicago
We find inspiration in countless places, and our sense of curiosity often takes us to those places. It is exciting how one thing leads to another, and it is interesting to see the fruit of that inspiration: new friends, happy guests, and good times with family and friends.
On our most recent trip to Chicago, Sarah and I stayed in the shadow of the newest landmark building in ChiTown- Trump International Hotel & Tower! The pull to explore Trump’s Tower was compelling and powerful, especially when you are staying just across the street.
Our usual routine when in ChiTown is for the girls to shop and for me to explore, so off we all went in different directions. The Magnificent Mile was steps away, and the weather was gorgeous for early November- low 70s and sunny. In search of breakfast and new experiences, I made my way up and down Michigan Avenue passing the some of the most elite retail establishments in the world and other famous landmarks- Tiffany’s, Burberry, Gucci, Louis Vuitton, and more. The old guard is still there in its regal beauty; The Chicago Tribune Building and The Wrigley Building flank the street at the south entrance to the Magnificent Mile now in the shadow of its higher, hipper and shinier new neighbor, Trump Tower.
After exploring the 5,280 foot retail phenomenon and enjoying a delicious breakfast at a local Italian market, I found myself back where I began- in the shadow of the Tower. So, I just had to go inside for a look around.
I made my way to the entrance by walking through the beautiful courtyard of the Wrigley Building and entered the lobby for the hotel. It was surprisingly smaller than I expected. I found the elevators and made my way to the 16th floor which is home to the Tower’s restaurant subtly named Sixteen, a Michelin two-star rated dining experience. The views are spectacular- eye level with the majectic Wrigley Clock Tower and Lake Michigan stretching out to the eastern horizon.
The Wrigley Building Clock Tower taken from the 16th floor of Trump Tower.
The spaces which make up Sixteen are luxurious, modern, and inviting- particularly the outdoor spaces and the views. It was fun exploring Sixteen, but it was not a realistic dining experience for us- not in the budget. I was happy to have visited the iconic tower bearing the name and mark of an equally iconic American entrepreneur turned politician. The Donald for President! Only in America!
Sixteen- the two-star rated Michelin restaurant at The Tower.
Later in the evening, with the Tower looming overhead, Sarah and I were planning the next day. And breakfast was at the top of our itinerary. Then the idea hit me- breakfast at Sixteen! The menu looked great, and in the name of research for our B&B, the prices weren’t out of reach, so…with great anticipation we headed out the next morning for a two-star Michelin breakfast! And, we were NOT disappointed, in fact, we were inspired!
I ordered the Eggs Benedict, and the first bite blew my mind! So creamy and smooth! How could eggs covered in egg yolks with butter be so amazing? Every bite was fantastic leading to the next bite and the wonder increasing by the fork full of perfectly poached eggs and the absolute best Hollandaise sauce anywhere. Breakfast was an experience of the senses, an event, and an inspiration to add even greater options to our menu.
The highlight of our visit to Sixteen was getting the chef’s recipe for her Hollandaise sauce. And, just this past Monday, we prepared the dish with a Kentucky twist- we replaced the Canadian bacon with Kentucky Legend Ham.
And, so, The Legendary Kentucky Eggs Benedict was born at Scott Station Inn on November 16, 2015, and our guests were thrilled. As our guest Pat commented, “Making Eggs Benedict is a process.” From clarifying the butter to perfectly poaching each egg, the process and effort were worth the end result!
Sarah and I had such a great time with our guests, and we can’t say enough about how much fun it was figuring this “process” out with our guests, Pat and Kathy. This experience is definitely one of the highlights of our first year as innkeepers!
Check out the process below:
Melt your butter to begin the process of clarifying the butter or separating the milk solids from the fats.
The end result is so incredible. Clarified butter will keep for a long time, so make it ahead of time to simplify the process.
Along with quality butter, use the best eggs and muffins you can find. You get what you pay for! Right?
Separate your yolks and slowly add the juice of one lemon. Next, slowly incorporate the warm clarified butter while continuing to mix. Add salt, white pepper, cayenne or hot sauce- all to taste. Toast the muffins, poach the eggs, and build your Benedict. We substituted Kentucky Legend Ham for the Canadian Bacon- it’s tastier and it’s local! Enjoy!!
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