If you haven’t been to Apogee lounge in Chicago, Illinois, you don’t know what your missing. This past sunday I was lucky enough to participate in a Wynning experience with Author and Lifestyle expert, Maisha Wynn. I watched one of her workshops at the 38th annual Taste of Chicago, where she made homemade avocado pesto sauce and heirloom tomatoes atop edamame pasta. Of those that attended I won this experience with Maisha at Apogee lounge AND it was amazing!!! To share in the fun experience,I brought along friend and also blogger, Melissa of SweetMelissa and my husband!
The Apogee lounge was awesome! I loved the decor right down to the lamps, blue happens to be my favorite color and paired with all of the brass that gave off this gold color, such a good combo throughout. Three bars in total share the space, two inside and one outside, so I imagine the place get’s pretty full. The bathroom took some getting used to, there are stalls that are separated but the mirrors and sinks are shared in a common space between men and women.
If the inside bar wasn’t cool enough, you step outside and overlook the beautiful city of Chicago. Apogee lounge has an additional bar outside with a Frose’ machine! It was quite beautiful. You will have to check it out for yourself, it is quite a site and perfect for summer parties.
We arrived a bit early to Apogee lounge so I could get some pictures of the place. Melissa and I decided to try a drink before hand and it was called “NYMPH,” which was made with Tito’s Vodka, Elderflower, Rose Sparkling, and Raspberry Powder made by a professional mixologist. It was really good and had a whole flower inside an ice cube which I thought was pretty neat. All of the drinks were extremely unique, here is the menu. They have these massive drinks that can be shared with up to 6 people! I can not wait to come back and try some of them.
After Introductions were made between Maisha and my guests, the drinks started arriving…the first cocktail was actually a mocktail. Made with ginger and raspberry, it was quite delicious. I couldn’t even tell that it was a mocktail and I am so glad it was that good ….(no hangover the next day!).
The next cocktail (shot really) was the Apogee Frose’ which is on their menu! Probably my favorite drink of the evening. It’s made with Frozen Rose’, Aperol, St. Germain, and Raspberry.
The next cocktail (shot) was Aloe-Rita made with Frozen Tequila, Fresh Lime, and Chareau Aloe Vera, yummm. This was a bit strong as opposed to the Frose’. You could tell right away that it was tequila you were drinking but it was really smooth.
All the food provided for the evening was from the kitchen of the Portsmith Lounge located on the first floor of the Dana Hotel. Apogee lounge does have a happy-hour menu but other than that I believe you will have to check out the Portsmith for food. Apogee is really known for their master mixologists.
The first thing we were served were beautiful yellow beets (shown above) served with feta cheese and basil pesto. They were beautiful. Vegan options were available as well.
Next was, at least to me, the highlight of the night, delicious black bean sliders. These are available on Portsmith’s happy hour menu.
I was worried that the bun was going to dry the burger out, but it was extremely good. I loved the mix of mushrooms and garlic in the burger as well. There was a sauce underneath the burger on the bun and I could have eaten the whole tray.
We were served delicious black truffle tots next (shown above). They were little pillows of deliciousness, so yum. The best way to try and describe the texture would be kind of like fried mashed potatoes. A little crunchy on the outside and soft on the inside.
Roasted vegetables served on gluten-free ciabatta bread were next. Yellow peppers, onions, mushrooms, and spicy roasted marinara, topped with microgreens gave a beautiful look and also very tasty. They were so beautiful, Maisha took a picture with them. (See below)
SO wonderful! During all of these tastings, Maisha shared her personal story and journey with all of us. It was truly inspirational and I am so glad I had the opportunity to hear her speak, if you get the chance to check her out, please do, I will attach a recent clip of her on the Rachel Ray Show HERE. Even after the event was over Maisha stayed and chatted with us about anything and everything. She really cares about people and that came across throughout the night.
The last tasting of the night were bright and fresh bruschetta bites, they pack a punch of flavor. What you can’t see in the picture above is what seemed to be a garlicky-roasted tomato spread under the fresh tomato. I thought that was such a neat way to add in extra flavor (I also will be using the idea for my next dinner party!).
The night was amazing to say the least. Between taking in Maisha’s words, hearing her story and the delicious food and drinks, this will be a night I will remember for a long time. They wait-staff was amazing, and on point all night long. They were so personable, and it really felt like they were part of our party (Thanks Alisa!).
After we left I snapped a few quick pictures of the Portsmith (shown below) just for fun. I can’t wait to come back and try them, so excited.
To see other posts about local eats, check out my post on the taste of chicago.