I Planned A Drake Themed Galentine’s Dinner Party In 5 Days And It Was Everything

Having dinner with girlfriends is the best. But add cake and Drake songs – it’s simply the perfect theme I could think of for hosting my first Galentine’s Day dinner in Chicago.

I love a good party (see here, here, and basically all of my Instagram stories). And the reasons why I love them is because they help you bond with people. This Galentine’s Day dinner party was no exception.

First, I’m going to walk you through how I planned the Drake Themed party in five days- from the Drake on a Cake to the location.

Then, I’ll share with you what we did at the party.

How We Got to Drake on a Cake Galentine’s Theme:

The theme was Drake on a Cake. How did we get here? It all started with Chicago Restaurant Week and God’s Plan.

I was having a late lunch, which turned into early cocktails with a few fab Chicago lifestyle and food bloggers.  Drake had just released the song, God’s Plan, and we started talking about the lyrics which led our Instagram-obsessed selves to Drake on the Cake Instagram account.

 

Nicole Triebe from Windy City Dinner Fairy at Restaurant Week. Photo by: The Brazen Gourmand

 

During the lunch, I met the infamous Nicole Triebe, Founder of  Windy City Dinner Fairy, who I had followed on Instagram, but we’d never met in person. And, I’m going to tell you, meeting in person is so important. 

The day we met for Chicago Restaurant Week was also the day I started to promote my new relationship podcast, Ok Cool. We started talking about dating stories in Chicago and we were swapping our worst date stories.

Drake + Good Lobster Rolls + Bad Dates = BFFS

 

After a few laughs, some mussels, and some good cider, I had to interview Nicole about Windy City Dinner Fairy for my blog. So, we set up a date to make a Drake on a Cake and learn more about how she started baking and cooking.

The Drake on a Cake: Making the Cake:

About a week later, what was just girl talk, turned into baking the Drake on a Cake. I started my afternoon with Nicole from Windy City Dinner Fairy with a bottle of champagne. She already had the eggs and some ingredients on the table. Without a recipe, she swirled the batter and tossed in the ingredients to make a double chocolate Drake on a Cake.

 

Baking a Cake with Windy City Dinner Fairy.

 

Meet The Girlboss Behind Windy City Dinner Fairy:

While her cake smelled sweet, her story of becoming a girl boss was about a 15-year long road. See, Nicole always knew what she was good at, but it took time to develop her skills and her clientele. She was working a full-time job as a Paralegal when she started her creative, custom dessert catering company, Windy City Dinner Fairy. She was catering with a friend and made pastries for a coffee shop. And then on her own, Nicole was hired as a personal chef for three CrossFitters. It was when she made cupcakes for a wedding that she realized that this was what she wanted to do. She switched jobs to be an Assistant Underwriter at an insurance company and still kept making cakes and food on the side. Her business had expanded throughout the Chicagoland area. After working two jobs, which she didn’t like very much, she was ready to incorporate her side hustle on her 35th birthday – December 1, 2017.

 

The cakes were cooling, and it was time to pop the champagne. After hearing her story, we brainstormed the best Drake lyrics. Ultimately, we went with “You The F*ckin Best.” Windy City Dinner Fairy then made then made a “You The F*ckin Best”  playlist as she finished icing the cake, and I finished the champagne. I knew that those weren’t just empty words on a cake – she really is the f*ckin best for quitting her job and making her side hustle her business.

 

We Chose the Drake lyrics “You The F*ckin Best” for The Galentine’s Day Cake. 

 

P.S. if you need a visual of what it was like to bake with Nicole, you can watch her in action with Glossed and Found, an online video magazine making a hydrangea cupcake bouquet for Valentine’s Day.

The Galentine’s Day Invites:

One Party Can Lead To Another if you just believe. Chicago influencers from Chicagogrammers came to the Drake on a Cake Galentine’s Day Party. 

I think the only thing to do with a cake is to have a party. So, I went to the monthly Chicagogrammer’s happy hour with 30 other Instagrammers on Wednesday, February 7, 2018.

Some of them had seen my Instagram stories and asked me what Drake on a Cake was.  After Chicago bloggers and influencers Alyssa Erickson from Doughscuit, Allie Barke from Alliesfashionalley, and Katie Cahnmann from Appetite_4_Adventure were interested – I decided it was for a party.

A handful of people were going to the Chicago Pizza Party like Allie Bahcall from Bahcallmemaybe, who works for Yelp and the other half had no plans –  so we choose Saturday night.

I literally met new people that night like Ratanya Bowens and said, “Hi, I’m Amanda, what are you doing Saturday night?” With the blizzard coming on Friday, I knew the more invites the merrier.

So, I had a cake. I had people. Now, I just needed a time and a place. Three days till the party.

The Place to Host a Dinner Party:

Dinner parties are my favorite thing. I realized that I’m still an aspiring cook and so I appreciate the many wonderful chefs in Chicago who introduce me to new foods and flavors.

 

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We had the Galentine’s Party at Urbanbelly in Wicker Park. We had a big table to the side with a green wall in the backdrop for the semi-private dinner party.

 

I went out the next day to a handful of restaurants in Wicker Park and talked to the managers about hosting the dinner party. All three of them were great spots – Bru Chicago, Piece Brewery and Pizza, and Urbanbelly. 

 

I knew I wanted a semi-private event space where I could set up some type of decor. I ultimately chose Urbanbelly because they had this beautiful green backdrop and a nice table space with a corner area for us to drop our coats and purses and do what girls do best – relax and talk. Plus, the manager, Elizabeth was so nice.

The Decor:

If ever there was a time for a Target Run – it’s for a party. Target has really cute decor for $1 or $3. I picked up some cards, balloons, some pens and stickers, and a few photobooth props.

 

Appetite 4 Adventure and AlliesFashionAlley were some of the Chicago bloggers at the Drake dinner party. 

 

Plus I got some champagne gum as a palate gum. It made a great conversation piece.

The Night of The Drake on a Cake Dinner Party:

Let me just say, I loved everything about this party. Urbanbelly in Wicker Park had the table reserved for us with water and chopsticks already on the table.

We all decided on which Ramen and dumplings to order – don’t forget the dumplings. They are small, but flavorful. I got the beef and cheddar and the chicken curry. They were so good! And then I ordered togarashi fries for the table. Which were perfect in between good, spicy bites of my chicken ramen.

Last night was messy, funny, and as real as a Drake song makes me feel. My dreams came true – I threw a Drake themed dinner party for Galentines Day. We made Valentine’s Day cards from Drake lyrics and had a Drake on a Cake. I went to a few restaurants to host the party and @urbanbellychicago was wonderful and made us feel special. After ramen, some dumplings and piña coladas, the manager brought us amazing ice cream shots and pb&j ice cream – soft serve with crunchy peanut butter and huckleberry jelly that even @seriouseats recognized as some of the best ice cream in Chicago. The food was amazing! And I had never been there before. Getting a card written from Drake lyrics made us all laugh and most of all I had amazing company. Cheers to week of love and laughter 🥂

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I had never been to Urbanbelly before – but everything was good and everyone loved it. I learned that the master chef is renowned Chicago chef, Bill Kim, who has been awarded a Michelin Bib Gourmand and the StarChefs Rising Stars Award.

One of the best parts of Urbanbelly is their cocktails and desserts. Seriously these can be extras and often overlooked when having a big bowl of ramen. But, we had to try. They have house-made signature cocktails including a new pina colada inspired cocktail. I went for the cider.

Making Valentine’s Day Cards From Drake Lyrics:

After we shared dating stories and caught up on life. I had everyone put their name in Valentine’s Day bag. We all wrote out Valentine’s Day cards to each other using Drake lyrics. I think this was one of my favorite parts of the night!

 

We pulled names from the Valentine’s Day bag to write personalized notes using Drake lyrics. 

 

The best Valentine’s Day card made via Drake Lyrics was:

Katie,

Tonight was your night. Go get you some lobsters and shrimp.

You smart and you know it. I get it. I get it. You outdo those pimps.

Happy Valentine’s Day.

Love,

Sam

I mean Drake lyrics written as a card had us all laughing.

The next part was dessert. The manager surprised us and brought us some of Urbanbelly’s dessert to try and it was seriously amazing. If you only have room for one dessert – order the shake shot. I was confused when they put a mason jar filled with soft serve and shot glasses on the table – but taking a shot of ice cream is now one of my favorite shots. UrbanBelly’s shake shot has vanilla soft serve, Vietnamese iced coffee & chocolate crisp on top.

 

After Ramen, we took cake shots – which are just as amazing as they sound. 

 

I’ve never tasted peanut butter and jelly in ice cream form – but it was better than the sandwich. They take crunchy peanut butter and mix it with berry compote into the vanilla soft serve. Then, we also sampled the soy caramel soft serve.

Finally, it was time for the cake behind the party – Drake on a Cake. Urbanbelly cut the double chocolate cake and served us. The homemade frosting was so good!

Happy Galentine’s Day:

Our bellies were full and my heart was filled with joy. I’ve always wanted to throw something ridiculous like a Different rake on a Cake party. Celebrities have been my muse for several parties. For my 25th birthday, I threw a 1989 Taylor Swift party and we shut down the bar to make a music video to Shake it Off.

 

We finally got to eat the Drake on a Cake. 

 

So, that’s how you throw a party in five days. Hope you have a great Galentine’s Day and thank you for reading Windy City Cosmo! Remember, you’re the f*ckin best.

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Miku Sushi Celebrates One Year with Half Off Maki Sushi

On a quiet, but cold January weekday, I headed north to Lincoln Square, the predominantly German neighborhood in Chicago.

I forgot how cute Lincoln Square was with independent salons and cozy restaurants, and The Old Town School of Folk Music. Even the library was nice and hosting game night.

It was time for a celebration, a one-year celebration at Miku Sushi (4514 N. Lincoln Ave.). Stanley Liem and Sara Katekaew, the husband and wife owners of the Japanese restaurant hosted a few blogger dinners this January 2016 to celebrate. They are also offering half-priced maki sushi throughout January, 11:00 am -6:00 pm for dine-in.

20160112_192804-01[1]The menu is extensive: soups, salads, small plates, maki, ramen, sushi, nigari, special entrées and desserts.

The restaurant is hot with flames right beside you from the kitchen. And even the sushi is presented on fire—or atleast the most-talked about roll, The Flaming Dragon Maki (shrimp tempura, salmon, super white tuna, black tobiko, scallion, honey spicy mayo).

 

Cocktails:

The first cocktail I had tasted surprisingly good. Miku Sushi is notorious for mixing opposite flavors and making them compliment. From the waiter’s recommendation, I tried the Kyoto Lime (Absolut vanilla, rose’s lime, triple sec, simple syrup, fresh lime ). It smelled like a vanilla candle and tasted like key lime pie, but not overly sweet. With a salted rim and a lime on the side, it was refined and delicious.

Martinis & Appetizers:

It paired nicely with our appetizers of Kabocha King Crab Soup (puree squash, king crab, white miso, cream chive), which seriously might make me change my mind about my go to, Miso Soup. The Kabocha King Crab Soup tasted rich and similar to Butternut Squash Soup, but with buttery, sweet undertones because of the cream on top and crab on the bottom.

 

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The second cocktail I had tasted like heaven. It’s called a Geisha (Absolut vanilla, chambord, coffee liquor, and pineapple juice). But like anything that’s good, it doesn’t last. This is one martini you can’t sip on for a whole meal because it will start to separate. Consider it a larger shot then normal.

Dessert Martini & Dessert Sushi:

The cocktail tasted milky like a White Russian, but then the pineapple juice brought hints of a pina colada. I paired it with the Robusuta a.k.a. The Banana Lobster Roll (lobster, fried banana, red tobiko, wrapped inside-out with crispy rice, topped with micro green and spicy honey mayo). Miku Sushi loves to experiment with different flavors, and this was one dish that you weren’t going to make for yourself, so I made my whole table try it. They preferred my cocktail, as I always do.

 Appetizers:

I could eat my entire meal with appetizers.

The Pork Belly Bun ( Braised pork belly, bun, micro green, carrot and daikon pickle, house mayo) is similar to a Bao. I don’t like Bao’s, but I really appreciated The Pork Belly Bun. The pickled carrots on the side add extra flavor.

For those who love the Edamame, Miku Sushi added flavor with sea salt.

Upon first bite the Rock Shrimp (tempura, house spicy sweet glaze, mixed green) was spicy. So spicy, but so undeniably good. It was a favorite among our table.

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My favorite was the Spicy Tuna Ravioli (spicy tuna, house lemon soy sauce, tempura crunch and spicy crab meat wrapped in thinly sliced avocado, sweet soy). The avocado is thinly sliced and wraps around the fresh tuna. There is only a hint of lemon, and that’s all you need. It’s similar to Tuna Tartar (truffle soy, avocado, chive, micro green, chips), which is also on the menu. The main difference is that the Spicy Tuna Ravioli comes sans chips.

 Ramen:

Miku Sushi offers two types of ramen, traditional ramen, or Tonkotsu Ramen (egg noodle, rich pork broth, pork belly, soft boil egg, bamboo shoot, sesame, scallion, mushroom, bean sprout, garlic oil) and Spicy Roasted Garlic Miso Ramen (egg noodle, rick pork broth, pork belly, soft boil egg, bamboo shoot, sesame, scallion, mushroom, bean sprout, roasted garlic, chili pepper, sesame oil).

I have seen a few Chicago bloggers, like Van (@vansventuras) post ramen in her Instagram pictures from all over Chicago and have always wanted to try real ramen (not the instant noodles).

“Our recipe is authentically Japanese, and we take 72 hours of slow cooking and many steps to prepare it,” Liem said for a press release with Kurman Communicatons.

20160112_200125-01[1]We first tried Tokotsu Ramen. It was warm and delicious, but nothing compares to the Spicy Roasted Garlic Miso Ramen. I usually can’t handle really spicy foods, and this was a mild spicy blend. It was delicious.

I would come back for the Spicy Roasted Garlic Miso Ramen alone.

 

Dessert:

Our first dish of Robusuta a.k.a. The Banana Lobster Rollwasn’t terrible (see: Dessert Martini & Dessert Sushi). It was, however, beautifully presented, as all of their dishes were.

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But, what came next was creative, delicious, and gone within minutes.

It was mochi, which if you haven’t had, please do. It’s Japanese ice cream. Note: I had mochi in a Chinatown restaurant and it was served warm during Dim Sum. That is not real mochi.

Cookie Dough Spring Roll

This dessert deserves its own award. It’s the cookie dough spring roll. It was like raw cookie dough rolled up and lightly drizzled with chocolate. It came with a strawberry sauce on the side. It was a perfect way to end the night.

Recommendation:

Miku Sushi is a cute restaurant that takes Japanese cuisine to a flavorful and creative level. Not only are their dishes floral, saucy, and decadent, but they are also original.

There are too many good dishes to only come back once. So, I am going to give you two recommendations.

First Recommendation:

Appetizer: Kabocha King Crab Soup and Rock Shrimp

Main Dish: The Flaming Dragon Maki

I want to try a few other rolls: Ocean Sundae (shrimp tempura, cream cheese, avocado, red tobiko, sriracha, scallion covered with tempura crumb, wasabi mayo and sweetsoy); and the Smokey Bear (unagi, cream cheese, avocado, cucumber, topped with smoked salmon)

Martini: Kyoto Lime

Dessert: Cookie Dough Spring Roll and Mochi

Second Recommendation:

Appetizer: Spicy Tuna Ravioli and Rock Shrimp. The fresh tuna and avocado paired with the spicy shrimp is perfection.

Main Dish: Spicy Roasted Garlic Miso Ramen

Martini: Red Occtupus (effen’s vodka, triple sec, rose’s lime juice, pomegranate juice) – the waiter told me this is one of the best of their cocktails

Dessert: Cookie Dough Spring Roll

January Discount:

Mikus Sushi is offering half-priced maki sushi throughout January, 11:00 am -6:00 pm for dine-in.

 

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