Desperate just got back from a fascinating weekend. Although it involved catching the cold of the century, being manhandled by the TSA and missing the Superbowl it was all worth it.
The 2013 Love Is Murder mystery writers' conference was held at the Hotel Intercontinental at Chicago O'Hare. The Intercontinental is a very nice hotel that does not have free internet or a hot tub, two of the reasons DIH generally sticks to the Hampton Inn. Also there's a significant difference in the price tag, but that's a topic for another day.
What the Intercontinental does have is a location near the airport, and it stands smack in between two very nice restaurants. One of them, the Capitol Grille, is the main reason DIH hopes to become a millionaire some day. If I were a millionaire I would eat lobster at the Capitol Grille every night. OK maybe not every night, but often.
Let's just say the menu is pricey. I mean, come on, $48 entrees? When was the last time you were 48 bucks worth of hungry?
But last year we were at the LIM 2012 conference, same hotel, and we thought, What the heck- we just drove seven hours to get here. Don't we deserve a little pampering? After all it's not like we flew or anything. Or even rented a presentable car for the drive.
That was the first time I ate at the Capitol Grille. It was really one of those "through the looking glass" experiences. So this is how the other half lives, I thought. I looked around the bar at the women in their fur coats and the men with their single malt scotches and I wondered how long it would be before some social x-ray type spotted me for the interloper I was and had me escorted to the nearest McDonald's.
As the spouse commented when they seated us at our table and he took in the crowd, the ambience and the right-hand side of the menu: "If my father had ever taken my mother to a place like this for one dinner, she would have talked about it for the rest of her life."
So when we returned to Chicago for this year's conference, I had my excuses all lined up. "There's only one other restaurant for miles! And it's just as pricey! And steak is pure protein, and protein is brainfood, and..."
But we were in for a pleasant surprise. It was Restaurant Week in Chicago. In honor of which, the CG was offering a deal: three full courses for $33. Entrees included things like filet mignon. Dessert was creme brulee or flourless chocolate cake.
Do I have to tell you where we ate on Friday night? Or Saturday?
I can hardly wait to go back to Love Is Murder next year. Oh, yeah- the conference was interesting, too.
But that creme brulee!