Chicly, Chicago: A Night of Style, Cocktails, + Eats with IPO

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I don’t party like I used.

Embracing my old lady tendencies means more nights in with a bottle of 2 buck Chuck {or $10 Cupcake Wine if I’m feeling extra fancy} and HBO GO rather than grinding to top 40 hits on the dance floor double-fisting my cocktail of choice {which is a whiskey & ginger in case you were wondering 😉}

Especially on a school night {translation: Mon, Tues, or Wed}.

However, last Tuesday I was invited to a blogger dinner courtesy of Windy City Blogger Collective and IPO Restaurant to welcome their new Executive Chef Fernando Coppola.

A night of complimentary sips and eats from a celebrated chef? If there’s one thing I never turn down, it’s free food and cocktails.

Even if it’s on a school night.

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IPO is located in the heart of downtown Chicago on the first floor of the W Chicago City Center. If you’ve ever been to a W Hotel you’ll know that they’re super swanky and this one was no exception.

Cool-hued mood lighting and bumping house music greeted me as I walked through the front entrance. We started the night in a secluded lounge space known as their Living Room Bar where one of their bartenders gave a demonstration on how they make some specialty cocktails, which we also got to taste – naturally.

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As the cocktail buzz started to settle in we were passed a few starters to whet our appetite including skewered shrimp and sliders.

After devouring a slider {or two} we were escorted to the dining area which was full of even more decadence. Plush seating in a purple reptile print and shimmering silver fabric along with a wall of glistening mirrors confirmed this was going to be a classy affair.

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I was pleasantly surprised at the extensive menu they were treating us to and the options for drinks {yaass! more cocktails!} Though I stuck with prosecco for the night I heard the champagne mojito was quite delicious. It’ll be a must-have next time.

First up was the hamachi crudo, which was a fresh opening and set the tone for the rest of the meal. Following the hamachi was an arugula and chorizo salad, which I could have had a large plate of and been completely content.

The tangy arugula paired with the spicy chorizo and buttery cannellini beans was a taste explosion in my mouth.

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The rest of the dinner consisted of various seafood and vegetable combinations. There was a wild mushroom and heirloom carrot risotto, a chunky lobster ravioli, and melt in your mouth chilean sea bass.

Lastly, the dessert was an intriguing mix of vanilla ice cream, chocolate brownie chunks, and candied mushrooms.

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I won’t lie, the candied mushrooms were a little weird – definitely a taste you’d have to acquire, but I appreciated the unexpected pairing.

All in all, it was an enjoyable night of sips, eats, and bonding with other bloggers.

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I would definitely keep IPO in mind as a great place to stop in for cocktails with the girls or to have a chic date night with your bae.

Because this wouldn’t be a style blog without some talk of fashion, I created an outfit inspired by my night of playful decadence:

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A cropped top paired with a flirty midi skirt and pointed toe boots is both party girl and class act.

Layering on edgy jewelry and a moto jacket creates some downtown meets uptown sass.

Now you can go grab some girlfriends and sashay yourselves over to IPO.

That champagne mojito is waiting for you.

Thanks for reading and thanks again to WCBC and IPO for a delicious evening.

‘till next time.

xx

P.S.

Speaking of party girls and class acts – how would you define your style?

Never really thought about it? Wouldn’t know where to start?

How about answering 12 easy Q’s to help find your personal style?

Video #3 for ‘3 Steps to Simplified Style’ is now live and it’s all about finding and defining your personal style.

Click here to watch and start tapping into your fashionista within 😉

// Photography by Ashlei Mosley, Image 12 + 13 by Blair, Image 1 via \\

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