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IFONLY: Curators of Unique Experiences

IfONLY’s curated activities are perfect for those of us always on the lookout for new experiences when traveling or playing tourist in your hometown.  When in a city like Chicago, it’s a disservice, in my opinion, to eat at the same restaurants over and over or visit the same places.  There’s too much to see and learn here.  I have that same attitude when I travel, oftentimes reaching out to travel bloggers or locals via connections or social media to see where they recommend I go during my visit.

IFONLY

I learned of IFONLY when they reached out encouraging me to try one of their unique experiences. They arrange one of a kind activities in some of the best cities in the world. Experiences tailored to the adventurer, foodie, wine follower, music lover, an admirer of fine art, fitness lover,….the list goes on and on. There’s an assortment of experience and prices, so it’s affordable for most everyone. For example, there’s multiple tours and private experiences in cities like New York, Boston, California, and Chicago for less than $50! Or if you want to splurge, you can select to have a private wine session with a sommelier, meet your favorite band or celebrity or live like a local in Paris for four days with your very own personal stylist for the experience of a lifetime!

Also, a portion of proceeds from each of IFONLY’s experience gives back to a worthwhile cause! We spend money on things every day, good feelings flow when you know that some of the money you’re dropping is benefiting others in need. I prefer seeking out businesses and organizations that give to others.

It took a while for me to settle on a choice.  I wouldn’t be me if I didn’t select something to do with food though, lol.  I’d decided to try the 4-course Spanish dinner prepared by Chef Ashlee Aubin of Salero located in Chicago’s West Loop neighborhood.  It’s not too often that I get Spanish food and I love paella.

SALERO

I thought Salero’s rustic-chic interior was gorgeous! It would be a lovely spot to meet up with girlfriends for drinks or date night. The restaurant serves Spanish cuisine with a modern twist.

Interior of Salero Salero restaurant in Chicago’s West Loop

Committed to eating whatever was put before me no matter what, I was quite excited for what was to come!

Salero’s 4-Courses

Here’s a picture story of our dishes; it felt more like an 8-course meal.  We were bursting by the end; although there were plans to go out after dinner, the food coma put us to sleep by 8:30 pm, lol.  For the amount of food you receive and the price, you can’t beat it.

My stand out favorites from the evening were:

  • El Bulli, I had no idea what it was and was totally taken off guard. I loved the salty burst of olive.

  • Pan Con Tomate: I don’t like anchovies and it took a minute for me to put this in my mouth. It was delicious!

  • Halibut with sweet corn soup and roe; I hope that they add this to the regular menu

  • Flan de Queso Fresca: It was amazing!  I don’t like flan and would never order it; this was the first time I enjoyed it and ate it all!  I even recommended it to the couple sitting at the table next to us.

Got my paella fix too! So good and packed with seafood!

 Look into IFONLY if you’re up for a new endeavor, I’ll surely be looking them up again!

Quimet y Quimet: Smoked Salmon, fresh cheese, truffle-hone, balsamic and crisp bread

 Smoked Pork Croqueta: mojo verde and pickled peppers

Smoked Pork Croqueta: mojo verde and pickled peppers

Salero Restaurant: Pan Con Tomate

Pan Con Tomate-heirloom tomatoes, marinated white anchovies, shallots, and garlic aioli on grilled country bread

 Grilled Shishito Peppers: sherry-honey, fried shallots, Espelette, sea salt Grilled Shishito Peppers: sherry-honey, fried shallots, Espelette, sea salt

 Salero Restaurant: Paella Mixta-Bomba rice, Gulf shrimp, mussels, calamari, chicken, chorizo, saffron, sofrito, roasted sweet peppers and lemon aioli

Paella Mixta-Bomba rice, Gulf shrimp, mussels, calamari, chicken, chorizo, saffron, sofrito, roasted sweet peppers, and lemon aioli

 Churros y Chocolate

Churros y Chocolate

Salero Restaurant: Flan de Queso Fresco

Flan de Queso Fresco: soft custard infused with fresh cheese & annatto seed, blood orange gelee, Saba caramel

Flan from Salero Restaurant in Chicago's West Loop

Flan de Queso Fresco

 Peach Ice Cream Pie-saffron cookie crust, peach ice cream, olive oil ganache, pistachio

Peach Ice Cream Pie-saffron cookie crust, peach ice cream, olive oil ganache, pistachio

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