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An Evening at The Ashburn Restaurant

I spent a lovely evening taking in the fall menu at The Ashburn restaurant inside of Loews Chicago O’hare hotel in Rosemont, IL.  My experience led to a conversation with a few friends as to whether restaurants located inside of hotels should be obvious choices or only last resorts when there aren’t any other options readily accessible.  The views were mixed.

One piped up to say hotel restaurants had some of the best culinary delights.  Another stated that the best steak she had in her whole life was at a random hotel restaurant in Florida.  Most of the table stated that hotel restaurants were misses.  My opinion was while there have been a few hotel restaurants where I’ve enjoyed an exceptional meal, more often hotel restaurants were overpriced, and the food wasn’t great.

My dinner at The Ashburn restaurant located inside of Loews Chicago O’Hare hotel in Rosemont had me singing a different tune; it was exceptional and I can’t stop speaking on it!

The Ashburn

I was invited along with about 15 other Chicago foodies to preview the fall menu.  The Ashburn, inspired by Chicago’s first flying field, serves Classic American Cuisine with a twist.

Chef Jose Garay, affectionately referred to as Tiny, was born and raised in Mexico City and firmly believes in farm to table from-scratch food. The restaurant partners with many local farms and companies to provide the highest quality and freshest ingredients for dishes. He’s very proud of his team at The Ashburn and raves about working with them. Chef Garay stated that he’s a bit shy and not the best at speaking in front of a room of people. I felt that his presentation was great, he spoke from the heart and his enthusiasm for the evening and dishes was contagious. He was tickled as he gave us the inspiration behind his dishes.

 Executive Chef of The Ashburn Jose Garay Executive Chef of The Ashburn Jose Garay  Chef Jose Garay says being a chef is in his blood Chef Jose Garay says being a chef is in his blood

Chef Garay says being a chef is in his blood and credits his family with encouraging him to take up the culinary profession. His father is a chef and his mom and sister sold food on the streets of Mexico. He absolutely loves what he does and it shows! Fun fact: Chef Garay is also a musician who played in a Mariachi band before coming to the U.S. from Mexico. He occasionally sings and plays guitar at local gatherings.

Regarding diners at The Ashburn Chef Garay states:

Every single guest brings a different experience…..I look at their faces, if I see a smile from my guest, that’s my best experience!

There were a lot of smiles in the room that evening and EVERYTHING was fantastic! I took home leftovers and couldn’t wait til the next day to tear into to them. I actually ate the Guinness beer braised short ribs, one of my favorites dishes from the evening, for breakfast the next day. Another favorite was the Cajun Shrimp and Cheesy Grits; that dish was perfection! Seriously, start to finish, I don’t think there’s a wrong choice here.

Take a peak at the fall menu and stop in at The Ashburn! Tell me about your experience in the comments.

 Firewood Roasted Trout Firewood Roasted Trout  BBQ Style Shrimp BBQ Style Shrimp

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6 Comments

  1. Thank you so much for joining us Flo and for such an awesome writeup!! We are so glad you enjoyed yourself!!

  2. Rita Kennedy says

    I had the pleasure of attending this delicious dinner … and meeting Flo! This is a perfectly accurate description of our evening! I agree with Flo that everything we had was delicious ~ and prepared with love. I especially enjoyed the refreshing selection of cocktails! My favorite foods of the evening were the Shrimp & Grits and the Guiness Short ribs! The atmosphere is trendy and fun! Can’t wait to go back for more of Chef Tiny’s delights!

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