While the Cubs were playing in St. Louis this weekend the Park at Wrigley hosted its first official event. I was lucky enough to be able to attend one of the tasting sessions for the inaugural Craft and Cuisine. It did not disappoint.
Craft and Cuisine brought together Chicago area chefs, craft brewers and wine tasters for three sessions over the weekend. A standard ticket was $49, a VIP ticket was $79, and the Cubs were kind enough to offer a neighborhood discount to people who live in Wrigleyville. That ticket bought you three hours of access to the plaza and unlimited beverage tastings during your session. Food was available for purchase.
In case you’re wondering if it was worth it, I took a picture of the available tastings below (hint: the answer was yes):
The food was also amazing and showcased a bit of everything Chicago has to offer from local favorites like Honey Butter Chicken to higher end fare like the Girl and the Goat.
There was so much variety you’d basically need to have tickets to each day to sample it all. I only had three hours but nothing I tasted disappointed.
There was even some bonus food. In addition to the vendors, there were three chef demonstrations per session.
My session featured Derek Rettel (Smoke Daddy), Tony Mantuano (Spiaggia) and Stephanie Izard (Girl and the Goat). All of those sessions were amazing, but Spiaggia stole the show with some samples for the audience.
The event also offered a chance to get to know some of the new vendors that the Ricketts will be bringing into Wrigleyville. Both the West Town Bakery and the Brickhouse Tavern made strong plays with generous offerings of sweet and savory snacks. The Ballpark Mix is a spicier type of cracker jacks and the Unicorn Blood Toffee features coffee from local favorite Dark Matter.
It was also a lot of fun to see the vendors get into the spirit of the plaza and ballpark - special shout out to Girl and the Goat for these shirts:
As the weather finally turns to summer we’ll hopefully have more amazing days to enjoy this awesome new space. I’ve said it before, but events like Craft and Cuisine are a huge value add to the neighborhood. If you live nearby make it a point to check one out this summer!