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I’m wearing: L.L. Bean Signature Striped Shirt, but I also love this striped pullover, this gingham dress, and this striped dressLeather MocsBucket Bag, and see other bags from the “Somerset Collection” here! (c/o) / J.Crew Toothpick Jeans and Pearl Earrings / Daniel Wellington Watch (c/o — Use code “kellyinthecity15” to take 15 percent off your order until March 31st) / Kate Spade Bangle (Old, but LOVE this sailor’s knot bangle!) and Sunnies (Old, newer styles here)

Mitch is wearing: L.L.Bean Signature Gingham Shirt, Sold out, but he also loves this chambray shirt, this navy shirt in check, and this gingham shirt (c/o) / J.Crew Factory Khakis / Sperrys (Do we think we need a new pair?) / Daniel Wellington Watch (c/o — Use code “kellyinthecity15” to take 15 percent off your order until March 31st!)

I haven’t been the best blogger over the past few days. There was the drive from the East Coast back to Chicago, of course, and then we had one of our very best friends from New York come to stay. (So much fun to see Jeremy! We went to the iO Theater to see improv. I was in stitches!) I was out of the apartment working on projects for most of Thursday, and last night was date night, as Mitch and I hadn’t really seen each other since last week. (We went to Tarantino’s in Lincoln Park for appetizers, and afterwards, Mitch sang karaoke–Bruce Springsteen’s “Blinded by the Light”–at Shoe’s Pub. Loved it, hehe.)

PHEW. Needless to say, Kelly in the City took the back burner, and life (and sleep) took priority. But we’re back up and running, my friends! :)

Anyway, I get a lot of emails about New York City and Chicago restaurant recommendations. And while I’m working on putting together a comprehensive list, I thought I’d share some photos taken at my very favorite restaurant in the Windy City: Summer House Santa Monica in Lincoln Park. (So beautiful, right?!)

Mitch and I try to be really good about going out, as we’re looking to buy our first home in the next year or so. We mostly cook at home to save money, and use the website Small Tabs to find stellar deals on pub grub around the city. (A $7 bill for dinner? Yes! We’ll take that.) Every once in a while, though–usually during laid-back weekends–we splurge, and go somewhere a bit more upscale. And while we try to go to “new” places as often as possible, Summer House is one of those restaurants we come back to again and again. (It’s where my surprise birthday dinner took place, and it’s where I took my mom, aunt and Grammie when they came to visit me!)

The menu is unbeatable, but I mostly love the spot for its atmosphere. It’s obviously supposed to transport you to California, but I’m personally taken back to the Shore every time I set foot in Summer House. I love that the ceiling is one giant skylight, making it feel like summer year-round, and that the staff is dressed in navy gingham shirts from J.Crew. (Yeeeeep. Poor Mitch. We realized our mistake immediately, haha.) And all the navy, yellow and stripes: prepfection.

The next time you’re in the neighborhood, you have to visit.

Have you been to Chicago before? What are your favorite restaurants? I’d love to hear! :)

Photos by TKL Photography

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