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Last night, Chicago's newest hotel—and one of the only luxury properties in the downtown Loop—celebrated its official grand opening with a gala event featuring performances by The Joffrey Ballet, the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, and actress-slash-Phantom-of-the-Opera-star Emmy Rossum.
Rossum performed three numbers: "Think of Me" and "All I Ask Of You" from Phantom and "All That Jazz" from the musical Chicago. She wore a draped saffron-yellow Amanda Wakeley dress and sparkling glitter peeptoe pumps. Is she the next big actress-turned-singer—a la Gwyneth Paltrow and Zooey Deschanel? Check out our video of Rossum's rendition of "All That Jazz" after the jump and judge for yourself.
The JW Marriott in Chicago opened in November 2010 after a $396 million restoration. The building was, originally, the Continental & Comercial National Bank Building. Today it houses 610 guest rooms that start at 455 square feet (bigger than our apartment in NYC!) and new restaurant The Florentine, which is operated by the BLT Group and is one of the most buzzed about openings in the downtown area this year.
One of our personal favorite things about the JW Marriott is its innovative television system which allows you to stream Netflix, digital movies, and on-demand content directly to the flatscreen in our room. It's like having Apple TV or Roku built into the TV—hello, unlimited movies!
While we were in Chicago, we hit up the Warby Parker pop-up shop at Apartment Number 9 and popped by Barneys to see Greg Lauren's trunk show. Also, randomly We bought a bridesmaid dress for a summer wedding at Nordstrom (as there's no Nordstrom in NYC) and took a stroll down Michigan Avenue. Some of our favorite restaurants we tried included the JW's Florentine (try the squid ink spaghetti and the short rib, yum!), the Pierrot Gourmet at the Peninsula for breakfast and lunch (the desserts, especially the macarons, are to die for), molecular gastronomy joint iNG (fun, gimmicky, food and fantastic small-batch novelty beers), and The Girl and the Goat, one of the hottest new openings in 2010.
Check out our sister site Racked Chicago for more tips on shopping and retail in the Windy City. We can't wait for our next trip out here!
Disclosure: Transportation to and housing in Chicago provided by JW Marriott.
· JW Marriott Chicago [Official Site]