Friday, April 24, 2015

Discovering Vintage Chicago by Amy Bizzarri Releasing May 7


“ How could anyone step into a fast food joint when we live in a city that has Lem’s barbecue rib tips, Kurowski’s kielbasa, Manny’s matzo ball soup, and Lindy’s chili within reach? You can’t even compare the products and services of the businesses featured in this book with those of mass retailers, either: Just try putting an Optimo hat on your head—you’ll ooze with elegance. Burn a beeswax lambathe from Athenian Candle and watch it glow longer than any candle you’ve ever lit. Bite into an Andersonville coffeecake from the Swedish Bakery—and you’ll have a hard time returning to the artificial ingredient–laden cakes found at most grocers…Chicago just wouldn’t be Chicago without these historic, one-of- a-kind places, and the people that run them from behind the scenes with nothing but love, hard work, and pride.”

Discovering Vintage Chicago

A Guide to the City’s Timeless Shops, Bars, Delis & More
Releasing May 7, 2015 by Globe Pequot Press, the trade division of Rowman & Littlefield, Discovering Vintage Chicago is a guide to all of the city’s timeless classic spots that take you back in time. The book spotlights the charming stories that tell you what each place is like now and how it got that way. It includes indexes that let you choose the places you want to visit by neighborhood, by category, and—naturally—by era.

Discovering Vintage Chicago takes you to classic restaurants, shops, and other establishments that still thrive today and evoke the unique character of the city. They’re all still around—but they won’t be around forever. Start reading, and start your discovering now!

About the author

Amy Bizzarri is an extreme Chicago history buff and freelance writer who also covers travel for the Chicago Convention and Tourism Bureau. She resides in a vintage 1910 home in the Logan Square neighborhood of Chicago. Read her blog at DiscoveringVintageChicago.com.

Globe Pequot Press | An Imprint of Rowman & Littlefield

Distributed by National Book Network | 1-800-462-6420

Discovering Vintage Chiccago: A Guide to the City’s Timeless Shops, Bars, Delis & More
by Amy Bizzarri

May, 2015

9781493001545 • $16.95, paperback

Thursday, April 23, 2015

Getting Better and Better: Luella's Adds Homer Soda to its Soft Drink Lineup


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Chef/Owner Darnell Reed of Luella's Southern Kitchen (4609 N. Lincoln Ave.; 773-961-8196) in Chicago's Lincoln Square is making all the right decisions. This new restaurant, which has received rave reviews and is on Chicago Magazine's restaurant hotlist for April, continues to treat its guests' taste buds with impeccable yet very reasonably priced Southern regional specialties.

Homer Soda threesome 400 pixels w borderHaving recently updated his lunch, dinner and brunch menus for spring, Chef Darnell has now enhanced Luella's beverage program by carrying three legendary Southern all-natural craft sodas distributed by Homer Soda Chicago. These delicious soft drinks, all served in glass bottles ($2.50 per bottle), are made with pure cane sugar and are the perfect accompaniment to Chef Darnell's Southern hospitality. 

Among the new sodas are Blenheim's Spicy Ginger Ale from South Carolina. This bottler was the earliest and arguably, finest independent soda bottling company in the U.S. The zesty soda is made with water from the natural mineral springs in Blenheim, South Carolina and Jamaican ginger.  

From the Galveston-Houston area of Texas comes another old-time favorite, the delicious Triple XXX Root Beer, bottled since 1918. During the 1920s, Triple XXX operated more than 100 "Thirst Station" restaurants across the South and West Coast in addition to its wholesale business. Although the Great Depression took its toll on the restaurants, this delicious root beer has continued to be bottled and distributed throughout the United States. 

North Carolina is nicely represented with Cheerwine, a soft drink with a hint of wild cherry that is known as the "Nectar of North Carolina." It has been bottled since 1917.

"We are thrilled to bring these unique and exceptional soft drinks to our guests," said Reed. "We want everyone to know that, at Luella's, we are passionate about serving food and beverages that are delicious, authentically Southern and made with love. Each of these legendary sodas had their origins at small independent businesses and we're proud to continue the tradition here in Chicago."  

Luella's Southern Kitchen will continue to serve Coke products and also brews a delicious homemade sweetened iced tea. The restaurant is BYOB and guests are invited to bring their favorite alcoholic beverages; there is no corkage fee. 

Friday, April 17, 2015

Prairie Grass Cafe Hosts Benefit for Chicago Latin Fusion April 24

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Prairie Grass Cafe is hosting a benefit for Chicago Latin Fusion, Friday, April 24 beginning at 10 p.m. 
15942253_l latin dancersBring your dancing shoes! The evening features Cumbia and Bachata dance lessons by Itza Riedas and Jorge Licona and performances by Chicago Latin Fusion. Prairie Grass Cafe chef / partner Sarah Stegner, who has been studying these Latin dance forms for over a year, promises to join in.

Prairie Grass Cafe will be providing delicious Latin canapés, beer and wine. The recommended donation is $50. There also will be a cash bar.

Reservations are required. Please contact Prairie Grass Cafe at 847-205-4433 or visit the restaurant at 601 Skokie Blvd. in Northbrook.

About Prairie Grass Cafe 
Prairie Grass Cafe (601 Skokie Blvd.; Northbrook, IL) supports Chicago's Green City Market and local sustainable farms, selecting the freshest ingredients to reflect the season. Prairie Grass Cafe currently serves lunch Monday - Friday 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. and dinner Sunday through Thursday from 5 p.m. to 9 p.m.; Friday and Saturday from 5 p.m. to 10 p.m. Prairie Grass Cafe also serves breakfast Saturdays 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. and Sundays 9:30 p.m. to 2 p.m. Light fare is available in the bar Monday through Friday 2 p.m. to 5 p.m. For more information or to make a reservation, please call (847) 205-4433 or visit prairiegrasscafe.com.

Wednesday, April 1, 2015

2015 Easter and Passover Dining in Chicago and its Suburbs


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 Luella's Southern Kitchen Ups the Ante for Easter Brunch
with Delicious Southern Dishes

CHICAGO (March 2015) - Ever since his February opening of Luella's Southern Luellas-Interior-v2-lr-gifKitchen in Chicago's Lincoln Square (4609 N. Lincoln Ave., Chicago; 773-961-8196), Chef/Owner Darnell Reed has wowed Chicagoans with his impeccable renditions of great Southern regional dishes. He also will bring his masterful touch to Easter Brunch on Sunday, April 5 with two wonderful specials in addition to the regular brunch menu. His special Easter entrée will be Crawfish Étouffée with Carolina Gold Rice ($14) and he will also add a scrumptious dessert special, the Dessert Sampler ($6), featuring a Beignet, Blackberry Hand Pie, Milk Chocolate Bread Pudding and Caramel Ice Cream.

Southern Benedict  11 v2 copy Luella's popular weekend brunch, served from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Saturdays and Sundays, has received rave reviews. Among the favorites are Buttermilk Fried Chicken with smoked gravy ($12), Southern Benedict with Slagel Farms pork, poached eggs, crystal Hollandaise and buttermilk biscuit ($11); Bananas Foster Pancakes ($10); Bananas Foster Pancakes  10 v2 copyChicory Coffee French Toast with crème brulee batter and fresh berries ($11) and Shrimp and Grits, made with BBQ shrimp, dandelion greens and cream cheese grits ($15). For the kids, Chef Darnell serve Mickey Mouse Pancake copys a Mickey Mouse Pancake ($4), with an artfully created face of the famous cartoon icon baked into the pancake.
 

About Chef Reed
Reed is a graduate of Washburne Culinary Institute in Chicago. He began his professional career in 1997 at the Palmer House Hilton where he served as Restaurant Chef at the French Quarter and the Big Downtown. In
2005, he was promoted to Executive Sous Darnell Reed lr500 by Cindy KurmanChef at the Embassy Suites Chicago Lakefront where he handled banquet functions for up to 700 people. In April 2007, Reed was promoted to the dual Executive Chef position at the Hilton of Oakbrook and Hilton Garden Inn of Oakbrook. In May of 2010, he accepted the Executive Sous Chef position at the Conrad Chicago Hotel and was promoted to Executive Chef in 2011.

About Luella's Southern Kitchen
Luella's Southern Kitchen, located at 4609 N. Lincoln Ave. in Chicago's Lincoln Square, is a casual independent restaurant owned by Chef Darnell Reed. The restaurant opened February 3, 2015. Luella's serves lunch and dinner Tuesday through Friday from 11:30 a.m. to 10 p.m. Weekend brunch is served from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday; dinner is served until 10 p.m. on Saturday and 8 p.m. on Sunday. All major cards are accepted. Luella's is a BYOB establishment; no corkage fee is charged. Takeout and delivery service are available. For more information, call the restaurant at (773) 961-8196 or visit the website at www.luellassouthernkitchen.com.






 Lavish Buffet for All to Enjoy This Passover and Easter
at Maxwell's at the Club

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Maxwell's at the Club (500 N. Kingsbury St., 312-527-5800, Ext. 301), is offering a special Passover Dinner, 5:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m., Friday, April 3. Maxwell's executive sous chef Richard Hall, along with East Bank Club's executive chef Mike Lodes, have teamed up to prepare a lavish buffet complete with appetizers, entrées and desserts. Passover favorites will include Matzo Ball Soup, Gefilte Fish with beet horseradish, Braised Brisket of Beef and Roast Lamb. "Many of our Passover dishes are prepared from family recipes," says Mike Romano, Director of Food and Beverage. "Passover dinner has been an East Bank Club tradition for years. We are thrilled to invite all of Chicago to enjoy this tradition with us." Reservations are recommended.

PASSOVER 2015
Friday, April 3, 2015
5:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m.


MATZO BALL SOUP, SERVED

APPETIZERS and SALADS
Gefilte Fish, beet horseradish
Chopped Chicken Livers with matzo
House Cured Salmon, dilled mustard sauce
Romaine Salad with Roasted Peppers, Herb Vinaigrette
Smoked Whitefish with Fennel and Arugula
Spring Greens with Orange-Fennel Vinaigrette
Roasted Beet Salad
Cucumber and Onion Salad
Quinoa and Asparagus Salad with Lemon-Honey Vinaigrette
Caponata Salad
Tabbouleh
Honey-Orange Carrot Salad
Potato Salad with Spring Onions

CARVED in the ROOM
Braised Brisket of Beef, natural jus
Roasted Breast of Turkey, cranberry-orange relish

ENTRÉES
Zucchini Potato Pancakes, sour cream, apple compote
Roasted Cauliflower, Carrots and Asparagus
Noodle Kugel
Herb Roasted Red Bliss Potatoes
 Roast Lamb with Vegetables
Horseradish Crusted Baked Cod, Lemon Sauce
Roast Chicken Breast with Spicy Sweet Peas
Beef Pot Roast Braised with Beets and Almonds
Roast Salmon with Pomegranate Sauce

DESSERTS

Seasonal Fresh Fruit and Berries
Charoset
 
Assorted Macaroons
Matzo Baklava
Chocolate Dipped Matzo
Flourless Chocolate Cake
Marjolaine
Amaretto Olive Oil Cake
Assorted Cheesecake










Kosher wine also is included with the buffet, and each table will receive a traditional Haggadah so guests may participate in the Passover tradition of reading of the story of Passover. The Passover buffet is $45 for adults and $15 for children 10 and under.  Reservations are recommended. Large groups are welcome.
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Bring the Family to Maxwell's at the Club for Easter Brunch

This Easter, leave the cooking up to someone else and join Maxwell's at the Club (500 N. Kingsbury St) for Easter Brunch, 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Sunday, April 5. This extraordinary buffet features prime rib and roast turkey carving stations, an omelet bar, a waffle bar, assorted pastries and seasonal berries, as well as a variety of appetizers, salads and entrée choices. Your kids will enjoy a special visit from the Easter Bunny, 11 a.m. to 1 p.m., so be sure to bring your cameras to capture the memory. Brunch costs $45 for adults and $15 for children 10 and under. Call 312-527-5800, Ext. 301 to secure a reservation.

EASTER 2015
SUNDAY, APRIL 5th 2015
10 a.m. to 3 p.m.


SALADS and APPETIZERS
Shrimp Cocktail with Cocktail Sauce and Lemon
Chilled Roasted and Poached Salmon, Mustard Sauce
Lox and Cream Cheese
Sliced Tomatoes and Red Onions
Chive Cream Cheese
Assorted Bagels
Caesar Salad
Chopped Kale Salad, toasted almonds, blueberries, lemon vinaigrette
Mesclun Salad, balsamic vinaigrette
Mediterranean Farro Salad
Spring Potato Salad with Tuna
Jasmine Rice and Edamame Salad
Panzanella Salad
Quinoa Salad with Asparagus, Dates and Oranges
Shrimp and Pasta Salad
Barley, Sweet Pea and Mint Salad

OMELETTE and WAFFLE BAR

CARVED in the ROOM
Roast Prime Rib of Beef, au jus and Horseradish
Roast Breast of Turkey, Cranberry Sauce
Spiral Sliced Ham, Bourbon-Mustard Sauce

ENTREES
Bacon
Chicken and Apple Sausage and Pork Sausage
Breakfast Potatoes
Eggs Benedict/Florentine
Sour Cream Pancakes/French Toast
Maple Glazed Fried Chicken Tenders with Waffles
Maple Syrup, Whipped Butter and Berry Topping
Cheese Blintzes
Seafood
Gnocchi with Asparagus and Wild Mushrooms

SEASONAL ARRAY of FRUITS and BERRIES
ASSORTED PASTRIES, BREADS and DESSERTS

Maxwell's at the Club, always open to the public, is located in Chicago's East Bank Club (500 N. Kingsbury St., 312-527-5800, Ext. 301). It is open weekdays for lunch 11:30 a.m.-2:30 p.m., and 5:30 p.m.-9:30 p.m. for dinner. The bar/lounge area is open 11:30 a.m.-9:30 p.m., Monday through Friday. Maxwell's serves brunch every Sunday, 10 a.m.-2 p.m. Valet parking is available across the street. For more information, please visit http://www.maxwellsattheclub.com

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Best Easter Brunch Buffet in North Suburban Chicago
 at Prairie Grass Cafe in Northbrook


When looking for a restaurant to celebrate Easter, you want to make sure that there's something offered for the entire family to enjoy. Look no further than Prairie Grass Cafe (601 Skokie Blvd, Northbrook, IL 60062; 847-205-4433) in Northbrook. Prairie Grass Cafe Brunch 300Chefs Sarah Stegner and George Bumbaris have created a buffet experience with something for everyone to enjoy.

Prairie Grass Cafe is known for its sustainable, local and a deliciously healthy focus. Their reasonably priced brunch buffet, at $48 for adults and $18 for children 10 and under, won't disappoint. Guests will enjoy a wide variety of selections, from Prairie Grass Cafe's signature "PGC Benedict" with Poached Egg and Spinach and Roasted Tomato Hollandaise, to an array of salads, savories, creative side dishes, and desserts.  Brunch is served from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Easter Sunday, April 5. Prairie Grass Cafe also will be open for dinner on Easter Sunday, offering its regular menu along with specials,
Roasted Lamb Shank with Mashed Potatoes, Roasted Cherry Tomatoes and Sauteed Fennel ($34), Sauteed Wild Fluke with Seasonal Sides ($32) and Carrot Cake with cream cheese frosting ($7.50).

Easter Brunch Menu: April 5th 2015
10 - 2pm    
$48 Adult / $18 Children 10 and under


Every guests starts with our Signature "PGC Benedict" Poached Egg with Spinach, and Roasted Tomato Hollandaise

Buffet•    Pasta Salad with Watercress Pesto and Roasted Cherry Tomatoes
•    Marinated Beets with "Capriole Farm" Goat Cheese and Sliced Pears
•    Chopped Greek Salad with Peppers, Cucumbers, Onions, Olives, Feta and Red Wine Oregano Vinaigrette
•    Deviled Farm Eggs
•    Smoked Sturgeon with Cream Cheese, Chives and Candied Red Onions
•    Warm Baked Feta Topped with Thin Slices of Banana Peppers•    Our Signature Moussaka - Layers of Eggplant, Potato and Braised Lamb topped with Bechamel Sauce
•    Panko and Pumpkin Seed Crusted Chicken Fingers with Dipping Sauces
•    Sauteed Tilapia with Grapefruit and Capers
•    Fresh "Peekytoe" Crab Cakes over Roasted Tomato Chutney;  Lemon Butter Sauce
•    Crispy Yukon Gold Potatoes with Spicy Aioli Sauce ( Boiled & Fried)
•    Roasted Tri-Color Cauliflower with Spicy Sauce and Bread Crumbs
•    Fennel Raisin Bread, French Baguettes, Multigrain Loaves,
•    Warm Raisin Buns, Cheese and Jam Danish, Chocolate Croissants
•    Applewood Smoked Maple Creek Farm Bacon / Ancho Breakfast Sausage
•    Carved-to-Order Bone-In Glazed Ham
•    Ancho Marinated Skirt Steak
•     "Made to order" Omelet Station: Homemade Crumbled Maple Creek Farm Chorizo, Poblano Peppers, Spring Onions, Tomato, Jack cheese, Cheddar, Mushrooms and Spinach
•    Hot Fresh Waffle Station with Maple Syrup

Dessert Buffet
•    Fresh Sliced Ripe Fruit
•    Platter of Berries
•    Crepe Station: Chocolate and Whipped Cream,  Raspberry Jam with Powdered Sugar
•    Double Chocolate Cup Cakes
•    Mom's Homemade Banana Cream Pie
•    Warm Cherry Crumble with Toasted Oat Topping

About Prairie Grass Cafe
Prairie Grass Cafe (601 Skokie Blvd.; Northbrook, IL) supports Chicago's Green City Market and local sustainable farms, selecting the freshest ingredients to reflect the season. Prairie Grass Cafe currently serves lunch Monday - Friday 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. and dinner Sunday through Thursday from 5 p.m. to 9 p.m.; Friday and Saturday from 5 p.m. to 10 p.m. Prairie Grass Cafe also serves breakfast Saturdays 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. and Sundays 9:30 p.m. to 2 p.m. Light fare is available in the bar Monday through Friday 2 p.m. to 5 p.m. For more information or to make a reservation, please call (847) 205-4433 or visit prairiegrasscafe.com.

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