Thursday, May 7, 2009

Wally and Agador's Gourmet Cafe Grand Opening Tomorrow, May 8

Acclaimed chef/owner Michael Lachowicz will bring his classic French techniques to the city with Wally & Agador’s Gourmet Café (3310 N. Halsted St., 773-325-9664), a gourmet sandwich shop and cafe celebrating its grand opening Friday, May 8.

Lachowicz, who owns the highly regarded Restaurant Michael in Winnetka, Ill., is taking his fine dining entrees, and creating their gourmet sandwich counterparts which range in price $7-$12 each. “It doesn’t have to be fine dining to be great food,” he says. “All of the gourmet sandwiches at Wally & Agador’s are made with the same classic French techniques that are used in a restaurant, but without the fuss and expense.”

Wally & Agador’s, named after Lachowicz’s two “diva” dogs, serves a variety of diva-inspired housemade sandwiches such as The Judy Garland, Grilled Portabella Mushroom, Robiola Cheese and Sliced Artichoke Hearts on Multi-Grain Ciabatta with Green and Black Olive Tapanade ($8); Rosie’s Mambo Italiano, Thinly-Shaved Proscuitto, Taleggio Cheese, Grilled Scallions, Roasted Peppers, Fresh Basil and a Drizzle of Truffle Oil on Toasted Rosemary Flatbread ($10); Wham Sammich, Slow-Cooked “Sous Vide” Leg of Lamb, Thyme, Garlic and Black Pepper Mayo Served in a Warm Baguette with Fresh Laura Chenel Goat’s Cheese and Eggplant “Caviar” ($10); and The Elton John, Chicken Sausage Studded with Dried Huckleberries on Brioche with Truffle Sauce Shallot Jam and Pommes Frites ($11), pictured.

The namesake, sweeter sandwiches include The Wally, Peanut Butter, Marshmallow Fluff and Sliced Bananas on a Batter-Dipped Croissant ($7); and The Agador, Nutella, Marshmallow Fluff and Sliced Bananas on a Batter-Dipped Croissant ($7), both served warm. All sandwiches include a complimentary small side salad with a choice of housemade salad dressing, or homemade chips.

Wally & Agador’s also features several pre-made take away items supplied by Restaurant Michael. Composed salad creations served by the pound include “Mr. Gee’s” Creamy Potato Salad, Michael’s grandfather’s recipe ($5); Roasted Yukon Gold, Italian Sausage and Spring Pea Salad ($7); Truffle-Scented Albacore Tuna salad with Grilled Red Onion ($11); and Lightly Cured Grilled Chicken, Pine Nut and Currant Salad ($12). Gourmet deli selections served by the pound include Restaurant Michael’s House-Curried and Smoked Salmon ($18); Classic Duck Confit ($14); and “Le Français” Chicken Liver Mousse ($10). Wally & Agador’s will also feature three extraordinary entrée selections from Restaurant Michael which will rotate each week.

For the at home chefs, Wally & Agador’s offers a Veal Demi Glace (Gluten Free) ($12 per quart); and Classic Bordelaise, Port Wine or Truffle Lamb Jus ($14 per quart).

Pastry creations at Wally & Agador’s include Toasted Almond Biscotti ($1 for four); Tahitian Vanilla Panna Cotta ($2.50); Grand Marnier Valrhona Chocolate Truffles ($11 per half pound); Valrhona Chocolate Fallen Soufflés ($4); Valrhona Pot de Crème ($2.50); and Blueberry-Almond Financier ($4).

Beverages include a variety of Coca-Cola products, Izze beverages, gourmet bottled iced teas, Evian bottled water and San Pellegrino sparkling water.

The 16-seat space features vivid red walls decorated with black-and-white portraits of the divas after which the gourmet sandwiches are named. The opposing wall features photography for sale by local artist, Ron Reason.

“Wally & Agador’s offers a gourmet experience in a vibrant, yet casual atmosphere,” says Lachowicz. “We’re happy to bring this unique, casual concept to the city.”

Wally & Agador’s Gourmet Cafe, located at 3310 N. Halsted St. in Chicago’s Boystown neighborhood, is open Sunday through Wednesday, 11 a.m. to 10 p.m.; Thursday through Saturday, 11 a.m. to midnight. Catering and office party delivery is available. Phone orders are accepted at (773) 325-9664. For more information visit http://www.wallyandagadorscafe.com/.

(Photos: Cindy Kurman)
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