Prairie Grass Cafe to Host Dinner Featuring Recipes from New Green City Market Cookbook July 20

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Prairie Grass Cafe is hosting a special dinner featuring guest chefs and recipes from the new The Green City GCM Cookbook CoverMarket Cookbook, 6 p.m., Sunday, July 20, coinciding with the official cookbook launch. The cost for the Prairie Grass Cafe dinner is $65 plus tax and gratuity. Cookbooks will be available to purchase separately for $24.95 and all cookbook proceeds will go to Green City Market.

The delicious evening will feature many of the volunteers who have helped to make The Green City Market Cookbook possible.

Chef Sarah Stegner and George Bumbaris, co-owners of Prairie Grass Cafe, will orchestrate the dinner. Stegner is Green City Market’s co-chair and a founding board member.

Joining Sarah and George are Sarah’s longtime friends chef/farmers Tracey Vowell and Kathe Roybal of Three Sisters Garden, whose cookbook recipe takes center stage at the dinner; Karen Levin, cookbook author; Amelia Levin, author/journalist, and Kathy Paddor, marketing consultant who oversaw the cookbook’s photography. The Chicago Tribune’s former food editor and longtime market enthusiast Carol Mighton Haddix’s cherry tart dessert recipe will provide the sweet finale of the evening.

Celebrating its 16th season, Green City Market (GCM) has become an institution and foodie haven since its inception in 1998.

“I am very excited and proud of The Green City Market Cookbook.  It represents a community of chefs, farmers, and shoppers that believe in supporting the local food movement coming together,” said Stegner.

Karen Levin, cookbook author and award winning recipe developer and food consultant, volunteered to develop the cookbook with daughter Amelia, also an author and journalist. They were responsible for gleaning 88 recipes sent into the GCM website or given to her from the market’s farmers, chefs, customers and volunteers.

They reviewed the recipes, shopped at the Market weekly and tested 80 of the 88 recipes. A team of volunteers tested the remaining 8 recipes, as well as, proofed and edited the manuscript and final galleys.

The mission of the cookbook was to inspire readers to cook delicious seasonal food from local farmers markets and to share home cooked meals with family and friends. The culinary talent of the Green City community is what makes this book so unique. It’s like a giant recipe swap where professional chefs, customers, and farmers exchange their favorite things to cook with the best ingredients from each season.

The Green City Market Cookbook features 88 seasonal recipes based on ingredients from the Market; appetizers, entrees, soups and desserts for each season, and more than 100 delicious photos of the completed dishes and their key ingredient. Each recipe features a short story submitted by the recipe’s author about why the recipe is special to them.

Sixty percent of the recipes are focused on fruits and vegetables; 40% use meat, fish and eggs.

The Green City Market Cookbook is truly local. The publisher is Evanston-based Agate Publishing, publishers of books from local and regional authors. Chicago top food photographer Chris Cassidy Photography donated his time to bring The Green City Market Cookbook to life.

The cookbook, which sells for $24.95, is scheduled for release this July, can be pre-ordered at

The July 20 meal will feature recipes from The Green City Market Cookbook summer section.

July 20 Menu at Prairie Grass Cafe

 (served family style)

Eggplant Caponata with Fennel and Oven-Roasted Tomatoes
Contributed by Amelia Levin, Volunteer for Green City Market

Summer Bean Salad with Sun Gold Tomatoes, Market Herbs, Smoked Trout,
and Goat Cheese Dressing
Contributed by Jason Hammel, Chef/Co-Owner, Lula Cafe and Nightwood

Peach and Tomato Panzanella Salad
Contributed by Melissa Graham, Volunteer


Creamy Polenta with Braised Greens and Mushrooms
Contributed by Tracey Vowell and Kathe Roybal, Farmers of Three Sisters Garden

Grilled Skirt Steaks with Green Beans, Tomatoes and Pesto
Contributed by Harriet Rosenman, Customer


Tart Cherry Pecan Crisp
Contributed by Carol Mighton Haddix, Customer and Author

About Sarah Stegner
Two-time James Beard Award winner Chef Sarah Stegner is co-chair and founding board member of

Stegner_Grant Kessler_34786Green City Market, one of the country’s best known sustainable farmers markets. Her commitment to sustainable practices goes beyond the market and is an integral part of her life at Prairie Grass Cafe, the restaurant she owns with husband, restaurant managing partner Rohit Nambiar and chef/co-owner George Bumbaris.

“My approach to ingredients developed over a long, slow process,” Sarah says. “When I started out as a chef, I knew that the best, freshest flavors came from ingredients produced by local farmers. But I couldn’t find farm contacts easily, so my friends in the business helped introduce me to some of them. The idea to create a green market was a natural progression. What a joy! The farmers turned out to be passionate about what they were doing and very perceptive when it comes to what quality means. I began to establish wonderful working relationships with these producers and the momentum grew from there. Stegner continues to incorporate fresh, seasonal produce from small, regional family farms into her menus at Prairie Grass Cafe.

“It’s all about the quality of the product-its freshness, its flavor and the care by which it has been handled,” she says. It isn’t surprising that Stegner puts the ingredients first. She will talk about her [exceptional] technique when prompted, but she truly believes that it is her attention to quality and local, fresh ingredients that has provided the springboard for her success.

She is doing what she truly loves to do and over the years she has transformed a childhood filled with loving cooking memories into a very personal culinary mission that is honest and pure, yet far from simplistic.

About George Bumbaris
George Bumbaris’s relationship as Chef/co-Owner of Prairie Grass Cafe with long-time friend and George Bumbaris PG05 wboardercolleague Sarah Stegner makes perfect sense. “We had worked together for so long, there are no surprises- and a lot of trust,” he says of the partnership. Prairie Grass Cafe came at a time when both he and Stegner had reached a level of culinary maturity that was important for what they want to accomplish. “We don’t carry the ego with us. We just wanted a good restaurant with good food.”

The rest is history. After 10 years, Prairie Grass Cafe has done what the duo set out to do — provide the area with outstanding, approachable food with a strong convection to locally grown, sustainable and delicious taste.

My vision was a restaurant packed with smiling faces, enjoying their experience with us and enjoying our food,” he adds. Bumbaris always teaches his staff to cook the way one would cook for oneself. With a rule of thumb like that, they continue to have a winning formula at Prairie Grass Cafe.

About Karen Levin Karen Levin
Karen Levin, cookbook author and award winning recipe developer and food consultant, has specialized in recipe development for the past thirty years.  She has written numerous cookbooks for The American Heart Association, The American Medical Association and many major food companies. Karen is a frequent contributor to Cooking Club magazine and for five years wrote a syndicated weekly food column for Tribune Media Services entitled “The Seasoned Cook”. She is currently the recipe developer for the ChefMD website. Karen developed all the recipes for “ChefMD’s Big Book of Culinary Medicine” by John LaPuma, M.D. (Crown Publishers 2008) as well as The RealAgeDiet and Cooking the RealAge Way by Michael F. Roizen, M.D. and John LaPuma, M.D. She resides in Highland Park, Illinois with her husband of 35 years.
About Tracey Vowell and Kathe RoybalTracey Vowell
Tracey Vowell (pictured right) and Kathe Roybal were employed in the restaurant industry until they grew tired of the hard work and decided on a career change. They bought their nine-acre farm in 2000, and named it after the Native American practice of growing corn, beans, and squash in the same mounds-a sophisticated, sustainable system that provided long-term soil fertility and a healthy diet then, and still does. The partners (that’s Tracey on left, Kathe at right) focus on specialty vegetables like microgreens (which they grow year round), pea shoots, heirloom tomatoes, summer and winter squashes, herbs, fresh beans (shelled at the Market) and huitlacoche, a mushroom particularly prized in Mexican cuisine. “I don’t know that we chose an easier line of work,” says Tracey, a former chef at Frontera Grill, “but at least we’re exercising different parts.”
(Tracey Vowell photo at right)
About Amelia Levin Amelia Levin
Amelia Levin is an award-winning, Chicago-based freelance writer, editor, media consultant, certified chef (Kendall College), recipe developer and author of Chicago Chef’s Table: Extraordinary Recipes from the Windy City (Globe Pequot, 2012). A former hard news reporter and magazine editor, she is a regular contributor to Edible Chicago and a variety of restaurant industry trade magazines. Her writing and recipes have also appeared in the Chicago Tribune and Chicago Sun-Times newspapers, DiningOut and in cookbooks by Cooking Light, the American Heart Association and others. An active member of the International Association of Culinary Professionals (IACP), the International Food Editorial Council (IFEC) and the prestigious Les Dames D’Escoffier society for women, Amelia has also served as a member of the Green City Market Junior Board.

About Kathy PaddorKathy Paddor
Kathy Paddor, president and founder of Paddor Marketing and Green City Market board member is a dedicated “consumer empathist,” Kathy Paddor’s strategic branding sensibility has made her a respected leader in the retail and advertising communities for over her 15+ year career.

Paddor set the vision and artistic style of the cookbook’s photography and led its social media and marketing efforts.

Growing up in a family of retailers, Paddor discovered her career passion early. She held senior positions with Bloomingdales and Marshall Field’s before joining Crate and Barrel. As C&B’s Director of Marketing, her intelligent, creative innovations helped them hold a singular spot in the marketplace.
Prior to joining Green City Market’s Board, Kathy led the development of GCM’s current brand identity and integrated communication strategy, helping to communicate its mission and values to the community in a significant, consistent way.
When Kathy’s not working, her great loves include her family, cooking, dancing, and a great cup of strong coffee.
Recipes:  Summer

By mid-July, the Market is in full swing.  From tomatoes and stone fruits as sweet as candy to peppers, zucchini and eggplant rich with the taste of the sun, the farm stands overflow with the bounty for which we’ve waited so long.

It’s a busy time of the year for farmers, who work hard each day to keep pace with the harvest.  We, too, strive to keep up, visiting the Market regularly, with ambitious plans for making pickles, pesto, salsas and preserves we know we’ll crave come winter.

Creamy Polenta with Braised Greens and Mushrooms

After we started producing cornmeal at Three Sisters, we discovered the magic of a bowl of slightly sweet Polentapolenta with a quick mix of whatever we have in the fridge. Short on time, we are always looking for a good way to get an appealing meal on the table as quickly as possible. I particularly like the earthy flavors of mushrooms and greens, so this dish is an easy choice after a day in the field. Paired with grilled chicken or pork, it makes a wonderfully rich and satisfying dinner, but can be ready to eat in under an hour. –Tracey Vowell and Kathe Roybal, Farmers, Three Sisters Garden

Preparation time: 30 minutes
Cooking time: 25 minutes
Makes 4 servings

1 whole head garlic
1 bunch Swiss chard, kale or lamb’s-quarters
1 pound fresh oyster and/or shiitake mushrooms
1 small white onion, chopped
1 fresh hot pepper, such as serrano or habanero, seeded, minced
4 cups milk
1 cup fine white cornmeal
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
2 tablespoons butter
2 sprigs fresh thyme leaves
1/2 to 3/4 cup vegetable or chicken stock or broth
1 (2-ounce) piece firm grating cheese such as Brunkow Cheeese’s Little Darling

Heat oven to 350°F. Separate garlic head into cloves; do not peel cloves. Roast garlic cloves in a large dry skillet over medium heat, stirring occasionally until they begin to brown and garlic feels soft when squeezed, 8 to 10 minutes. Peel and finely chop garlic; set aside.

Wash chard; shake off excess water. Holding onto leaves, pull off and discard thick stems. Coarsely chop chard; set aside. Clean mushrooms discarding tough stems; cut mushrooms into bite-sized pieces; set aside.

In a large saucepan with a tight-fitting lid, bring milk just to a simmer over high heat. Reduce heat to medium; pour in cornmeal slowly, whisking constantly. Whisk in 1/2 teaspoon salt. When mixture is slightly thickened, cover saucepan and place in oven. Whisk after 10 minutes.

Continue to bake 10 minutes; whisk again. If polenta is too thick, stir in additional milk or water. If it is too thin, cover and return to oven for 5 minutes. Stir in pepper; keep warm.

Meanwhile, melt butter in a large deep sauté pan over medium-high heat. Add mushrooms and reserved garlic; sauté until browned, 4 to 5 minutes. Add onion, hot pepper and thyme sprigs; continue to sauté for 5 minutes. Add chard and 1/2 cup broth; cook, stirring occasionally, until chard is tender. If dry, add remaining 1/4 cup broth. Season to taste with salt.

Spoon polenta into 4 shallow bowls; top with vegetable mixture. Grate cheese over each serving.
Tart Cherry Pecan Crisp

Tart cherry pie is one of my favorite desserts, but making and rolling out the crust is time consuming, so Cherriesthis easy crisp is a good substitute. The Michigan tart cherry season is very short; sometimes they are at the Market for only two weeks. When that happens, I like to buy them in bulk, pit them and freeze them in gallon-size freezer bags. For this recipe, I first soak the cherries in ice water for three hours in the refrigerator, which helps firm them up, making pitting easier. The versatile crumble topping can be used for any lightly sweetened fruit mixture, including peaches, pears or a mixture of berries.
–Carol Mighton Haddix, Customer

Preparation time: 40 minutes
Cooking time: 35 minutes
Makes 6 servings

1 quart (4 cups) tart cherries, pitted
2 tablespoons granulated sugar
1 cup flour
1/2 cup packed light brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon salt
6 tablespoons cold unsalted butter, cut into pieces
1/2 cup chopped pecans

Heat oven to 400°F. Mix cherries and granulated sugar in a bowl; mix well.

Mix flour, brown sugar, cinnamon and salt in a medium bowl. Add butter; mix with a pastry blender or quickly with fingers until small pea-sized pieces form. Stir in pecans.

Place cherry mixture in an 8- or 9-inch-square baking pan. Place the topping mixture on top of the cheeries. Bake for 30 to 35 minutes, until the topping is browned and the filling is bubbling. Remove from oven and let stand 20 minutes before serving. Serve warm or at room temperature.


Posted in Chicago Best Restaurants, Chicago dining, Chicago Fine Dining, Chicago Green City Market, DneWise, George Bumbaris, Got Buzz at Kurman, Green City Market, Green City Market Cookbook, Sarah Stegner, The Green City Market Cookbook | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment

ABC’s “The Taste” Kicks-Off Nationwide Casting Call for Professional Chefs and Home Cooks – Coming to Chicago July 12

The Taste Casting

The Taste Casting

Here’s your chance to be a Reality TV Star. ABC’s popular show, “The Taste,” will be casting for season three and they are looking for talent! If you think you can stand the heat, sign-up to get in the kitchen! Open casting calls for chefs interested in competing in this culinary competition series will be held in cities across the country starting Saturday, June 21 in Los Angeles. They will be in Chicago 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., Saturday, July 12 at Centered Chef Food Studios, 177 N. Ada St. #101, Chicago, IL 60607.

For additional updated casting information and to apply visit:

“The Taste” is an American cooking-themed reality competition series on ABC. It premiered on January 22, 2013. On May 14, 2013, ABC renewed “The Taste” for a second season. “The Taste” began its second season on January 2, 2014.”The Taste” was listed as a returning series during ABC’s upfront presentations on May 13, 2014, thus confirming a Season 3. For a sneak peek of last season’s finale,

“The Taste” is produced by Kinetic Content who create and produce cross-platform for the multi-genre content for the global television marketplace. Chris Coelen, Sam Dean, Anthony Bourdain, Nigella Lawson and Brian Smith serve as Executive Producers for the show.

ABC is an American commercial broadcast television network viewed in the United States and Canada. Throughout its history, ABC has supported its financial operations by diversifying into the press, the publishing industry, the operation of theaters, and filmmaking.

As one of the “Big Three television networks”, ABC has broadcast many programs that have contributed significantly to American popular culture. These include classic series such as Zorro, The Untouchables, The Brady Bunch, Happy Days, Roseanne, and The Fugitive; more recent titles such as Castle, Lost, Revenge, Desperate Housewives, Grey’s Anatomy, and Modern Family; live broadcasts such as Monday Night Football; the reality shows America’s Funniest Home Videos, Extreme Makeover: Home Edition, and Dancing with the Stars; and the morning news program Good Morning America. Follow us on Twitter at

In addition to Chicago, open casting will be in these following cities:

Los Angeles – Saturday, June 21st
Le Cordon Bleu
6370 W. Sunset Blvd,
Hollywood, CA 90028

Austin – Saturday, June 28th
The Millennium Youth Entertainment Complex
1156 Hargrave St.
Austin, Texas 78702

Seattle – Saturday, June 28th
Swedish Cultural Center
1920 Dexter Ave N
Seattle, WA 98109

Boston – Saturday, July 12th
45 Prospect Street,
Central Square
Cambridge, MA, 02139

Posted in ABC TV, Chicago public relations, Cooking Reality TV, Dinewise, Dinewise Chicago, Restaurant PR, The Taste, The Taste Casting | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Lafayette Opens November 4 at Chicago French Market; Celebrate Marche de Noel; Shop for Thanksgiving

The Chicago French Market (131 N. Clinton St., Chicago IL, 60661; 312-575-0306) announces the opening of Lafayette featuring Creole-Cajun cuisine this November and offers a full schedule of fall activities including the return of Chicago French Market’s popular Marché de Noel, November 4 to December 20 and its special Beaujolais Nouveau celebration November 23. Specials, wine tastings, new menu items, food holiday celebrations and live noon-time and after work entertainment abound this November.

About Lafayette. Growing up in Baton Rouge, Chef Sahil’s tastes and smells haveLafayette logo ET always given him fond memories of the south.   Many years later after meeting Chef Hiran, at the footsteps of Veerasway, the two have shared a similar path in the culinary world.  Since then, they’ve shared each other’s vision and approach to global cuisine.  For them it means traveling and immersing themselves in regional cuisines and cultures, then to refine it in their own style.  On their most recent journey they traveled back to retrace the origins of Sahil’s culinary career.   The two spent time learning, exploring, and working in the kitchens of the South to bring back authentic flavors of Creole/Cajun cuisine. 

“Our travels gave us so much more than just a taste of Creole cuisine,” says Patel. “It gave us a look at the fresh regional products that we want to emulate here in Chicago as well a connection with the traditions of the South. With learning timeless recipes and our undying passion for Creole-Cajun cuisine, these traditional dishes will now live on at Lafayette.”


Chicago French Market November 2013 Specials and Deals

Abbey Brown Pumpkin SoapAbbey Brown Artisan Soaps Beloved Pumpkin Soap Now in Stock
Abby Brown Artisan Soaps will be featuring its Pumpkin Bars this month. A perfect hostess gift for Thanksgiving and the holidays at only $8.50 per bar, Abbey Brown Soap Artisan creates handmade natural Olive Oil soaps, soothing body oils and relaxing bathing essentials. They make all of their fine products in house, infusing homegrown herbs and botanicals with pure essential oils.


Bello Tea Introduces Ginger Bread Tea Latte This November; Invites You to AttendBelloTea Ginger tea_w borderDiscovery Channel Filming November 6
Bello Tea celebrates its first anniversary by offering 10 percent off on all Loose Leaf Tea and Accessories from November 11 to 16. Bello Tea also will be celebrating the season with their featured November Tea: Ginger Bread Tea Latte is a delicious blend of Tea, Ginger Bread, sweetener and milk. Having a hot cup of Bello Tea is the perfect warmer-upper on chilly fall days. Customize your Latte with Black Tea, Masala Chai or Matcha and choose from Bello Tea’s milk options:  whole, 2%, skim, almond, soy and coconut milk are available as well as standard cream. The Latte can be served iced or hot.

Chicago French Market guests are invited to the filming of The Discovery Channel, how do they do it“How Do They Do It”  2 p.m. to 4 p.m. Wednesday, November 6.  The Discovery Channel will be featuring the story of ‘Bubble Tea’.  To show its appreciation, Bello Tea will be giving customers complimentary Tapioca with any drink purchase, the entire day.

Bello Tea offers more than 90 varieties of organic, traditional, and fair trade loose leaf teas and herbals. In addition to these delicious and healthy choices, it carries beautiful and stylish tea pots, mugs, cups, and infusers, perfect for holiday gifts.


Delightful logo

Delightful Pastries Introduces Expanded Pie Menu for Thanksgiving
Delightful nov pieBring home delicious, homemade pies from Delightful Pastries for all to enjoy this Thanksgiving.  Whatever is your fancy, Delightful Pastries’ new expanded pie menu will have something to suit your taste. Included are traditional selections like Apple Pie, Pumpkin Pie and Pecan Pie and the not so traditional Apple Caramel, Cranberry Fudge, Coconut Chocolate, and Bourbon Chocolate Pecan. All pies ($25) serve 8-10 people; are made from scratch and use no artificial flavors or preservatives. 

For those entertaining for the weekend, pick up a breakfast/brunch savory pie such as the Spinach Lamb ($58), Veggie Quiche ($42), or Ham Quiche ($42). Other items on Delightful Pastries’ to go catering menu include: winter and grain salads, mini-pastry trays, international cookie trays and brownie trays. Pre-orders are recommended and package pricing is available. Orders may be placed at the Chicago French Market location at 131 N. Clinton Ave. (phone: 312-234-9644).

Celebrate Georgia Pecan Month this November with Delightful Pastries
burbon pecan pieWhether you pronounce it “pee-can” or “pah-cahn,” this nutritious nut can be used as a healthy snack, a delicious ingredient to a meal, or even as a dessert.  Pecans are a high-quality source of protein with nineteen vitamins and minerals, and more antioxidants than any other nut variety. Did you know that pecans are the only tree nut truly native to the United States and that pecan trees are one of the largest fruit-bearing trees?

Looking for a pecan holiday fix? Check out how Delightful Pastries is celebrating Georgia Pecan Month with a variety of offerings including Cranberry Pecan Bread ($5), Paradise Brownies ($3.50), Pecan Squares ($3.50), Pecan Praline Brownies ($3.50), Pecan Sables ($3.50), German Chocolate Cake ($42/8-inch; $5.25/slice), Chocolate Nut Pebbles ($6.50/bag), Chocolate Pecan Pie ($45/8-inch; $5.25/slice) and Pecan Caramel Turtles ($27/pound).

Pecan treats are available at Chicago French Market (131 N. Clinton Ave.; phone: 312-234-9644).

ej logo ET

EJ Sushi Bento Box etEJ Sushi Introduces Bento Boxes

EJ Sushi is now selling Bento Boxes, a single-portion home-packed meal that is common in Japanese cuisine. A traditional bento holds rice, fish or meat, with pickles, cooked vegetables, usually in a box-shaped container. These containers are made of hand crafted lacquer ware.  EJ Sushi Bento Box contains Ginger Salad or Cucumber Salad and Miso Soup with Teriyaki Beef $10.95 or Teriyaki Chicken $9.95.

 Lavazza LOGO ET

Lavazza Espression Features Pumpkin Specials This November

Pumpkin Cheese Cake $4.50

Pumpkin, Butter Pecan, and Sea Salt Caramel Gelato
Single Scoop: $2.60
Double Scoop: $3.95Lavazza pumpking butter latte ET
Gelato Pint:  $8.95

Pumpkin Butter Latte $3.65
A nostalgic blend of artisan crafted pumpkin butter, steamed milk, and smooth espresso. Wrap your scarves around your neck and your hands around this seasonal specialty.

Pumpkin Butter $5.95

Caramel Apple Cider $3.10-$3.90
Fresh apple cider infused with caramel and steamed to perfection.

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Pastoral Artisan Cheese, Bread and Wine Showcasing Thanksgiving WinesThanksgiving WinesPastoral WineTastingMagento ET
They would be lying if they said they weren’t thinking about wine all the time. So it’s no surprise that they’ve been thinking about their favorite Thanksgiving wine pairings since last year! Stop by Pastoral throughout the month of November to get a wine recommendation or sample some of Pastoral’s Benchmark Wine selections during the week leading up to Thanksgiving. They’ll help you find the right bottle for dinner, desert, or for gifts.


Pastoral’s 2013-14 Gift Catalog is now available!

Whether you’re thanking a client for their business, sending a gift to a far-away loved one, or bringing a hostess gift to dinner, Pastoral has your gifting needs covered. Stop by the store for a copy of our new catalog today! Orders can be placed in-store, online or by phone. Local delivery and nationwide shipping is available!

Oh Olive Logo


Oh Olive! features Wild Mushroom and Sage Extra Virgin Olive Oil and Special 10 Percent Shopping Discount on Wednesdays This MonthGetting in the mood for Thanksgiving and all the holidays?  Stop at Oh Olive! French Market and sample its delicious Wild Mushroom and Sage extra virgin olive oil. Oh Olive! suggests drizzling the Wild Mushroom and Sage extra virgin olive oil over turkey before roasting and using it to make delicious and unique rye bread turkey dressing.  Oh Olive! chefs also suggest serving a side of Cinnamon Pear Sweet Potatoes. Recipes are available at Oh Olive! at the French Market. Enjoy a special 10 percent discount on shopping any Wednesday in November.  Just say, “I love Oh Olive!” to get the discount.


Sam's Gourmet Lasagna CORRECT LOGO

Sam’s Gourmet Lasagna Introduces New Steak & Potato Lasagna; Holiday Catering Orders

Sam’s Gourmet Lasagna introduces its new lasagna, Steak & Potato Lasagna.  The Steak & Potato Lasagna will be featured on November 13 with sample tastings and packaged “to go” for breakfast, lunch or dinner.Sams Steak and Potato Lasagna ET

November is a great time to place orders for lasagna and pasta for corporate events, family gatherings and more with Sam’s Gourmet Lasagna & Pasta for the holiday season.  This month’s featured gourmet lasagnas and pastas include: Mande’s Mac N Cheese; Lasagna selections – Ground Turkey, Vegetable, Chicken, and Sausage. Deadline for placing holiday orders is Friday, November 22.

Sam’s Gourmet Lasagna offers daily Hot Grab n Go Specials. Purchase hot, out the oven (Ground Turkey, Sausage, Vegetable, or Chicken) lasagna for original price and a second lasagna costs just $5. 

Sam’s offers complimentary samples daily at the Chicago French Market from 7 a.m. to 9 a.m., 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. and 5 p.m. to 6 p.m. 

Chicago French Market November 2013 Events

Saturday, November 2Dean Milano ET
Lunch Hour Music
11 a.m. to 2 p.m.
Dean Milano

Link to sample music

Singer and songwriter Dean Milano engages in storytelling through his preferred medium, music. Having mastered many styles of music, Milano effortlessly moves between the musical genres of folk, country, rock, ballads, bluegrass and pop.  He spent four years touring with The New Seekers and has been the opening act for the Spencer Davis Group, Bo Diddley, The Kingston Trio in addition to many others. Come listen from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday, November 2 at the Chicago French Market.


Monday, November 4 – December 20marche de noel
8 a.m. to 6:30 p.m.
Marché de Noel

The Marché de Noel is a holiday feature of the Chicago French Market. Nineteen rotating visiting artisans selling unique gift items will display and sell their wares daily from 8 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. through December 20.

Modeled after French Christmas markets, Marché de Noel provides a fantastic atmosphere and unique shopping options, not to mention the opportunity to find those gifts for everyone on your list.

The Marché de Noel at the Chicago French Market also offers shoppers the opportunity to do all their holiday shopping in one location.  Artists will sell jewelry, kids’ items, wall decor, photographs, toys and many more gift options.  A variety of new items will be featured at the Chicago French Market during this time as well.

The Marché de Noel is believed to have begun in Dresden, Germany in 1434 under the reign of Fredrick II of Saxony.  The Marché de Noel first began in France in the city of Strasbourg where it is still held today.  It has continued ever since in France and in many other cities throughout Europe.

Wednesday, November 6CARY KANNO
Lunch Hour Music
11 a.m. to 2 p.m.
Cary Kanno

Link to sample Music “Hey Ya”

Cary “CKP” Kanno is constantly in search of new musical frontiers. He has been playing guitar and singing for more than 15 years. Cary wrote his first song at age 12 and has been a prolific songwriter and performer ever since. In 2001, he formed the seminal organic hip hop group know as Abstract Giants. The band is still actively recording and playing shows throughout the Midwest.

In 2004, Cary decided he needed another creative outlet to express his rock and funk interests and formed the group Doko Benjo. This 8-piece band features Cary on lead vocals along with a female singer and horn section.

In January of 2009, Cary simultaneously released his two solo CD’s, simply called “Cary Kanno One” and “Cary Kanno Two”. Both were recorded and produced primarily at CKP studios, Cary’s home studio. 

Recently a song Cary wrote and performed was picked up and licensed by the Showtime Network and featured in a commercial for the TV show “Weeds.” Cary has also spearheaded the organization known as “The Chicago Drop,” which is a collaboration of eight hip hop bands in Chicago.

Enjoy his music during lunch hour entertainment at Chicago French Market, Wednesday, November 6 from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. 

Thursday, November 14Pastoral ET
10 a.m. to 7:30 p.m.
Coast to Coast Toast
Pastoral Artisan Wine & Cheese
Beer Tasting

Pastoral celebrates the 32nd birthday of Vanburg & Dewulf, the innovative import company bringing Belgium’s most unique and exceptional brews to the United States and will be featuring Brouwerij Slagmuylder’s uber tradtional Wiktap Pater Tripel Abbey Ale.


Saturday, November 16Lee Barrie
Lunch Hour Music
11 a.m. to 2 p.m.
Lee Barrie

Link to sample music

Lee Alec Barrie is a contemporary jazz guitarist whose style has been compared to Larry Carlton, Chuck Loeb and other popular contemporary jazz guitarists.  Barrie was professional by age 14, starting out with a teenage rock band, playing Beatles, Beach Boys and Chuck Berry tunes plus some classic R&B.

These early musical relationships lasted well into his twenties and he had the privilege of recording with Lipps Inc., a Minneapolis-based band best known most for its number one hit “Funkytown” in the late 70’s. Barrie’s evolution as a guitarist was accelerated when he began to experiment with a Roland guitar synthesizer, which allows his electric guitar to take on the sound of a wide range of instruments. He now has the opportunity to solo as a saxophonist, flutist, organist, violinist and many others, all while playing on the guitar. He chooses the instrument based on the style and mood of the song.

Barrie’s idea for a “virtual band project, in which he plays solo over his pre-recorded jazz backing tracks, evolved naturally. Having taken a break from professional performances for a number of years, he became a self-taught jazz pianist, which gave him the technical and musical skills to arrange and record his own instrumental backing tracks at his home recording studio.

A lunch hour featuring the live music of Lee Alec Barrie, 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday, November 16 is sure to be an energizing and memorable experience.

Wednesday, November 20steve j ET2
Lunch Hour Music
11 a.m. to 2 p.m.
Steve Justman

Link to sample music

Folk musician Steve Justman joins the lunchtime crowds from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. November 20. Justman has been performing Americana, folk, and popular music in the Chicago area and the neighboring Midwest region for many years. He is a collector of songs as well as other artifacts of Americana. Influenced by entertainers of all types, Steve showcases his collection of songs in his performances, singing and interpreting a mix of traditional and popular folk, pop standards, and classic country that people might know while focusing on connecting with his audience and pure entertainment.

He has performed and appeared live on WGN radio on Rick Kogan’s Sunday Papers show as well as WDCB Public Radio’s Folk Fest with Lilli Kuzma. He also has appeared on Internet and college radio stations as well as local cable television. Chicago French Market is excited for his return.
Thursday, November 21
Pastoral Artisan Cheese, Bread & Wine
Beaujolais Nouveau Wine Tasting
4:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m.

The annual release of Beaujolais Nouveau is truly an international event. Celebrate this year’s arrival with Pastoral during a complimentary tasting from 4:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. Thursday, November 21.  Be sure to ask your Pastoral cheese monger to recommend some cheese and salami to accompany this year’s unique batch!


Saturday, November 23cfm_beaujolais_flr_1013_ET
Beaujolais Nouveau
1 p.m. to 2:30 p.m.

It’s time to celebrate the Beaujolais Nouveau at The Chicago French Market!  This French tradition begins at midnight on the third Thursday in November. You are invited to taste this young wine from the fields in France:  Beaujolais Nouveau.  The grapes used for this wine were on the vine in August, picked in September, in the barrel in October and in the bottle in November. While you taste this young wine, stroll through the market and experience 32 unique vendors specialties.

Thursday, November 28
The Chicago French Market will be closed

Saturday, November 30Lee Barrie
Lunch Hour Music
11 a.m. to 2 p.m.
Lee Barrie

Link to sample music

Lee Alec Barrie is a contemporary jazz guitarist whose style has been compared to Larry Carlton, Chuck Loeb and other popular contemporary jazz guitarists.  Barrie was professional by age 14, starting out with a teenage rock band, playing Beatles, Beach Boys and Chuck Berry tunes plus some classic R&B.

These early musical relationships lasted well into his twenties and he had the privilege of recording with Lipps Inc., a Minneapolis-based band best known most for its number one hit “Funkytown” in the late 70’s. Barrie’s evolution as a guitarist was accelerated when he began to experiment with a Roland guitar synthesizer, which allows his electric guitar to take on the sound of a wide range of instruments. He now has the opportunity to solo as a saxophonist, flutist, organist, violinist and many others, all while playing on the guitar. He chooses the instrument based on the style and mood of the song.

Barrie’s idea for a “virtual band project,” in which he plays solo over his pre-recorded jazz backing tracks, evolved naturally. Having taken a break from professional performances for a number of years, he became a self-taught jazz pianist, which gave him the technical and musical skills to arrange and record his own instrumental backing tracks at his home recording studio.

A lunch hour featuring the live music of Lee Alec Barrie, 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday, November 30 is sure to be an energizing and memorable experience.

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Celebrating Thanksgiving Throughout Chicagoland

There are countless ways to enjoy celebrating Thanksgiving in Chicago.  Whether dining in or out, these restaurants and businesses are offering specials that will make it easy to entertain.

Delightful Pastries. Bring home delicious, homemade pies from Delightful Pastries for all to

Chocolate Pecan Bourbon Pie from Delightful Pastries

Chocolate Pecan Bourbon Pie
from Delightful Pastries

enjoy this Thanksgiving.   Whatever is your fancy, Delightful Pastries’ new expanded pie menu will have something to suit your taste. Included are traditional selections like Apple Pie, Pumpkin Pie and Pecan Pie and the not so traditional Apple Caramel, Cranberry Fudge, Coconut Chocolate, and Bourbon Chocolate Pecan. All pies ($25) serve 8-10 people; are made from scratch and use no artificial flavors or preservatives.

For those entertaining for the weekend, pick up a breakfast/brunch savory pie such as the Spinach Lamb ($58), Veggie Quiche ($42), or Ham Quiche ($42). Other items on Delightful Pastries’ to go catering menu include: winter and grain salads, mini-pastry trays, international cookie trays and brownie trays. Pre-orders are recommended and package pricing is available. Orders may be placed at all three Delightful Pastries locations:  5927 W. Lawrence Avenue, in the Jefferson Park neighborhood (phone: 773-545-7215); the Old Town Chicago location at 1710 N. Wells St., just north of North Avenue (phone: 312-255-0724) and the Chicago French Market location at 131 N. Clinton Ave. (phone: 312-234-9644).

Delightful Pastries’ International Cookies Are Perfect for Holiday Entertaining

macaron stack

Macaron’s from Delightful Pastries

November starts the holiday season and entertaining is on everyone’s mind. Delightful Pastries makes it easy, with an array of international cookies, all holiday favorites from around the globe. Available are Cucidati (Sicilian Fig Cookies), Viennese Almond Crescents, Mexican Wedding Cookies, Polish Kolaczki (Raspberry, Apricot, Cheese), Christmas Mice,  Rugula, Linzer and Italian Rainbow Cookies ($19/lb. or by platter, $20-$30). French Macarons ($30 lb.) and Chanukah Macaroons ($1.75 each) also are available.


maxwells thankgiving 2013

Maxwell’s at the Club Thanksgiving

The East Bank Club is hosting Thanksgiving dinner at its place this year and you’re invited. The East Bank Club’s signature restaurant, Maxwell’s at the Club (500 N. Kingsbury St., Chicago), is offering a traditional turkey dinner buffet with all the trimmings, 1 p.m. to 7 p.m., November 28.

Executive chef Mike Lodes is featuring a variety of appetizer and salad , a carving station with Roast Turkey served with gravy and natural jus, Roast Prime Rib of Beef with horseradish sauce, and Roast Leg of Lamb with mint jelly, and an abundance of side options. To finish off, guests will be treated to an impressive spread of seasonal fruits, assorted cakes, tortes, cookies, and cupcakes, and pies. The price is $45 for adults, $15 for children 10 and under. Reservations can be placed online at or by calling (312)527-5800 ext. 301.

East Bank Club’s Food Shop’s Thanksgiving To-go

If you plan to entertain at home this Thanksgiving, East Bank’s Food Shop will be delighted to do the cooking. The Chefs at the Food Shop have put together a complete Thanksgiving menu to suit a variety of tastes. You have the choice of ordering a la carte from their entire menu or selecting the Thanksgiving Package. With the latter option the Food Shop chefs have curated their version of an ideal holiday meal. For the complete Thanksgiving menu visit, and to place your order call (312) 527 5800 ext. 318.


Prairie Grass Cafe

Northbrook’s Prairie Grass Cafe (601 Skokie Blvd.; 847-205-4433) chefs Sarah Stegner and George Bumbaris want to make your Thanksgiving dinner perfect and easy. The two award winning chefs have announced their “Thanksgiving To Go 2013” menu available for pre-order now. All orders must be received no later than Sunday, November 24 for pickup at the restaurant on Thursday, November 28 between noon and 3 p.m.

The à la carte menu includes everything you would want for the perfect Thanksgiving celebration. Start with a whole Roasted Turkey and Gravy, serving between 10 and 14 people for $110 or half a turkey to serve between 5 and 7 people for $60.

Homemade Apple Sage Stuffing ($14/quart) and Homemade Sausage and Giblet Stuffing ($24/quart) are available by the quart, serving between 4 and 6 people.

A variety of homemade appetizers include Butternut Squash Soup (Serves 4/$20/quart), Organic Mixed Green Salad with Shaved Parmesan, Pumpkin Seeds and Pomegranate (Serves 6-8/$45); Jumbo Cocktail Shrimp with Homemade Horseradish Sauce ($42/dozen); cut vegetable assortment with Amish blue cheese dip (Serves 6-8/$35); or Smoked Salmon Platter with Cream Cheese, Cucumbers, Capers and Red Onions with Pumpernickel and Whole Grain Baguettes (serves 6-8/$65).

Prairie Grass Cafe Pumpkin Pie with Heirloom Pumpkin Pie low res et

Prairie Grass Cafe Pumpkin Pie

Side dishes include Yukon Gold Mashed Potatoes (pint/2-3 servings/$7; quart/4-6 servings/$14); Sweet Potato Puree (pint/2-3 servings/$8; quart/4-6 servings/$16); Sautéed Green Beans (pint/2-3 servings/$8; quart/4-6 servings/$16); Brussels Sprouts with Bacon and Chestnuts (pint/2-3 servings/$12; quart/4-6 servings/$24); and Local Cranberry Sauce (pint/2-5 servings/$8; quart/6-10 servings/$16).

A Prairie Grass Cafe Thanksgiving wouldn’t be complete without Mom’s Homemade Heirloom Pumpkin Pie ($24/pie/6 slices); Mom’s Pecan Pie ($24/pie/6 slices) or Double Chocolate Cake ($50/cake/10-12 servings).

Not in the mood to entertain at home? Bring your family and friends to Prairie Grass Cafe this Thanksgiving

Prairie Grass Cafe will be serving a Traditional Thanksgiving Dinner, 2:30 p.m. to 7 p.m., Thursday, November 28. The cost of $49 per person includes a choice of Butternut Squash Soup or Organic Mixed Green Salad with Pumpkin Seeds, Parmesan, Pomegranate and Balsamic Dressing; Oven Roasted Turkey with Mashed Potatoes and Homemade Gravy; Apple Chestnut Stuffing; Sweet Potato and Butternut Squash with Homemade Marshmallow Topping; fresh vegetable; local cranberry sauce, and choice of Mom’s Heirloom Pumpkin Pie, Pecan Pie or Double Chocolate Cake. Reservations are required.

Chicago French Market provides one-stop shopping for the Thanksgiving Holidays

Whether it’s a hostess gift, cooking supplies or a meal to go, the Chicago French Market provides opportunities for Thanksgiving shopping under one roof.

Abby Brown Artisan Soaps is featuring its ever popular Pumpkin Bars this month. A

Abbey Brown Pumpkin Soap

Abbey Brown Pumpkin Soap

perfect hostess gift for Thanksgiving and the holidays at only $8.50 per bar, Abbey Brown Soap Artisan creates handmade natural Olive Oil soaps, soothing body oils and relaxing bathing essentials. They make all of their fine products in house, infusing homegrown herbs and botanicals with pure essential oils.

Picking out the perfect wine to pair with Thanksgiving dinner or to bring as a gift is difficult if you’re not wine knowledgeable. When seeking expert advice, look no further than Pastoral Artisan Cheese, Bread and Wine at Chicago French Market. Pastoral is the perfect shop to learn more and receive expert help in choosing the perfect wine. Staff is trained to know wine and how to pair to complement foods. Stop by Pastoral for advice throughout November.

Stop at Oh Olive! at the French Market and sample its delicious Wild Mushroom and Sage extra virgin olive oil. It’s a perfect enhancement for drizzling over turkey before roasting or for using it to make delicious and unique rye bread turkey dressing.

Not everyone serves a traditional turkey for Thanksgiving, according to the folks at Sam’s

Sam's Gourmet Lasagna

Sam’s Gourmet Lasagna

Gourmet Lasagna. Sam’s offers a delicious ground turkey lasagna and has introduced a Steak & Potato Lasagna just in time for the holidays. They have upped their to go pre-packaged offerings for holiday gift, entertaining and corporate events.




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Go Nuts. Two Days Slated to Honor the Pecan – August 20 and 21 Celebrate with a Delicious Delightful Pastries’ Chocolate Pecan Burbon Pie

If you’re a fan of pecans, you’ll go nuts about two upcoming holidays. Tuesday, August 20 is National Chocolate Pecan Pie Day. And, if that isn’t good enough, Wednesday, August 21 is National Pecan Torte Day.

Delightful Pastries is celebrating at all three of its locations (Chicago French Market, N. Wells St., and Jefferson Park) by offering their delicious Chocolate Pecan Bourbon Pie ($5.25/mini pie; $25/8-inch pie) by executive pastry chef and owner Dobra Bielinski (recipe below). Delightful Pastry also has the Chocolate Pecan Pie available without Bourbon.

Here’s a tidbit that will pique your interest. Did you know that pecans contain zinc, which boosts testosterone? Zinc is the reason people think oysters are aphrodisiacs. We bet you’re in the mood for a slice now!

Not just for Thanksgiving, pecan pie is a Southern staple and for good reason. There’s nothing quite like the smell of its warm, buttery crust and gooey, nutty center coming out of the oven.

The origin of the pecan pie is a little flaky.  Claims have been made of the dish existing in the early 1800s in Louisiana, but this does not appear to be backed up by recipes or literature. Attempts to trace the dish’s origin have not found any recipes dated earlier than 1897, and well-known cookbooks such as Fannie Farmer and The Joy of Cooking did not include this dessert before 1940.

Some have stated that the French invented pecan pie soon after settling in New Orleans, after being introduced to the pecan nut by Native Americans. Pecan pie may be a variant of chess pie, which is made with a similar butter-sugar-egg custard.

Whatever the history, it holds a well-deserved spot on your dinner or lunch menu.

Most pecan pie recipes call for a mix of eggs, butter, sugar, vanilla, salt and syrup or molasses poured into a pastry shell. Adding melting chocolate or bourbon are popular variations of the classic. Regardless, a scoop of fresh vanilla ice cream is always a welcome addition.

Delightful Pastries’ gives it a welcoming twist, adding bittersweet chocolate and bourbon to make a perfect pie for any occasion.

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Delightful Pastries’ Chocolate Pecan Bourbon PieChocolate Pecan Bourbon Pie

By: Executive Pastry Chef & Owner, Dobra Bielinski

 6 ounces butter, at room temperature
1 cup brown sugar
3/4 cup corn syrup
1/4 cup molasses
5 eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
6 ounces pecan halves
6 ounces bittersweet chocolate, chopped
2 tablespoons bourbon
1 9-inch pie shell

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.

In an electric mixer, beat the butter with the sugar till smooth. Add the corn syrup and molasses, then the flour and mix well.

Beat in the eggs one by one, scraping down after each egg; add the vanilla extract and salt. Fold the pecans and chocolate by hand, add the bourbon.

Bake for 45 to 60 minutes, till the top is dry and the filling is barely jiggling. Let cool. 8 servings.


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The Joke’s on You. Art You Can Laugh At Opening at Ready Coffee’s ORNOT Gallery August 21

Art can be funny — sometimes inadvertently — but rarely do we see a show pointedly dedicated to funny art, especially at a coffee shop! But Art You Can Laugh At, hosted by resident comedian Nathyn Gibson at Ready Coffee’s ORNOT Gallery (1562 N. Milwaukee Avenue, Chicago, 773-360-7041) is set to open August 21. Packed with local and regional comedians, this is one comedy show not to miss. Get READY to revel in silliness with the sole purpose of making us guffaw and hiccup, laugh until we cry, and maybe even roll on the floor with laughter. The showcase is complimentary to boot and ORNOT Gallery plans to host similar comedic events bi-weekly with the first slated from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. Wednesday, August 21.

The inaugural performance will feature comics Tyler Jackson, Reena Calm, Conor Delehanty, Odinaka Ezeokoli, Katie McVay and Adam Burke. No reservations are necessary. Seating is limited to first come with plenty of standing room. Be there or be square.

About the Performers

tyler-JacksonTyler Jackson
Writer and comedian based out of Chicago doing many other things throughout the day that prevent my death. Tyler Jackson started out doing Stand Up in Louisville, KY, where he dived head-first into the scene and quickly started putting on shows and bringing in national headliners, trying to build up the independent comedy scene. He moved to Chicago in October and is working to do shows all over the place, in hopes that his stand up will get better and better! Tyler also is a co-producer for Black Star Comedy and host a mid-day open mic called the Late Late Breakfast.

Conor DelehantyConor Delehanty
Conor Delehanty is an up and coming comic based out of Chicago, and he performs in rooms across the Midwest. Conor’s act includes a tone of voice that is as engaging as this bio and a stage presence one woman after a show described as ‘tall’. Conor’s biggest accomplishment as a comic thus far has been taking full advantage of the free food in the Bob and Tom green room.

Conor is a co-producer of Tuxedo Cat Comedy.

Odinaka EzeokoliOdinaka Ezeokoli
I’m Odinaka.  OD if you’re a syllable conservationist.  Try not to stare at my chest. One of my favorite quotes about comedy comes from Richard Pryor, “Search for the truth and the funny will come.” I love that idea, easier said than done, but I still love it. I tell the story of my life as a mixed up son of Nigerian immigrants, born and raised in the American South but High Schooled in Nigeria, and try to make sense of it to myself and the world. I search for the truth in my life and in society and most of all I dig for the funny. In the words of Mr. Rogers, “Won’t you be my neighbor.” I’d like to leave you with another quote, this time from rapper and soulja boy protege, V.I.C., “Get silly, get silly.”

Odinaka is also a co-producer of the critically acclaimed “Congrats On Your Success” showcase

Katie McVay
Katie McVayComedian. Part-time cheesemonger. Terminally afraid. Half of Yell You Better.

Katie McVay can only be described as… Katie McVay. There’s not really anyone quite like her. You’ve heard comedians lament loneliness before, but never with the endearing combination of anger and positivity that Katie brings to the table. Katie’s inability to be anything other than the tiny firecracker she is has resulted in a quick rise to the top of the Chicago stand-up scene. After only about 18 months of leaving audiences gobsmacked with her unique brand of being extremely comfortable in her own discomfort, Katie was asked to join the elite stand-up cast at Chicago Underground Comedy. Her advice web series “Yell You Better” quickly became a YouTube hit and garnered her fans all over this great nation. Sure, Katie has opened for big stars like Tom Papa, and sure, Katie has performed at comedy festivals like Just For Laughs, but that’s not what’s important. What’s important is the way that you see more of yourself in Katie’s admittedly damaged take on life than you’d care to admit. See Katie McVay live and let her yell you better.

Adam Burke
Adam BurkeOriginally from the UK, Adam Burke began performing stand-up after writing a piece on comedy for a Chicago magazine. Before long, Burke became a fixture at Midwestern shows and showcases. His absurdist, verbose comedy covers not only the vagaries of life in his adopted hometown of Chicago, but also the usefulness of mammoths, dogs who study law, and the importance of gangland grammar. He has appeared on the Bob and Tom show, WGN 720 AM radio, and the Benson Interruption Podcast, and was listed as one of the Top 20 Comedians in Chicago by Adam has appeared at the Bridgetown Comedy Festival in Portland OR, and as part of the Just for Laughs Chicago festival for three years running. In addition, he has opened for a wide variety of comedians including Jeff Ross, Maria Bamford, Bo Burnham, Brendon Burns, and Jake Johannsen, and Marc Maron. Adam also co-hosts the Cole’s open mic and is a co-producer of Parlour Car.


Reena Calm
Reana CalmReena Calm was made in Israel, raised near Boston, and is now thrilled to be a part of Chicago’s amazing Comedy scene. She performs at venues such as The Laugh Factory, Jokes and Notes, The Second City, ComedySportz and SO many different bars. Her parents are proud. Reena has featured in the Chicago Women’s Funny Festival, TBS Just For Laughs, and right now there’s a hilarious festival going on in her pants. Reena currently produces and hosts the Three Dead Moose Open Mic on Sundays, 100 Proof Comedy on Mondays, and HooHA Comedy on Tuesdays. She also loves talking about herself in the third person.


About Nathyn Gibson, Host
Nathyn GibsonNathyn Gibson is the host of the ORNOT Gallery’s Comedy Showcase: Art You Can Laugh At. Nathyn moved to Chicago last summer to pursue comedy. He also co-produces a monthly showcase in Logan Square called Black Star Comedy and is a regular performer in the A Night of Comedy series in Crown Point, Indiana. “Chicago has an amazing comedy scene, and I want to be an outlet to show what this town has to offer,” said Nathyn.

Like “Art You Can Laugh At” on Facebook at The Facebook event can be found at

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Oceanique Celebrates Julia Child’s 101th Birthday with a Lobster Dish that Julia Would Have Been Proud to Serve

Wild Maine LobsterOceanique Restaurant in Evanston, Illinois (505 Main Street, Evanston, IL; 847-864-3435) will be participating in the 2013 Julia Child Bash sponsored by Chicago Originals (, from August 15-31, celebrating the 101th birthday of the famed French cookbook author and television icon. During this celebration, Oceanique is honoring the memory of Julia Child with their Wild Maine Lobster entrée (with tropea onion, basil potatoes, and yuzu-saffron), priced at $24.

“Julia Child was very fond of lobsters,” says Chef Mark Grosz. “On her TV show, The French Chef , she described them as ‘unique and beautiful, with a marvelous taste and really just like nothing else.’ She also said that lobster was a ‘special gastronomic experience.’ We consider Julia to be marvelous and like no one else, a person who made French gastronomy a special experience for millions of Americans. That’s why lobster is the cornerstone of our Julia Child 101th birthday celebration. We call our lobster entrée, simply, ‘Wild Maine Lobster.’ The dish includes tropea onion, basil potatoes and yuzu-saffron, and is priced at $24. We think Julia would have been very pleased with our lobster rendition.”

With roots in classic French culinary technique, Oceanique has evolved into a Contemporary Global restaurant. “It’s an evolution of which we believe Julia, as a food adventurer, would have heartily approved,” said Grosz. “We continue to use the freshest, locally available ingredients, clearly in the French tradition, and we use classic French techniques to bring out the wonderful flavor of the ingredients. What has changed at Oceanique, over the years, is our introduction of lighter ingredients into the menu and our greater use of fresh herbs, both of which reflect today’s contemporary preferences. We’ve also been inspired by our global culinary travels and so you’ll find ingredients from around the world.”

The highly acclaimed Oceanique has been voted the best seafood restaurant in the Chicago area by the Zagat Guide since 1993 and has earned the prestigious “Best Of” Award of Excellence from Wine Spectator every year since 1994. Wine Spectator has declared Oceanique as having one of the top 750 wine lists in the world.

Oceanique recently celebrated its 25th anniversary by undergoing a complete re-design. The new, contemporary look is light, airy and comfortable, with new lighting that brings out the beauty of Chef Grosz’s superb cuisine. Oceanique’s ambiance remains relaxed and hospitable, making it the perfect setting for food and wine lovers. Additional changes include a new bar and lounge menu featuring shareable small plates.

Oceanique, located at 505 Main Street in Evanston, Illinois, serves dinner from 5:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m., Monday-Thursday and from 5:30 p.m. to 10 p.m. on Friday and Saturday. The restaurant is closed on Sundays. For more information or to make reservations, please contact Oceanique at 847-864-3435 or visit the website at

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Hydroponically Grown Ravinia School Lettuce Featured at Prairie Grass Cafe in Northbrook

Sarah Stegner and George Bumbaris

Sarah Stegner and George Bumbaris

Chicago North Shore restaurant, Prairie Grass Cafe (601 Skokie Blvd.; Northbrook, IL.; 847-205-4433) has partnered with Ravinia School students by featuring their hydroponically grown lettuce on the menu. Each week the members of the Green Growers Club along with program head, third grade teacher Dennis Brosseau, deliver a shipment of freshly harvested green butter lettuce to Prairie Grass Cafe chefs Sarah Stegner and George Bumbaris. The lettuce is featured as the special Ravinia School Salad that is served with blue cheese dressing, apple slices and warm croutons ($9.50).

“The lettuce is delicious and the children have been a joy to work with. It’s rewarding to see their energy and enthusiasm. Supporting this in-school project is foundational in what we hope to achieve at Prairie Grass Cafe. Our country’s future is dependent on the health and education of our children. Our partnership with Ravinia Elementary School hits to the heart of how business and community can work together to empower our children. Everyone benefits. I strongly believe that having a food curriculum in school is paramount. The kids get to see where food comes from beginning to end and each step of the way. It changes the way they think and ultimately educates them in making smarter food choices,” said Sarah Stegner.

“The experience has been wonderful!” remarked Brosseau. “Sarah, George, and Dan [Sviland, general manager of Prairie Grass Cafe] have embraced the opportunity to feature our product. We deliver it by 4:15 p.m. each Friday, and it sells out by Sunday. My family and friends have eaten the salad at the Cafe and it is wonderful like all of their food.”

The Green Growers Club operates in two sessions; from September to April they focus on the hydroponically grown lettuce. Thirty-five students are involved in the program, divided into five teams. The school’s greenhouse contains seven growing tables where students plant the lettuce on a staggered basis, ensuring a crop harvest each week. Every Monday additional plants are germinated. By 4 p.m. Friday, 24 to 36 heads of lettuce are ready to be harvested and sold to Prairie Grass Café as well as teachers, the Highland Park Board of Education, and to other buyers.

In April for the spring session, the club switches its focus to soil plants. Students in grades kindergarten through second grade plant dwarf sunflower plants. By May the students have an opportunity to present those plants as Mother’s Day gifts. The third grade students will plant and nurture upwards of 600 zinnia and cockscomb celosia plants to sell at the upcoming Third Grade Plant Sale in early June. Several hundred of these plants can be found throughout the school, beautifying the grounds. Students also grow medium sized tomato plants and basil pots to sell. The Green Growers Club follows the students throughout their time at Ravinia, and when the students are ready to move on to another school they are gifted with a potted basil plant.

The program was started by now retired teacher, Paul Grant, “My friend… now retired, started growing basil hydroponically in his classroom many years ago. I apprenticed with a table in my classroom, too. In 1999 he approached the Parent Teacher Organization about building a greenhouse for the students to use. After a conscientious fund raising effort by the parents and staff, the greenhouse was built in 2000. The Green Growers Club grew basil, Paul’s baby, for many years. When he retired, I took over and lettuce became our main cash crop, along with the annual, June Third Grade Plant Sale,” said Brosseau.

About Hydroponics
Hydroponics is a controlled system, used as an alternative to growing plants in soil. The process yields a consistent quality product with little or no trouble from the natural elements such as insects, pests and weather. The entire process produces a tasty and nutritious plant.

About Ravinia School
Ravinia School is located at 763 Dean Avenue, Highland Park, IL on Chicago’s North Shore. The school currently serves more than 300 kindergarteners through fifth grade students. Ravinia now has 20 classrooms and 8 additional instructional areas including a greenhouse. More information can be found by calling (224) 765-3700 or by visiting

About Prairie Grass Cafe
Prairie Grass Cafe (601 Skokie Blvd.; Northbrook, IL; 847-205-4433) 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 Monday through Sunday. Dinner is served Tuesday – Thursday from 5 p.m. to 9:30 p.m., Friday and Saturday from 5 p.m. to 10:30 p.m., and Monday and Sunday 5 p.m. to 9 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

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Chicago Dining and Gift Ideas for a Romantic Valentine’s Day 2013

It isn’t too early to start planning for Valentine’s Day and there’s plenty of choices through Chicagoland from which to choose. From Prix Fixe menus to caviar and champagne for two, your options to treat your special Valentine are endless.

Benny’s Chop House on Valentine’s Day is Just Right: A Warm, Beautiful Setting, Great Food and Drink plus Top-notch Live Jazz

When planning this year’s Valentine’s Day celebration, you will want everything to be just right. Look no further than to Benny’s Chop House (444 N. Wabash Ave., Chicago, IL, 312-626-2444), one of Chicago’s most beautiful restaurants – warm and cozy – and yes, romantic, with many specialty cocktails and wine choices to stimulate your senses.

Benny’s menu of perfectly prepared dishes set the stage for a passionate celebration. Top that off with Benny’s flawless service and a terrific live jazz performance by Cecile Savage and Calvin “Koco” Brunson who perform in both French and English-sexy, indeed; express yourself.

Begin your Valentine’s Day with one of the many Champagne selections from Benny’s award winning wine list, which has earned the Wine Spectator Award of Excellence. Champagne selections by the glass include Château de Lisennes Crèmant Bordeaux and Henriet-Bazin Selection Montagne de Reims.

Benny’s also features one of Chicago’s finest international wine collections, with 25 selections by the glass and more than 1,500 selections by the bottle.

Shellfish TowerOysters have long been thought to have aphrodisiac properties and so, for starters, Benny suggests Oysters on the half shell, featuring eight different varieties from the American East and West Coast, flown in daily (half dozen, $14.99; dozen, $26.99). Other tasty starters include the unique House-Cured Maple Glazed Bacon ($14.99) and Prime Steak Tartare, served with waffle potato chips and violet mustard ($14.99).

You’ll also create an impressive start to your Valentine’s Day by sharing Benny’s magnificent Shellfish Tower for Two ($69.99). It’s a generous, delectable appetizer meant for sharing, featuring chilled lobster, shrimp and king crab.

Continue your Valentine’s Day celebration with flavorful salads such as the Roasted Beets Salad with goat cheese croquettes, black mission figs in bourbon-maple vinaigrette ($14.99), or Benny’s celebrated Grilled Romaine Salad with lemon-garlic vinaigrette ($8.99).

Benny’s will more than satisfy your culinary cravings with its selection of superb entrées. Benny recommends specialty seafood choices such as the one pound Whole Maine Lobster Tail, broiled to perfection ($49.99) or the Jumbo Sea Scallops served with crispy pumpkin polenta and a port wine reduction ($35.99). Meat lovers will enjoy the tender, perfectly grilled Colorado Lamb Chops ($42.99) and the comforting Red Wine Braised Beef Short Ribs ($24.99). For the best of both worlds, enjoy the Surf-N-Turf Style, featuring an 8 oz. Filet Mignon and a 10 oz. Cape Breton lobster tail ($52.99).

If steak is what’s on your calling card, Benny’s has Chicago’s Sliced USDA Prime Filet Mignon022 most diverse selections. Choose from its menu of perfectly prepared 100% USDA Prime natural, dry-aged or wet aged steaks, including the USDA Prime Natural 7 oz. Filet Mignon ($36.99), the USDA Prime Natural 16 oz. Rib Eye ($42.99) and USDA Prime New York Strip (available with or without bone in – wet aged, dry aged and natural from $36.99 to $54.99) or Surf-N-Turf Style , 8 oz. Filet and 10 oz. Cape Breton Lobster Tail (52.99). Kick it up a notch by adding an enhancement “Benny’s – style” to your steak, such as Bone Marrow, Oscar Style, King Crab, Blue Cheese, Maine Sea Scallop, Béarnaise, and Barbecue Chili Rub, among others.

Your after-dinner foreplay will begin with Benny’s amazing desserts. They’re generous and shareable, but they’re so good you’ll each want your own. Try the classic Carrot Cake ($8.99) made with roasted walnuts and sweet cream cheese frosting or the decadent Chocolate Layer Cake ($10.99) frosted with fudge buttercream, and garnished with rich chocolate sauce. Another unique creation is the Chocolate Pudding Cake ($9.99) accompanied by toffee ice cream and finished with a caramel crunch. And don’t forget the to-die-for Banana Cream Pie ($8.99) with caramel coated bananas.

Valentine’s Day Entertainment Featuring:  Jazz Artists Cecile Savage and Calvin “Koco” Brunson

This distinguished duo will pair their harmonic melodies with music fueled by African, French, and Brazilian traditions. They will be performing on Valentine’s Day from 6 p.m. to 10 p.m. Join them in the North Lounge and Bar and let their music transport you to another place.Cécile Savage was born in the Island of Martinique yet raised in Paris, France. She studied piano for many years and brought that knowledge with her when she moved to New York City and joined the Living Theater. Later she studied guitar with Ted Dunbar through the program Jazzmobile. She increased her repertoire to include electric bass with the blues harmonica legend Sugar Blue while she toured with Memphis Slim and Willie Mabon. Subsequently, she moved to Chicago and performed jazz and blues with many notable musicians such as Jimmy Dawkins. Ultimately, this led her to perform at the 2008 Jazz Festival: Tribute to Malachi Favors. All this shaped Cécile’s musical identity to comprise of a blend of French Cabaret and American Jazz.

Pianist and vocalist Calvin “Koco” Brunson’s accomplishments range from being the musical director for “Ain’t Misbehavin” to “The Great Nitty Gritty” and “Journey Through Forever.” He also won the prized Jeff award for the musical composition “In De Beginnin”.  Being the cultural ambassador for the city of Chicago has led him to perform in European festivals like Moers in Germany, and Nichelsdorff in Austria.

Bistro Voltaire
Bistro Voltaire (226 W. Chicago Ave. Chicago IL; 312-265-0911), Chicago’s most romantic French bistro nestled in the heart of River North, is offering a special three course Prix Fixe Menu for Valentine’s Day curated by Chef Farid Oualidi. The first course offers a choice between Risotto aux arômes de truffes (truffle scented risotto and porcini mushrooms), Salade de Jambon et melo (fresh melon and cured ham salad, parmesan tuile and port reduction), Potage d’asperges a lachaire de crabe (asparagus veloute topped with crab meat) and Huîtres gratinées (baked fresh oysters with Champagne Sabayon).

The second course is an exquisite selection of Filet Mignon au Roquefort (roasted beef tenderloin, Potato Anna, baby vegetables, blue cheese sauce), Loup de mer Provencal (seared Mediterranean Sea bass, braised cherry tomatoes, baby artichokes, bouillabaisse sauce, olive tapenade) and Magret de Canard aigre doux (pan roasted duck breast, glazed apples, wild rice cake, sweet and sour reduction).

The menu speaks for itself yet the romanticism is magnified by the warm decor and cozy Parisian bistro atmosphere. To finish up this meal, only truly decadent dessert options will do. Take your pick of Charlotte aux fraises, Mousse au Chocolat and Fruit de la Passion parfait.

Maxwell’s at the Club’s
Lobster Tail TuesdaysOn Valentine’s Day, Maxwell’s at the Club (500 N. Kingsbury St. Chicago IL) is offering a Prix Fixe four course meal, 5:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. You and your guest will be treated to an appetizer, salad, entrée and dessert. Appetizers include the choice of Pan Roasted Scallops and Cocoa Crusted Pulled Pork. Types of salads available include Roasted Beet and Goat Cheese and Baby Red Romaine. The entrée course will feature Petite Filet and Lobster Tail, Pan Roasted Snapper, Roasted New York Strip Loin and Rotisserie Amish Chicken.

For dessert, choose from a Pistachio and White Chocolate Torte, Ginger Crème Brûlée and more. Make your reservations for Maxwell’s Valentine’s Day Dinner, $45 a person, by calling (312) 527-5800 ext. 301.

Prairie Grass Cafe
Prairie Grass Cafe (601 Skokie Blvd. Northbrook, IL; 847-205-4433) is the perfect
family friendly place to spend Valentine’s Day. This restaurant focuses on locally grown fresh and organic ingredients.  Chefs Sarah Stegner and George Bambaris invite families to enjoy Valentine’s day by ordering off the regular menu, no special Valentine’s pricing. Entrées like the Lake Superior White Fish with Portobello mushrooms, sautéed broccoli, and lemon butter sauce ($21) and Crispy Half Duck from “Maple Leaf Farm” with rainbow Swiss chard, herb stuffing “cake” and sautéed pear ($28) are two of the tasty treats that await you at Prairie Grass Cafe.

Chicago French Market- Bello Tea
Spending Valentine’s Day at home or going to a potluck party? Bello Tea at the Chicago French Market (131 N. Clinton St., Chicago; 312-380-0707), has offered up delicious recipes for two tasty Valentine’s Day drinks. The Bello Mojito is made with delicious hibiscus spearmint tea, freshly squeezed lime juice, sparkling water and finished with a touch of sweetness. Try your hand at making Lara’s Caipirinha Bubbly ”Champagne.” This easily prepared drink combines Bello Organic Lara’s Caipirinha Herbal Tea with sparkling juice or champa
gne with a fresh strawberry. Look below for step by step instructions on how to prepare both of these drinks.

Bello Mojito
Serves 2


  • 8 oz. of Bello Hibiscus Spearmint Tea   
  • 1 oz. of Fresh squeezed lime juice
  • 2 oz. of Simple Syrup ( ½  water, ½ sugar)
  • 1 oz. of Sparkling Water
  • Fresh mint
  • Slices of lime

Brew Hibiscus Spearmint Tea and chill it until ready to prepare. In a martini shaker, muddle mint and lime slices together. Add simple syrup, lime juice and tea. To that add ice and shake well. Strain it into a mar
tini glass and add sparkling water. Garnish with a mint sprig and a slice of lime. For a fun twist add your favorite rum. Substitute sugar with agave, if preferred.

Brewing Hibiscus Spearmint Tea
Add 2 tsp. of Hibiscus Spearmint tea to a tea pot then add 8 oz. of boiling water. Let it brew for 5 minutes. Strain and chill.

Lara’s Caipirinha Bubbly ‘Champagne’

Ingredients:Lara's Carpirinhaet

  • 1-2 oz. of Bello Organic Lara’s Caipirinha Herbal Tea
  • 6 oz. of Sparkling Juice or Champagne
  • Fresh raspberry or strawberry

Pour Sparkling Juice or Champagne into a glass. Add Lara’s Caipirinha tea and garnish with fresh raspberry or strawberry.

Brewing Organic Lara’s Caipirinha
Add 3 tsp. of Lara’s Caipirinha to a tea pot, and then add 8 oz. of boiling water. Let it brew for 5 minutes. Strain and chill. It yields 4-8 servings.

Chicago French Market – Delightful Pastries
Delightful Pastries at the Chicago French Market (131 N. Clinton St., Chicago) has arranged an assortment of gift packages filled with delicious pastries and sweets for Valentine’s Day. Treat your sweetie to a dozen fresh strawberries dipped in bittersweet dark chocolate and drizzled with white chocolate ($25). Delightful Pastries also has a Chocolate Raspberry Ganache Tart ($30), this luscious treat is a sweet buttery tart layered with chocolate ganache and covered in fresh raspberries.

The Heart Shaped Chocolate Mousse Torte ($6.75) is perfect for two to share. This moist chocolate sponge cake is layered with chocolate mousse and decorated with rosettes of whipped cream. Also Delightful Pastries has a number of Valentine’s Day gifts under $20. These mini bundles include an assortment of raspberry and chocolate Parisian macarons, beautifully decorated gingerbread and sugar cookies, sweet gift boxes of handmade truffles and other chocolates. Place your orders at (312) 234-9644.

Delightful Pastries gift options don’t end there. Here are two gift box packages with loads of Valentine’s Day goodies.

Sweetheart Gift Box- $30

  • ginger bread and sugar cookie hearts
  • small box of raspberry and chocolate Parisian macarons
  • cookie bag of your choice
  • ¼  lb. handmade chocolate bark or ¼  lb. handmade truffles

You’re Amazing Gift Box- $50

  • heart cookie sandwich with chocolate butter cream
  • black and white cookie and cupcake
  • large box of raspberry, passion fruit and chocolate Parisian macarons
  • box of rum balls and chocolate pecan turtles
  • maple cranberry almond granola
  • two chocolate dipped strawberries

Chicago French Market- Lavazza Espression
Strawberry Espessone sendLavazza Espression at the Chicago French Market (131 N. Clinton St., Chicago; 312-207-0500) is featuring two special Valentine specials, the Strawberry Èspessone™ and a gift with purchase promotion.

Strawberry Èspessone™ (small $2.95 – large 3.75)
It’s love at first taste with a fresh and velvety strawberry foam layered over decadent Italian drinking chocolate or a smooth espresso shot.

Lovely Shopper Promotion
Receive a complimentary “Falling in Love with Coffee” Shopper tote with the purchase of a pound of whole bean coffee ($13.50 – $14.75) through February 14.

Chicago French Market- Vanille Patisserie
Vanille Patisserie, the French bakery at Chicago French Market (131 N. Clinton St., Chicago), is offering a variety of Valentine’s Day treats for the big day. In lovely heart shaped pre-packaged chocolate, Vanilla and Raspberry Macarons are available in sizes of 8 ($15) and 18 ($32) pieces. Vanille’s French Conversation Sugar Cookies ($3 each), Mascarpone Heart Cheesecake ($5.75 serves 1) and heart boxes of handmade chocolates also are available (3 piece $5.95, ½ lb. box $25, 1 lb. box $47). Place your orders at (312) 575-9963.


Vanille_Patisserie_Valentines-HI-7et valentine cookieset Vanille_Patisserie_Valentines-HI-16et

Chicago French Market- Wisma
Wisma LasagnaetFor an affordable, organic and local dining option for Valentine’s Day, Wisma at the
Chicago French Market (131 N. Clinton St., Chicago; 312-382-1805)  will be offering holiday savings consisting of 25% off any two dinners when purchased February 13-14. Try Wisma’s featured Vegetable Lasagna ($11) or Shells Carbonara ($9).

Give your Sweetie the gift of Visual Freedom with Lasik
LasikThis Valentine’s Day your loved one might be expecting chocolates or a fancy night on the town. But you can give her a lifetime of perfect vision with Lasik from Doctors for Visual Freedom (875 North Michigan Avenue Suite 1550, Chicago, IL 60611; 312-291-9957). With an office in the John Hancock Center on the Magnificent Mile, Dr. Golden is one of the earliest pioneers in the techniques of Lasik, having performing over 23,000 procedures.

If she already possesses 20/20 vision then you can help her bring back a more youthful glow with Botox® Cosmetic. For the special price of $12 per unit, women everywhere have been improving their appearance by ridding away extra fine lines. This Valentine’s Day, stop in to Dr. Golden’s office for Botox ® Cosmetic and learn more about the wonders of Lasik.

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Prairie Grass Cafe Plates Up a February Full of New Dishes

The farm-to-table restaurant Prairie Grass Cafe (601 Skokie Blvd.; Northbrook, IL; 847-205-4433) is offering weekly specials to help combat the winter blues. Each Thursday evening, the family friendly North Shore eatery will feature a unique dish created by Chefs Sarah Stegner and George Bumbaris. Additionally, the chefs are offering a Super Bowl Sunday Brunch and a delicious new Poached Pear Almond Financier dessert.

Thursday Night Game Specials
Each Thursday during the month of February, Prairie Grass Cafe will feature a unique dinner special. February 7 features Braised Duck in Red Wine Sauce with mushrooms, pearl onions and a layered potato, garlic and cream gratin ($28).

Valentine’s Day, February 14, features an assortment of special dishes. One option is a BBQ Pair of Quails with sage stuffing, sweet potato fries and apple slaw ($26). Another is the 1¼ lb. Maine Lobster “Out of the Shell” with fettuccine, vegetables and a rich lobster sauce ($32). The third choice is a “High Plains” Bison Filet with roasted winter vegetables and potatoes ($45).

On Thursday, February 21, a featured attraction is the Saddle of Rabbit with Mustard Sauce Braised Rabbit Legs served with sautéed spinach, onion, mushroom and bacon ($26). On February 28 guests can feast on the Braised Oxtail Ragout over creamy polenta and accompanied with Rainbow Swiss chard, leeks and kale ($18), with the option of adding on a Grass-fed Beef Tenderloin Filet (4 oz. $15, 8 oz. $30).

Prairie Grass Cafe will be open for lunch and dinner on all Thursdays in February; the full menu will be available in addition to the specials.

New Dessert
Each month throughout 2013 Prairie Grass Cafe will feature a new comfort dessert. This February, the chefs will be offering the Poached Pear Almond Financier. This light and moist French cake is a perfect way to finish up an exceptionally comforting meal at the Northbrook restaurant.

About Prairie Grass Cafe
Prairie Grass Cafe (601 Skokie Blvd.; Northbrook, IL.; 847-205-4433) 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 through Friday, 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Dinner is served Monday and Sunday, 5 p.m. to 9 p.m.; Tuesday through Thursday, 5 p.m. to 9:30 p.m.; Friday and Saturday, 5 p.m. to 10:30 p.m. Prairie Grass Cafe also serves brunch Saturday, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. and Sunday, 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

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