Category Archives: #RestaurantforTwo

Restaurant for Two: Knife

Restaurant for Two: a feature where I bring a friend to a restaurant and we write a review together. This time around, I joined a group of fellow writers for lunch at Knife. 

Knife, located in Lincoln Square, offers guests contemporary twists on traditional steakhouse offerings. “We want to take the essence of a classic dish and re-create it in a unique way,” said Executive Chef Timothy Cottini. Under Cottini’s purview, both Knife and its sister Lincoln Square restaurant, Fork, use ingredients that are quality, locally-sourced, and seasonal.

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Below is a list of the dishes I tried at Knife. While it’s a small smattering of the many sophistically-prepared options on the menu, I highly recommend everything I ate. Since the dishes were also visually stunning, this review is more of a photo journal of the meal than I usual do. While more expensive than my usual fare, the quality is apparent and the taste is on-point.

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Restaurant for Two: Osteria La Madia, Lunch & Dinner Edition

Restaurant for Two: a feature where I bring a friend to a restaurant and we write a review together. Coworker and friend, L’Oreal, and I loved everything we ate at Osteria La Madia! She’s a blogger, too, so she helped contribute to this post. 

I have had the pleasure of going to over a dozen restaurants to write reviews and it’s rare that I say this: I loved everything I ate at Osteria La Madia. I’ve had brunch here before (check out my review), so this time L’Oreal and I noshed on all things Italian for lunch/dinner. It’s a carbo-load but, like, the best carbs you’ll ever eat.

Offering an Italian spin on the traditionally Swiss fondue, Osteria La Madia has two options: Spinach & Taleggio, White Truffle Fondue and Tomato & Bufala Mozzarella Fondue. Both are served with pillowy perfection that is Sardinian bread. From the moment our waiter brought out the spinach / taleggio / fondue option, we knew we were in for a treat. While the kelly green fondue may be a bit off-putting to some, it was nothing short of delectable.

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Restaurant for Two: Luella’s Southern Kitchen, Breakfast Edition

Restaurant for Two: a feature where I bring a friend to a restaurant and we write a review together. This time around, I joined a group of fellow writers for breakfast at Luella’s Southern Kitchen. 

Serving quintessential Southern breakfast with a twist, Luella’s now offers weekday breakfasts from 8-11a.m. Monday through Friday. Chef/owner Darnell Reed uses locally sourced or authentically Southern ingredients as much as possible.

I tried five different meals while at Luella’s. The buttermilk blueberry and brown butter pancakes were definitely my favorite. Order the sorghum and toasted ancho chili bacon or the boudin breakfast sausage patties for the perfect combination of sweet and salty.

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Buttermilk Blueberry and Brown Butter Pancakes

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Restaurant for Two: Burrito Beach

Restaurant for Two: a feature where I bring a friend to a restaurant and we write a review together. Sarah, a PR contact, and I had lunch recently at Burrito Beach, a Chicago staple of 20 years. 

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Burrito Beach, with its 4 central locations, is the perfect antidote to a long work day. Whether its a lunch break or a meal you bring to the beach at 5pm, the restaurant offers delicious, made-to-order, Mexican-American fare.

Their new Beach Body Menu includes a Mexican Organic Quinoa Salad which we topped with grass-fed beef barbacoa. The beef was really flavorful and the grilled veggies added a great crunch to the sometimes-boring quinoa. Continue reading Restaurant for Two: Burrito Beach

Restaurant for Two: Lone Star BBQ Bar

Restaurant for Two: a feature where I bring a friend to a restaurant and we write a review together. My friend, Janelle, and I drove west to check out this new BBQ joint. 

In the far western Chicago neighborhood of Dunning sits a new barbecue restaurant called Lone Star BBQ Bar. Deemed one of the top safest neighborhoods in the city, Dunning is more Oak Park than downtown Chicago. Lone Star is beautifully renovated with wood panelling, a long bar and a large outdoor patio. It is a shining gem amongst the older, sagging nearby stores.

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Best of all, the quality and taste of the food meets the new appearance. Lone Star is known for their smoked meats which isn’t surprising seeing as their smoker was made in the heart of BBQ country: Texas. The menu is filled with every sort of smoked meat: baby back ribs, brisket, pulled pork, chicken wings, and hot links. Order the BBQ Sampler Platter to try a bit of all of this yumminess. Continue reading Restaurant for Two: Lone Star BBQ Bar

Restaurant for Two: Bella Bacinos

Restaurant for Two: a feature where I bring a friend to a restaurant and we write a review together. Coworker and new friend, L’Oreal, and I rode the Italian train at Bella Bacinos! She’s a blogger, too, so she helped contribute to this post. 

Chicago is known for its Italian food…deep dish pizza and Little Italy, anyone?! So when L’Oreal and I went to Bella Bacinos, we had high expectations. Can the pizza be as good as the famous Lou Malnati’s? Will the pasta rival its competition? By the end of a seven course meal, we were officially stuffed, satisfied, and completely sure that this restaurant was delizioso!

Appetizers

Seasonal Bruschetta

“Love at first bite” is a real thing, especially when it comes to the seasonal bruschetta. This isn’t your basic bruschetta. With slices of prosciutto and balsamic drizzle, L’Oreal would have gladly eaten an entire plate of this delicious appetizer to herself, though she’d have to fight me for it.

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