Category Archives: #RestaurantforTwo

Restaurant for Two: Nando’s PERi PERi

Restaurant for Two: a feature where I bring a friend to a restaurant and we write a review together. Lucky for me, I was able to bring TWO friends to Nando’s. Thanks to my partners-in-crime, Kira and Janelle, for joining me!

Nando’s PERi PERi may have over 1,000 restaurants worldwide, but they’ve only just broken into the US market. After establishing a pretty strong presence in the D.C. area, they decided to make Chicago their next stop after receiving countless requests from Chicagoans.

On a trip to London, the students I traveled with convinced me that Nando’s was the place to be (apparently One Direction is in love with their food), so we made a special trek around the city in search of the official chicken of 1D, and boy were we glad we did! So, when I read that Nando’s was coming to Chicago, I was stoked. I went to their soft opening last year with friends and I was just as in love as when I’d gone in London. We tried a variety of dishes, each one more flavorful and yummy than the last.

Let’s start with the name: PERi PERi is a Portuguese/South African blend of Bird’s Eye chili, spices, herbs, garlic, and lemon. Nando’s marinates their chicken overnight and grills it made-to-order over an open flame. Whatever the secret is, PERi PERi chicken is moist and tender with spicy flavor. You can even choose the spice level of your sauce; from Extra Hot to Plain, there are six options, including my personal favorite – the sweet and tangy Lemon and Herb. Continue reading Restaurant for Two: Nando’s PERi PERi

Restaurant For Two: Luella’s Southern Kitchen

Restaurant for Two: a feature where I bring a friend to a restaurant and we write a review together. Thanks to my gal pal, Lindsay, for eating along with me at Luella’s Southern Kitchen!

After my trip to New Orleans last March, I’ve been hooked on Southern cooking. So when the chance to try Luella’s Southern Kitchen crossed my inbox, I was in! The menu changes for the seasons, but sticks to the traditional and creative interpretations of Southern favorites from Georgia, Louisiana, Mississippi, and the Carolinas – think mac and cheese, catfish, and blackberry pie.

With an impressive resume under his belt, chef/owner Darnell Reed uses locally sourced ingredients to make classic fare with flare. Luella’s menu is made for sharing – like Southern U.S. tapas! Choose from appetizers, small plates, sandwiches, sides, and desserts to make a meal that the whole family or a group of your friends can all try. Continue reading Restaurant For Two: Luella’s Southern Kitchen

Restaurant for Two: Piccolo Sogno

Restaurant for Two: a new feature where I bring a friend to a restaurant and we write a review together. Thanks to the ladies at IMR Chicago for joining me at Piccolo Sogno!

The city: Rome

The year: 2004

The experience: Memorable

The food: Divine

My fondest memory of the week I spent in Italy is of the food. Creamy pistachio gelato. Pizza just pulled from the fire. Fresh homemade pasta that melts in your mouth – this is what I miss the most. It has been 12 years of dreaming of the perfection that is Italian pasta.

Until I went to Piccolo Sogno.

All of the pasta dishes Piccolo Sogno are handmade and fresh. Simply put, they are delicious. With a handful of options, everyone will leave feeling sufficiently stuffed and extremely happy. The food is seasonal, so meals change throughout the year based on what is fresh and exciting at the moment.

I recently went to a pasta tasting at Piccolo Sogno, so this piece is only a review of their noodle dishes. The menu here is extensive and ranges from hand-tossed pizzas, to fish dishes, paninis, and even homemade desserts. Most importantly, their wine list is extensive with over 400 all-Italian selections. While I only ate pasta this time around, I have every intention of returning to indulge on fresh gelato while sipping on a glass of vino. To give you an idea of what the food is like I have provided a short review below. Continue reading Restaurant for Two: Piccolo Sogno

Restaurant for Two: Osteria La Madia

Restaurant for Two: a new feature where I bring a friend to a restaurant and we write a review together. Thanks to my main squeeze for joining me at Osteria La Madia!

Here in Chicago, we’re spoiled for choice of brunch places. If you’ve taken advantage of the city’s new happy hour specials, then you’re probably familiar with Osteria la Madia’s killer deals and awesome pizza. But did you know that it’s also home to a delicious Italian brunch that deserves a top spot on your Chicago brunch bucket list?

Osteria la Madia is one of those brunch spots where a good conversation is just as accessible as a good mimosa. And, thank the brunch gods: the mimosas and bellinis here are spot on. Fresh-pressed juices are served with Italian prosecco for a classic pairing.

chicago brunch osteria la madia
Can anyone say bacon?!

Continue reading Restaurant for Two: Osteria La Madia

Restaurant for Two: Ixcateco Grill

Restaurant for Two: a new feature where I bring a friend to a restaurant and we write a review together. Thanks to Karen for joining me at Ixcateco!

Ixcateco Grill in the Albany Park neighborhood presents authentic Southern Mexican cuisine. Chef Anselmo Ramirez uses fresh, locally-sourced organic or sustainably-raised ingredients as often as possible. This BYOB restaurant is packed every weekend, so making a reservation is a necessity. It’s not located in the most convenient area, but the fresh ingredients, friendly service, and innovative cuisine make it worth the trek.

Continue reading Restaurant for Two: Ixcateco Grill