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Prairie Grass Cafe
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  • Prairie Grass Cafe

    Post #1 - October 21st, 2004, 1:50 pm
    Post #1 - October 21st, 2004, 1:50 pm Post #1 - October 21st, 2004, 1:50 pm
    I visited Prairie Grass Cafe in Northbrook last night, the new creation of the former Ritz Carlton chefs Sarah Stegner and George Bumbaris. I just wanted to share my thoughts with the folks here.

    When I made the reservation, I was asked if it was a special occasion. It was my mother’s 82nd birthday, and when we arrived, the maitre'd (which I assume was Rohit Nambiar) quickly wished her happy birthday. At the end of the meal we were presented with a complimentary plate of 6 different, very interesting cookies, and the plate was decorated with the words "Happy Birthday" in dark chocolate script.

    None of the three of us was overly hungry, so we skipped appetizers and desserts, although there were a lot of tantalizing choices in both categories. Our entrees were:

    Homemade lamb sausage - very slightly salty for my taste (but I’m used to less salt than most people in my own cooking), with greens and (I believe) a little goat cheese, overall a very nice presentation.

    Flatiron steak - I don't remember what was served with this, but I did sample a wonderfully grilled piece of this very flavorful cut.

    Untraditional Shepard’s Pie - braised beef and Swiss Chard in a large ramekin and topped with a squash/parsnip/potato crust, hearty, warming, comfort food with panache.

    About halfway through the meal, I realized everything was going very smoothly - we'd gotten warm, crusty bread right away, water glasses were kept full - service seemed effortless, without drawing attention to itself.

    It’s not huge, but Prairie Grass has a surprisingly reasonable wine list, with many bottles in the $20 range.

    For this level of quality, prices are exceptionally reasonable. The three of us only had entrees and one bottle of wine, but the check came in at under $25 per person.

    The room is handsome, maybe a bit masculine with all the dark wood, but very comfortable. If I were to nitpick, I’d say the video screens showing alternating scenes of prairies were more gimmicky than anything else, but since I’m not a nitpicker I won’t mention it. Overall, this is an excellent addition to the North Shore dining scene. I suspect/hope they’ll do very well.
    Last edited by nr706 on June 6th, 2008, 1:51 pm, edited 2 times in total.
  • Post #2 - October 21st, 2004, 3:14 pm
    Post #2 - October 21st, 2004, 3:14 pm Post #2 - October 21st, 2004, 3:14 pm
    Hi,

    I live in the area, so I appreciate learning about this. In fact, I was at 41 North for lunch the other day and must have passed this place without noticing. This must be very close to Ron of Japan, is it tucked in off the street a little bit?

    Thanks!

    Prairie Grass Cafe
    601 Skokie Blvd
    Northbrook, IL 60062-2851
    Cross Street: Dundee Road
    Phone: (847) 205-4433
    Cathy2

    "You'll be remembered long after you're dead if you make good gravy, mashed potatoes and biscuits." -- Nathalie Dupree
    Facebook, Twitter, Greater Midwest Foodways, Road Food 2012: Podcast
  • Post #3 - October 21st, 2004, 3:16 pm
    Post #3 - October 21st, 2004, 3:16 pm Post #3 - October 21st, 2004, 3:16 pm
    Cathy,

    It's in the old Stefani's North/Nick & Tony's/Stonefish Grill location.

    =R=
    Gardening is a bloodsport --Meghan Kleeman

    Why don't you take these profiteroles and put them up your shi'-ta-holes? --Jemaine & Bret

    There's a horse loose in a hospital --JM

    That don't impress me much --Shania Twain
  • Post #4 - October 21st, 2004, 3:24 pm
    Post #4 - October 21st, 2004, 3:24 pm Post #4 - October 21st, 2004, 3:24 pm
    Ron,

    That is exactly where I was guessing. I was struggling to remember the name of the former restaurants at that location. For a restaurant, it is not the best location because it is easy to drive by. Have you gone?
    Cathy2

    "You'll be remembered long after you're dead if you make good gravy, mashed potatoes and biscuits." -- Nathalie Dupree
    Facebook, Twitter, Greater Midwest Foodways, Road Food 2012: Podcast
  • Post #5 - October 21st, 2004, 3:27 pm
    Post #5 - October 21st, 2004, 3:27 pm Post #5 - October 21st, 2004, 3:27 pm
    Cathy2 wrote:Ron,

    That is exactly where I was guessing. I was struggling to remember the name of the former restaurants at that location. For a restaurant, it is not the best location because it is easy to drive by. Have you gone?

    I think this will be the final determination as to whether that space is cursed or not. I'm planning on going tonight. Anything could happen but the plans look solid. I'll be sure to report back.

    =R=
    Gardening is a bloodsport --Meghan Kleeman

    Why don't you take these profiteroles and put them up your shi'-ta-holes? --Jemaine & Bret

    There's a horse loose in a hospital --JM

    That don't impress me much --Shania Twain
  • Post #6 - October 21st, 2004, 7:16 pm
    Post #6 - October 21st, 2004, 7:16 pm Post #6 - October 21st, 2004, 7:16 pm
    As planned, just came back from an excellent dinner at PGC.

    The room is very nice; not too different from it's previous incarnations but much more "mission" with the white tablecloths gone, dark wood tabletops exposed and light-colored leather now lining the banquettes. The weirdest element of the decor was the "wall" of flat panel television monitors (3 facing each direction, lined up side by side) which separated the bar area from the main dining room. Appearing on the monitors were pastoral, moving images of the prairie.

    I have to say that I was somewhat astounded by how smoothly everything flowed, considering that the this was only their third night in operation. Of course, we arrived very early--such is the price of dining out on a school night with a 2nd grader. Still, service was excellent; not only doing the expected but the unexpected. We got some good help with the wine list and there were numerous touches that kept us feeling like our presence was sincerely appreciated.

    We started with some drinks and appetizers. I had a cocktail, wife had a glass of Echelon Chardonnay.

    Here's what we had to eat:

    Appetizers
    Crab Cake with corn relish and roasted sweet pepper sauce
    --excellent. The corn relish was a nice accompanyment and the red pepper sauce was terrific. Solid dish.

    Crispy Roll of Medium-rare Ahi Tuna wrapped in Basil with Soy dipping Sauce
    --liked it but didn't love it. I just couldn't really taste the tuna very well in this form. Dish was immaculately prepared, sauce was good, but it just missed for me.

    Homemade Pate' in a Crock with Apples and Port Wine Reduction
    --outstanding. The pate' was excellent and the apples and reduction made for perfect pairings.

    Entrees
    Un-traditional Shepherd's Pie with Butternut Squash, Parsnip and Potato Gratin over braised beef and Swiss Chard
    --I know this term is over-used but this dish was sublime. Absolutely amazing. It was delicious, comforting, simple and innovative. Wow!

    Homemade Italian Sausage with Polenta, Sweet Peppers Basil, Arugula and Parmesan
    --another winner. The sausage was supremely delicious with just the right amount of fennel. Polenta and peppers were also perfect. A huge portion, even for me.

    Kid's Mac & Cheese
    Really good version of the old standby. Of course we all had to taste it and give it our stamp of approval. :smile:

    Desserts
    Mom's Homemade Apple Pie (a la mode)
    --liked it but didn't love it. Very flaky crust but it tasted almost undercooked. We mentioned this to our server who explained that it was cooked as intended. I appreciated the textural uniqueness of this item but still felt like it just missed the mark.

    Baked Pear in Almond Cake
    --awesome, ethereal, delectible. I am generally not a big dessert fan and this really wow'ed me. I was loving every bite of it. Wife and I ended up splitting it and leaving half the apple pie.

    All in all it was a great meal. I really can't wait to go back and try a few more items. The menu is large and inviting and filled with tempting dishes. Tonight we simply did not have the appetites or the numbers to go "exploring." I hope to change that in the very near future.

    =R=
    Gardening is a bloodsport --Meghan Kleeman

    Why don't you take these profiteroles and put them up your shi'-ta-holes? --Jemaine & Bret

    There's a horse loose in a hospital --JM

    That don't impress me much --Shania Twain
  • Post #7 - December 12th, 2004, 3:17 pm
    Post #7 - December 12th, 2004, 3:17 pm Post #7 - December 12th, 2004, 3:17 pm
    Prairie Grass Café has become very popular, perhaps to it’s detriment. Not a surprise when you have chefs with four-star reputations offering food at two-star prices. After seeing the favorable comments on LTH I was looking forward to trying it.

    As an indication of Prairie Grass’ popularity, when our group of four called six days in advance for a 7 pm Wednesday reservation we were offered a choice of either 6 pm or 7:30. We opted for the latter.

    We were seated promptly upon arrival which scored points with everyone – we all dislike the “buy some high-margin drinks at the bar while we get around to setting your table” routine.

    Unfortunately, when filled with people Prairie Grass is rather noisy thanks to hard-surfaced walls, floors and ceilings. The ceilings are high which mitigated the problem. Luckily there were no private parties that night and we were seated in the private party area. It’s adjacent and open to the main room, but had carpeting so we could manage a conversation.

    Menus and bread arrived promptly, but it was 20 minutes until our order was taken, and another 20 minutes until salads/appetizers arrived. Our server advised us that every choice we made was excellent or outstanding, but otherwise was not very visible except when delivering food. The bus staff did a good job of checking on water and clearing plates.

    – A pizza (thin cracker style crust of course) with figs, bleu cheese and prosciutto was shared around. It was an interesting and tasty mix of flavors which everyone liked.
    – Caesar salad was OK, but nothing special.
    – The beet salad with citrus was excellent – perhaps the best dish of the meal
    – I’m a soup lover and decided to try their home-made chicken soup with cilantro and jalapeno peppers. It was a good soup with a rich broth and finely diced jalapenos, cilantro, onions and carrots. The flavor was somewhat different from the chicken soup I get a local Mexican restaurants (they often have tomatoes also), but overall was no better. I didn’t have great expectations for this humble dish so it was quite satisfactory.

    There was another 40 minute wait for the main courses. I’m happy with leisurely dining, but it should be in a quieter, more relaxed atmosphere. The background din at Prairie Grass suggests a faster pace.

    – My wife had the moussaka which used braised lamb rather than ground lamb. It had a good flavor but there was too much fat in the dish.
    – Our friends' entrees were phyllo wrapped around goat cheese and veggies, which was tasty, and lamb sausage. The latter was ordered because the menu mentioned fennel in the sausage, but little fennel flavor was detected. The dish pronounced good, but unexceptional.
    – I had the signature dish, “unconventional shepherd’s pie” made with braised beef and with a crust of several root vegetables. When it arrived I was warned the plate was very hot which was indeed the case. In fact, the pie was too hot to eat. The first taste nearly burned my throat and I had to wait a few minutes until it cooled down. I expected meat and vegetables in a broth or gravy with a crust over them. Instead it was all melded together. It lacked the depth of flavor one expects from braised beef. The taste and texture were closer to a mild polenta. An adequate dish, but hardly ethereal.

    Finally we all shared a helping of Mom’s apple pie with homemade vanilla ice cream. The pie filling was on the tart side and the crust was of the very light flaky variety – almost like a croissant. My wife prefers a heftier crust, so she was disappointed. Those who like a light crust will enjoy it a lot. The ice cream was good.

    We had just two glasses of wine total. The ladies were going to have ice tea but declined when they found it was made from a green tea base which was not to their taste, so they made do with water.

    Total cost with tax and tip was about $40/person.

    Quick summary – we’ve all had better meals for less. It was OK, but nothing special – a far cry from the experiences reported here previously. Based on this one meal I’d recommend going to your favorite local bistro instead.

    I don’t know how much of this was due to the server and how much to the kitchen. It may be a variant of the Check Please effect where restaurants have difficulty maintaining standards when popularity rises sharply.
    Last edited by George R on June 6th, 2008, 11:05 am, edited 1 time in total.
    Where there’s smoke, there may be salmon.
  • Post #8 - December 4th, 2007, 8:22 am
    Post #8 - December 4th, 2007, 8:22 am Post #8 - December 4th, 2007, 8:22 am
    LTHForum,

    Had a very pleasant lunch at Prairie Grass Cafe last week. Attractive comfortable room, conversation friendly even with a packed lunchtime crowd, informed service and a juicy med-rare double patty burger $8 with fries or salad. I opted for salad with house-made 1000 Island* as we, I had the pleasure of Ronnie_Suburban's company at lunch, split an order of Greek Fries as an appetizer.

    Double Stack Burger w/grilled red onions
    Image

    What struck me was how quickly I got there from Cicero/Peterson, I had been thinking Northbook, suburbs, Edens congestion, but it only took 15-minutes mid-day. As a landmark, it's just a few blocks from Charlie Beinlich's Now that I realize PGC is but a short highway jaunt I plan on bringing my bride for dinner as a quick perusal of the on-line menu offers interesting sounding well priced dishes.

    As an aside, I liked the video monitors changing prairie scapes, but the day bartender could use a tutorial in the art of slow pouring Guinness.

    Enjoy,
    Gary

    *I'm a sucker for 1000 Island Dressing

    Prairie Grass Cafe
    601 Skokie Blvd.
    Northbrook, IL 60062
    847-205-4433
    One minute to Wapner.
    Raymond Babbitt

    Low & Slow
  • Post #9 - December 4th, 2007, 8:46 am
    Post #9 - December 4th, 2007, 8:46 am Post #9 - December 4th, 2007, 8:46 am
    G Wiv wrote:Now that I realize PGC is but a short highway jaunt I plan on bringing my bride for dinner . . .

    I have not dined there in a while, but quite enjoyed my two visits and would recommend the pate in the crock and the Shepherds Pie.
  • Post #10 - December 4th, 2007, 9:22 am
    Post #10 - December 4th, 2007, 9:22 am Post #10 - December 4th, 2007, 9:22 am
    Here's som differing opinions on Prairie Grass, including my comments, most recently.

    http://lthforum.com/bb/viewtopic.php?t= ... ht=prairie
  • Post #11 - December 4th, 2007, 9:34 am
    Post #11 - December 4th, 2007, 9:34 am Post #11 - December 4th, 2007, 9:34 am
    abe_froeman wrote:Here's som differing opinions on Prairie Grass, including my comments, most recently.

    http://lthforum.com/bb/viewtopic.php?t= ... ht=prairie

    Abe,

    Thanks for the link, after all what would life and LTH be without differing opinions.

    Enjoy,
    Gary
    One minute to Wapner.
    Raymond Babbitt

    Low & Slow
  • Post #12 - December 4th, 2007, 10:44 am
    Post #12 - December 4th, 2007, 10:44 am Post #12 - December 4th, 2007, 10:44 am
    I really love PGC and probably eat there more than at any other restaurant. I'm pretty much a once-a-weeker at PGC. Over my years of eating there, I've become friends with the house but I wouldn't eat there so often or praise it if I didn't really love it.

    Their weekend brunches are terrific, including the multiple varieties of eggs benedict they offer, which are stellar. I love their house-made sausages -- the ancho, the lamb and the Italian. The Unconventional Shepherd's Pie is delicious and distinctive. The skirt steak, burgers, wild salmon are also terrific. They offer grass-fed beef from Bill Kurtis' Tallgrass Ranch. The menus lean toward seasonal and local, and they include all sorts of little touches that I love. They even source their baguette from Bennison's (helmed by Coupe du Monde winner Jory Downer) and serve it with unsalted butter.

    Foodwise, when eating at PGC, I feel like I'm eating at a chef's house. The pedigree is apparent and the skill level is obviously high but the vibe is super casual. The wine list, while not gigantic, is quite nice and pricing for both food and drink is reasonable. Sure, I like some things more than others and there is some variation in the plates, depending on who's in the house but in my hundreds of times eating at PGC, I can't remember ever having a bad or unsatisfying meal.

    =R=
    Gardening is a bloodsport --Meghan Kleeman

    Why don't you take these profiteroles and put them up your shi'-ta-holes? --Jemaine & Bret

    There's a horse loose in a hospital --JM

    That don't impress me much --Shania Twain
  • Post #13 - December 4th, 2007, 11:55 am
    Post #13 - December 4th, 2007, 11:55 am Post #13 - December 4th, 2007, 11:55 am
    Just realized I have a few recent pics from PGC stored on-line . . .

    Image
    Caesar salad


    Image
    Skirt steak


    Image
    Crispy Duck


    Image
    White Bean and Chard side dish


    Image
    House-made Alphonso Mango ice cream

    =R=
    Gardening is a bloodsport --Meghan Kleeman

    Why don't you take these profiteroles and put them up your shi'-ta-holes? --Jemaine & Bret

    There's a horse loose in a hospital --JM

    That don't impress me much --Shania Twain
  • Post #14 - December 4th, 2007, 1:50 pm
    Post #14 - December 4th, 2007, 1:50 pm Post #14 - December 4th, 2007, 1:50 pm
    I want some of that crispy duck! :)
    Life Is Too Short To Not Play With Your Food
    My Blog: http://funplayingwithfood.blogspot.com
  • Post #15 - December 5th, 2007, 10:21 pm
    Post #15 - December 5th, 2007, 10:21 pm Post #15 - December 5th, 2007, 10:21 pm
    ronnie_suburban wrote: I love their house-made sausages -- the ancho, the lamb and the Italian....They even source their baguette from Bennison's (helmed by Coupe du Monde winner Jory Downer) and serve it with unsalted butter.


    It's funny, Ronnie, you capture my high moment and my ehh moment at PGC. After hearing about the seasonal, local fare as well as the chefs' pedigrees and all the acclaim, I was very excited for my dinner a couple years back.

    And the bread and butter did nothing to disappoint. For all of those who don't know, Bennison's knows how to bake a loaf of bread. Ladies and gentlemen. hie thee hence.

    But, on that occasion I found the sausages fine but nothing noteworthy (although I don't remember an ancho sausage). I've never felt compelled to return and a subsequent visit by family was similarly uninspiring.

    Maybe, one of these days, I'll make it back. I remember really wanting to like it...
  • Post #16 - December 5th, 2007, 11:05 pm
    Post #16 - December 5th, 2007, 11:05 pm Post #16 - December 5th, 2007, 11:05 pm
    gastro gnome wrote:
    ronnie_suburban wrote: I love their house-made sausages -- the ancho, the lamb and the Italian....They even source their baguette from Bennison's (helmed by Coupe du Monde winner Jory Downer) and serve it with unsalted butter.


    It's funny, Ronnie, you capture my high moment and my ehh moment at PGC. After hearing about the seasonal, local fare as well as the chefs' pedigrees and all the acclaim, I was very excited for my dinner a couple years back.

    And the bread and butter did nothing to disappoint. For all of those who don't know, Bennison's knows how to bake a loaf of bread. Ladies and gentlemen. hie thee hence.

    But, on that occasion I found the sausages fine but nothing noteworthy (although I don't remember an ancho sausage). I've never felt compelled to return and a subsequent visit by family was similarly uninspiring.

    Maybe, one of these days, I'll make it back. I remember really wanting to like it...

    FYI, the ancho sausage is only on the brunch menu.

    Your take on the sausages surprises me a bit only because I begged chef Stegner for that lamb sausage recipe -- that's how much I love it. But as they say, different strokes for different folks :)

    I've gotten so much enjoyment from my meals at PGC, that I'd urge you to give it another try. That's not say that you won't still feel the same way about it. You may -- but 1 visit doesn't always represent.

    Yeah, it's hard returning to a place that didn't impress you the first time around . . .

    =R=
    Gardening is a bloodsport --Meghan Kleeman

    Why don't you take these profiteroles and put them up your shi'-ta-holes? --Jemaine & Bret

    There's a horse loose in a hospital --JM

    That don't impress me much --Shania Twain
  • Post #17 - March 2nd, 2008, 4:03 pm
    Post #17 - March 2nd, 2008, 4:03 pm Post #17 - March 2nd, 2008, 4:03 pm
    I'd heard and read a little about some interesting-sounding egg specials that Prairie Grass Cafe is running over the next couple of weeks. I remember really digging their Corned Beef Hash, which they ran as a special last year, around St. Patrick's Day. Saturday morning is the time when the family and I normally hit Prairie Grass Cafe, and with my son finally feeling better after a week of being sick, it was great to actually get out yesterday and have some breakfast together . . .

    Image
    'Egg in the Hole' special . . . this was made with farm eggs, artisanal bacon from central Illinois (sorry, I cannot remember the producer's name) and savory, challah french toast. The difference in flavor between conventional eggs and farm eggs is vast and this dish reminded of it in very definite terms. Just delicious!


    Image
    Eggs Benedict . . . this is my usual breakfast order at PGC and it never disappoints. In fact, I don't think I've ever had a better rendition in Chicagoland.

    As popular as PGC is, it's pretty much empty on Saturday mornings, when they are open for brunch between 10 and 2. While we do also go there for lunch and dinner, as I mentioned above, this is our 'go to' time for eating there. I love the food and how peaceful and serene the space is during those hours. OTOH, the people who run PGC are friends of ours, so encountering some additional customers there on Saturday morning would be just fine, too :wink:

    I believe that a few additional egg specials will be run over the next few weekends at PGC and I hope to be able to give them all a try.

    =R=
    Gardening is a bloodsport --Meghan Kleeman

    Why don't you take these profiteroles and put them up your shi'-ta-holes? --Jemaine & Bret

    There's a horse loose in a hospital --JM

    That don't impress me much --Shania Twain
  • Post #18 - March 4th, 2008, 1:26 pm
    Post #18 - March 4th, 2008, 1:26 pm Post #18 - March 4th, 2008, 1:26 pm
    While I love PGC's dinner menu I think their brunch is the best on the North Shore. I challenge anyone to find a better salmon benedict anywhere, especially for the price. Top quality ingredients all around.
  • Post #19 - March 9th, 2008, 2:07 pm
    Post #19 - March 9th, 2008, 2:07 pm Post #19 - March 9th, 2008, 2:07 pm
    Being Saturday, we returned to PGC yesterday for breakfast -- this time with some friends. The weekly specials had been expanding quite a bit . . .

    Image
    This weekend's 'specials' menu


    Image
    Hand-crafted farmer's cheese and house-made apple butter with baguette from Bennison's bakery


    Image
    Panko egg special

    We loved both the pictured specials, which were the only ones we tried. The panko eggs were especially wonderful. They were perfectly poached and the butter-crisped panko was delicious. The rich and tangy tomato concasse was an inspired accompaniment. Also ordered were some of the standards, which have been pictured above and elsewhere on the site, like eggs benedict, smoked-salmon benedict and a very nice lox platter.

    Interestingly, there was quite a bit more traffic yesterday than on a typical Saturday. By the time left, the dining room was just under half full. I'm sure it's only a matter of time before news of this "secret" breakfast place gets out. :wink:

    =R=
    Gardening is a bloodsport --Meghan Kleeman

    Why don't you take these profiteroles and put them up your shi'-ta-holes? --Jemaine & Bret

    There's a horse loose in a hospital --JM

    That don't impress me much --Shania Twain
  • Post #20 - March 9th, 2008, 2:44 pm
    Post #20 - March 9th, 2008, 2:44 pm Post #20 - March 9th, 2008, 2:44 pm
    ronnie_suburban wrote: Also ordered were some of the standards, which have been pictured above and elsewhere on the site, like eggs benedict, smoked-salmon benedict


    Yesterday was the first time I had been to Prairie Grass for breakfast and I was pleasantly surprised. It's rare to find someplace turning out such high quality food without having to wait in line to get in. I'll certainly be eating my way through the Prairie Grass brunch menu in the weeks and months to come. If you click on the link that Ronnie provided, you'll see the after shot. Here's the before:

    Prairie Grass Salmon Benedict
    Image

    I also want to give another mention to the farmer's cheese. After eating this slightly tangy home made version, then catching an episode of Good Eats last night where Alton Brown made cottage cheese, I know what my next experiment is going to be.

    Prairie Grass Farmer's Cheese
    Image
    Steve Z.

    “Only the pure in heart can make a good soup.”
    ― Ludwig van Beethoven
  • Post #21 - March 9th, 2008, 4:58 pm
    Post #21 - March 9th, 2008, 4:58 pm Post #21 - March 9th, 2008, 4:58 pm
    stevez wrote:Yesterday was the first time I had been to Prairie Grass for breakfast and I was pleasantly surprised. It's rare to find someplace turning out such high quality food without having to wait in line to get in.

    That's the difference between Saturday brunch and Sunday brunch. Places that are well known for their brunch are often packed on Sundays. The few places that offer brunch on Saturday - which, in addition to Prairie Grass Cafe, include Frontera Grill (Saturday only), Lula (Saturday and Sunday), and Sola (Saturday and Sunday) - generally don't experience long waits on Saturdays.
  • Post #22 - April 6th, 2008, 9:33 pm
    Post #22 - April 6th, 2008, 9:33 pm Post #22 - April 6th, 2008, 9:33 pm
    LTH,

    Sunday brunch at Prairie Grass was a treat, bride loved her Raspberry Bliss Crepe and I thoroughly enjoyed my Smoked Salmon Eggs Benedict. Brunch company was terrific, service smooth and professional and prices quite reasonable given care and quality.

    Enjoy,
    Gary
    One minute to Wapner.
    Raymond Babbitt

    Low & Slow
  • Post #23 - April 6th, 2008, 9:38 pm
    Post #23 - April 6th, 2008, 9:38 pm Post #23 - April 6th, 2008, 9:38 pm
    G Wiv wrote:LTH,

    Sunday brunch at Prairie Grass was a treat, bride loved her Raspberry Bliss Crepe and I thoroughly enjoyed my Smoked Salmon Eggs Benedict. Brunch company was terrific, service smooth and professional and prices quite reasonable given care and quality.

    Enjoy,
    Gary

    The special, corned beef hash, was excellent; a nice surprised to see it on the menu, too.

    =R=
    Gardening is a bloodsport --Meghan Kleeman

    Why don't you take these profiteroles and put them up your shi'-ta-holes? --Jemaine & Bret

    There's a horse loose in a hospital --JM

    That don't impress me much --Shania Twain
  • Post #24 - May 18th, 2008, 3:11 pm
    Post #24 - May 18th, 2008, 3:11 pm Post #24 - May 18th, 2008, 3:11 pm
    After a ho-hum breakfast at Butterfield's last Saturday, I was particulary in the mood for a proper, non-industrial breakfast yesterday and we headed to Prairie Grass for our go-to, Saturday morning breakfast. It was terrific as usual and one person in our party ordered an item I'd never seen served before, the Surf and Turf Benedict, which was also delicious, as expected. The crab cake, which I'd had before as an appetizer, was outstanding, with lots of high-quality crab meat and very little else. The steak, cooked to medium rare, was excellent, too. I neglected to ask whether it was grass-fed or conventional beef.

    Image
    Surf & Turf Benedict

    =R=
    Gardening is a bloodsport --Meghan Kleeman

    Why don't you take these profiteroles and put them up your shi'-ta-holes? --Jemaine & Bret

    There's a horse loose in a hospital --JM

    That don't impress me much --Shania Twain
  • Post #25 - May 18th, 2008, 8:53 pm
    Post #25 - May 18th, 2008, 8:53 pm Post #25 - May 18th, 2008, 8:53 pm
    Wow does that look insane, what was the charge on that bad boy? $20 range?
    Formerly Tony Spilotro
  • Post #26 - May 18th, 2008, 8:57 pm
    Post #26 - May 18th, 2008, 8:57 pm Post #26 - May 18th, 2008, 8:57 pm
    Tony_Spilotro wrote:Wow does that look insane, what was the charge on that bad boy? $20 range?

    $26.50 for the S&T Bennie and the regular, "Traditional" Eggs Benedict, which I ordered, is priced at $9.00.

    =R=
    Gardening is a bloodsport --Meghan Kleeman

    Why don't you take these profiteroles and put them up your shi'-ta-holes? --Jemaine & Bret

    There's a horse loose in a hospital --JM

    That don't impress me much --Shania Twain
  • Post #27 - June 1st, 2008, 6:05 pm
    Post #27 - June 1st, 2008, 6:05 pm Post #27 - June 1st, 2008, 6:05 pm
    I realized that after my comments above, I owe PGC a follow-up post.

    I ventured for brunch last week as the first part of a perfectly lovely Saturday afternoon. Part II consisted of a few pleasant ambling hours at the Botanic Garden in all its rites of Spring. The long draw and appeal of our city's cultural transactions never fail to surprise me. This garden is hardly within the city limits and is now, not only tucked away, but walled. And yet, I must have heard half a dozen languages by park visitors, who I imagine came from far afield.

    But I digress, back to Part I. Breakfast.

    I rarely go for eggs benedict, usually preferring lighter fare. Luckily for me, I was peckish. I even had a light-appetited companion along which enabled me to get two sides and not feel over the top. I gladly did the lion's share of the eating.

    I ordered the signature benedict which was a a delight in the gestalt. Perfectly poached egg, a creamy hollandais that I sopped up but didn't make me feel like a sinking ship upon exit and a crispy English muffin offset by the greens. Oh, and did I mention the bacon? Each bite was a sunny May afternoon - the kind you'd welcome any time of the year. I also very much enjoyed the ancho sausage. I think PGC has a daily brunch dessert special or two and we ordered the monkey cake which was had a nice cinnamon-sugar-paste hat on top.

    The restaurant was, as Ronnie has described, not at all crowded for Saturday brunch and seating was ample windowside. I would definitely come back here for brunch. After some of Ronnie's pictures, I would be willing to give dinner another shot.

    Hey, at least I know they do bread, butter and eggs well. That's a solid foundation!
  • Post #28 - July 20th, 2008, 5:41 pm
    Post #28 - July 20th, 2008, 5:41 pm Post #28 - July 20th, 2008, 5:41 pm
    LTH,

    In the mood for Eggs Benedict this morning, it was a toss between Tre Kronor and Prairie Grass Cafe, which PGC getting the nod as there were 6 of us and Tre Kronor is tight quarters for Sunday brunch. Turns out PGC was the move as not only was the Smoked Salmon Benedict and house made ancho sausage their usual delicious self, but PGC had La Quercia Rossa prosciutto in house.

    The La Quercia was served with with house grown basil, Nichols Farm micro tomatoes, Bennison's baguette and butter, simply stunning flavor, with the brightness of the basil perfect counterpoint to luxuriously rich prosciutto.

    La Quercia Rossa prosciutto

    Image

    Two other lunch standouts were Nichols Farm micro tomatoes roasted in olive oil with baby artichoke and market fresh blueberry pie.

    Roasted Artichoke and Tomato

    Image

    Market fresh Blueberry Pie

    Image

    I am just beginning to appreciate Prairie Grass Cafe, the subtleties of which take a few visits to realize. PGC, unlike a number of local eateries pays more than lip service and menu ink to the ideas of local, sustainable and delicious.

    Enjoy,
    Gary

    Prairie Grass Cafe
    601 Skokie Blvd.
    Northbrook, IL 60062
    847-205-4433

    Tre Kronor
    3258 W Foster
    Chicago, IL 60625
    773-267-9888
    One minute to Wapner.
    Raymond Babbitt

    Low & Slow
  • Post #29 - July 20th, 2008, 9:13 pm
    Post #29 - July 20th, 2008, 9:13 pm Post #29 - July 20th, 2008, 9:13 pm
    G Wiv wrote:LTH,


    I am just beginning to appreciate Prairie Grass Cafe, the subtleties of which take a few visits to realize. PGC, unlike a number of local eateries pays more than lip service and menu ink to the ideas of local, sustainable and delicious.

    Enjoy,
    Gary

    Prairie Grass Cafe
    601 Skokie Blvd.
    Northbrook, IL 60062
    847-205-4433



    Interesting comment, I think. Obviously, Sarah Stegner's been a big player in the local eating scene and local eating movement. Can you expand/clarify what you mean.

    Also, were those local artichokes? Nichol's was doing their yearly showing of their artichoke handiwork at the Oak Park market (at least).
    Think Yiddish, Dress British - Advice of Evil Ronnie to me.
  • Post #30 - July 20th, 2008, 9:37 pm
    Post #30 - July 20th, 2008, 9:37 pm Post #30 - July 20th, 2008, 9:37 pm
    Vital Information wrote:Interesting comment, I think. Obviously, Sarah Stegner's been a big player in the local eating scene and local eating movement. Can you expand/clarify what you mean.

    Rob,

    In an age where everyone from Chipotle Grill to McDonald's trumpets local, organic, sustainable, they simply seem to have quietly incorporated the basics of local, sustainable, delicious into their personal, as evidenced by Sarah Stegner's involvement in Green City Market, and restaurant lives.

    Vital Information wrote:Also, were those local artichokes?

    I didn't inquire as to the provenance of the artichokes.

    Enjoy,
    Gary
    One minute to Wapner.
    Raymond Babbitt

    Low & Slow

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