I headed into Perennial Virant at 1800 North Lincoln Avenue for a quick bite on my way home from the market.
Part of the Boka Restaurant Group, founded by Bob Katz and Kevin Boehm (the other restaurants in the group include Fish and GT Oyster and the Girl and the Goat), this gem had all the makings of the market across the street…fresh, organic and directly from the farm to the table. I was again reminded of the importance of fresh ingredients. It’s interesting that when I eat fresh ingredients, I eat less.
I had the Classic and classic it was. The bread, the jam, the sausage were made fresh in the restaurant…somewhere in the basement.
The Homeboys – fried potatoes - were tiny, crispy and had a topping of Brunkow cheese curds. I made a mental note to come back just for the potatoes.
The eggs were so fresh I remember thinking that I would never buy them at the grocery store ever again. The difference in taste was truly astonishing.
I saw so many terrific things on the menu I have to come back…if for nothing else, just to see what they are cooking up downstairs in that basement.
My Secret Garden
I’ve been in Chicago going on three decades and it took me this long to uncover my favorite spot… a secret garden.
I would keep it secret but it was so fantastic that I want you to discover it too.
The New Leaf Studio and Garden at 1818 N Wells St is a drop me off spot. Kind of like St. Maarten – and once you hit their interior garden, you don’t want to ever leave. It’s so powerful and peaceful it left me speechless.
The garden was overflowing with iron furniture, magnificent plants and pots and so much sunshine you would be adamant that summer was never going to leave you ever.
The tranquil environment showcases so much floral and artistic substance it was incredible.
The space is multi-level and you’ll discover treasures both downstairs (the visual effects of what is in the basement really took me back) and up (a collection of antiques – of course this place has its revered treasures, too).
There are small work stations where staff were putting together stunning works of art that you swear are going off to a royal wedding.
Go down there and take a look or yourself because it’s going to take me at least a couple week s to process this find.