Monday, September 6, 2010

restaurant review monday

I hope everyone state side is enjoying a nice holiday weekend. I'm taking full advantage of sleeping in, being a bit lazy, and taking in the beautiful weather here in Chicago.

I love food (and eating out to enjoy all kinds of food) but I wouldn't call myself a foodie. I know it's the reason I can't drop those last 5 lbs and I'm okay with that! My husband and I eat out a lot. And when I say a lot I mean nearly every meal. The reason? We both travel for work and our schedules are never the same. I dislike being wasteful and there have been too many weeks where I throw away food gone bad because we weren't in town to enjoy meals at home. I could be better about prepping meals on weekends and freezing them to prepare when we are around but in all honesty we love to eat out and it is much simpler to do so right now. There are too many amazing places to enjoy throughout the city! I've decided to start better documenting the restaurants we frequent as well as the new ones we try. We do have a goal of trying at least 1 new place a month since we tend to frequent the same 10-15 places. What can I say, the food is good and they know us! I hope those of you from here might find a new place to try or those traveling to Chicago might find a place you may not have heard of before or found being downtown.

This weekend I was messing around on Open Table to get ideas of places since we had no good idea when I came across Ceres' Table. The restaurant caught my eye because it said it was in Uptown (my neighborhood!) and I couldn't recall seeing this or hearing of it before. I checked out their website and liked that they are a contemporary american restaurant with a Sicilian influence. The chef makes food he likes to eat! He also uses local, sustainable products whenever possible; another plus. We arrived just before 8 and were greeted by the owner's wife (who also is the pastry chef). I love family owned restaurants.

The restaurant is small but you aren't stacked on top of each other likes it sometimes happens in Chicago restaurants. There is a nice bar, plenty of booths, and several tables. It was cool outside on Friday night or otherwise I would have asked to sit on their street side patio.

The menu changes with the seasons and I was excited with our options this time around. The drink menu was extensive. We opted for a bottle of wine and I was impressed with the list and the affordability of most choices. I hadn't even ordered yet and I was already loving the relaxed, cool atmosphere! My husband opted for the liver because you can't get that everywhere and I refuse to eat/make it. I went with the steak served with onion rings, fingerling potato salad and a drizzle of red wine bbq sauce. For an appetizer we had gnocchi in a pesto sauce with green beans and walnuts and we finished the meal off with a blueberry "pie".

my dish
yumilicious dessert

Our meals were wonderful. The steak was cooked a perfect medium rare. Even in some of the best steak restaurants here it is difficult to find a place that can cook a perfect medium rare. Everything was well matched, tasted incredible and fresh! Jacob was pleased with his liver as evidence by him not talking to me and empty plate :) The blueberry pie with vanilla gelato was nothing short of bliss. Melt in your mouth goodness.

This restaurant is a perfect example of why it is great to get out of the city center and venture out to the city neighborhoods. It feels and tastes as good as any downtown restaurant without the hassle (or downtown parking prices!) We will definitely be back and most likely adding this place to our restaurant rotation. I also plan on taking visitors here every chance I get ;)

Jacob found a creative way to use his coffee saucer.


MCM Mama said...

Sounds yummy! We go out at least once a week. I'm sure it plays a role in my inability to lose the last couple of pounds too. ;o)

Tara said...

When we visit our friends in Chicago, we almost never go downtown, we love the local/original restaurants in their neighborhood. We'll definitely have make our way over to that area in order to try this one the next time we are in Chi-town!
That dessert looks heavenly BTW!

Sara @ Domestically Challenged said...

Sounds like my type of place! I love those places. Too bad my town is known for...Applebee's. Blech.

Marlene said...

Great idea! I would love to eat out more. This looks like a great place. I'll be coming to you for tips in October 2012!

Nej said...

The food looks marvelous and the interior of the restaurant is awesome!

Hubby cooks at our house all the time, he loves it. But, for some reason, we've been really lax on the grocery shopping side of things. More often than usual, the last month of so, you'll see him opening cupboard doors....and then saying "Hey, let's go to (insert restaurant here)." :-)