Season’s Eatings: Where to Dine and Drink This Winter on Chicago’s North Shore
As we say goodbye to another year (and decade!), there will be plenty of parties to attend and gifts to give, which means you’ll need delicious treats. Plus, as the weather becomes frightful, you’ll want to enjoy all the warm and hearty foods you can find. Fortunately, Chicago’s North Shore is filled with restaurants and bakeries offering everything from fresh-baked breads to pastas and drinks that will warm you right up. Start making plans with friends (or for your next date night) at one of these must-visit spots.
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You'll want to visit these bakeries for tasty treats that will be a hit with everyone you know. At Great Harvest Bread Co. (2126 Central St., Evanston), you'll find fresh-baked bread, including seasonal flavors like Cranberry Orange and Cheddar Garlic, cookies, cinnamon rolls, scones, and much more. Or visit Kneads and Wants (8042 Lincoln Ave., Skokie) for croissants, scones, sticky buns, brownies, and other goodies, all made from scratch daily.
And make sure everyone can enjoy seasonal delights with Sweet Ali's Gluten Free Bakery (1107 Waukegan Road, Glenview), a certified gluten-free bakery that also serves dairy-free, vegan, and other allergen-free treats. From breads and muffins to cupcakes and cookies, you'll find everything you want. Seasonal items include candied pecans, gingerbread cupcakes, and gingerbread pecan biscotti.
Kneads and Wants Bakery, Skokie
Sweet Ali's Gluten Free Bakery, Glenview
As temperatures hit single digits (or worse!), make your way to these restaurants for body- and soul-warming dishes. At Viet Nom Nom (618 1/2 Church St., Evanston), you'll find food you can feel good about eating, including soup. Pair it with entrees like Banh Mi with housemade pickled carrot and daikon, sliced cucumber, and cilantro with Bragg's Liquid Aminos or housemade sriracha mayo or a Rice Bowl with green papaya salad, Saigon veggie slaw, housemade pickled carrot and daikon, scallions, cilantro, crispy shallots, and your choice of sauce.
You can also feel good about eating at Farmhouse (703 Church St., Evanston), where everything is made with local and sustainable ingredients. When you need to warm up, order the Homemade Chicken Soup, Duck Stroganoff, or Short Rib — or add Baked Cheddar Mac & Cheese to any meal.
Viet Nom Nom, Evanston
Or fill up on pasta at Saranello's (601 N. Milwaukee Ave., Wheeling). You can’t go wrong with Fettuccine with pancetta, sausage, peas, parmesan, and truffle cream; Baked Eggplant Parmesan; Nonna's Meat Lasagna; or Braised Beef Ravioli. Or try the Roasted Berkshire Pork Chop, Roast Chicken & Peppers, pizza, and starters like Garlic Knots and the soup of the day. End the evening with Warm Apple Crostata.
As winter drags on, it can be tempting to just stay inside until spring. Instead, make plans to reconnect with loved ones over drinks at these restaurants. A must-try is the Cafe Romano at Gusto (1834 Glenview Road, Glenview) with Grand Marnier, amaretto, hot coffee, and whipped cream in a cinnamon sugar-rimmed cup. And if you prefer wine, there are plenty of varieties from around the world to choose from. Or warm up with a glass of red wine at Jameson's Charhouse (9525 N. Skokie Blvd., Skokie). Options include Gascon Malbec (Argentina), Oberon Cabernet Sauvignon (Napa), and Villa Banfi Chianti Superior (Tuscany).
Drinks That Warm Us Up
Oenophiles will also love the selection at Morton's The Steakhouse (699 Skokie Blvd., Northbrook) — all locations have received an "Award of Excellence" from Wine Spectator and offer at least 200 wines (but you can also warm up with cocktails like the Vodka Martini and Manhattan). And at Silencieux (64 Green Bay Road, Winnetka), you can share a bottle of wine in an atmosphere that's all about relaxation (silencieux does mean “quiet” in French, after all).
And if you'd like to stock up on spirits for your home, turn to local distillery FEW Spirits (918 Chicago Ave., Evanston). Take a tour of the distillery to learn how spirits like Single Malt Whisky, Barrel Gin, and Bourbon Whiskey are made or stop by the Tasting Room to purchase bottles. You can also tour Temperance Beer Co. (2000 Dempster St., Evanston) or meet up with friends at the Tap Room to sample the latest creations. Then take home a growler of your favorite brew (maybe Stroop Dreams, Smittytown® Nitro, or Disco Nap™ Session IPA).
Temperance Beer Co., Evanston
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