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PastaCheeks's Profile

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Lincoln Park - new every week?

Skip RJ Grunts....it's not all that interesting.
Green Tea's got some interesting sushi selections.
Basil Leaf cafe has a great salad with fresh berries
Piatinni is one of my favorite italian places around that area. Great gnocchi.
Boka has an ever changing menu with really creative dishes.
Chicago Pizza Oven Grinder is WAY over rated.
Galway Arms is fun in the summer for the patio, and cozy in the winter bc of the two fireplaces inside.

Aug 21, 2008
PastaCheeks in Chicago Area

Mussels from Costco?

I've gotten the mussels many times from Costco. Never been disappointed. I don't think you'll find a much better price elsewhere either.

Aug 21, 2008
PastaCheeks in Chicago Area

Favorite Mexican Restaurant?/ Frontera Grill

Taco Real in Hammond Indiana is one of my favorites. It'd be a great place to stop at one the way to, or leaving the city.

Aug 21, 2008
PastaCheeks in Chicago Area

Vineyards & Tuscan chow

I just returned from a two week trip to Italy. Most of our time was spent in Tuscany. Although we did spend a few days in Cinque Terre and Rome.

For your time in Tuscany I would suggest:
Food:
-Grappolo Blu in Montalcino - we had a great lunch there
-Pasticceria Mariuccia - this bakery in Montalcino was my favorite part of the trip.
-Vivolo Gelato in Florence
-SoloCiccia - This restaurant in Panzano is run by Dario, a butcher who cooks an array of selections. This was the best meal we had. The meal was predominantly meat, though veggies were served.

Wine:
-Badia a Coltibuono - They offer a tour of their garden, abbey and wine facilities. We were lucky enough to experience this on a warm sunny day. We also ate lunch at their restaurant, which is also on the grounds.

We did attempt to do the Castello di Verrazzano wine tour. They were all booked up. (Lunch and the tour.) If we had more time we would have gone back.

Jul 10, 2008
PastaCheeks in Italy

Dinner Plans in Rome

I would suggest Osteria Der Belli in Trastevere.

Jul 10, 2008
PastaCheeks in Italy

Northwest Indiana - Grocery Stores

Which farmers markets do you find to be the best?

Mar 19, 2008
PastaCheeks in Chicago Area

Northwest Indiana - Grocery Stores

Thanks for all the suggestions.
The new Stracks in Crown Point leaves alot to be desired. They put out alot of suspect produce and meat. I don't like to be so negative, but I am surprised they even attempt to sell some of their products to people.
Though, I have heard very positive things about the Stracks that went into the old Cub foods on Elston.
I am hoping we get a Trader Joes in the area soon.

Mar 14, 2008
PastaCheeks in Chicago Area

birthday dinner in near north ...

If you are open to trying places outside of River North, I'd suggest Piattini in Lincoln Park. The food is inexpensive, and never disappoints. I have had a few birthday dinners there......and always take people from out of town there.
They have a great selection of wine and specialty beer. Many pasta dishes, but also an assortment of steak, pork fish etc. (The gnocchi are a must try. ) Great appetizers too.

Just down the street from Piattini is a delicious bakery too. Sweet Mandy B's has amazing cupcakes, cookies and just about anything else sweet.

Piattini
934 W Webster Ave
Chicago, IL 60614

Sweet Mandy B's
1208 W Webster Ave
Chicago, IL 60614-3109

Feb 25, 2008
PastaCheeks in Chicago Area

Northwest Indiana

My husband and I frequent Niko's Steak & Seafood in Griffith. We always have a great meal. Very friendly atmosphere. Delicious martinis. The lemon rice soup is my favorite, along with the fillet. Don't skip the twice-baked potato.

Feb 25, 2008
PastaCheeks in Chicago Area

Northwest Indiana - Grocery Stores

Having recently moved from Chicago to Northwest Indiana (Crown Point), I am looking for any suggestions about where to find good produce, meat and seafood. I am regularly disappointed with the quality of the food in the local grocery stores.
Any ideas?

Feb 25, 2008
PastaCheeks in Chicago Area