Gobble-gobble through the holidays
For a shopping break the Friday after Thanksgiving, visit Glenview House for steaming pot roast nachos and get 10 percent off your total bill hen you show your store receipts. | Courtesy of Glenview House
Now that election season is over, we can turn to the more pressing issue at hand: Food.
First big question, to cook or not for Thankgiving. Then there are all those days of shopping and preparation for the Christmas, Hanukkah and New Year celebration that always arrive much sooner than you expect.
Some local purveyors of edibles offer harried shoppers, parents, revelers and party planners a way to ensure least one less headache. For dining and gift-giving ideas, feast your eyes on the following morsels:
Prairie Grass Cafe, 601 Skokie Blvd., Northbrook. Open for lunch: 11 a.m.-2 p.m. Monday-Friday. Open for dinner: 5-9:30 p.m. Tuesday-Thursday; 5-10:30 p.m. Friday and Saturday; 5-9 p.m. Monday and Sunday. Open for breakfast:10-2 p.m. Saturday; 9:30-2 p.m. Sunday. (847) 205-4433 or see prairiegrasscafe.com
Prairie Grass Cafe chef/owners Sarah Stegner and George Bumbaris want to give everyone a night off by offering a Thanksgiving to-go menu this year. The traditional turkey dinner comes with a variety of food and size options. Better still, it’s prepared with the fine-dining techniques and locally-sourced ingredients for which Prairie Grass is known. Orders must be received by Nov. 18, and will be available for pick-up noon to 3 p.m. on Thanksgiving Day.
For a totally carefree Thanksgiving meal — no dishes to wash — Prairie Grass Cafe will be serving their annual turkey dinner from 2:30 p.m. to 7 p.m. Nov. 22. Traditional favorites come with all the trimmings and some luxury extras such as velvety butternut squash soup or an organic mixed green salad with pumpkin seeds, parmesan, pomegranate and balsamic dressing.
With the oven roasted turkey, there will be mashed potatoes and homemade gravy, apple-chestnut stuffing, sweet potato puree topped with homemade marshmallow or fresh vegetables and cranberry sauce. For dessert, guests can choose from ‘mom’s pumpkin pie,’ pecan pie or the double chocolate cake ($47).
Evanston’s Pensiero Ristorante, in the Margarita Inn, 1566 Oak Ave., will again offer its Italian-accented Thanksgiving Day meal, with service starting at 3 p.m. and the last seating at 6:30 p.m. Diners can choose an appetizer, main course and dessert from the day’s special menu for $52 per person. See the full menu online at pensieroitalian.com. For kids under 12, a pasta opetion is available for $12, turkey for $15. Reserve at (847) 475-7779. Pensiero’s regular hours are 5-9 p.m. Thursdays, 5-10 p.m. Fridays-Saturdays.
Shaw’s Crab House, 1900 E. Higgins Road, Schaumburg. Holiday buffets served 11 a.m.-7 p.m. Lunch served 11:30 a.m.-2 p.m. Monday-Friday, 11:30 a.m.-4 p.m. Saturday. Dinner served 5:30-9 p.m. Monday-Thursday; 5:30-10 p.m. Friday; 4-11 p.m. Saturday; 5-9 p.m. Sunday. (847) 517-2722 or see shawscrabhouse.com.
Shaw’s Crab House in Schaumburg treats guest to a 1940s-style take on seafood dining, complete with retro leather banquettes, polished wood floors and art deco touches throughout its interior.
For Thanksgiving, Shaw’s will be hosting both a traditional Thanksgiving buffet (adults, $48; kids 12 and under, $12.99), and their Grand Crab buffet (adults, $56; kids 12 and under, $19.99.)
The cold seafood bar will feature oysters on the half shell, jumbo shrimp cocktails and chilled snow crab legs. A ‘carvery’ will offer herb-roasted turkey, prime rib and hot lobster bisque.
And Shaw’s grand hot buffet will offer heartier delicacies such as lobster, brie & cavatappi pasta and mini crab cakes.
For a sweet finish, visit the dessert buffet to choose from pumpkin pie or Shaw’s signature mini pecan pies; rich crème brulee and any of an assortment of specialty cupcakes.
And, you’ll be eating for a good cause. This Thanksgiving, Shaw’s will be making a donation to The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society that funds lifesaving blood cancer research around the world, and provides free information and support services. For more information please visit www.lls.org.
And for sustenance during the Black Friday shopping marathon, as well as all the rest of the shopping season:
Glenview House, 1843 Glenview Road, Glenview. Open: 11 a.m.-2 a.m. Monday-Sunday. Half-off appetizers 4-6 p.m. and 9 p.m.-midnight. (847) 724-0692 or see theglenviewhouse.com
Owner Steve Podjasek and Chef Grant Slauterbeck want folks to take a break from Black Friday holiday shopping at Glenview House. Walking distance from the shops of downtown Glenview and minutes away from Westfield Mall, Glenview House will be adding its two-cents to the biggest shopping day of the year by offering patrons who bring in their shopping receipts 10% off their total bill* all day Friday, November 23.
Guests can enjoy GH’s juicy burger served on a brioche bun or lighter options such as grilled vegetable wraps made with seasonal vegetables, goat cheese and pesto on pita bread. Friday specials also include $3 Miller Lite bottles and half-off appetizers like the pot roast nachos with black beans, Chihuahua cheese and fire-roasted corn, with salsa & sour cream ($10).
You can start celebrating early, head out to Libertyville for the traditional, night before Thanksgiving, “biggest high school reunion in Lake County” at Mickey Finn’s Brewery, 412 N. Milwaukee Ave. 11:30 a.m.-11:30 p.m. Monday-Thursday; 11:30 a.m.-1:15 p.m. Friday-Saturday; 11:30 a.m.-9 p.m. Sunday. (847) 362-6688 or mickeyfinnsbrewery.com.
Grads from Libertyville, Carmel and Mundelein high schools from all years descend on the place for fellowship and fun.
The holiday celebration (skipping Thanksgiving Day, when Mickey Finn’s is closed), resumes Friday, starting at 11 a.m., for the first tastings of what its loyalists term “the most anticipated beer of the year.:” Santa’s Magic Belgian strong ale.
It’s brewed with more than 600 pounds of Belgian sugar candy and tops out around 7 percent ABV (alcohol by volume). Served in 16-ounce Belgian tulip glasses, it’s consistently the number one seller during December.
“Last year we sold 120 kegs in just over 5 weeks. Truly remarkable,” said owner Brian Grano.
Finn’s will also have the annual Christmas bier tent up. There revelers will find additional seating from which to view the village of Libertyville’s tree lighting ceremony at 6:30 p.m. on November 25 across the street in Cook Park.
For holiday parties and gifts, take advantage of The Cookie Joint’s ability to make their sweet treats a feast for the eyes. Their goodies are baked out of the Danziger Kosher Catering facility, 3910 W. Devon Ave., Lincolnwood.
Highland Park moms Jill Balick and Susie Schuster are the women behind the aprons who started the company in 2010 as a way to express their deep devotion to all things cookie. “We both have a passion for baking and we love to keep things fun,” said Balick.
The partners use only all-natural ingredients and bake every batch of the CRC-certified kosher cookies themselves.
Their whimsical, French-fry shaped shortbread comes in flavors include original butter, chocolate chip, double chocolate chip, cinnamon spice and chocolate toffee crunch. Their served in fry-style cartons with tangy raspberry, lemon, salted caramel, hazelnut, chocolate, marshmallow and peanut butter sweet dipping sauces for ‘condiments.’
They also make an assortment of traditionally-shaped cookies, they package creatively for gifts, table favors and party decor.
For complete information, call (847) 461-3068 or see thecookiejoint.com.
Thanksgiving through New Year’s Day is major family time. So an evening of food and games at Pinstripes Bowling Bacci Bistro could be right up your (bowling) alley. There are locations at 100 W. Higgins Road, South Barrington, (847) 844-9300, and 1150 Willow Road, Northbrook, (847) 480-2323, and pinstripes.com.
They’re open 11:30 a.m.-11 p.m. Monday-Thursday; 11:30 a.m.-12:30 a.m. Friday; 10 a.m-12:30 a.m. Saturday; 10 a.m.-10 p.m. Sunday.
The food and wine are upscale Italian/American, and with bowling and bocce are available, Pinstripes has decided turkey isn’t just for eating this November. That’s because in bowling terms, a ‘turkey’ is three straight strikes. Guests who bowl a turkey throughout November at any Pinstripes location will be rewarded with a certificate for a complimentary turkey platter. The traditional plate includes freshly-carved turkey, mashed potatoes, gravy and Brussels sprouts (normally $12) and can be enjoyed in the bistro or as carryout. Certificates redeemable Monday through Thursday only.