Casual yet elegant? Fine dining and outstanding service? Old world charm?
At the end of a hectic day, when all creativity has been drained from every bone in my body, I dream of a trip to the sunny Mediterranean. I crave quality food lovingly prepared from the freshest natural ingredients. I long for an environment that is relaxed, casual and rejuvenating. And, I yearn for service that re-establishes my sense that all's well with the world.
Yes, yes, I know. A quick trip to old-world Greece or Italy or Spain would be just the ticket… a quick jaunt to an off-the-beaten-path countryside would be absolutely perfect. But current demands just don't allow that luxury right this moment. And international travel is no longer the joy it once was. So, what's a harried Chicagoan to do?
I've found a solution. It's so simple! It doesn't require a passport or an expensive cross-Atlantic flight. It's right in my own backyard, so I can enjoy it any time.
The solution? . An evening at one of Chicago's dozens of ethnic restaurants. I'll hop in my car and go to one of the many 'hoods in Chicago. Variety is the name of the game, so I take off to Ukrainian Village, Greek Town, Roscoe Village, CIceo/Berwin, River Forest, or any of the countless out of the way neighborhoods that might suit my fancy.
Chicago is known for it's fine restaurants. In fact, I learned years ago that I could pretty much enjoy all the finest foods of the world, the experience of cultures and music and languages of the world right here within an hour of home. And, I've learned that many can be enjoyed without spending a king's ransom.
Right now I'm on my way to Greek Town to enjoy a Greek Salad made with the freshest garden vegetables and imported feta cheese….or maybe I'll ask for the chicken breast on salad greens…or, just maybe I'll settle for some Baklava…yum!
Tomorrow I might go to an old favorite on Western Avenue to enjoy a bowl of homemade pozole.
Would you like to join me?