2.08.2009

Chicago's Power Lunch


Walking into Petterino's, in Chicago's Loop, I like to pretend that it's 1940 and I'm here on some glamorous errand for my hard-driving boss who "talks like this, ya see?" and I have to lock in the deal before my 2nd dirty martini arrives and my Steak Diane gets cold....

Ok ok, so I get carried away easily, but it's not hard, with the large red booths, wall of caricatures, and supper club style comfort food, to be swept back into the era of sophistication. Adding to the vintage atmosphere is the feeling that around you, dine some of the city's business and entertainment elite, power lunch style, where booth's are marked with gold plaques designating them as "Reserved". My last trip there I saw Brian Dennehy walk slooowly to his table. He's currently staring in Desire Under The Elms at the Goodman Theatre, which connects right to the restaurant. Because of this, the spacious dining room is a perfect stop for a pre-dinner bite.

But today, I'm here for lunch, which starts off with the perfect little bread basket, consisting of rye bread, some sort of cheese "crisp", onion rolls, and butter rolls. Quite delicious and I have to restrain myself from eating the entire thing.

As Javier studies the menu, who do we see in the background...?

Why it's our own embattled ex-governor, Rod Blagojevich!

After we ate all the bread, our main courses arrived. In keeping with the supper club theme, I had a Trio of Salads. Cesar, Wedge and Tuna to be exact. It's a surprinsgly rich and filling dish, that often satisfies a junk food craving (let's face it, there's nothing healthy about this trio).

My other power-lunchers ordered the puff pastry chicken pot pie, which by all accounts, was better than grandma's!

And for dessert, Petterino's offers "two bite" treats for $1.95 a piece. Genius! And for someone like me, who isn't big on sweets, it's the perfect way to end the meal, and friendly on the wallet. The photo at the top of the post was the dessert I chose - a lemon puff that was just perfectly tart.

So the next time you want a throwback to more glamorous times, head on over to Petterino's for sympathetic bartenders and classic comfort food. But make a reservation - you'll need one.

1 comment:

Deb said...

This place sounds great! The next time I am vising the Windy City I will need to check it out.