03 September 2018

June 2018 ILLINOIS Chicago 5 - On to Dining with Chef John (or not)

We reversed direction again going north toward the village of Winnetka. We saw so many beautiful mansions along the way up the Lake Michigan shoreline. They were not Hearst-sized mansions, but bigger and grander than Mike and I will ever live in. Here are a few pics, all taken from the car window as we cruised along, but none do justice to the real thing.

Here is a street looking down a short block to Lake Michigan.
Lovely homes lined those side streets and both sides of the lake shore drive. Many protected by gated entrances.

We arrived in downtown Winnetka a little early for our dinner reservation. So the gals did some window shopping in the upscale stores along the main street. I bought some candy "kissy-shaped lips" for my mom. The guys found a nearby park bench and watched some young men play bocce ball.
Our ultimate destination here was Mino's Italian Restaurant to enjoy a fabulous meal created by our friend, Chef John Korycki. He was also our culinary tour guide and wealth of knowledge on two recent trips to Italy. See" https://www.facebook.com/CHEF-JK-Travels-353135194866954/. As a matter of fact, our fab friends Lynn and Sandy are on a fourth Italy trip with Chef John as I am writing this.

Before moving to greater Chicago, he was executive chef at the Kalamazoo Radisson Hotel restaurant Zazios and the first Director of Culinary Education at Kalamazoo Valley Community College. Currently he is executive chef here at Mino's.

UPDATE: Shortly after our visit we learned Chef John is no long associated with Mino's.

The restaurant is cleverly converted from a former gas station.

The interior is a mix of modern and industrial left over from the former garage.
Our waiter was great, but sadly informed us that Chef John had the day off. Oh, well, we were going to enjoy our meal no matter what.

We started with Bellinis. This cocktail is a mixture of Prosecco sparkling wine and peach nectar. It originated in Venice, Italy (one of our favorite spots.)

Dinner included margarita pizza, rigatoni with anchovy sauce, and Mediterraneo salad with potato slices, pepperoni, and artichokes. Of course, there was much wine and Peroni beers to wet our palates. We ended with shots of limoncello. I guess we were enjoying our meal so much that I forgot to take any food photos. Everything was tasty and delish!

Sorry to miss Chef John, but here we are anticipating our meals.

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If you have visited any of these places, we would love to hear your comments. Or send us recommendations of places we should not miss.