Oak Park's Marion Street Market ( 100 S. Marion St.; MarionStreetMarket.com ) is just as quaint and welcoming as the suburb in which it is situated.
By the way, it's a good thing the venue has rebranded from its original name of Marion Street Cheese Marketbecause there's a restaurant that made the trip out there certainly worth it.
Stopping by for lunch recently, there was a large group of "ladies who lunch," as some call them. For some reason, the scene reminded of the ( soon-to-be-revived ) show Gilmore Girls, and the women Moving onto to Marion Street's cuisine, lunch includes items such as soups, salads and sandwichesand all the things we tried were pretty tasty. My dining partner raved about the chicken noodle soup ( "Everything tastes so fresh!" ) and also really liked the Miller's Farm chicken sandwich.
I was initially a little hesitant to order the cauliflower tartbut, boy, was I glad I did. The honey and curry aioli, tart apples and Cabot cheddar made for a sandwich that was complex and amazingly delicious. In fact, my friend said that she didn't even like cauliflower until she tried this item. I also have to give kudos to the lamb burger, which was extremely juicyand the focaccia, from Morton Grove's Z Bakery, was the softest and tastest bread of its kind I've had in quite some time.
Also, if you can spare it, please try a dessert. Even though we were full, we absolutely devoured the buttery apple cake that was paired with vanilla ice cream.
A side note: We went at a time when some of the menu and drink items are being phased out for spring offerings. Thankfully, items such as the tart will remain.
Also, be sure to stop by the market. There are various spirits, breads, desserts and, yes, cheeses.
Chefs and the City
Heartland Alliance and Heartland Health Outreach, Inc. ( HHO ) announced the return of its annual Chefs and the City tasting event at the Montgomery Club, 500 W. Superior St., on Thursday, June 2, at 6:30-9:30 p.m.
Some of this year's chef participants include RL Restaurant's Ryan Pitts, Enolo Wine Bar's Felipe Ospina, Tanta's Jesus Delgado and Swirlz Cupcakes' Marissa Meyer.
Attendees can take a chance in the premier and grand raffles to win an array of prizes, including a trip to New York City.
Complimentary cocktails from Bombay Sapphire and fine wines are included with each ticket purchase. Early-bird tickets for the event are $100 until May 20 at 5 p.m. ( $125 after the date ). To purchase tickets, visit secure3.convio.net/ha/site/Ticketing.