If anything can entice local residents out in this wintry weather, it’s the fifth annual Naperville Restaurant Week, when 30 restaurants will lure diners with discounts, special menu items and prix fixe lunches and dinners.
This year’s event, which actually runs for 14 days from January 26 through February 8, will feature an even wider range of restaurants than in years past. Among the choices are Brazilian, Spanish and Indian cuisine, seafood, pub grub, pizza, barbecue, sushi and so much more. Restaurant Week is not only an opportunity for foodies in search of their next great meal, but also for local chefs to exercise their culinary creativity.
With so many restaurants participating, there is truly something for everyone—whether that “everyone” is a young family, elderly friends or a couple looking for a special date night.
Looking to make an evening of it? There are some delectable three- and four-course prix fixe options to choose from. Fogo De Chao offers a market table where diners can start with black-bean stew, exotic vegetables and salad, then choose from 10 main course options including sirloin, bacon-wrapped steak, lamb, pork and chicken, as well as accompaniments such as crispy polenta or caramelized bananas. A choice of desserts is also included.
At Nando’s Peri-Peri, home of chicken that is marinated for 24 hours before being flame-grilled, the prix fixe dinner menu features a choice of three appetizers, chicken and vegetarian entrees and “naughty natas” and coconut macaroon for dessert.
If seafood strikes your fancy, Catch 35 offers a three-course meal that opens with New England clam chowder or Caesar salad, followed by a choice of fish tacos, grilled shrimp, roasted salmon, sautéed Mahi Mahi or filet mignon medallions as a main course, and ending with dessert.
Meson Sabika, the popular Naperville tapas restaurant, has created a four-course prix fixe dinner with an appetizer option of toast points topped with either avocado relish and Alaskan king crab or Serrano ham, Manchego cheese and tomato, a second course choice featuring tiger shrimp or baked eggplant, a third course of center cut beef tenderloin served with Sevillana potatoes and asparagus spears or stuffed Manchego cheese fritters, and fourth course options of either flourless chocolate cake or orange cheesecake.
Most of the restaurants offer prix fixe lunches as well as dinners.
On the casual side, Lou Malnati’s Pizza is offering a free appetizer or dessert with a $20 purchase, Potter’s Place Restaurant, a neighborhood Mexican place, offers a free appetizer with the purchase of two entrees, and kid-friendly Jimmy’s Grill is taking 20 percent off any food purchase during Restaurant Week. Senior citizens and veterans who patronize the Cuisine of India Restaurant will receive 10 percent off on dine-in or carry-out meals, and Fire it Up will sell its BBQ pulled pork tacos for $3 each.
Even a 14-day Restaurant Week may not be long enough to sample all the delicious choices available in and around Naperville.
It’s wonderful having the special incentives to try out the fabulous dining options in our greater Naperville community. But let’s face it…the weather has not been very conducive to culinary exploration, and truly, that’s okay. Because within our own doors are Monarch Landing’s very own dining delights.
Monarch Landing retirement community’s Millstone Restaurant recently underwent a major renovation, with walls, ceiling, flooring and furnishings updated with the help of residents, who offered their input on colors and furnishings. The dining room provides the same attentive service as the finest Naperville restaurants, with delectable dining options—such as Bourbon Salmon, Veal Marsala, Shrimp Quesadilla and Chicken Limon. For lighter fare, there’s the Riverwalk Café, with a selection of salads, wraps and sandwiches.
Whether dining in style at home or out on the town, there’s nothing like gathering around a table with friends and loved ones. Bon appétit!