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# W H AT S N E W

Get Your Graffiti On Gods Graffiti was started by friends Kristen Christensen, Jennie Cornell and Ali Dacy. The three girlfriends wanted to create something stylish, comfortable and inspirational that connected people to faith. The result? They created a meaningful clothing line that inspires others to turn to whatever higher power they believe in. They want women of all ages to feel comfortable in what they wear and the message it sends. Encouraging words of kindness, love, peace, light, forgiveness, prayer and faith are woven into every shirt, and every shirt sale gives 10 percent back to charity. Some of the charities the line has given to include the Center for Missing and Exploited Children, and Chosen and Dearly Loved, a charity that helps aid families adopting children with special needs. Godsgraffiti.net —WM

Definitely Nom Nom At last, Evanston has a destination for fresh and healthy Vietnamese food: Viet Nom Nom, a new fast-casual spot that opened in June. Co-owners Noah Bleicher and Alan Moy were inspired to open the restaurant when they discovered a dearth of healthy dining options both on Northwestern’s campus and in downtown Evanston. They provide reasonably priced — but responsibly sourced and prepared — versions of Vietnamese favorites such as Banh Mi, rice-paper wrapped Summer Rolls, Spicy Peanut Pasta and savory Pho, each loaded with fresh herbs, veggies and your choice of protein (chicken, pork, tofu or shrimp, grilled or baked but never fried). Wash it down with a Viet Iced Coffee, “done the Nom Nom way,” with their proprietary blend of Dark Matter coffee, coconut milk, coconut sugar and agave. Homemade Almond Cookies provide a sweet ending. VIET NOM NOM: 618 ½ Church St., Evanston, 847-859-6326, eatvietnomnom.com — JC 30

J U LY /A U G U S T 2 0 1 7

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Jarringly Delicious Jar Bar, a healthy, fast-casual restaurant with handcrafted eats, opened on May 2. Founded by former television producer and lifestyle expert Karen Firsel, Jar Bar features tasty eats with an emphasis on clean ingredients and rich flavors. Breakfast items like the Jar Bar Classic, made with açaí, bananas, strawberry and blueberry compote, will leave you feeling energized in the morning, while delicious lunch and dinner options like the Lights Out, made with black rice, cabbage, cranberries, sweet potatoes and edamame, are sure to satisfy any craving. And though it’s perfect for grabbing on the go, the sleek 1,400-square-foot space, featuring hand-blown glass light fixtures made by Rustic Elements, will make you want to stay. JAR BAR: 1350 Shermer Road, Northbrook, jarbar.com —WM Cocktail Time Otto Mezzo, the brainchild of Brandon Phillips — who we might add was the Chicago Tribune’s 2016 “Bartender of the Year” — opened in late April in River North. The Italian cocktail bar is an intimate space, featuring 65 seats surrounded by candlelight and cozy seating. And though it may be a cocktail bar, specialty pasta dishes that change nightly and a selection of delicious small bites such as salami plates and olives filled with buratta are also served. Drink highlights we love include the Chiampan, a carbonated red-wine cocktail inspired by Phillips’ grandmother, and the Negroni della Casa, a gently tweaked version of the classic. Italian jazz and hip-hop music alternate, blending the old-school Italian vibe with a hip, modern vibe. We’ll definitely drink to that. OTTO MEZZO: 311 W. Chicago Ave., Chicago, ottomezzobar.com —WM

PHOTOS COURTESY OF EACH BUSINESS

BY JULIE CHERNOFF AND WILL MENDELSON

July/August 2017 - Make It Better Best of 2017  

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