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Chicken tacos from Totopos See p. 74
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FEATURE For the Love of Tacos The definitive guide to the suburbs’ best ETC. To-Do List Encore Nia Parker
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or this year’s culinary-focused issue we chose to create a comprehensive package on the beloved taco. I think most people have their favorite places or recipes that they come back to again and again, but we hope this issue, including some of our favorites, gives you some alternate ideas. If an upscale taco has yet to enter your mouth, try La Mesa Modern Mexican in downtown St. Charles. A few miles south you’ll find the more casual—but just as delicious—Jefa Tacos on Butterfield in Aurora (shown above). Sergio De Los Santos couldn’t have been a more-gracious host at 1910 in Geneva. And after spending a morning with the folks at La Quebrada, I’m rethinking the concept of tacos for breakfast. Locals are defining the cuisine in both traditional and unique ways. Our area boasts the largest Latino population in Illinois (outside Chicago), and we should all take advantage of the amazing culture and cuisine that is all around us.
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ne of the things that struck Lloyd DeGrane when he began photographing Chicago’s chronically homeless four and a half years ago was their own conception of themselves. “When I’d invite them into a coffee shop or a McDonald’s to buy them a hot drink, they’d ask, ‘Are you sure it’s OK to bring me in here?’ ” DeGrane’s subjects, he says, “see a distinct separation between themselves and other people. They’re very aware of it.” And yet the homeless are all but invisible to many Chicagoans. Lifting that veil is in part what motivates DeGrane. For this project, which began as a Medill School of Journalism fellowship, DeGrane has immersed himself in this shadow world, getting to know his subjects intimately and learning their argot. He spends two to four days each week on the streets, walking up to 12 miles a day, often concentrating on an area stretching north from Chinatown into the Loop. Sometimes, DeGrane accompanies volunteers from the Night Ministry, a nonprofit, and members of the Chicago Street Medicine team, who value the photographer’s ability to gain the trust of the men and women these organizations are trying to help. “The people I photograph are my friends,” says DeGrane. “I’ve known many of them for years now. I know their struggles, and I see the toll homelessness takes on their mental and physical health.” Of the 200 or so subjects he has come to know well, at least 25 have died.
is in reach
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INFLUENCERS, EVENTS AND ISSUES ON OUR WEST SUBURBAN RADAR
AURORA E STRONG One year later, a look back at how the Henry Pratt shooting has changed the city By Christie Willhite 12 FEBRUARY 2020 / NAPERVILLEMAGAZINE.COM
ven as her officers were sweeping Henry Pratt Co. to subdue a gunman, Aurora police chief Kristen Ziman knew the shooting would delineate “before” and “after” for her department—and for the city. “I was in the command post … and I did have a moment that was surreal,” she says. “I thought, ‘This is happening in my city.’ ” Ziman quickly brought herself back to the job at hand: overseeing the operation to stop the shooter, rescue employees, and help the wounded. The shooting on February 15, 2019, left five Pratt employ-
ees and the gunman dead. Five Aurora officers were wounded, three of whom have since returned to active duty. And Aurora was added to the growing list of communities that have experienced a mass shooting. A database compiled by the Associated Press, USA Today and Northeastern University shows that there were more mass killings in 2019 than any other year. “We became ‘Aurora Strong,’ ” Mayor Richard Irvin says of his city’s response. “Not because we wanted to be on that list, but because it made us look at who we are as a community.”
PHOTOS COURTESY AURORA POLICE AND BY ARMANDO L. SANCHEZ/CHICAGO TRIBUNE, JON LANGHAM/THE BEACON-NEWS
Aurora police chief Kristen Ziman (center) gives direction within a vehicle during the Pratt warehouse shooting.
CULTURE CHANGE It’s a year later, but for Ziman and the officers in her department, “It feels like just a couple months ago,” she says. “It’s so very fresh. We’re recovering, but we’re not close to being there.” In some ways, doing the job is the easy part, Ziman says. Police officers are trained to handle the next call, to respond to the moment, to do what needs to be done. It’s the quiet moments that are the hardest. That’s when the officers who were in the gun battle have time to wonder whether they could’ve done something differently that would have saved a life or prevented an injury. It’s when officers who weren’t on the scene grapple with survivor’s guilt for not being there to back up their fellow officers. “I’ve been trying to change the culture of asking for help,” Ziman says, noting the high suicide rate among first responders. “As a profession, we have a tendency to say, ‘Suck it up and handle the pain,’ “ she says. “These guys are big and strong, and yet they’re broken.” Ziman and the department have encouraged officers, 911 operators, and staff to talk with mental health workers, a standard practice after a trauma, the chief says. But rather than viewing the critical stress debriefing as a one-anddone requirement, many in the department—and their families—are coming to see extended counseling as necessary to their emotional well-being. “Our culture is changing,” Ziman says. “It’s been my battle cry, but I don’t think we lend enough credence to the followers for doing it.” LESSONS LEARNED AND SHARED When the call came in, both Ziman and Irvin say they went on autopilot, relying on their own training and that of staff and first responders to carry everyone through the crisis. “We immediately recognized the value of the training we’d had in the past, and how much we need our training in the future,” Irvin says. Aurora officers take eight-hour training sessions six times each year. They study active shooter situations, analyze perpetrator behavior, and learn from the tactical response. It’s something the department has done since the Columbine shooting in Colorado in 1999,
a strategy that has helped Aurora and departments across the country ready themselves for the unpredictable. “Preparedness saved a lot of lives that day,” Ziman says. “It really underscored for me that we need to continue this high level of training.” Officers, city employees, and community leaders have a renewed commitment to training since the shooting, Ziman and Irvin say. Now, Aurora’s response is among those that communities around the country study. The department already had been helping the business community with threat assessments and emergency preparedness. In fact, some of the first officers on the scene at Pratt were giving an active shooter presentation and left to respond to the call. Such presentations are even more sought-after in the months since the shooting, Ziman says. The chief expected she would talk with police departments eager to help their officers prepare. And while she has talked with plenty of departments, Ziman says she’s also been giving an unexpected number of corporate security talks in places including California and Georgia. TRAGEDY AND TRIUMPH Like Ziman, Irvin repeatedly has been invited to speak to communities and to state and national mayoral conferences. Everyone wants to hear how the city worked to heal the community, he says. When he speaks, he tells his audiences of the strong leadership in the police department, on the city council, and among the staff. And he tells them just how 2019 was a year of tragedy and triumph in Aurora. “We suffered tragedy at Henry Pratt, but we experienced triumph because of what we became as a community, and how we’ve grown,” he says. Shortly after the shooting, a community fund was set up to help the victims’ families. Donations topped $500,000 within 90 days, Irvin says. “It was our way of saying we won’t stand for it in our city,” he says, “that we won’t let that affect who we are as a community.” Ziman says she appreciates the opportunity to speak publicly about the shooting and her officers. “What I feel now is a tremendous pride,” she says. “I get to tell the story of sheer heroism.”
REMEMBERING THE VICTIMS Russell Beyer, 47, of Yorkville, a 20-year Pratt employee and union chairman who had two children Vicente Juarez, 54, of Oswego, a 15-year Pratt employee who was married with three children and eight grandchildren Clayton Parks, 32, of Elgin, the Pratt human resources manager who left behind a wife and infant son Josh Pinkard, 37, of Oswego, a Pratt plant manager who had a wife and three children Trevor Wehner, 21, of DeKalb, a Northern Illinois University student who started an internship at Pratt the day of the shooting
RECOVERING OFFICERS Officers John Cebulski and Marco Gomez remain on restricted duty while continuing their recovery. Officers Rey Rivera and Adam Miller returned to active duty in November. Officer James Zegar returned to duty shortly after the shooting, but retired January 3 after 26 years with the Aurora Police Department. Above Aurora police chief Kristen Ziman honors the five officers injured during the Henry Pratt shooting last February: (from left) John Cebulski, Marco Gomez, Adam Miller, Reynaldo Rivera, and James Zegar. NAPERVILLEMAGAZINE.COM / FEBRUARY 2020 13
The Adventurer’s Son
Minor Dramas & Other Catastrophes
The Splendid and the Vile
By Charles Yu (Pantheon) Willis Wu perceives himself as merely Generic Asian man. Every day he heads to the Golden Palace restaurant, where Black and White, a cop show, is in perpetual production. He’s a bit player but he dreams of being Kung Fu Guy—the most respected role that anyone who looks like him can attain. His mother, though, says, “Be more.”
By Kathleen West (Berkley) Teacher Isobel Johnson is thrust in the spotlight when she receives a threatening voicemail. Meanwhile, Julia Abbott makes an error casting the winter musical that has far-reaching consequences. Brought together by the sting of public humiliation, the two learn how entitlement and competition can go too far. See the “To Do” Literary events for upcoming book signings in the area.
14 FEBRUARY 2020 / NAPERVILLEMAGAZINE.COM
By Roman Dial (Harper Collins) When Cody Roman, the son of preeminent scientist and explorer Roman Dial, did not return from his Costa Rican trek, his father went in search of him. Roman had raised his son to be fearless—was he responsible for his son’s fate? Part detective story, this memoir is a journey to understand the truth about those we love the most.
By Eric Larson (Crown) Drawing on diaries and once-secret intelligence reports, Larson provides a new lens on London’s darkest year through the experiences of Churchill and his family: his wife, Clementine; their daughter, Mary; their son, Randolph, and his unhappy wife, Pamela; Pamela’s illicit lover; and Churchill’s advisers, to whom he turns in the hardest moment.
It’s not about the destination, It’s about exceeding the expectations The destination for relaxation, simplicity and convenience. With three miles of magnificent white sandy beaches and forty-five holes of championship golf, it’s never been easier to call a place home. Our very own Punta Cana International Airport guarantees an effortless journey from the terminals to the lobby of our AAA Five Diamond Award-winning Tortuga Bay Hotel and The Westin Puntacana Resort & Club.
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A MARRIAGE MADE IN HEAVEN This Westmont couple is centered in faith and family By Lisa Arnett
aria Catanzano and Michael Mayer III now call Westmont home, but they first met at Christian Life Church in Homer Glen. “She’s beautiful and kind and hilarious,” says Mayer, 34, a family service counselor at Mount Hope Cemetery in Chicago. “She’s definitely a higher-energy person … and I’m more laid-back and reserved—a lot of people would say we are opposites in some respects.” Their first date was at an ice rink seven years ago. “The thing that stood out to me about Mike was his loyalty,” says Catanzano, a clinical mental health
16 FEBRUARY 2020 / NAPERVILLEMAGAZINE.COM
counselor at Cherry Hill Counseling in Deer Park. “He was very grounded, really dedicated, and really passionate with his faith in God.” Catanzano lost her father Joseph to pancreatic cancer in 2018. While Joseph was in hospice care, Mayer was able to share a private moment with him to ask for his daughter’s hand. “I asked him what qualities he would want in a husband for Maria,” Mayer says. “He just kind of smiled and said, ‘You.’” Later that year, Mayer proposed to Catanzano while they visited her father’s gravesite with her mother and
PHOTOS BY STEPHANIE LANG PHOTOGRAPHY
three brothers on the anniversary of their first date. “It was really sweet and it made me feel like my dad was a part of it,” Catanzano says. Their pastor at Christian Life Church officiated the ceremony at Glenview’s Schram Memorial Chapel, which fit Maria’s vision of marrying in a classic white chapel. They also braided a unity cord made from three colored cords attached to a hand-painted sign.“The dark blue cord represents me, the light blue is Maria, and the white cord is God,’ ” Mayer says. “[The words on the sign] come from scripture: ‘A cord of three strands is not quickly broken.’ ” Their reception at Oak Brook Bath & Tennis Club was full of tears and laughs, from the couple’s choreographed first dance complete with a lift (“Everyone was screaming!” Mayer says) to a photo slide show of Catanzano with her dad that Mayer lovingly created. After a buffet dinner, wedding guests grazed from a dessert table filled with beloved childhood sweets made by family members, including mañuelos
(cinnamon sugar tortilla crisps) made by the bride’s aunt, and cookies baked by the groom’s mother. In addition to signing a traditional guest book, guests were invited to write a message to Catanzano and Mayer on wooden Jenga blocks for the couple to treasure during future game nights for years to come.
WEDDING DETAILS Venues Schram Memorial Chapel, Glenview; Oak Brook Bath & Tennis Club, Oak Brook Bride’s attire The Bridal Boutique of Naperville Bride’s hair Lia Koning, LKBeautyBar Bridesmaids’ dresses jjshouse.com Groom’s attire K&G Fashion Superstore, Downers Grove Groomsmen’s attire Men’s Wearhouse Catering Tasty Catering, Elk Grove Village Cake Sweet Ali’s Gluten Free Bakery, Hinsdale Entertainment Cris C of Red Velvet DJs Decor Lyss & Co., Chicago Floral somethingborrowedblooms.com Rings Aide-mémoire Jewelry, Seattle
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3 GREAT DATES Win over that special someone with this Cupid-approved, three-date strategy from Tracy Williams of Chicagoland Singles By Cara Sullivan THE FIRST DATE I personally tell my clients that the first date should not be too intense or costly; the objective should be to get to know your date! I often suggest going to a fundraiser for a local food pantry, family or child in need, or homeless shelter. (Finding an event like this is often as easy as a quick search on social media.) Not only are you doing something that is heartwarming and appreciated, but you’ll also be able to immediately tell if your date is giving and open to helping others. THE SECOND DATE For a really fun and original activity, spend an afternoon going to a few local estate or garage sales, or go to a nearby thrift store. Pick a neighborhood that you haven't been to and set a budget of $25 each. The objective is to get a good deal and find something really unique, which makes for a great conversation! You’ll find out so many things: what your date thinks about other people’s possessions, what they’re interested in and sentimental about, if they’re “too good” for a silly adventure or something secondhand, how are their negotiation skills, and, ultimately, if they had fun and enjoyed spending quality time with you. THE THIRD DATE At this point, you’re probably feeling little more comfortable and at ease— you’ve made it this far, after all—so it’s time to add a little alcohol and/or closeness. Going to a craft brewery, a wine tasting, or a cooking or dance class are all high on my list of recommendations. Chicagoland Singles has hosted several events at Lynfred Winery, Lucky Monk, Billy Bricks, Fred Astaire Dance Studios, and Arthur Murray Dance Studio—all easygoing spots where the conversation should flow naturally. 18 FEBRUARY NOVEMBER2020 2019 // NAPERVILLEMAGAZINE.COM NAPERVILLEMAGAZINE.COM
DATING HALL OF FAME When it comes to matchmaking, Williams has seen it all—so we asked her to share the best of the best and the worst of the worst. Drumroll please … Best match of all time “An 82year-old man who has to leave wherever he is before 5 to go home and take his little blue pill, and a 79-yearold woman with a fun dating mantra: ‘Sex is never out of the question.’ ” Worst date of all time “The guy picked up his date, then offered her leftovers from a drive-through for dinner, and gave her laundry detergent from the back seat of his car.” [Editor’s note: Yes, that was the entire date.]
PHOTOGRAPH BY OLIVIA KOHLER
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TECH NECK An occupational therapist from Fyzical breaks down the strain caused by smartphones (and what you can do about it) By Dina Kartsonas
f you have a smartphone you may have spent several hours discovering all the things you can do with it. But you may have also discovered its downside: neck and shoulder pain, often referred to as “tech neck.” In an age of advanced technology and access to social media, neck and shoulder pain is especially widespread among smartphone users. The repetitive movements and sustained postures held while using smartphones may present pain in the shoulders, neck, elbows, and thumbs, and can also cause eye strain. Adults—and now children—are at risk for structural changes in their joints, muscles, tendons, and nails due to sustained postures while using these mobile devices. Physical symptoms include muscle pain and spasms in the neck and shoulders, with possible tingling and numbness in your arms and hands. The causes are usually prolonged head tilting while viewing your device and raising your shoulder to your ear to secure the phone while talking. It has been estimated that for every 10 degrees of flexion or bend in the neck while viewing a smartphone, it translates to an additional eight to 10 pounds of force on the spine. For example, if someone standing straight holds their head upright, the average weight of an adult head is 10 to 12 pounds. If that person bends or flexes their neck just 30 degrees to look down at their phone, it adds 24 to 30 more pounds of force to the neck and shoulder muscles. If you bend your neck down to 60 degrees of flexion, that translates to approximately 60 pounds of force the neck and shoulder muscles need to work, just to hold the neck in place.
RECOMMENDATIONS TO AVOID “TECH NECK” Avoid cradling the phone between your neck and shoulder. Use the speakerphone feature or handsfree ear devices, such as headphones or Bluetooth devices. When viewing the screen on your phone, hold it up at eye level or use a phone/ tablet stand. 30 degrees of flexion, or 2430 pounds of force
Heat, massage, and stretching may also reduce pain. Below are some ideal stretches you can do, using 30-second holds in a seated position, to relieve the muscle tension and pain associated with smartphone use.
Bring head into neck-retraction position, then gently guide right ear toward right shoulder with right hand. Repeat 5 times on each side.
Slowly move head up and backward as far as you can comfortably go. Repeat 10 times.
Bring head into neck-retraction position, then gently turn head diagonally to the right so your nose is over your shoulder. Repeat 5 times in each direction.
Bend raised arms at 90-degree angles, relaxing shoulders and neck. Keeping arms and neck still, squeeze muscles between shoulder blades, drawing them closer together. Repeat 5 times.
Bring head into neck-retraction position, then clasp hands behind head and gently guide head down, bringing chin toward chest. Stop when you feel a stretch in the back of the neck. Repeat 5 times.
20 FEBRUARY MONTH 2019 2020 / NAPERVILLEMAGAZINE.COM / NAPERVILLEMAGAZINE.COM
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let the VOTING BEGIN Your opinion matters! Our 2020 Best of Naperville readersâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; choice poll will begin on January 1, and voting will continue through June 1, 2020. S LI
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PHOTO BY MILA SAMOKHINA
Youth Ambassadors selling mystery balloons to attendees of JDRFâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s 2019 One Dream Gala NAPERVILLEMAGAZINE.COM NAPERVILLEMAGAZINE.COM / FEBRUARY / MONTH2020 2019 23
HUMANITARIAN Sophia Scharosch, 17, of Naperville, scoops rice into a bag for Evelyn Herrera, 12, of West Chicago, at the 2018 Feed the Need.
This month’s local food-packing event has grown to net over 1.3 million meals By Julie Duffin
hether it’s supporting our troops or helping others halfway around the world, Napervillians love supporting a good cause. Feed the Need Illinois is one such event where community members work together to pack food for the nonprofit organization Feed My Starving Children (FMSC). Last year 5,000 volunteers helped pack 1.3 million meals during the two-day event— enough to feed 3,647 children for a year. This year, Feed the Need will be held February 15 and 16 at North Central College’s Res/Rec Center. 24 FEBRUARY 2020 / NAPERVILLEMAGAZINE.COM
Since 1987, FMSC has been enabling adults and children to hand-pack nutrition-dense meals in a highly organized and fun environment. Volunteers either visit one of its eight permanent packaging locations—in Illinois, Minnesota, Texas, and Arizona—or they can participate in one of the hundreds of MobilePack events, like Feed the Need, that are hosted throughout the country. These specially formulated meals, designed to prevent and reverse undernutrition, are sent out to food-distribution partners around the world. “The work we are doing at FMSC not only
COMMUNITY COLLABORATION The local Feed the Need event grew out of three smaller mobile packing events originally held at Good Shepherd, St. Timothy, and Our Saviour’s Lutheran Churches in Naperville. When organizers decided to join forces and host a larger event, Feed the Need was born. “If you look at their growth over time you can definitely see that it has enabled them to feed more kids. Last year they packed 1.3 million meals—the largest number of meals that event has ever packed,” says Wiggins. “In my region, which encompasses Illinois,
PHOTO BY ALICIA FABBRE
RESIDENTS WHO FEED THE NEED
feeds kids physically, but it also feeds their spirits—and ultimately empowers their communities,” explains Carrie Wiggins, development advisor for MobilePack. “Once their food needs are met, their creativity, talent, and energy are freed so they can focus on accomplishing new things in the community regarding health care, entrepreneurship, agriculture, and job creation. It’s really cool to see the impact it has on the entire community.”
Indiana, Missouri, and Tennessee, there is no other event that packs that many meals in such a short amount of time,” she says. Since 2010, Feed the Need has packed nearly seven million meals that have shipped to 14 different countries around the world. The event is open to the public, and volunteers can sign up for one of six 90-minute packing shifts during the two-day period. The Res/Rec Center is large enough to accommodate 50 packing stations, all the ingredients and packing materials, as well as an area for the video orientation. “It’s very unique to have an event that large all in one space,” Wiggins says. “There is just a ton of excitement because the event is so large, because the goal is so huge,
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The work we are doing at FMSC not only feeds kids physically, but it also feeds their spirits—and ultimately empowers their communities.” —Carrie Wiggins because packing is so fast, and because the whole community comes together.” Feed the Need also collects nonperishable food items for local food pantries during the event. Last year they collected and distributed over a ton of food. “I love how this truly is a community event. You get people from different faiths working together, which is beautiful. Both businesses and civic organizations bring large groups of volunteers. Plus you see scout troops, high school key clubs, sports teams, students coming in from the college, and general community members,” Wiggins notes. “There is something really fun about seeing how the entire community comes together.” Advance registrations are highly recommended. To register for a twohour time slot (which includes the orientation and packing time) and to learn more about this year’s event, visit feedtheneedillinois.org.
MAGAZINE.COM NAPERVILLEMAGAZINE.COM / FEBRUARY 2020 25
PAYING IT FORWARD
Craft projects were included in gift packages. 3 4
By Julie Duffin
26 FEBRUARY 2020 / NAPERVILLEMAGAZINE.COM
1 Frank Penza and his volunteer partner cutting material. 2 Nikki and Maggie Jones sewing headwraps. 3 Angelica and Juliana Perry writing cards of encouragement. 4 Dozens of local volunteers donated their time and talent. 5 Chris Pawelkiewicz sews the hem on head wraps. 5
PHOTOS BY KRISTIN BODNAR
he second annual Head Wraps for Hope was held at the LivingWell Cancer Resource Center in Geneva on Saturday, December 7. Over 85 volunteers—ages 5 through 79—gathered to make head wraps for patients who have lost their hair due to chemotherapy treatments. Attendees enjoyed Christmas music, cookie decorating, hot cocoa, coffee, and snacks as they helped replenish the LivingWell’s supply of this popular accessory. While older volunteers wrote notes of encouragement, younger ones drew pictures to include with the 210 wraps they made. Event organizer Kristin Bodnar began sponsoring the event after losing her younger brother David to cancer when he was 19. Bodnar sponsored the event with her member benefits from Thrivent Financial, a nonprofit fraternal organization that gives seed money to members who put its #LiveGenerously motto into action. “Head wraps enable patients to have something soft, comforting, and covering while they adjust to their hair loss. It gives them something beautiful that can bring back some confidence to a situation that feels out of their control. It’s my way of paying it forward to those who helped my family.”
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SUPPORTING A CURE By Julie Duffin
he Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation Illinois hosted its 40th annual One Dream Gala on Saturday, December 14, at the Arie Crown Theater in Chicago. Among the largest galas in the city, the 2019 One Dream Gala raised a record-breaking $7 million to help fund groundbreaking diabetes research. Over 2,000 guests—including Aurora resident and board president Mike Roache—enjoyed dinner and drinks and bid on fabulous silent and live auction items. Event speakers included
the Lacher family, who shared their uplifting story of living with type 1 diabetes. The evening culminated with a live concert by rock band Third Eye Blind, whose hits include “SemiCharmed Life” and “Jumper.” “Being involved in this gala is one of the most rewarding opportunities,” says Mimi K. Crabtree, executive director of JDRF Illinois. “Between hearing the Fund a Cure Family sharing their story and seeing the immense support for the fight to create a world without [type 1 diabetes], the entire evening is awe inspiring.”
1 Joanne Hasmonek purchasing Mystery Balloons from a couple of young volunteers. 2 JDRF Illinois’s Young Leadership Committee. 3 JDRF director emeritus Glen Tullman with Cook County board president Toni Preckwinkle. 4 Aurora residents Mike and Linda Roche. 5 Megan and (incoming board president) Stephen Dragich of Western Springs.
28 FEBRUARY 2020 / NAPERVILLEMAGAZINE.COM
PHOTOS BY MILA SAMOKHINA AND LYNN PERSIN
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KUDOS Dealer Inspire CEO Joe Churra samples hot wings and answers questions about his journey.
n Thursday mornings Covenant Living at the Holmstad resident Judy Johnson sets her alarm for 5:30 a.m. That’s because she, along with a group of eight others from the retirement community, start their volunteer duties just 45 minutes later. The group of residents make and serve a weekly breakfast to high school students throughout the year. “We get to the church by 6:15 in the morning and our work begins with preparing the pancakes, French toast sticks, egg casserole, and sausages,” says Johnson, about the intergenerational program. “We’ve got our system down— from putting out a lawn sign to remind students, setting up the buffet lines, getting the juice table ready, greeting
30 FEBRUARY 2020 / NAPERVILLEMAGAZINE.COM
students at the door, and then ultimately washing the dirty dishes afterwards.” It’s all part of the Bulldog Breakfast held at Batavia Covenant Church, which is just across the street from Batavia High School. On Thursdays the students have a late start; all are welcome to stop by the church for a nutritious and free beginning to the school day. On any given Thursday, there could be upwards of 200 students who stop by for the meal. The Reverend Eric Landin says this all comes from the idea of giving back and providing blessings to the community. He’s encouraged by the number of students who show up from a variety of social settings within the school.—MD
TECH DRIVEN HOSTS
n December 10, Naperville-based auto tech company Dealer Inspire hosted its third annual Refuel, a public charity event that brings together the community to unplug, gain new perspectives, get healthier, and refuel for the year ahead. Guests heard from a lineup of celebrity speakers—including United States Navy SEAL, Army ranger, and ultramarathon runner David Goggins; Chris Gardner, author of The Pursuit of Happyness; photographer, artist and entrepreneur Jeremy Cowart; and actress and comedian Maysoon Zayid—who shared their stories and gave advice on career, health, wellness, and more. Proceeds from ticket sales will benefit Loaves and Fishes to help end hunger and transform lives of families in the local Naperville community. The 2019 event raised $33,681.—MD
PHOTO COURTESY COVENANT LIVING AT THE HOLMSTAD AND BY ELENA BELLISARIO
Batavia High School student Sofi Johnson is all smiles at the weekly Bulldog Breakfasts held at Batavia Covenant Church for high school students.
S P E C I A L A D V E R T I S I N G FE AT U R E
2020 SENIOR LIVING Make the most out of your retirement years. Search for an active community or care facility in our twice-annual Senior Living Guide for the western suburbs.
NAPERVILLEMAGAZINE.COM / FEBRUARY 2020 31
S P E C I A L A D V E R T I S I N G FE AT U R E
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A Unique 62+ Active Living Community Created Especially For You Thoughtfully designed modern apartment homes Extraordinary club amenities and services State-of-the-art life enrichment program and on-site concierge Maintenance-free rental living at a superior value Ambassador Club benefits still available, including one month FREE rent. Call 630.219.1775 today to learn more and schedule your tour. AvenidaNaperville.com | 504 Commons Road, Naperville, IL 60563 32 FEBRUARY 2020 / NAPERVILLEMAGAZINE.COM
S P E C I A L A D V E R T I S I N G FE AT U R E 2020
ALDEN OF WATERFORD 2021 Randi Drive, Aurora, IL 60504 630.851.7266 | aldenwaterford.com Creating Community at a Place Called Home When choosing a place to live, most people look for comfort, a community friendly people, a beautiful environment and a few special touches that make their living space special. Additionally, seniors often seek access to a range of services, amenities, activities and medical care that will support them through the process of aging. That what’s makes The Alden of Waterford campus the perfect place to call home. It sits on 38 beautifully landscaped acres in Aurora. It offers a continuum of living options and care services, where residents and patients enjoy beautiful and comfortable surroundings, with the knowledge that their needs – from health care to socialization opportunities to enjoying the five-star amenities of a luxury hotel – can all be taken care of in a single location that helps people flourish. Whether you’re an active senior looking to stay engaged in life or you’re seeking a short-term stay to recuperate from surgery or medical event, we offer a full range of options. Independent retirement living Our upscale accommodations and community of active, interesting people allow you to live the life you’ve always dreamed of. You’ll
enjoy a variety of activities to engage your mind, body and spirit as well as the independence to get away from it all. Assisted living Alden Gardens of Waterford offers you the opportunity to remain independent while providing the right level of assistance to make your life as enjoyable and carefree as possible. Memory care Alden Courts of Waterford provides a holistic approach to memory care that includes a wellness dining program, unique life enrichment programs, and family support. Short-term rehabilitation Alden of Waterford offers innovative therapies that are designed to return you home as quickly – and safely – as possible. You’ll enjoy a wonderful place to call home while you recuperate and rejuvenate. For more information about our services, please call 630-851.7266. NAPERVILLEMAGAZINE.COM / FEBRUARY 2020 33
S P E C I A L A D V E R T I S I N G FE AT U R E 2020
HARBORCHASE OF NAPERVILLE 1619 N. Mill Street, Naperville, IL 60563 630.848.9409 | HarborChaseNaperville.com HarborChase of Naperville Offers Unsurpassed Hospitality and Endless Possibilities HarborChase of Naperville offers an active and engaging retirement lifestyle, full of new friends, award-winning cuisine, generous amenities, superior concierge services and energizing social events. To help cultivate its emphasis on hospitality, the all-inclusive community is staffed 24 hours a day with associates and a concierge. “At HarborChase of Naperville, we want residents to enjoy life, make friends, and experience a high level of independence and freedom,” said Jennifer Conniff, Executive Director of HarborChase. “Every inch of our community has been thoughtfully designed and created to cater to the wants, needs and desires of our residents. We take care of the little things, so you’ll have more time to indulge your interests.” Residents have a wealth of activities to choose from every day. The Life Enrichment program at HarborChase offers a wide variety of cultural events, learning opportunities, entertainment options, religious programs and group events. The community features its own salon/spa, outdoor patios, courtyards, fire pit and beauty shop. “We work hard to ensure that residents have fun and energizing 34 FEBRUARY 2020 / NAPERVILLEMAGAZINE.COM
things to look forward to every day,” said Conniff. “Whether it’s live entertainment, an educational class, a movie, a shopping excursion or an organized fitness class, our associates strive to make sure that there is truly something for everyone to look forward to every day.” Residents also enjoy the award-winning Chef’s Fare Dining Program, featuring a high level of customization at every meal. In additional to delicious seasonal cuisine, HarborChase also has an exhibition kitchen, wood-fired oven, bistro and cocktail lounge. “We pride ourselves in providing farm-to-table, from-scratch meals using fresh, seasonal ingredients,” says Conniff. “Our culinary team is dedicated to both surprising and delighting our residents. Our chef-developed menu is focused on healthy, nutritious, flavorful and regionalized cuisine. It’s just another way we celebrate senior living every day at HarborChase.” For more, visit www.HarborChaseNaperville.com.
S P E C I A L A D V E R T I S I N G FE AT U R E 2020
VILLA ST. BENEDICT 1920 Maple Avenue, Lisle, Illinois 60532 630.852.0345 | villastben.org With a vibrant community and rich history, Villa St. Benedict is one of Chicagoland’s hidden gems. The lush 47-acre grounds are home to beautiful villa homes and apartments, engaging activities, gourmet dining options, health and wellness programs, and staff who have dedicated years to providing a safe and warm environment for all residents. The cornerstone of Villa St. Benedict is a spirit that adheres to the philosophy of “Living Fully, Living Well”. This philosophy assures that all residents are given the freedom to live the lives they envision for themselves. When Paul and Gail were looking for a retirement community, their search led them to Villa St. Benedict. Once introduced to Villa St. Benedict’s spirit of hospitality and the active lifestyle it offers, their search was complete. “The residents and staff were always so friendly. It was an easy choice,” recounted Gail. “We never second guessed our decision to move.” Their maintenance-free home
and a calendar full of enriching activities gave Gail and Paul the freedom to continue living their independent lifestyle. In addition, the staff’s engagement and dedication is a testament as to why so many others, like Paul and Gail, call Villa St. Benedict home. In November of 2019, Villa St. Benedict was honored to be named as one of the Top Places to Work by the Chicago Tribune. The residents greatly benefit from the comfort and consistency that the hospitable work culture and the familiar faces of long-term staff members provide. Coupled with the spirit of “Living Fully, Living Well”, all interactions between staff and residents are rooted in the core values of hospitality, respect, stewardship, and justice. Schedule a private tour and start your journey of “Living Fully, Living Well” today by calling (630) 852-0345. NAPERVILLEMAGAZINE.COM / FEBRUARY 2020 35
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PHOTO COURTESY LAPIN HOUSE
Lapin House dress, $132 NAPERVILLEMAGAZINE.COM NAPERVILLEMAGAZINE.COM / FEBRUARY / MONTH2020 2019 37
Dresses from the Lapin House Spring 2020 line, $103–$142
FAMILY FASHION European style and quality meet at Lapin House By Annemarie Mannion
he small, yet precious details of the clothing are what dazzled Bodgana Lynevych when she first visited Lapin House, a creator of high-quality children’s clothing. Lynevych, who lives near Schaumburg, was visiting a shopping mall in her native Ukraine two years ago when she first came upon the store. She was so charmed by the hand-sewn beading, miniature fabric dolls attached to the front of little girls’ pastel dresses, and rugged, fleece-lined jackets for boys, that she decided to apply to open a franchise herself. “They already had Lapin House in Ukraine, and I fell in love with it,” Lynevych says. “I thought, why don’t we have that here?” It didn’t take long for Lynevych and her business partner and friend, Naperville resident Yuliya Kotsovaska, to decide to bring Lapin House to the United States. “I con38 FEBRUARY 2020 / NAPERVILLEMAGAZINE.COM
tacted the company and we traveled to Greece and met with the owner, and we just clicked. She said she’d love to work with us,” Lynevych says. Both Lynevych and Kotsovaska are mothers and their children often wear Lapin House clothing. Kotsovaska has two girls, ages 8 and 6; Lynevych has twins, a boy and a girl who are 5 years old. “People are always asking where our children get their clothing,” Lynevych says. It took two years of work, but Lynevych and Kotsovaska finally realized their dream of opening the first Lapin House store in the United States in September, on the second floor of Oakbrook Center (100 Oakbrook Center, 630.716.2212, lapinhouse.com), across from the food court and not far from Nordstrom. They chose Oak Brook for a very good reason. “It’s a very family-ori-
ented community,” says Lynevych who believes the high-caliber, unique details of the clothing will appeal to families throughout the Chicago area. “Every collection has a design and a theme,” says Lynevych, about why she likes the clothing. “They create their own unique designs and fabrics, and everything is made in Greece. Lapin House really concentrates on details and making the clothing comfortable for children.” She points to a pale pink dress with tulle and faux fur details hanging in the store. “I’d never seen anything like the quality of this tulle and this faux fur,” she says. Much of the store’s clothing is manufactured with cotton and other top-quality materials. The patterns can’t be found elsewhere, and are made to complement one another year after year in clothing that is geared to children from 1 month old to 14 years old. “They’re famous for their sets that go together right away,” Lynevych says. The clothing also is sturdy. “It’s going to last longer than just one wash,” Lynevych says. The family-owned company got started 45 years ago in Greece, and remains headquartered there, although it now has 115 stores worldwide. The store was named Lapin, which means rabbit in French, because the founder’s daughter loved rabbits, Lynevych says. The store features clothing for both special occasions and every day. A look through the store’s catalog showing the spring collections gives a sense of its unique elements. Photos feature girls in tulle skirts, floral and nautical themes, and pretty patterned leggings with coordinating tops. Button-down shirt, $100, and overalls, $119, from Lapin House Oak Brook
PHOTOS COURTESY LAPIN HOUSE
The boys’ winter clothing collection included blazers with crests, patterned pullover sweaters, fur-trimmed jackets and double-zip jackets over a hooded sweatshirt. Perusing the store with her 1-yearold daughter Teresa—tucked in a stroller and wearing a Lapin House cream-colored knit cap with a faux fur tassle—Chicago’s Svitlana Vintoniak says she’s a fan of the store. “I like everything,” she says. “It’s made of cotton and the quality is good. It’s comfortable for children. That’s what is important to me.” To give a sense of the prices, a girl’s tulle skirt in pale pink with a coordinating cashmere pink sweater is $245; a boy’s knitted cardigan with a plaid lining is $107.
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Lynevych says she and her businesspartner are splitting their time in the store, and are always excited to help customers find whatever they need, from a perfect special-occasion dress for a girl to a rugged jacket or pants for a boy. “We enjoy helping our customers and we try to remember every customer who comes into the store and buys something from us,” she says. The store also offers free gift wrapping. Looking around the store, Lynevych says she sometimes has to pinch herself to realize she made her dream of bringing Lapin House to the U.S. come true. “I still can’t believe it’s ours,” she says.
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HOME The light gray ceiling provides a subtle contrast to the white shiplap walls. “We wanted to bring attention to [the ceiling’s] big expanse and the beautiful woodwork up there,” Abrams says.
Multiple seating areas help divide up the large, open-plan main floor. “We didn’t want it to look like an airplane hanger,” Angie says. Ottomans that cleverly tuck under tables in the TV area provide bonus seating for parties.
The homeowners chose this abstract seascape by artist Chase Langford from a gallery in Saugatuck, Michigan. “It’s calming to look at and we thought it pulled the room together well with the blue palette,” Angela says.
COZY HUES This Hinsdale home exudes elegance
hen Chicagoans Wes and Angela set about building a home in Hinsdale, they assembled their own dream team: builder Dave Knecht, architect Michael Abraham, designer Michael Abrams, and kitchen designer Laura O’Brien. This is actually the third home they’ve worked on with Abrams. “Michael’s style is subdued, it’s very luxurious, and it has a nice masculine touch, but it still looks feminine,” Angela says. The homeowners have three young children and also entertain large groups of family and friends often. “That was the overarching theme of the house,” Wes adds, “to create a space that was casual—but still elegant—that would be durable and kid friendly. One that everybody walks in and feels comfortable immediately.” 40 FEBRUARY 2020 / NAPERVILLEMAGAZINE.COM
The home has six bedrooms and nine bathrooms; pictured here is the master bath. “The inspiration really came from this Waterworks zinc tub,” Abrams says. “From there, we wanted something classic and timeless, so we went with Carrara marble and chose some timeless patterns on the stone.” The cabinetry is painted a rich, deep gray (Benjamin Moore’s Kendall Charcoal), and a mirrored vanity adds a touch of glam. The original plans called for a fireplace built into the wall. “We instead decided to make it a decorative niche and place an orchid in it,” Abrams says.
PHOTOS COURTESY MICHAEL ABRAMS INTERIORS
By Lisa Arnett
“Michael [Abrams] warmed up and grounded the space with window seats with pillows,” Angela says. “It gave additional seating and became these little cozy spots for the kids to curl up in,” Abrams adds. Drawers underneath store blankets, toys, and games.
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With energizing ﬁtness classes, comprehensive personal training, diverse aquatics classes, and fun programs for kids and teens our ﬁtness centers can help you improve your health. This sunroom with a heated floor is where the family hangs out for watching movies and sports. The custom curved couch was upholstered in indoor-outdoor fabric that can be cleaned with bleach. For a real wow factor, all you have to do is look up. “The ceiling is so beautiful, we didn’t want to put any recessed lighting in there,” Abrams says, “so we have lighting in the coves instead.”
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HOME MOVIES Host a cozy and delicious night in Styled by Joanna Aloysia Patterson
1. Butter-flavored olive oil from Vita Sana, $20 2. Regalis black truffle popcorn salt from Williams Sonoma, $28 3. Frans and Venchi caramels from Sur La Table, $1.50–$12 4. Stovetop popcorn popper from Crate & Barrel, $30 5. Pico Artlii 2019 projector from Amazon, $53 6. Jaws board game from Anderson’s Bookshop, $40 7. Mixed popcorn from Naper Nuts & Sweets, $15 8. Knit throw blanket from Nona Jo’s, $93 9. Big Movie Quiz game from Target, $10 10. Susan Gordon wave bowls from Little Luxuries, $34–$46 11. Salted caramels from Williams Sonoma, $23 12. Marie pommed sock slippers from Anthropologie, $30 42 FEBRUARY SEPTEMBER2020 2019/ /NAPERVILLEMAGAZINE.COM NAPERVILLEMAGAZINE.COM
PHOTOGRAPH BY OLIVIA KOHLER
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OPENINGS Craft pizza and beer from the Pivot Room
Chocolate Kahlúa sea salt caramel cupcakes from Sweet Natalie's
RETAIL REACH Downtown Wheaton welcomes new shops
PHOTOS COURTESY SWEET NATALIE’S, WHIRLYBALL
ow that the second round of street improvements along Hale and Wesley Streets is complete, a variety of new retailers opened at the end of 2019, with more on the way: • Sweet Natalie’s recently moved from Geneva to Wheaton (207 S. Hale St.). The bakery specializes in gluten-free, vegan, paleo, and dairyand nut-free cookies, pastries, desserts, and other treats. • MION Artisan Soap will open at 204 W. Wesley St. • Custom furniture design shop Oak & Heir has plans to open at 122 N. Main St. • Images Med Spa is open at 104 N. Hale St. and offers aesthetic and skin treatments. • Schmaltz Express, which bills itself as “the Jewish deli for the rest of us,” signed a lease for 390 W. Front St. This popular Naperville-based deli garnered positive reviews at last season’s French Market. • Longtime boutique Jeans and a Cute Top Shop moved to its new location at 123 W. Wesley in November. • Find high-tech entertainment at Arcade V, open at 126 N. Hale St. The space offers virtual reality gaming booths with the technical gear designed to provide a fully immersive experience. 44 FEBRUARY 2020 / NAPERVILLEMAGAZINE.COM
GO FOR A WHIRL Two-story entertainment hits the northwest side
es, Naperville’s new 41,000-square-foot entertainment space will feature two WhirlyBall courts on its first floor … but what exactly is WhirlyBall? The company’s press release describes it as a combination of lacrosse and bumper cars, where two teams of five use handheld scoops to pass a whiffle ball to each other— and ultimately at a scoring target. In addition to WhirlyBall, guests can WhirlyBall Naperville
enjoy 12 bowling lanes and a multilevel LaserTag Arena, plus multiple event spaces and the Pivot Room, an American eatery and craft beer bar on the first floor. A four-lane VIP Bowling Suite on the second level and HyperBowling—a new game blending technology, lights, and sensors—round out the indoor experiences. When the weather warms, WhirlyBall will open its doors to an outdoor patio, two rooftop terraces, and multiple private and semiprivate event spaces to accommodate groups. Owner Sam Elias founded the first WhirlyBall location in Lombard over 25 years ago. WhirlyBall Naperville will be its fifth location, joining venues in Vernon Hills, Chicago’s Bucktown neighborhood, and Colorado Springs, Colorado, plus a recently opened facility in Brookfield, Wisconsin.
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DINE TABLE FOR TWO Page 48
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PHOTO COURTESY TRUE FOOD KITCHEN
Immunity bowl from True Food Kitchen NAPERVILLEMAGAZINE.COM NAPERVILLEMAGAZINE.COM / FEBRUARY / MONTH2020 2019 47
TABLE FOR TWO
GOOD VIBES AT TFK True Food Kitchen doles out fresh, healthy fare By Lisa Arnett
SEASONAL SHIFTS True Food Kitchen’s menu changes seasonally; at presstime, the fall menu was still in full swing, with autumnal veggies such as butternut squash starring in everything from salads to flatbreads to pie. My server talked up the Brussels sprouts, but I was reluctant to take his recommendation, thinking I’ve tried pretty much every preparation imaginable. After seeing them land on a neighboring table, I changed my mind—and I’m glad that I did. The tender sprouts were well matched with earthy shitake and oyster mushrooms, sambal-spiced miso vinaigrette and sil-gochu, a traUnbeetable Burger
48 FEBRUARY 2020 / NAPERVILLEMAGAZINE.COM
ditional Korean garnish made from thread-thin slices of chile pepper. These sprouts will stick around until March, when they will likely make a graceful exit to make room for a spring asparagus preparation, says True Food Kitchen brand chef Robert McCormick. A stable of other dishes make residence all year, including the delicate edamame dumplings in a savory dashi broth, savory salads and three kinds of burgers: grass-fed beef, turkey and the beet-based Unbeetable burger. There’s also the grilled salmon, an entrée full of varied textures and flavors. Accompanying the rich and flaky fish is a pesto-like sauce made from pumpkin seeds and cilantro, roasted beet cubes tossed with arugula, and a lovely grain salad of farro and quinoa with caramelized onions and smoky paprika. BOWLED OVER There’s a section of the menu called “bowls,” but you won’t find them filled with the traditional pasta or rice. Instead, they’re heaping with grains or noodle alternatives that are lower on the glycemic index (which, as Dr. Weil’s books will tell you, can help curb
PHOTOS COURTESY TRUE FOOD KITCHEN
rue Kitchen was founded with a simple and straightforward corporate mission: Serve food that makes you feel good. A collaboration between wellness pioneer Dr. Andrew Weil and restaurateur Sam Fox, the first location opened in Phoenix, Arizona, in 2018. Weil has written dozens of books on healing, happiness, natural medicine, aging, and food, so naturally, True Food Kitchen’s menus are inspired by his philosophy of eating healthily without skimping on flavor. In other words, the goal is to leave satisfied and inspired, not loosening your belt and lazing into a food coma on the ride home. True Food Kitchen now has locations nationwide and has earned some bigname fans, including Oprah Winfrey, who became an investor after dining there with trainer Bob Greene. The latest addition is a bright and bustling space in Oak Brook (105 Oakbrook Center, 630.716.3056, truefoodkitchen. com) with shiny green banquettes lined with planters and smiling servers clad in tees screen printed with inspirational words such as “balanced,” “mindful,” and, of course, “true.”
chronic diseases such as type 2 diabetes and heart disease). The Korean noodle bowl is the restaurant’s take on a traditional japchae, made with sweet potato glass noodles, tangy pickled shiitakes, spinach, carrots, and bean sprouts in a tongue-tingling sauce. Another option—set to debut on the winter menu—is the Winter Immunity Bowl, or as McCormick describes it, “our version of chicken noodle soup.” It starts with dashi broth infused with kuzu, a Himalayan root that helps settle the gut and stabilize blood sugar, McCormick says. Add to that immunity-boosting lion’s mane mushrooms, garlic puree, garbanzo beans, edamame, marinated kale, farro, and quinoa and you have a steaming, soothing remedy to help you survive cold and flu season. The feel-good vibes will continue throughout 2020 when True Food Kitchen’s yoga and brunch promotion debuts. The staff clears out the dining room’s tables to make room for mats and brings in a yoga instructor to teach a class; after, yogis are invited to stay for brunch with a 15 percent discount. Namaste, indeed.
NAPERVILLEMAGAZINE.COM / FEBRUARY 2020 49
RECIPE BANANAS FOSTER FONDUE Yield: 4 servings 4 ounces white chocolate, finely chopped 1/2 banana, thinly sliced dash of cinnamon 4 ounces caramel ice cream topping 1 teaspoon banana liqueur (or substitute banana extract) 1 teaspoon spiced rum, plus 1⁄3 ounce for flambé 1
Melt chocolate in a double boiler, or microwave in a bowl, until melted, stirring every 15 to 20 seconds.
Place the banana slices in the bottom of warm fondue pot.
Pour the chocolate over the bananas, then add the caramel and stir gently.
Add the banana liqueur and teaspoon of rum, and stir gently to combine.
Slowly pour 1⁄3 ounce rum into fondue pot. Ignite liquor by touching lighted match to edge of pot. Sprinkle cinnamon into flames to create a sparkle effect.
Mix chocolate mixture well, and keep fondue warm over low heat.
Serve with strawberries, brownies, bananas, pineapple, cheesecake, or pound cake
PHOTO COURTESY THE MELTING POT
Recipe courtesy The Melting Pot
50 FEBRUARY 2020 / NAPERVILLEMAGAZINE.COM
NAPERVILLEMAGAZINE.COM / FEBRUARY 2020 51
Lamb shank pot pie
LOCAL FLAVOR 1910 BAR $$ 30 West State Street, Suite 200, Geneva 630.845.9100, 1910geneva.com ADELLE’S FINE AMERICAN FARE, $$$ 535 West Liberty Drive, Wheaton 630.784.8015, adelles.com ALLEGORY $$$ 224 South Main Street, Naperville 630.536.8862, allegorynaperville.com ARROWHEAD RESTAURANT AND BAR $$$ 26W151 Butterfield Road, Wheaton 630.653.5800, arrowheadgolfclub.org ARTISAN TABLE $$$ 1801 North Naperville Road, Naperville 630.505.4900, chicagomarriottnaperville.com ATWATER’S AT THE HERRINGTON INN $$$ 15 South River Lane, Geneva 630.208.7433, herringtoninn.com 52 FEBRUARY 2020 / NAPERVILLEMAGAZINE.COM
BARREL & RYE $$ 477 South Third Street, Suite 184, Geneva 630.402.0647, barrelandrye.com BEATRIX $$ 272 Oakbrook Center, Oak Brook 630.491.1415, beatrixrestaurants.com BLACKBERRY MARKET $ 401 North Main Street, Glen Ellyn 36 South LaGrange Road, La Grange
THE CAPITAL GRILLE $$$$ 87 Yorktown Center, Lombard 630.627.9800, thecapitalgrille.com CARNIVORE & THE QUEEN $$$ 2241 Maple Avenue, Downers Grove 630.541.9951, carnivoreandthequeen.com CATCH 35 $$$ 35 South Washington Street, Naperville 630.717.3500, catch35.com
BLACK ROCK BAR & GRILL $$$ 2740 West 75th Street, Naperville 630.445.8648, blackrockrestaurants.com
CHINN’S 34TH STREET FISHERY $$$ 3011 West Ogden Avenue, Lisle 630.637.1777, chinnsfishery.com
THE BURGER SOCIAL $$ 108 North Hale Street, Wheaton 630.480.0458, theburgersocial.com
CITYGATE GRILLE $$$ 2020 Calamos Court, Naperville 630.718.1010, citygategrille.com
CADENCE KITCHEN $$$ 5101 Mochel Drive, Downers Grove 630.422.7631, cadencekitchen.co
CLUB ARCADA $$ 105 East Main Street, St. Charles 630.962.7000, clubarcada.com
PHOTO BY REBECCA SIMMS, COURTESY SEOUL TACO
SEOUL TACO Restaurants inspired by Mexican street tacos have been a huge hit, offering big flavors and satisfying heat for just a couple of bucks a pop. Seoul Taco, now open in downtown Naperville, fuses classic Korean barbecue with the traditional street taco—think tacos stuffed with thinly sliced and marinated bulgogi steak topped with Korean salad mix, green onion, crushed sesame seeds, lime, and its secret sauce. 206 S. Washington St., Naperville 313.401.5105, seoultaco.com
LAZY DOG RESTAURANT & BAR Opening this month, Lazy Dog offers a broad menu that includes rotating seasonal fare and inventive eats like wild boar chili and a peanut butter and jelly burger. Join the beer club while you’re there, and—when the weather warms—eat on the dog-friendly patio, where Fido can enjoy food from the Lazy Dog dog club. 436 Route 59, Naperville 630.481.7301, lazydogrestaurants.com
COOPER’S HAWK WINERY & RESTAURANT No one should have trouble finding a wine to pair with any item on the menu at Cooper’s Hawk, which recently opened a new location in Downers Grove. The list of wines— made at its own winery with grapes sourced from California, Washington, and Oregon—is varied and interesting. And so is the food; you can’t go wrong with a candied bacon and cheese trio at a wine joint. R1801 Butterfield Rd., Downers Grove 331.215.9463, chwinery.com
COLONIAL CAFE $ 1101 South Washington Street, Naperville 1961 West Galena Road, Aurora 1625 East Main Street, St. Charles 552 Randall Road, St. Charles colonialcafe.com
HAMPTON SOCIAL $$$ 705 Village Center Drive, Burr Ridge 630.219.0009, thehamptonsocial.com HARRY & EDDIE’S $$ 29 East First Street, Hinsdale 630.590.9047, harryandeddies.com
COOPER’S HAWK WINERY & RESTAURANT $$$ 1740 Freedom Drive, Naperville 630.245.8000, chwinery.com
HOPVINE BREWING COMPANY $$ 4030 Fox Valley Center Drive, Aurora 630.229.6030, hopvinebrewingcompany.com
CRAFT URBAN $$$ 211 James Street, Geneva 331.248.8161, crafturban.com
HOLY MACKEREL! $$$ 70 Yorktown Center, Lombard 630.953.3444, harrycarays.com
DRAFT PICKS $$ 523 Fairway Drive, Naperville 630.904.1111, draftpicksnaperville.com
HUGO’S FROG BAR & FISH HOUSE $$$ 55 South Main Street, Naperville 630.548.3764, hugosfrogbar.com
EDDIE MERLOT’S $$$$ 28254 Diehl Road, Warrenville 630.393.1900, eddiemerlots.com
IKE AND OAK BREWING CO. $$ 6315 Main Street, Woodridge 331.998.2907, ideandoakbrewing.com
EGG HARBOR CAFÉ $ 175 West Jackson Avenue, Naperville 630.548.1196, eggharborcafe.com
IVY OF WHEATON $$ 120 North Hale Street, Wheaton 630.665.2489, ivyofwheaton.com
EGGS INC. CAFÉ $ 220 South Washington Street, Naperville 630.171.5555, eggsincorporated.com
JACKSON AVENUE PUB $$ 7 West Jackson Avenue, Naperville 630.904.9400, jacksonavepub.com
ELMHURST BREWING COMPANY $$ 171 North Addison Street, Elmhurst 630.834.2739, elmhurstbrewing.com
J. FLEMING’S ABSOLUTELY DELICIOUS $$$ 18 North Cass Avenue, Westmont 630.434.0224, willbeyourchef.com
EMMETT’S BREWING CO. $$ 5200 Main Street, Downers Grove 630.434.8500, emmettsbrewingco.com EMPIRE BURGERS & BREW $$ 48 West Chicago Avenue, Naperville 630.355.9000, empireburgerbar.com
JIMMY’S GRILL $$ 245 South Washington Street, Naperville 630.548.2500, jimmysgrillnaperville.com THE LANTERN $ 8 West Chicago Avenue, Naperville 630.355.7099, lanterntavern.com
FLAGSHIP ON THE FOX $$ 100 South Riverside Avenue, St. Charles 630.549.7672, flagshiponthefox.com
LE CHOCOLAT DU BOUCHARD $$ 127–129 South Washington Street, Naperville 630.355.5720, lechocolatdubouchard.com
FOXFIRE $$$ 17 West State Street, Geneva 630.232.1369, foxfiregeneva.com
LE PAIN QUOTIDIEN $$ 204 South Washington Street, Naperville 331.215.5789, lepainquotidien.com
GRAND DUKE’S RESTAURANT $$ 980 West 75th Street, Downers Grove, 708.594.5622, granddukesrestaurant.com
MAIZE + MASH $$ 430 North Main Street, Glen Ellyn 630.547.2540, maizeplusmash.com
GRANITE CITY FOOD & BREWERY $$ 1828 Abriter Court, Naperville 630.544.3700, gcfb.net
MANNA KITCHEN 2801 North Ogden Avenue, Lisle 630.536.8328, mannakitchen.net NAPERVILLEMAGAZINE.COM / FEBRUARY 2020 53
Naperville Ale Fest Winter Edition
MELTING POT $$$$ 4931 Route 59, Naperville 630.717.8301, meltingpot.com MORTON’S THE STEAKHOUSE $$$$ 1751 Freedom Drive, Naperville 630.577.1372, mortons.com MOVEABLE FEAST + COMPANY $$ 112 North Hale Street, Wheaton 630.868.3777, moveablefeastandco.com THE NEST BAR & GRILL $$$ 2001 Rodeo Drive, Bolingbrook 630.771.9400, bolingbrookgolfclub.com OLD TOWN POUR HOUSE $$ 1703 Freedom Drive, Naperville 630.448.6020, oldtownpourhouse.com PAISANS PIZZERIA $$ 2901 Ogden Avenue, Lisle 630.922.4100, paisanspizza.com PARKERS’ RESTAURANT & BAR $$$ 1000 31st Street, Downers Grove 630.960.5700, parkersamerican.com PEANUTS BAR AND GRILL $ 22 West Chicago Avenue, Naperville 630.369.5200, peanutsbarandgrill.com
Brew lovers can get excited (perhaps enough to pry them out of their suburban dens) about two lager-centric events this month By Kathy Aabram NAPERVILLE CRAFT BEER WEEK February 21–29 Craft beer connoisseurs, mark your calendar for the first annual Naperville Craft Beer Week. Have you wondered if cupcakes and beer go together? Or wished for a flight of beers to pair with your meal? Are you a home brewer looking to gain insight from a brewmaster? For one week, participating Naperville restaurants will offer a number of specials, tastings, food pairings, and classes all centered on craft beer. Check the website for details. napervillecraftbeerweek.com 54 FEBRUARY 2020 / NAPERVILLEMAGAZINE.COM
NAPERVILLE ALE FEST February 29 Take what you learn from Naperville Craft Beer Week and put it to good use at Illinois’s largest outdoor winter beer fest. The annual Naperville Ale Fest Winter Edition features hard cider, food trucks, fire pits, and over 150 craft beers. Come taste beers that are only available in the winter, such as stouts, porters, barrel-aged brews, and double IPAs. Dress for the chill—long johns are a superb idea. Noon to 4 p.m. $55. Frontier Park, 3380 Cedar Glade Dr. napervillealefest.com
PIERCE TAVERN $$$ 5135 Main Street, Downers Grove 630.869.5333, piercetavern.com PIZZERIA NEO $$ 31 South First Street, St. Charles 630.377.8700, pizzerianeo.com PLANK BAR & KITCHEN $$ 120 Water Street, Naperville 331.401.5500, hotelindigo.com/napervilleil PRIMO $$ 29 South Third Street, Geneva 630.232.2280, allchocolatekitechenprimo.com R. URBAN WINE BAR & CAFE $$ 4738 Main Street, Lisle 414.909.1583, urbanwinelisle.com RBK AMERICAN GRILL $$ 994 Warren Avenue, Downers Grove 331.251.6780, rbkdg.com
PHOTO COURTESY LOU DOG EVENTS
ALL THE ALE
PERRY’S STEAKHOUSE & GRILLE $$$ 5 Oakbrook Center, Oak Brook 630.571.1808, perryssteakhouse.com
RED ARROW TAP ROOM $$ 216 South Washington Street, Naperville 630.536.8739, redarrowtaproom.com
VICTORY MEAT & SEAFOOD $$$ 116 North York Street, Elmhurst 630.359.5599, victorymeatandseafood.com
FONTINA'S ITALIAN KITCHEN $$ 1767 West Ogden Avenue, Naperville 630.717.7821, thefontinas.com
SANTO CIELO $$$ 120 Water Street, Suite 509, Naperville 630.323.0700, stcielo.com
WALKER'S CHARHOUSE $$$ 8 West Gartner Drive, Naperville 630.637.6988, walkerscharhouse.net
GIA MIA PIZZA BAR $$ 106 North Hale Street, Wheaton 13 North Third Street, Geneva giamiapizzabar.com
SEASONS 52 $$$ 3 Oakbrook Center, Oak Brook 630.571.4752, seasons52.com
WHEATSTACK $$$ 5900 South Route 53, Lisle 630.968.1920, wheatstacklisle.com
SIXTYFOUR–A WINE BAR $$ 123 Water Street, Naperville 630.780.6464, sixtyfourwinebar.com
WHITE CHOCOLATE GRILL $$ 1803 Freedom Drive, Naperville 630.505.8300, whitechocolategrill.com
SOVEREIGN $$$ 24205 West Lockport Street, Plainfield 815.556.8577, sovereigntap.com
WILDWOOD $$$ 477 South Third Street, Geneva 630.377.8325, wildwoodsteak.com
SULLIVAN’S STEAKHOUSE $$$ 244 South Main Street, Naperville 630.305.0230, sullivanssteakhouse.com
TAP IN PUB & CARVERY $$ 2155 CityGate Lane, Naperville 331.457.5798, tapinpub.com TED’S MONTANA GRILL $$$ 39 West Jefferson Avenue, Naperville 630.848.2255, tedsmontanagrill.com THE TURF ROOM $$ 1033 Kilbery Lane, North Aurora 630.906.9300, theturfroomrestaurant.com THIRTY O THREE $$ 3003 Corporate West Drive, Lisle, 630.245.7650, hiltonlislenaperville.com/allgauers-restaurant
FRANCESCA’S PASSAGGIO $$$ 3124 South Route 59, Naperville 630.946.0600, miafrancesca.com GIORDANO’S $$ 119 South Main Street, Naperville 630.428.2111, giordanos.com HARRY CARAY'S ITALIAN STEAKHOUSE $$$ 70 Yorktown Shopping Center, Lombard 630.953.3400, harrycarays.com
ANGELI’S $$$ 1478 East Chicago Avenue, Naperville 630.420.1370, angeliscatering.com
IL SOGNO $$ 100 North Hale Street, Wheaton 630.682.5900, ilsognoristorante.com
AURELIO’S $$ 1975 Springbrook Square Drive, Naperville 630.922.3600, aureliospizza.com
LA SORELLA DI FRANCESCA $$$ 18 West Jefferson Avenue, Naperville 630.961.2706, miafrancesca.com
BIAGGI’S $$ 2752 Showplace Drive, Naperville 630.428.8500, biaggis.com
LITTLE POPS NEW YORK PIZZERIA TRATTORIA $$ 1819 Wehrli Road, Naperville 630.210.8084 littlepopspizzeria.com
BRACONI’S $ 796 Royal St. George Drive, Naperville 630.717.9530, braconis.com BRICKS WOOD FIRED PIZZA & CAFÉ $$ 1763 Freedom Drive, Naperville 630.799.6860, brickswoodfiredpizza.com
TRUE FOOD KITCHEN $$ 105 Oakbrook Center, Oak Brook 630.716.3056, truefoodkitchen.com/oakbrook
CAPRI SOGNO $$ 24102 West Lockport Street, Plainfield 815.733.5815, caprisogno.com
TWO BROTHERS BARREL HOUSE $$$ 16 West Jefferson Avenue, Naperville 630.615.7100, thecraftsmannaperville.com
CHE FIGATA $$$ 2155 CityGate Lane, Suite 103, Naperville 630.579.3210, chefigatakitchen.com
TWO BROTHERS ROUNDHOUSE $$ 205 North Broadway, Aurora 630.264.2739, twobrothersroundhouse.com
CLARA’S PASTA $$ 6550 South Route 53, Woodridge 630.968.8899, clarasrestaurant.com
TWO BROTHERS TAP HOUSE $$ 30W315 Calumet Avenue West, Warrenville 630.393.2337, twobrothersbrewing.com
FIAMME $$ 19 North Washington Street, Naperville 630.470.9441, fiammepizza.com
UP NORTH ALE HOUSE $$ 1595 North Aurora Road, Naperville 630.946.6494
FIRE + WINE $$$ 433 North Main Street, Glen Ellyn 630.793.9955, fireandwine.net
LIVIA ITALIAN EATERY $$$ 207 South Third Street, Geneva 116 East Schiller Street, Elmhurst liviaitalianeatery.com LOU MALNATI’S PIZZERIA $ 131 West Jefferson Street, Naperville 630.717.0700, loumalnatis.com MAGGIANO’S LITTLE ITALY $$ 1847 Freedom Drive, Naperville 630.536.2270, maggianos.com MIDICI THE NEAPOLITAN PIZZA COMPANY $$ 135 Water Street, Naperville 630.445.8054, mymidici.com ROSEBUD ITALIAN SPECIALTIES $$$ 22 East Chicago Avenue, Naperville 630.548.9800, rosebudrestaurants.com TRAVERSO’S RESTAURANT $$ 2523 South Plainfield-Naperville Road, Naperville | 630.305.7747 traversosrestaurant.com NAPERVILLEMAGAZINE.COM / FEBRUARY 2020 55
lame writers like Shakespeare for making Valentine’s Day the multibillion-dollar commercial extravaganza it is today. While the holiday had its roots in some rather dark and un-woke Roman fertility rituals, it was the The Bard who sweetened it up in his work and helped popularize it. In the Middle Ages, people were giving each other handmade cards. Today, however, Hallmark has relieved people of that DIY burden. Love it, hate it, or tolerate it, this year the pressure is on because VDay falls on a Friday. So plan early if you want to eat at one of Naperville magazine’s top picks for romantic dinners.—KA
ATWATER’S RESTAURANT Located in the luxurious Herrington Inn, Atwater’s offers fresh regional cuisine and an outstanding wine list. The panoramic view of the courtyard and the Fox River makes a perfect backdrop for an intimate dinner. Dishes include succulent steaks, chops, duck, fish, braised pork ribs, lobster tail, and rack of lamb. After dinner make your way to one of the individually appointed hotel rooms, slip into a cozy bathrobe, and enjoy the fireplace. atwatersgeneva.com
GINKGO RESTAURANT Lisle’s Morton Arboretum provides a serene setting for an evening with your love. An elegant five-course meal—each course paired with wine—includes housemade gnocchi, braised short ribs, and tiramisu. Live guitar music, handmade flower arrangements, and unlimited prints from the photo booth round out the evening. Omnivore and vegetarian menus are available. mortonarb.org 56 FEBRUARY 2020 / NAPERVILLEMAGAZINE.COM
INDIAN HARVEST It’s impossible to resist the exotic scents of alluring spices and smoldering tandoori ovens walking into Indian Harvest. These are sensations reminiscent of a great date: gentle wafts of perfume and waves of anticipation. The food and service at Indian Harvest deliver on all the expectations, with flavorful harvest dinners, curry dishes, seafood, and full bar service. indianharvest.com MON AMI GABI Romance is in the air at this upscale French bistro, featuring sophisticated, dark wood tones, red velvet curtains and a traditional multicolored mosaic tile floor. Food options include fresh seafood, crepes, steak, and traditional French preparations like steak tartare, chicken paillard and trout amandine, as well as vegan dishes. If Friday night doesn’t work, purchase tickets for the Champagne and sparkling wine class on Saturday, February 15. monamigabi.com NICHE If you and your love enjoy unusual libations and eclectic food, head to downtown Geneva’s Niche— the lighting is soft, the energy convivial, and the service impeccable. Niche is home to an impressive collection of beers, wines, and over 400 whiskeys. Begin with the homemade sausage board or rabbit rillette agnolotti and end with cotton candy or a liquor-ladened milkshake. nichegeneva.com
VAI'S ITALIAN INSPIRED KITCHEN + BAR $$ 916 South Route 59, Naperville 630.453.5200, vaisnaperville.com
MEXICAN/LATIN A TODA MADRE $$ 499 North Main Street, Glen Ellyn 630.474.0969, atmrestaurant.com CHAMA GAÚCHA $$$$ 3008 Finley Road, Downers Grove 630.324.6002, chamagaucha.com CHUY'S TEX-MEX $$ 28250 Diehl Road, Warrenville 512.473.2783, chuys.com EL GRAN AGAVE $$ 1650 Maple Avenue, Lisle 630.541.8959, elgranagaverestaurant.com ESTEBAN’S $$$ 1550 North Route 59, Naperville 630.579.3262, estebansdiningdancing.com FAT ROSIE’S TACO & TEQUILA BAR $$ 47 East Chicago Avenue, Naperville 630.328.0060, fatrosies.com FOGO DE CHÃO $$$ 1824 Abriter Court, Naperville 630.955.0022, fogodechao.com FRONT STREET CANTINA $ 15 West Jefferson Avenue, Naperville 630.369.5218, frontstreetcantina.com MAGO GRILL & CANTINA $$ 641 East Boughton Road, Suite 152, Bolingbrook, 630.783.2222, magodining.com NANDO’S PERI-PERI $$ 6 West Jefferson Avenue, Naperville 630.388.0193, nandosperiperi.com POTTER’S PLACE $ 29 West Jefferson Avenue, Naperville 630.355.9165, pottersplacenaperville.com QUIUBO $$ 120 Water Street, Naperville 331.702.2711, quiubomx.com
PHOTO COURTESY HERRINGTON INN
TUSCAN TAVERN $$$ 4571 Route 71, Oswego 630.554.9600, tuscantavernoswego.net
UNCLE JULIO’S $$ 1831 Abriter Court, Naperville 331.444.1300, unclejulios.com YERBABUENA MEXICAN CUISINE $$ 4732 Main Street, Lisle 630.852.8040, yerbabuenacuisine.com
ASIAN BANGKOK VILLAGE $$ 22 East Chicago Avenue, Naperville 630.369.9757, thebangkokvillage.com BD’S MONGOLIAN GRILL $$ 221 South Washington Street, Naperville 630.428.0300, gomongo.com BLUE SUSHI SAKE GRILL $$$ 123 Water Street, Naperville 630.428.8500, bluesushisakegrill.com DOMO 77 $$$ 4097 Healthway Drive, Aurora 630.692.0032, domo77.com GREEN BASIL $$ 45 East Jefferson Avenue, Naperville 630.922.7700, greenbasil-restaurant.com
SHINTO $$$ 504 North Route 59, Suite 116, Naperville 1739 Freedom Drive, Suite 121, Naperville shintorestaurants.com SUSHI HOUSE $$ 175 West Jackson Avenue, Naperville 630.717.8888, mysushihouse.com THAI MEDALLION $$ 327 North Center Street, Naperville 630.305.0183, thaimedallion.com TOKYO BAY SUSHI BAR & GRILL $$ 2775 Showplace Drive, Naperville 630.579.8880, tokyobaysushi.net WOK’N FIRE $$ 120 East Liberty Drive, Wheaton 630.665.1440, woknfire.com YU’S BISTRO $$ 658 Route 59, Naperville 630.848.6998, yubistronaperville.com
HOUSE OF EMPEROR $$ 1212 South Naper Boulevard, Naperville 630.983.8284, houseofemperorchinese.com
EL TAPEO $$ 2100 Spring Road, Oak Brook 630.828.2044, eltapeorestaurant.com
JIN 28 $$ 28 West Jefferson Avenue, Naperville 630.848.1828, napervillejin28.com
MESÓN SABIKA $$$ 1025 Aurora Avenue, Naperville 630.983.3000, mesonsabika.com
KIKU JAPANESE STEAKHOUSE $$$ 2764 Aurora Avenue, Naperville 630.305.3355, mykiku.com MOSHI MOSHI $ 109 South Main Street, Naperville 630.355.5516, moshimoshisushi.net
GREEK BASILS GREEK DINING $$ 4000 Fox Valley Center Drive, Aurora 630.692.1300, basilsgreekdining.com
RAKU SUSHI $$ 850 East Ogden Avenue, Naperville 630.357.7633, rakusushi.com
MON AMI GABI $$$ 260 Oakbrook Center, Oak Brook 630.472.1900, monamigabi.com
ROCK SUGAR $$$ 2022 Spring Road, Oak Brook 630.320.2641, rocksugarkitchen.com
PARIS BISTRO $$ 2835 Showplace Drive, Naperville 630.357.1005, parisbistronaperville.com
ROKA AKOR $$$ 166 Oakbrook Center, Oak Brook 630.634.7652, rokaakor.com
SUZETTE’S CREPERIE $$ 211 West Front Street, Wheaton 630.462.0898, suzettescreperie.com
SHAKOU $$ 22 E. Chicago Ave., Naperville 312 West Main Street, St. Charles shakourestaurants.com
TALLGRASS $$$$ 1006 South State Street, Lockport 815.838.5566, tallgrassrestaurant.com
INDIAN BAWARCHI $$ 4250 Fox Valley Center Drive, Aurora 630.375.1600, bawarchinaperville.com BOMBAY JOE’S $$$ 462 North Park Boulevard, Glen Ellyn 888.502.5102, gobombayjoes.com CUISINE OF INDIA $$ 1163 East Ogden Avenue, Naperville 630.548.9440, cuisineofindianaperville.com DECCAN SPICE $$ 192 West Gartner Road, Naperville 331.701.7105, deccanspicechicago.com HYDERABAD HOUSE BIRYANI PLACE $$ 4448 East New York Street, Aurora 630.236.0600, hhnaperville.com THE INDIAN HARVEST $$ 796 Royal St. George Drive, Naperville 630.579.9500, theindianharvest.com INDIA PALACE RESTAURANT $$ 242 East Geneva Road, Wheaton, 630.681.8002, indiapalacerestaurantwebs.webs.com JK KABAB $ 572 Weston Ridge Drive, Naperville 630.778.5555, jkkabab.com RUCHI INDIAN RESTAURANT $ 4S040 Route 59, Naperville 630.791.9792, ruchinaperville.com SHIKARA RESTAURANT $$ 1620 75th Street, Downers Grove 630.964.1720, shikaradownersgrove.com SHREE RESTAURANT $$ 1550 Route 59, Naperville 630.538.7000, shreerestaurants.com
IRISH BALLYDOYLE IRISH PUB $$ 5157 Main Street, Downers Grove 630.696.0600, ballydoylepub.com QUIGLEY’S IRISH PUB $$ 43 East Jefferson Avenue, Naperville 630.428.4774, quigleysirishpub.net NAPERVILLEMAGAZINE.COM / FEBRUARY 2020 57
Seared tuna taco from La Mesa See p. 66
58 FEBRUARY 2020 / NAPERVILLEMAGAZINE.COM
T THE A LOVE C OF O S FOR
Their very nature—creamy, spicy goodness that you can literally
cradle in your hands—fosters our emotional relationship with tacos. This glorious finger food makes life worth living, and we’ve assembled these pages to celebrate our love for them. From cilantro debates and
homemade tortillas to walking tacos and margaritas, our feature covers
all the best local taquerias. It’s kind of a love story. A taco love story.
BY SHONDA DUDLICEK, MARK LOEHRKE, AND GRACE PERRY PHOTOGRAPHY AND STYLING BY REGAN BARONI ILLUSTRATIONS BY KEVIN STERJO
NAPERVILLEMAGAZINE.COM / FEBRUARY 2020 59
1910 Geneva GENEVA
“Our el macho taco with skirt steak, chorizo, avocado, homemade charred green salsa, and Chihuahua cheese—melted between two tortillas—is considered our best taco,” says co-owner Lindsey De Los Santos. 30 W. State St. MUST ORDER The popular
zucchini, corn, and sweet potato esquites (shown): “We can’t believe how much people love this taco,” says De Los Santos, “especially considering that it doesn’t have cheese or meat and is vegan.”
60 FEBRUARY 2020 / NAPERVILLEMAGAZINE.COM
A Toda Madre
Chicks ‘n Salsa
The owners here consider its best taco the barbacoa, which includes braised brisket, melted Chihuahua cheese, pepino relish, scallions, and avocado-salsa cruda (translation: raw). Also popular? The Bien Trucha taco, made with grilled skirt steak, chorizo, melted Chihuahua cheese, and roasted tomatillo-serrano salsa. 499 N. Main St.
Known for its fire-grilled chicken, hence the plucky name, this indie Mexican grill offers eight kinds of tacos. Classics include chicken, steak, veggie, ground beef, chorizo, carnitas with pico de gallo, cheese, and lettuce. Fresh is the focus—most of the produce is organic, and the rice and beans are vegetarian. 874 Roosevelt Rd.
MUST ORDER Aguacate: a light-and-
MUST ORDER Baja fish or shrimp: The fish
bright flavor combination of tempura avocado, pineapple pico de gallo, and chipotle aioli for some kick.
is available in crispy beer-battered or grilled tilapia, and both are topped with cabbage, cucumber, cilantro, and chipotle mayo.
Del Barrio Mezcaleria GENEVA
Street art and 200 top-of-the-line tequilas are part of the experience here, along with an edgy decor and urban vibe. The best and most popular taco is the pastor, featuring pork shoulder with grilled pineapple and avocado salsa. 507 S. Third St. MUST ORDER The vegetarian calabaciA Toda Madre
Bien Trucha GENEVA
Billed as “a Mexican experience,” this serves as an upscale option for Taco Tuesday in this cozy locale in Geneva’s downtown. The Quiubo, or braised short rib, includes pepino relish, scallions, and the aforementioned avocado-salsa cruda. 410 W. State St. MUST ORDER Don’t miss the pollo
en pipian: shredded chicken breast, pumpkin seed mole verde, queso fresco, and pickled red onions.
tas: grilled zucchini with onions, butternut squash, corn, bell pepper, queso fresco, avocado, and jalapeño salsa.
El Callejon NAPERVILLE
Its name, the Spanish word for alley, takes its inspiration from the streets of Mexico, “where everyday people walk to get food,” according to the website. Visit between 2 and 5 p.m. Monday through Thursday for one happy hour (or all three!). 602 S. Route 59 MUST ORDER Mexican-style steak taco:
10 signs you’re eating an authentic Mexican taco 1 It’s actually a taco. (Not a salad, not a bowl, not a Frito bag. A taco.)
2 It’s on a soft tortilla— hard-shell tacos are more American than baseball.
3 It’s topped with just onions and cilantro.
4 The staff speaks Spanish to each other.
5 You take a bite and meat juices drip out the back.
6 You’re not entirely sure what kind of meat you’re eating, but it’s exquisite.
With a corn tortilla, marinated steak, onions and cilantro, it’s considered the restaurant’s best and most unique taco.
There’s a fridge full of Jarritos sodas behind the register.
FUN FACT "Mexican style" has onions
and cilantro, while "American style" has shredded lettuce and cheese.
There aren’t fajitas or queso on the menu. (Those are totally Tex-Mex.)
9 You could, if you wanted to, eat the whole taco in three bites. Bien Trucha
10 You’re in Mexico.
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El Gran Agave LISLE
“We hand-slice pork shoulder, marinate it with our signature Guajillo pepper adobo, and stack it on a vertical spit, allowing it to baste while it cooks,” says co-owner Angelica Herrera about the taco al pastor (shown). 1650 Maple Ave. MUST ORDER
Tacos Campechanos: authentic Mexican pork chorizo sausage, skirt steak, and shredded chicken—a meat-lover’s dream—topped with onion, cilantro, and avocado.
En Fuego Mexican Grille
Fire It Up
With 14 taco varieties, it’s good to get some guidance. Carne En Fuego—with grilled marinated skirt steak, chorizo, and arbol salsa—is billed as its best taco. The pollo en fuego substitutes grilled marinated chicken breast for the steak, but keeps the other ingredients central. 17W648 22nd St.
Known for its drinks, Fat Rosie’s carne asada is the best taco, with a secret recipe marinade that’s “craveable and insanely savory,” according to the staff. It’s a rare occurrence if an al pastor—guajillo-marinated grilled pork shoulder, grilled pineapple, salsa verde, onions and cilantro—isn’t ordered. 47 E. Chicago Ave.
Unique offerings include an Asian taco (braised pork, Napa cabbage, citrus dressing, homemade spicy soy ginger sauce, and house-pickled red onions) and a veggie taco (chimichurri rice and beans, tortilla strips, and a vegan horseradish herb sauce). 1523 N. Aurora Rd.
MUST ORDER Any of the 13 other
varieties … because you can never try too many tacos!
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MUST ORDER Coliflor frita: A fried
cauliflower taco is not something you see at most Mexican restaurants, nor is the talking comedic cowboy in the baño.
MUST ORDER Taco flight: Test your
capacity by downing three each of four varieties (out of 11 choices) to create a delicious dozen.
Flour Power Buying tortillas at the grocery store may sound like a fairly sterile and pedestrian task, but a trip to El Valle Florido is something special. From the outside, the compact market—situated in a quiet Aurora residential neighborhood—is virtually indistinguishable from the surrounding houses, but inside awaits the warm embrace of a traditional family-run Mexican corner store and something else: the smell of fresh tortillas, which have been made daily out of this location since 2009. While the production volume at El Valle Florido may suggest a tortilla factory, the experience onsite is more akin to a cozy village shop, which is perhaps why it has become a must-stop destination for local customers looking for not only a great tortilla (including these varieties), but a little taste of authentic Mexico. 278 Beach St., Aurora
CORN Great to double up for the small, handheld street-style tacos that have dominated the scene of late.
FLOUR Available in both taco and burrito sizes, this classic is among El Valle Florido’s bestsellers.
FLOUR CHIPOTLE With a touch of chipotle folded into the dough, the tortilla itself becomes a bigger player in the flavor profile of your favorite taco or burrito.
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Flavor Wheel The tacos at Fonda mi Pueblito can certainly stand deliciously on their own. But owner Ana Rodriguez loves when customers use them as handheld canvases upon which to sample the many fresh, homemade salsa varieties she has brought to Aurora from her small-town Mexican upbringing. Here are 10 to try from among an endlessly rotating and expanding roster. 31 N. Broadway, Aurora
TAMARINDO-HABANERO Hints of citrus lead the flavor parade in another sweet-spicy selection.
AGUACATE AVOCATE A popular choice in Mexico City, this green option adds avocado to the mix and works well on both barbacoa and al pastor tacos.
CACAHUALE Things really start to heat up with this peanut-based concoction, featuring both arbol and guajillo chiles.
THREE-CHILE Toasted green peppers are among the ingredients in this strong, smoky, and spicy red variety.
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RED TOMALE Tomatoes and jalapeĂąos trade flavor notes in this moderately spicy all-purpose salsa.
MACHA Among the most popular options at Fonda mi Pueblito, this red salsa is 100 percent olive oil-based, with toasted red peppers and fried chile de arbol lending their flavors to the mix.
GREEN TOMATILLO The distinctive Mexican husk tomato is boiled to create these mild salsas, which tend to work as a dip for chips or on almost any kind of taco.
CHIPOTLE Part of the family of spicier red salsas, this smoky variation includes the namesake pepper, along with a host of secret spices from an old family recipe.
RAW GREEN SALSA Green tomatillos provide the color and consistency here, while jalapeĂąos add the needed kick.
MANGO-HABANERO One of a trio of sweet-spicy fruit-infused salsas that get their heat from the habanero; pairs well with al pastor tacos.
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Habanero Mexican Restaurant
Cilantro or Cilantsoap? The IHateCilantro.com website hosts a litany of rants, including this haiku: “I like to urinate / inside a salad / if it has cilantro.” Yes, that’s a website dedicated to the slander of cilantro. And yes, you can buy cilantrophobic memorabilia on that website, including T-shirts reading “I HATE CILANTRO.” Who would think that the herb ubiquitous in Mexican food— and Latin American cuisine, more broadly—would elicit such rage? And, more importantly, why? Cilantro’s a polarizing herb: People either love it or hate it. And whether or not we like cilantro isn’t just a matter of being exposed to it, nor is it an acquired taste. In fact, our DNA decides how we feel about it—our response to cilantro is linked to our genes involved in our senses of taste and smell. To somewhere between 3 and 21 percent of the population, the herb tastes like soap. Studies have shown the gene crops up more of East Asian and European descent, while only 4 percent of Latinx folks report a soapy taste on their tacos. And, honestly? If my taste buds were biologically predisposed to equate a bowl of pho with a piping hot cup of Tide, I’d write some rage haikus, too.
Habanero Mexican Restaurant PLAINFIELD
Known for its friendly service, Habanero serves an array of $2.25 tacos— carne asada, carnitas (weekends only), fish, al pastor, and two veggie options: sautéed bell peppers and grilled cactus—in a family atmosphere. 16108 S. Route 59 MUST ORDER Grilled chorizo chicken
sausage: This housemade taco features a special blend of spices, described as a “perfectly infused bite every time.”
Authentic and inspired street foods here include arabes (diced pork shoulder and bacon) and carne asada (diced steak and chiles torreados). Come for the seven taco varieties, including three veggie options, but linger for the churro shakes. 1727 Freedom Dr. MUST ORDER Aguacate Fritos: pan-
ko-crusted fried crispy avocado slices, serrano crema, and cotija cheese.
La Mesa ST. CHARLES
With “modern Mexican” as part of the name, expect some authentic flavors with a modern twist at this new restaurant on the Fox River. The barbacoa taco is a braised beef brisket, slowly roasted and topped with homemade pasilla gravy, arbol salsa, queso fresco and homemade onion straws. 51 S. First St. MUST ORDER Seared tuna: lightly seared
ahi tuna, Sriracha aioli slaw, and watermelon radish, served on lettuce or a tortilla.
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Jefa Tacos AURORA
Free chips and (warm!) salsa await at this taco outpost near Butterfield and Farnsworth. The asada is the best taco, says owner Marlene Pena, and features premium skirt steak, which is marinated and grilled. The fish tacos (shown, below) are also popular: beer-battered tilapia, cabbage slaw, pico de gallo and chipotle mayo. 1555 Butterfield Ave. MUST ORDER Jefa Taco (shown, left): skirt steak and
grilled chorizo topped with melted Chihuahua cheese and roasted pasilla salsa in a corn tortilla.
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Salt of the Earth The extensive margarita slate at Arcos Mexican Grill in Woodridge is a reflection of the restaurant’s desire to deliver not only a satisfying cocktail, but a true taste of Mexican culture as well. Operations manager Victor Rangel says that’s why there’s such a focus on using traditional ingredients such as pequin chile, chamoy, hibiscus flower and more—along with seasonal additions like pomegranate, roasted peach, and watermelon. When it comes to fruity favorites, however, the signature roasted pineapple margarita is one of the most popular choices among the more than 20 variations on the menu, thanks to its unique combination of sweet and smoky flavors. 7451 Woodward, Woodridge ROASTED PINEAPPLE MARGARITA Yield: 1 drink 1 pineapple, peeled, cored, and sliced ½ cup brown sugar 3 cups pineapple juice ¾ cup freshly squeezed lime juice 2 tablespoons pequín chile (Tajin) Pineapple leaves, washed 1.5 ounces Cazadores tequila reposado ½ ounces agave nectar 1 ounce Magdala torres orange liquor Vegetable oil, as needed 1 Peel and cut the pineapple, then brush with oil and sprinkle with brown sugar. Save a slice for garnish. 2 Preheat a grill to medium-high heat and place the pineapple slices on the grill, flipping once, until get a nice brown color on both sides, about 4 minutes. Set aside to cool. 3 In a blender, add the roasted pineapple slices, pineapple juice, lime juice, Tajin and blend. 4 Strain the previous preparation and put it on the fridge for at least one hour to chill. 5 In a cocktail shaker, add the roasted pineapple juice, ice, tequila, agave nectar, and orange liquor; shake well. Strain over a rocks glass with ice, and garnish with pineapple leaves. and a pineapple slice.
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LA COLORADA An infusion of hibiscus blossoms gives this one a unique twist.
IRISH A dash of Jameson whiskey distinguishes this cultural mash-up.
CABO-RITA This specialty margarita is prepared with Tequila Cabo Wabo Resposado, mixed with orange and blue Curaçao liqueur.
MEZCAL MARGARITAS Three Arcos selections swap out one agave liquor for another—tequila out, mezcal in.
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My Taco Tour of Downtown Aurora The week my son was taking an improv camp at the Paramount School of Performing Arts in downtown Aurora, I decided that I would work on my book at the library after dropping him off. To make lunchtime more fun, I created my own taco tour, where each day I would walk to a new location for lunch. After this extensive research, I felt my work (uh, sampling tacos) was strong enough to share. The commentary below only highlights what I loved about the experience. Tacos bring people happiness, folks—no room for haters here. Let’s take the tour. BY ADAM SCHMITT 3
LA CHINTA DE LOS REYES
My family has been coming to La Chinta for years, and it never disappoints. What makes this a worthy stop is all the extras. Salsa can be great anywhere, but salsa made at your table for you? And guac to go with it? That’s just something you can’t get most places. When you go, aim for a Friday evening, when the horns of the mariachi band blast energy into the hearts of taco lovers—it’s an experience you have to try for yourself.
The Tecalitlan taco is one that all others will be compared against. Why the bold statement? Two words: homemade tortillas. Only in Mexico had I before experienced them, and it truly is a food adventure that you can’t come back from. My taco platter came with beans (which I hate) and didn’t touch. When the waitress asked me why, she stirred hot sauce into the beans, pushed my chips toward me and said, “Now try, you’ll like it.” A few chips with beans later and I was back in her good graces. I thanked her and let her know that my wife can’t even get me to eat beans. She told me to bring my wife in next week. Which I will, because I am not about to lie to this woman.
TAQUERIA EL TIO & RESTAURANT
Just a block from the library, this was an easy start to the tour. The staff was friendly, seating cozy, and was a perfect work break. I ordered pastor and asada tacos, sat back, and waited for the happiness. The marriage of meats and tortillas did not disappoint; I would stack these against any other location in our area. But what made it a double bonus was the value. It was Monday, which meant dollar tacos. When I paid my bill of $3.32, I couldn’t use my card because I hadn’t hit the $5 minimum. For the value, this place can’t be beat.
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JALISCO TACOS AUTHENTICO
Just up the hill is one of the more popular taco destinations of Aurora. What I love about Jalisco’s—and really, each of my stops—is they don’t skimp on toppings. So many Americanized tacos are notoriously short on ingredients, but not here. The pastor had the highest flavor content of the tour (so far, but just wait). Jalisco’s is also a perfect date night location due to its proximity to a Mexican bakery. The combination of tacos and a treat? Don’t waste that evening on just anyone—save this for when you’ve found “the one.”
The tacos here seemed slightly pricier, but when three pastors with cilantro and onions arrived, I saw why: Never in my life had I seen seasoned pork spilling from a tortilla like this. It was beautiful. It was delicious. And I went to the counter to pay I realized why: Spinning, glowing, and dripping for all to enjoy was the pastor wheel, seasoned pork stacked two-feet high with pineapple on top allowing the sweetness of the juice to counter the salt in the pork. If you’ve never had pastor tacos with meat shaved fresh off the wheel, you may not want to. Every other taco will disappoint you. That’s a promise.
La Quebrada AURORA
The tacos on the expansive, 12-page menu are served solo or with salad, rice, and beans. Varieties include asada (steak), pollo (chicken), al pastor (pork), chorizo (Mexican sausage), and cecina (thin steak). Daily breakfast, handmade tortillas, and a Sunday brunch make La Quebrada a dining destination. 723 S. Broadway MUST ORDER The unique lengua—that’s tongue—taco (shown). “From
the lengua to the chips,” says one reviewer, “it’s like eating at abuelas.”
A restaurant that has a location in Toluca, Mexico, definitely knows tacos. Its most popular version is the seasoned ground beef tacos, served with a choice of soft flour, corn, or crispy tortillas. Try the buffet in the Naperville location: $7.95 to $10.50 per person. 1255 E. Ogden Ave., Naperville, and 311 Ogden Ave., Westmont
Get here early to try the rotating specials of the day. The spicy fried chicken is counted as the best by the owners of Los Dos, but recent offerings included the roasted lamb, spicy fried shrimp, and pork belly tacos—the latter sold out by dinnertime. 2251 Maple Ave.
MUST ORDER Tacos al carbon: three
MUST ORDER Salbute: an open-faced
taco with chicken, cabbage, pickled onions, and tomato.
grilled skirt steak tacos served with cebollitas (Mexican baby onions), nopalitos (baby cactus salad), and hot pico de gallo.
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How to DIY a Taco Bar FIVE TIPS FOR MAKING FIESTAS AT HOME
1 HEAT IT UP Add spice to enhance flavors and add richness to any taco. Offer different levels of heat with various salsas and peppers (hint: tomatillo-based salsa verde is generally hotter than its tomatobased cousins). Instead of sour cream, try chipotle aioli to add a kick.
2 CITRUS SQUEEZE Besides making your mouth water, acidity cuts heaviness and gives food a fresh, clean taste. Add premade mango salsa from Whole Foods, pico de gallo from Casey's Foods, or lime juice to balance out spicy or fatty flavors.
3 CRUNCH TIME Chopped onions, radishes, corn salsa, and shredded cabbage add unique flavors and texture, perfect for soft tacos.
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CAMPOS CHICKEN Yield: 40 tacos
1 Toss chicken with remaining ingredients in a large bowl to coat. Cover and chill for 2 hours (or overnight).
6 pounds chicken tenders 4 tablespoons black pepper ½ cup onion powder ½ cup garlic powder ½ cup crushed red pepper 1 cup cilantro, chopped ½ cup white onion, chopped ½ cup lime juice 1 cup vegetable oil
2 Heat a large cast-iron skillet over medium-high heat. Coat pan with a thin layer of oil. Working in batches, place chicken pieces in skillet in a single layer (do not crowd). Cover and cook until a crust forms, about 5 minutes. Turn; cook, uncovered, until chicken is cooked through, 3 to 4 minutes longer. Transfer to a platter; let rest for 5 minutes. 3 Cut chicken into 1/2-inch cubes. Transfer with any accumulated juices to a medium bowl. Season with salt. DO AHEAD Can be made 1 day ahead. Let cool slightly. Cover; chill. Rewarm before serving. Recipe courtesy Front Street Cantina, Naperville and Plainfield
5 VEGGIE OPTIONS Offer black beans and avocado slices as substitutes for the protein and fat found in meat for plant-based guests.
4 SOFT SHELLS, POR FAVOR Hard shells plus shredded lettuce and cheese is very American. For a more authentic approach, use soft shells (flour if you must), and Cotija— a hard, crumbly Mexican cheese (above right).
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Taco Maya BLOOMINGDALE
You’ll find 10 specialty tacos here, including some unusual offerings from chef Patricio Elizondo. Try the chicken tinga, with shredded chicken, tomato, and a chipotle pepper puree. The signature taco—steak, bacon, and pineapple—is the restaurant’s most popular. 162 E. Lake St. MUST ORDER The vegetarian paneer
taco: The marinated soft cheese base is topped with a jalapeño mint sauce, grilled onions, cilantro, and red and green peppers.
Let’s Walk and Tac’ Ah, the Walking Taco: crumbled up corn chips, crumbly taco meat, cheddar cheese, sour cream and salsa. Also known as a Frito Pie, this dish (well, technically it’s served in a chip bag) is one of the most controversial food items of our time. Now, is a Frito bag packed with Tex-Mex flavors a legitimate taco? Of course not. Can we even, in good conscience, call it a taco at all? The jury’s still out on that. But even so, we’re here to tell you: Give the Walking Taco a chance in 2020. Food is evolutionary. The way we prepare, produce and consume meals conforms to our time. And whether you like it or not, this oh-so-American take on a Mexican staple is simply a reflection of the current zeitgeist. The Walking Taco is basically the Real Housewives of Mexican food: It’s cheap to produce, inauthentic, kind of embarrassing to admit you love, but so undeniably enjoyable to consume. Eating out of a Frito bag isn’t the most elegant way to dine, sure. But the Walking Taco is freakin’ delicious. Try it for yourself—we love the Frito Pie at Station One Smokehouse in Plainfield.
This open and airy Water Street location has a modern feel and unique flavors. The pescado taco features crispy beer-battered tilapia with Napa cabbage, tomato, and cilantro, tossed in mango aioli and topped with pickled red onions. 120 Water St. MUST ORDER The unique Pulpo taco:
Zarandeado-style charred octopus, roasted onion, radish, avocado, and serrano peppers topped with crispy potatoes and lime zest salsa.
Rito’s Mexican Restaurant AURORA
A northern Mexican specialty, the base of the chipotle taco is marinated grilled chicken, topped with cabbage and purple onions. Daily drink specials include a $5 margarita on Thursdays. 3450 Montgomery Rd. MUST ORDER Cesina tacos: “Delicate
combination between soft, tenderized cecina meat and Mexican sausage topped off in a Mexican style of onions and cilantro,” says co-owner Rito Huizar, who is a native of Zacatecas.
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Owner Maribel Molina Cortes says the shrimp tacos served at Totopos hail from a special recipe handed down from her father, who passed away two years ago. Her most popular offering is the steak taco, which is served either Mexican style (with cilantro and onions) or American style (with lettuce and tomato). 2048 Aurora Ave. MUST ORDER Taco arabe: a larger, hand-
rolled taco “served with seasoned steak, melted cheese, grilled onions, spices, and an extra-hot peanut salsa.”
Uncle Julio’s NAPERVILLE
Come on Tuesdays for an interactive Taco Bar experience: ground beef or shredded chicken kept warm in individual Dutch ovens and 13 fresh ingredients presented tableside on a spinning wooden tray, so everyone can reach. Try the kitchen-recommended spicy, cowboy, flamingo, or twist flavor combinations. 1831 Arbriter Ct. MUST ORDER Spicy seared tuna: corn
tortillas, ahi tuna, mango-jicama slaw, red bell pepper, and chipotle crema served with cilantro rice and black beans.
This cozy downtown cochina owned by Miguel Ascencio features an expansive menu and a pet-friendly rooftop patio. Try the pastor pineapple with pork marinated in ancho, garlic, vinegar, and onion, topped with pineapple, tomato chipotle salsa, onions, and cilantro. 4734 Main St. MUST ORDER Cochinita pork tacos (shown): pork achiote baked
under banana leaves, with fresh citrus salsa made with fresh lime, grapefruit, red vinegar, chopped onions, and habaneros.
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A Valentine’s Day Guide for the Confused Gift Giver Does this person love Chicago? Yes!
Great! What do they like most?
Discovering new things to do!
Stories like our Suburban Adventure Guide will give them thoroughly researched food, activity, and shopping recommendations for our sprawling region.
The fascinating figures shaping the city! Seriously?
The eats, of course.
The Best New Restaurants issue will give them a list to eat off of all year!
Features like our recent cover story on Lori Lightfoot will give them exclusive insights into the most influential leaders in Chicago.
Give a gift subscription to Chicago 1 year, only $14
They obviously don’t know enough about our city! Give them our Best of Chicago issue so they can discover some of the area’s superlative offerings.
Hot Club of Cowtown
TO-DO LIST Through February 23 FAMILY
ENCHANTED RAILROAD Marvel at a world of tiny enchantment: an intricate miniature model railroad wind through magnificent scenery that the whole family can enjoy. Watch as more than 10 model trains wind through a two-level display of tree collections from around the world. The trains run at a child-friendly height to thrill even the littlest fan. Included in admission. $15/adult (18–64), $13/ senior (65+), $10/child (2–17). Various times. Morton Arboretum, 4100 Route 53, Lisle. mortonarb.org Through March 1
PHOTO BY RYAN SAUL
JEEVES SAVES THE DAY The indefatigable Jeeves and his balmy employer Bertie Wooster return for an all-new adventure in the world premiere of Jeeves Saves the Day, a new comedy by Margaret Raether, based
on the works of P.G. Wodehouse. Once again, Bertie finds himself suffering the slings and arrows of misfortune at the hands of his relatives, caught between the magisterial machinations of his fierce Aunt Agatha and the plaintive pleadings of his cousin Egbert. Throw in the imperious Sir Roderick Glossup and you’ve got another priceless predicament that cannot be overcome … unless one calls upon the redoubtable Jeeves to save the day. $34–$44. Various times. Mayslake Peabody Estate, 1717 W. 31st St., Oak Brook. firstfolio.org Through March 29 THEATER
AN AMERICAN IN PARIS Come away with Jerry Mulligan, an American GI doing his best to make it as a painter in the bustling city of Paris following the end of World War II. The storied streets of the City of Lights become the dance floor to a
ravishing and passionate voyage into art, friendship, and love. Set to the music of George and Ira Gershwin, this Grammy Award nominee and winner of four Tony Awards is sure to please. $70–$75. Various times. Drury Lane, 100 Drury Ln., Oakbrook Terrace. drurylanetheatre.com February 2 FITNESS
SUPER SHUFFLE 5K The 10th annual Super Shuffle 5K, held on Super Bowl Sunday, benefits the Geneva Park District Scholarship fund. $20–$30. 10 a.m. Geneva Middle School South, 1415 Viking Dr., Geneva. genevaparks.org February 4 SPECIAL EVENT
BLOCK PRINTING VALENTINES Hear the history of mass-produced Valentines, learn about often-pictured plants, and make your own using
Addresses in event listings are located in Naperville unless otherwise noted. Please verify event details with sponsor organizations; events are subject to change after the press deadline. Email your event for consideration, 45 days in advance, to firstname.lastname@example.org, subject line: calendar. NAPERVILLEMAGAZINE.COM / FEBRUARY 2020 77
HOT CLUB OF COWTOWN Back by popular demand, the award-winning Western Swing band returns to the MAC to celebrate its 21st anniversary. $35–$40. 7:30 p.m. Belushi Performance Hall, 425 Fawell Blvd., Glen Ellyn. atthemac.org February 7–9 SPECIAL EVENT
READING RETREAT The concept is simple: a weekend dedicated to reading without distractions. Being pampered and relaxed is key. So, meals are prepared, cups of tea and coffee, as well as glasses of wine, are available 24/7, and blankets are provided. There’s no need to make polite conversation, here—concentrating on reading takes priority. $369. Homestead1854, 611 E. Main St., Plano. thehomestead1854.com block-printing techniques. Ages 18 and up. Register online. $20. 1 to 3 p.m. Mayslake, 1717 31st St., Oak Brook. dupageforest.org February 5 LITERARY
JEANINE CUMMINS In Cummins’s novel American Dirt, a Mexican family finds itself up against a dangerous drug cartel with limited options to escape. From comfortable citizens to threatened migrants, this is a harrowing escape story. To join the signing line, please purchase the book from Anderson’s Bookshop. 7 p.m. Anderson’s Bookshop, 123 W. Jefferson Ave. andersonsbookshop.com February 7
February 7–April 19 THEATER
THE PRINCESS AND THE PEA “Hear ye, Hear ye! Prince Wellington is seeking a bride.” All the princesses in the land are lining up to be the first to pass the “Princess Test.” But the Prince has a different idea; for he has fallen in love with an ordinary young maiden. Can this common girl pass the test? Will the oh-so persnickety Queen allow her to win? Will a tiny pea and a stack of mattresses stand between her and true love? Find out in this new musical based on the classic tale by Hans Christian Andersen. A special one-hour presentation for kids (and parents) of all ages. All performances followed by a question-and-answer session with the cast. $19. Various times. Marriott Theatre, 10 Marriott Dr., Lincolnshire. marriotttheatre.com
OPEN DRESS REHEARSAL & INSTRUMENT PETTING ZOO Join the DuPage Symphony Orchestra for a behind-the-scenes glimpse at the dress rehearsal for its concert Echoes of East and West. Watch the orchestra at work for the first hour, then join Maestra Schubert and the DSO musicians for refreshments and conversation at break time. A string instrument petting zoo will also be available. Free for students and subscribers; $5 for all others. Registration is highly encouraged. 7 p.m. Wentz Concert Hall, 171 E. Chicago Ave. dupagesymphony.org 78 FEBRUARY 2020 / NAPERVILLEMAGAZINE.COM
February 8 SPECIAL EVENT
CHOCOLATE AND WINE PAIRING What pairs better with chocolate than wine? Savor specialty chocolate bars with expertly selected wine samples. A ticket purchase (required for those 21+) includes 10 samples of chocolate and 10 one-ounce pours of wine. Children are permitted to walk through the tasting room with a ticket holder. Check the website for ticket prices (not available at presstime). Noon to 3 p.m. Morton Arboretum, 4100 Rte. 53, Lisle. mortonarb.org
FIGHT FOR AIR CLIMB Step up and make a positive impact on lung health by participating in a Fight For Air Climb event. Raise funds and challenge yourself to support the American Lung Association’s mission while climbing the 31 Floors and 680 Stairs of the Oakbrook Terrace Tower. $33. 7 a.m. Oakbrook Terrace Tower, 1 Tower Ln., Oakbrook Terrace. action.lung.org February 8 CHARITY
AN AMERICAN IN PARIS This annual gala includes dinner, a live auction, and performances by the CYSO’s Symphony Orchestra, a 130-member ensemble made up of some of the most talented and dedicated young musicians from across the Midwest. Proceeds allow CYSO to continue educating and inspiring more than 9,000 of Chicago’s next generation of leaders. $400. 6 p.m. Four Seasons Hotel, 120 E. Delaware, Chicago. cyso.org February 8 MUSIC
ECHOES OF EAST AND WEST Virtuoso percussionist Mitya Nilov joins the DuPage Symphony Orchestra to present Keiko Abe’s mesmerizing Prism Rhapsody for marimba and orchestra. Other works include Claude Debussy’s Prelude to The Afternoon of a Faun, Gustav Holst’s Japanese Suite, and Beethoven’s seminal Symphony No. 5 in C Minor. $15–$38. 7:30 p.m. Wentz Concert Hall, 171 E. Chicago Ave. dupagesymphony.org February 8 DANCE
CINDERELLA The Russian National Ballet presents Cinderella, a timeless ballet composed by Sergei Prokofiev, notable for its jubilant music, lush scenery, and the comic double roles of the stepsisters. $25– $40. 8 p.m. Pfeiffer Hall at North Central College, 310 E. Benton. finearts.northcentralcollege.edu February 8 CHARITABLE
CHOCOLATE WALK Downtown Naperville’s annual Chocolate Walk benefiting local 360 Youth Services will satisfy everyone’s
PHOTO COURTESY AMERICAN LUNG ASSOCIATION
Fight for Air Climb
sweet tooth. Attendees will receive a commemorative souvenir chocolate tin along with a map touring many downtown shops where chocolate tasty treats and chocolate surprises await. Noon to 5 p.m. $31. Downtown Naperville. 360youthservices.org
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February 8 FAMILY
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ICE A PALLOZA Snow Queen Elsa, Snow Princess Anna, and Olaf will greet you at this outdoor skating event. There will be open skating, hockey, kids games, and a performance by Center of Ice DuPage. Ice skate rental and purchase will be available; sizes are limited. Free. 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Central Athletic Complex Ice Rinks, 500 S. Naperville Rd., Wheaton. wheatonparkdistrict.com
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February 8 SPECIAL EVENT
THE ICE3 FEST Brave the cold and plan a day in downtown Wheaton with the family to tour the many ice sculptures sponsored by and displayed outside the local businesses. Be sure to stop by Martin Memorial Plaza at noon to enjoy a live ice sculpting demonstration. Free. 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Downtown Wheaton. dowtownwheaton.com February 8–17 SPECIAL EVENT
CHICAGO AUTO SHOW The annual auto show features one million square feet of exhibit space showcasing 1,000 domestic and imported passenger cars and trucks, sport utility vehicles, and experimental or concept cars. Special days include Women’s Day (February 11), Hispanic Heritage Day (February 14) and Family Day (February 17). $13/adult, $8/senior or child 7 to 12. 10 a.m. McCormick Place, 2301 S. Lake Shore Dr., Chicago. chicagoautoshow.com February 9 SPECIAL EVENT
VICTORIAN VALENTINE & CANDY MAKING TEA Learn the fine art of making Victorian valentines and homemade candy in this cooking class. Candies include Ardelle’s Buckeyes, English Toffee, White Chocolate Lavender Fudge, Rose Petal Butter Creams and Potato Chip Candies. After making valentines and candy, guests
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will enjoy tea including tea sandwiches, scones, Devon crème, and jam. $50– $65. 2 to 4 p.m. Pinecone Cottage Tea House, 1029 Burlington Ave., Downers Grove. pineconecottageteahouse.com February 9 LECTURE
February 12–March 29 THEATER
THE SECRET OF MY SUCCESS Brantley Foster, a young ambitious Midwesterner, moves to New York City to start his dream job at a major corporation, only to be laid off on the very first day. In his relentless enthusiasm to succeed, Brantley finds himself tangled up in a sidesplitting scheme in which he assumes the identity of a rising executive named Carlton Whitfield. As he climbs the corporate ladder, tirelessly concealing his identity, Brantley soon falls in love with a beautiful colleague named Christy and discovers that his definition of success might be all wrong. Will he get the job, win at love or just
Ballet Folclórico Nacional de México de Silvia Lozano
get caught? Adapted from the smash 1987 Michael J. Fox movie, The Secret of My Success, this world-premiere musical is a wild look at corporate culture, ambition, and making your way in life. $36–$74. Various times. Paramount Theatre, 22 E. Galena Blvd., Aurora. paramountaurora.com February 13 LECTURE
NEXT STOP ELMHURST: AN EXPLORATION OF ELMHURST RAILROADS PRESENT & PAST Elmhurst History Museum curator of exhibits, Dan Bartlett, will talk about the earliest history of the Galena and Chicago Union Railroad through the western suburbs, its operations, and how the coming of that first rail line from Chicago affected the communities along its path. Registration required. Free. 3 p.m. Elmhurst History Museum, 120 E. Park Ave., Elmhurst. elmhursthistory.org February 14 SPECIAL EVENT
Two Brothers Valentines Day Dinner
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FOR THE LOVE OF FRIDA GALA Celebrate the coming of Frida 2020 as James Beard Award–winning Chef Rick Bayless takes guests on a Mexican adventure inspired by Frida Kahlo. The evening features dinner with commentary from Rick Bayless, who will visit with guests, sign autographs and share insights about food, about its preparation and origins. The event also includes silent and live auctions, enter-
tainment and open bar. $275–$325. 6 p.m. Esplanade Lakes, 3500 Lacey Rd., Downers Grove. atthemac.org February 14 MUSIC
JANICE BORLA Her recordings and performances have earned her consistently high praise for her beautiful sound, superb technique, adventurous repertoire, and imaginative vocal improvisations. Joining Borla for this concert will be fellow members of the college’s highl esteemed jazz studies program. $17–$22. 8 p.m. Madden Theatre at North Central College, 171 E. Chicago. northcentralcollege.edu February 14 SPECIAL EVENT
TWO BROTHERS VALENTINE’S DAY DINNER The 12th annual private dinner features a prix fixe menu with a seven-course meal paired with exclusive beer. This year’s theme is “Traveling the Spice Trail: Explore the culinary world through spices as we travel from Africa, through India, and into Asia.” $100. 6 p.m. Two Brothers Tap House, 30W 315 Calumet Ave. W, Warrenville. twobrothersbrewing.com February 14–17 SPECIAL EVENT/FAMILY
GREAT BACKYARD BIRD COUNT The Great Backyard Bird Count is a free, fun, and easy event that engages birdwatchers of all ages in counting
PHOTO COURTESY TWO BROTHERS, BALLET FOLCLÓRICO
AN EVENING WITH HARRIET TUBMAN Kathryn Harris will present a first-person historical program as Harriet Tubman—the abolitionist, humanitarian, and civil rights activist who guided enslaved people to freedom via the Underground Railroad before the Civil War. Following her presentation as Tubman, Harris will answer questions from the audience about the program and historical interpretation. $10/ adult, $9/youth (4 to 12) and students. Members and Naperville residents are free. 4 to 5 p.m. Century Memorial Chapel at Naper Settlement, 523 S. Webster. napersettlement.org
birds to create a real-time snapshot of populations. Participants are asked to count birds for as little as 15 minutes on one or more days of the four-day event and report their sightings online at birdcount.org. Anyone can take part, from beginning birdwatchers to experts, and you can participate in your backyard, or anywhere in the world. audubon.org February 15 SPECIAL EVENT
BONSAI SILHOUETTE SHOW The Prairie State Bonsai Society will be displaying their finest bonsai trees in their winter form. Bonsai vendors will be offering trees, pots, tools and other materials for sale. Please visit Prairie State Bonsai’s website for more information. Free with $5 parking. 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Cantigny Visitors Center, 1S151 Winfield Rd., Wheaton. cantigny.org February 15 THEATER
THE BEST OF THE SECOND CITY This show features the best sketches and songs from the Second City’s history made famous by superstars like Tina Fey, Stephen Colbert, Steve Carell, Gilda Radner, Bill Murray, Keegan-Michael Key, Aidy Bryant, Alan Arkin and more—as well as their trademark improvisation. $32–$46. 5 and 8 p.m. Belushi Performance Hall, 425 Fawell Blvd., Glen Ellyn. atthemac.org
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February 16 DANCE
BALLET FOLCLÓRICO NACIONAL DE MÉXICO DE SILVIA LOZANO Inspiring audiences through their sharing of the culture of Mexico, both at home and abroad, the BFNM reflects folklore, dance, music, and costumes, inspiring and moving audiences to revel in the inspiration of Mexican history. $59. 5 p.m. Belushi Performance Hall, 425 Fawell Blvd., Glen Ellyn. atthemac.org February 16 MUSIC
CHICAGO BRASS QUINTET As Chicago’s original brass quintet, these five virtuosos possess the technical and musical mastery needed to perform the music of all periods and styles with equal aplomb. The Chicago Brass Quintet brings style, grace, dazzling technique and humor to every performance. Their concert will include NAPERVILLEMAGAZINE.COM / FEBRUARY 2020 81
local author Mary Kubica is what you’ll discover in The Other Mrs. To join the signing line, please purchase the author’s latest book from Anderson’s Bookshop. 7 p.m. Anderson’s Bookshop, 123 W. Jefferson Ave. andersonsbookshop.com
book on women geniuses, The Genius of Women. To join the signing line, please purchase the author’s latest book from Anderson’s Bookshop. 7 p.m. Anderson’s Bookshop, 123 W. Jefferson Ave. andersonsbookshop.com
antiphonal music by Gabrieli as well as works by Vivaldi, Morricone, and Chicago Scenes by Mark Elliot. $18. 2:30 p.m. Fermilab Art Gallery, Pine St., Batavia. February 16 MUSIC
THE GREATEST LOVE OF ALL North Central College presents the critically acclaimed live concert honoring the talent, music, and memory of Whitney Houston. Featuring the breathtaking vocals of Belinda Davids, accompanied by a fabulous six-piece live band and dancers, this is a beautifully crafted tribute to one of the world’s most revered singers. $25–$45. 6 p.m. Pfieffer Hall, 310 E. Benton Ave. northcentralcollege.edu
SCHOOL’S OUT DAY CAMP: EDISON, NEWTON, AND YOU! Explore how science and history come together in this hands-on camp. You will learn how wind power works, go on a simple machine scavenger hunt in the historic buildings, see if you can keep your ice cooler during the ice cube challenge, and build a simple circuit that illuminates a light bulb. $45. 8:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. Naper Settlement, 523 S. Webster. napersettlement.org February 20 LECTURE
MRS. LINCOLN IN LOVE Settled comfortably in the Executive Mansion in January of 1862, Mrs. Lincoln, portrayed by Laura Keyes, reflects on the loves of her life while visiting with ladies during an afternoon tea. Listen as she shares some of Mr. Lincoln’s love letters to her. Bring a sack lunch. The lecture begins at 1 p.m. Free. 12:30 to 2 p.m. 95th Street Library, 3015 Cedar Glade Dr. naperville-lib.org February 21 MUSIC
EVERYONE NEEDS A LITTLE MAGIC IN THEIR LIFE If you love magic, this is your chance to learn the secrets of Shim Lin, Houdini, Blackstone, and Wizzo the Wizard. Guests will see amazing acts of prestidigitation and will learn how to perform them. Sponsored by the local chapter of Society of American Magicians. Free. 7:30 to 9 p.m. Evangelical Lutheran Church, 314 W. Vallette St., Elmhurst. magicsam.com
CHICAGO A CAPPELLA: FIESTA CORAL MEXICANA Celebrate the colorful and dynamic music of Mexico at this vibrant concert, including works by Baroque masterworks from Puebla Cathedral, traditional folk music, luminous contemporary works, and popular favorites like “La Bikina” and “Besame Mucho.” Included in the concert are three pieces commissioned for Chicago a cappella by Rodrigo Cadet, Novelli Jurado, and Julio Morales as part of the ensemble’s ¡Cantaré!, a Chicago composer-in-residence program. $20–$43. 8 p.m. Wentz Concert Hall, 171 E. Chicago Ave. chicagoacappella.org
February 17 LECTURE
WINE & WHISKEY This event features wine and whiskey samples, live music, small bites, and meet and greets with Animal Ambassadors, all in the zoo’s relaxed setting. A ticket includes parking and admission to the zoo (10 a.m. to 5 p.m.). $85/member; $95/nonmember. 4 to 8 p.m. Brookfield Zoo, 8400 W 31st St., Brookfield. czs.org February 22 THEATER
DISCOVERING ANTARCTICA: HEROIC TALES OF SHACKLETON, CREAN & SCOTT Tom Crean (1877–1938), the intrepid Antarctic explorer and one of Ireland’s unsung heroes, is brought to life in this dramatic and humorous solo performance by Aidan Dooley. Hear the riveting true stories of Crean’s Antarctic explorations as one of the few men to serve with both Scott and Shackleton and survive three famous expeditions: Discovery (1901–04), Terra Nova (1910–13), and Endurance (1914–16). $14–$28. 8 p.m. Fermilab Ramsey Auditorium, Pine St., Batavia. events.fnal.gov February 22 LITERARY
CHILDREN’S LITERATURE BREAKFAST Enjoy a full breakfast while an author or illustrator joins table discussions between the keynote speakers. There will also be raffles, goody bags, book talks on the newest in children’s literature, an onsite bookstore and continuing education credit hours. $63. 8 a.m. to 12 p.m. Bobak’s Signature Events, 6440 Double Tree Eagle Dr., Woodridge. andersonsbookshop.com February 22 MUSIC
MARY KUBICA A creepy, warped, and twisty thriller from New York Times bestseller and 82 FEBRUARY 2020 / NAPERVILLEMAGAZINE.COM
JANICE KAPLAN The author and former Parade magazine editor in chief presents her new
GUY KING 2017 Blues Music Award nominee Guy King’s music is fresh and unique while maintaining a strong link to the musical masters that came before him.
PHOTO BY SARAH JASTRE, COURTESY SPECIAL OLYMPICS CHICAGO
Named as Chicago’s Latest Royalty by Vintage Guitar magazine, he continues to perform, write and record new material with an ear sensibly tilted toward producing great music; taking the varied music he loves and recasting it in new directions. $20–$25. 8 p.m. The Venue, 21 S. Broadway, Aurora. themusicvenue.org February 22 FAMILY
NAPERVILLE PLAYS! Visitors will quadruple their fun in this partnership of programming with themed “Community Cares” hands-on craft activities and storytelling provided by the DuPage Children’s Museum, Naper Settlement, Knoch Knolls Nature Center, and the Naperville Public Library. $12/adult and youth, $10/senior (60+). Naper Settlement and DuPage Children’s Museum members are free. 1 to 4 p.m. DuPage Children’s Museum, 301 N. Washington St. napersettlement.org
nities for rescue adoptions. $10/adult, $8/senior & children 6–12 (free for children under 6). 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Prairie Center at Kane County Fairgrounds, 52 S. Randall Rd., St. Charles. lscats.org February 24–28 SPECIAL EVENT
ST. CHARLES RESTAURANT WEEK Get discounts at any of the 30-plus participating restaurants, bistros, eateries, and grills that make St. Charles a culinary delight during the annual Restaurant Week. Check the website for participating restaurants. stcharlesil.gov February 28 MUSIC
CHAMBER MUSIC AT THE LIBRARY An education and engaging chamber music concert presented by DuPage Symphony Orchestra featuring the jazz combo ZAZZ. Free. 7:30 p.m. 95th Street Library, 3015 Cedar Glade Dr. naperville-lib.org
WINDY CITY ELVIS COMPETITION Elvis impersonator and nationally recognized Rick Saucedo headlines the ninth annual competition bringing together some of the most amazing Elvis performers in the country. $29–$69. Arcada Theater, 105 E. Main St., St. Charles. arcadalive.com February 22–23 SPECIAL EVENT
LINCOLN STATE BENEFIT CAT SHOW AND FELINE EVENT Founded in 1959, the Lincoln State Cat Club sponsors its 58th annual feline event. Vendors will offer a variety of cat care accessories, art, jewelry, cat play, and toy products. There will be a judging of pedigreed and household pets, educational seminars, and opportuPolar Plunge
WINDY CITY DUELING PIANOS Ever-popular Windy City Dueling Pianos will be entertaining guests in this not-to-be-missed public show. Call 630.536.2270 for reservations. 7 p.m. Maggiano’s, 1847 Freedom Dr. windycityduelingpianos.com February 29 THEATER
THE CAPITOL STEPS Just in time for the primary season, everyone’s favorite equal opportunity offenders return to the MAC for political parody with plenty of fresh laugh-out-loud songs and original sketches. The Capitol Steps dig into the headlines of today, leaving no stone unturned, and no audience member without a smile. $42–$49. 4 and 8 p.m. Belushi Performance Hall, 425 Fawell Blvd., Glen Ellyn. atthemac.org February 29 SPECIAL EVENT
WINE, CHEESE & TREES This evening full of fine wine, delicious treats, and a live auction will raise money to be used toward planting more parkway trees in downtown Geneva. $15–$30. 7 p.m. Persinger Center, 3507 Kaneville Rd., Geneva. geneva-il.org
February 29 CHARITABLE
EMERALD DINNER This annual fundraiser supports the West Suburban Irish and St. Baldrick’s Foundation, with entertainment including the McNulty Irish Dancers. $80. 6 p.m. Cress Creek Country Club, 1215 Royal St. George Dr. wsirish.org February 29 MUSIC
THE CHICAGO HARMONY SWEEPSTAKE Come see the vocal competition that inspired NBC’s hit show, The Sing-Off! The Harmony Sweepstakes A Cappella Festival is the premier American showcase for vocal harmony music, and one of seven regional competitions drawing from the best vocal groups around the country. The winning group from the Chicago competition will earn the opportunity to compete against the other six regional champions at the National Finals held in San Francisco each May. $30–$40. 7:30 p.m. Wentz Concert Hall, 171 E. Chicago Ave. northcentralcollege.edu March 1 CHARITABLE
A CUP OF HOPE Guests will enjoy sparkling wine, an extensive selection of loose teas, finger sandwiches, fresh fruit, and assorted pastries and scones while learning about tea culture around the world. Proceeds benefit Northern Illinois Food Bank. See the website for ticket details. 1:30 to 4 p.m. Embassy Suites, 1823 Abriter Ct. solvehungertoday.com March 1 CHARITABLE
POLAR PLUNGE The 20th annual Chicago Polar Plunge offers fearless cold weather warriors the opportunity to take part in an unforgettable day, for an incredible cause. Benefiting the 7500 athletes of the Special Olympics Chicago program, the Chicago Polar Plunge takes place at North Avenue Beach, and has become the must-attend winter event in the city. In 2019, the event attracted more than 4,000 plungers and raised more than $1.8 million dollars. This year, in honor of the 20th anniversary, the organization hopes to reach $2 million. North Avenue Beach. 1600 N. Lake Shore Dr., Chicago. chicagopolarplunge.org NAPERVILLEMAGAZINE.COM / FEBRUARY 2020 83
NIA PARKER The 21-year-old Chicago native dances with hip-hop ballet troupe Hiplet Ballerinas this month in Glen Ellyn By Mark Loehrke FIRST STEPS I’ve been in the studio since I was a baby. My mom was a dancer/teacher, and there are pictures of her holding me as she taught tap! While I never had the sole dream of becoming a professional dancer, I did know that I wanted to be in the entertainment industry in some capacity.
DIVERSITY OF DANCE Hiplet allows me to combine and explore so many different dance styles at once, while still being able to be myself. What makes the troupe so special is that we all constantly learn from each other’s different backgrounds and strengths, and our individual styles allow audience members to really relate and see themselves onstage. February 8 at McAninch Arts Center at College of DuPage 425 Fawell Boulevard, Glen Ellyn Tickets: $40–$50 | atthemac.org 84 FEBRUARY 2020 / NAPERVILLEMAGAZINE.COM
PHOTO COURTESY CHICAGO CULTURAL CENTER
ART FOR ALL We want to show audiences that art can be accessible. Ballet especially has a very elitist reputation and history, but Hiplet takes traditional technique and modernizes it for today. Hopefully young dancers will see that they can go outside the box and explore different ways of expressing themselves.
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