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of the


Best West

VOL. 22 •


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MARCH 2017



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Editor & Publisher | Chuck Cozette Managing Editor | Anne Knudsen Assistant Editor | Sarah Astra Art Director | Rachel Switall Contributing Writers Laurie Barton, Joni Hirsch Blackman, Buzz Brandt, Kathy Johns, Sara Pearsaul Vice, Lynn Petrak, Lisa Sloan, Michele Weldon and Tom Witom Contributing Photographer Ed Ahern Advertising Sales Pam Loebel, Susan Reetz Accounting/Circulation Jennifer Cozette Reader Advisory Board Laurie Barton (Glen Ellyn) Linda Cassidy (Campton Hills) Mary Ellen Coombs (Wheaton), Joan Hoff (Elmhurst) M Grace Grzanek (Batavia), Liz Hunka (Wheaton) Nancy Jensen (Batavia), Holly Jordan (Wheaton) Mary Ellen Kastenholz (Western Springs) Kate Kirkpatrick (Naperville) Molly Livermore (St. Charles) Pamela Peterson (Burr Ridge) Diana Santos (Woodridge), Darla Scheidt (Darien) Jean Stawarz (Oak Brook) Marilyn Straub Garazin (Winfield) West Suburban Living is a publication of C2 Publishing, Inc. 5101 Darmstadt Rd., Hillside, IL 60162 630.834.4995 / 630.834.4996 (fax) No part of this publication may be reproduced in any form without prior written permission of C2 Publishing, Inc. Any views expressed in any advertisement, signed letter, article or photograph are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the position of West Suburban Living or its parent company. West Suburban Living (Vol. 22, No. 3 MAR 2017; ISSN No. 1532-6705) is published monthly, except for July/August and November/December issues (10 times a year) by C2 Publishing, Inc., 5101 Darmstadt Rd., Hillside, IL 60162, 630 834-4995, fax 630 834-4996. Periodicals postage paid at Elmhurst, Illinois and additional mailing offices. Subscriptions: 1 year $15; 2 years $24; 3 years $32. Single copy $3.95; back issues, as available, $7. West Suburban Living assumes no responsibility for unsolicited materials. POSTMASTER: Send changes of address to West Suburban Living Magazine, P.O. Box 111, Elmhurst, IL 60126. Printed in USA. 4 MARCH 2017 | WWW.WESTSUBURBANLIVING.NET | WEST SUBURBAN LIVING

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Contents |




Photo courtesy of xxxxx

West Suburban Living



Go For the Sold


Outdoor Inspiration

How to prep your home to win over prospective buyers

Collaborative landscape planning can result in a yard customized to your specific recreational and entertaining needs.

Town Focus

Photo courtesy of Hursthouse


 Features 39


Best of the west Readers’ choices of the best in dining, shopping, entertainment and more




Old and new, harmoniously balanced

ON THE COVER Best of the West winners clockwise from upper left: Best Weekend Getaway, Galena; Best Farmer’s Market, Wheaton French Market; Best Live Theatre, Drury Lane; and Best Independent Coffeehouse, River City Roasters

WHAT’S YOUR HOUSE WORTH? A statistical, town-by-town look at home values in the western suburbs


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Departments |




Photo courtesy of Reggie Brown

West Suburban Living


Photo courtesy of Allstate Arena

Obama impersonator Reggie Brown

Edward Elmhurst Health CEO Pam Davis greets ex-Governor Pat Quinn on Diabetes Awareness Day, 2012

14 12

25 Around the Towns







Going back to school yields some interesting lessons.

A physical resemblance leads to an unexpected career and the chance to travel the world.


By The Numbers





Having dinners delivered isn’t worth it if you still have to do the cooking and the clean-up.

78 The go-to site for the Best of the Western Suburbs at your fingertips!

Intriguing numerical tidbits

with retiring Edward-Elmhurst Health CEO Pam Davis



REVIEW: Warren’s Ale


REVIEW: Barbakoa in Downers Grove






New book releases from west suburban writers SCENE & SEEN

A photo gallery of recent notable charitable events




New stores and hidden gems




The best in music, theatre and other area events

House in Wheaton

The Bistro at Le Chocolat du Bouchard in Naperville, Crazy Fox Bar and Grille in St. Charles, and Restaurant Juliette in Geneva

Aged vines deliver resplendently rich, complex flavors


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T IMBER T RAILS Development Company

Visit our Model at: 1010 White Pine Lane Western Springs, IL 60558 708.783.1600

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editor’s Note Relearning the Value of Communication

“Treat the Earth well.


We do not inherit the Earth from our ancestors, we borrow it from our children.” - Native American Proverb

“Service is the rent we pay to be living. It is the very purpose of life and not something you do in your spare time.” - Marian Wright Edelman

“Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that frightens us. You are a child of God. You were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us.” - Nelson Mandela

“So then let us pursue the things which make for peace and the building up of one another.”

gave myself a little injection of youth last month by taking on a job that I had very much enjoyed doing 25 years ago. It was as energizing as I remembered but also more than a bit exhausting . . . and a little dispiriting as well. The job was to serve as a temporary adjunct professor of communications at a local college while one of its faculty members was away on maternity leave. Seemingly a lifetime ago, I had served as an adjunct at another college, teaching a couple of journalism classes over the course of 10 years or so. I had fond memories of that experience and had tossed around the idea of trying to teach again. So this seemed like a great opportunity to give it another shot without having to make any kind of major commitment. Getting back in a college classroom — indeed, just being on college campus three days a week — was both fun and academically stimulating, just as I had hoped. And even though preparing for class was quite a bit more time consuming than I remembered or anticipated, I found myself enjoying the challenge, at least initially. One of the classes I was teaching was Introduction to Mass Media. As you might guess, having last taught a media class more than two decades ago, getting completely up to speed on the new world of social media and rapidly changing communications technologies took more than a little work. I was hitting the books right along with my students. Fortunately, several of my students were especially social media savvy, and their contributions helped to create a more give-and-take,

- Romans 14:19

interactive environment for the class. As the class moved along, we discussed pertinent but increasingly complex hot button topics like journalistic ethics and personal, cultural and media biases. As part of the process, each day students were challenged to take note of relevant mass media-related news going on in the world and share it with the class. And while many of the discussions were good ones, I often came away from class disheartened. A key thread through all the discussions was that despite having the greatest communications tools in the history of mankind at our disposal, it is clear that as a society, we are experiencing a serious failure to communicate. Instead of breaking down barriers, our newfound abilities to interact with virtually anyone and everyone seems to be causing only greater personal and social divisions. And unfortunately, I see it getting worse, not better. Here at West Suburban Living, however, our goal will be to continue to build community and to celebrate the positive. And you’d be hard pressed to find a better example of that then our annual Best of the West reader survey results on page 39, where we celebrate more than 80 west suburban superlatives. We hope you enjoy the article and the rest of this issue and, as always, thanks for being a reader.


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By Numbers


32/75 Rain or shine, tens of thousands turn out for the wearing of the green on St. Patrick’s Day. Staking its claim as the largest parade outside Chicago, Elmhurst welcomes a crowd of 20,000-plus. Eighty elaborate floats, seven marching bands and the 25-member Elmhurst Armpit Orchestra — kazoos, washboards and a giant bucket drum — will traverse the mile-long route. Naperville kicks off its shamrock shindig with a 3,000-strong 5K race. Later on, the 5,000 participants march, dance and tumble past thousands of green-clad spectators who line 160,000 bird lovers participate each spring in the National Audubon Society’s Great

the sidewalks along the one-mile trek into town. Further west in St. Charles, the parade is a family tradition, complete with clowns, leprechauns, marching bands and Celtic pipers along the 1.7 mile route.

Backyard Bird Count. This year,

Elmhurst, March 4 at 12 p.m.

East Dundee/West Dundee, March 11 at 11 a.m.

Wheaton’s Cosley Zoo joined

Forest Park, March 4 at 1 p.m.

St. Charles, March 11 at 2 p.m.

in, offering its first-ever workshop

Naperville, March 11 at 10 a.m.

Plainfield, March 12 at 1 p.m.

for would-be ornithologists. Staff


helped train participants to spot and identify species common to the western suburbs. Look out for song birds, hawks, owls, the

That’s the number of households in DuPage County

dark-eyed junco or, as far east

that depend on food pantries to stretch their grocery

as Oak Park, the occasional monk

budgets each year. With 51 locations throughout the

parakeet. You can log in your

county, West Suburban Community Pantry provides

sightings at

quality food and nutrition, including meats, dairy

The Audubon Society relies

and fresh produce, to those in need. The program has

on the help of backyard

recently expanded to Bolingbrook on the border of

birdwatchers to study population

Will County, where, according to the 2015 Census, close

trends and migration patterns.

to 10 percent of residents live in poverty. The goal of the Community Hunger Network

For easier viewing, Cosley Zoo

is to educate and advocate for the elimination of hunger, one meal at a time.

is home to 32 species of birds — that’s a total of 75 individual birds, including screech owls, woodpeckers, herons, kestrels, mud ducks and more — and welcomes 170,000 visitors each year.


county sheriff squad cars patrol DuPage County,

and each and every one will soon be equipped with EpiPens, the life-saving device used to administer epinephrine in cases of severe allergic reaction. Thanks to a $40,000 donation by The Annie LeGere Foundation, the DuPage County Sheriff’s Department will be the first state-wide police force to equip its squad cars to respond to this medical emergency. Once a patient falls into anaphylactic shock, every second counts. Often, police are first responders, arriving on the scene minutes before paramedics. Each Myland EpiPen costs $600 — a 500 percent increase over 2009 prices. But hope is on the horizon, with a rival brand Adrenaclick soon to retail at just $109.


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Photo courtesy of Pam Davis

Pam Davis/


Retiring longtime Edward-Elmhurst Health CEO n Your parents were both doctors. Were

you ever tempted to take that path? PD: No. I would go with my parents in the early days when doctors used to actually make house calls and do the rounds at hospitals. And I was fascinated more with how the system worked than with taking care of people. I found it fascinating, but no, I did not want to be in the clinical end. n Did you consider a career track other

than hospital administration? PD: I was going to go into hotel-motel management but then I liked the complex nature of larger institutions. I found it more compelling, and somehow I liked the mission of doing important work. Although as a child, I thought I was going to be a prima ballerina! [laughs] Soon to retire after a distinguished career in hospital administration at Edward-Elmhurst Health, Pam Davis led the transformation of Edward Hospital from its small community roots into a major regional healthcare organization employing a staff of 8,500 and with $1.25 billion in revenues. Known for both her tenacity and integrity, Davis was the major force in guiding the hospital through an unprecedented period of growth, during an era when she was one of the few female hospital CEOs in the country. Davis came into the national

n Wasn’t healthcare at that time an

extremely male-dominated field? PD: I was the only female in my Masters class. One of my male classmates said to me, you’re taking a spot from someone who will actually run a hospital! And I have served longer than anyone else in my class of men. It truly is about 50/50 men-to-women now. But I was certainly an anomaly at the time.

spotlight in 2003, when she reported a “pay-to-play” scheme impacting hospital expansion plans. Outraged that corruption might stymie progress in the critical field of healthcare, she contacted the FBI and even wore a wire to help collect evidence that would ultimately expose illegal extortion. Raised in the western suburbs, Davis now makes her home in Naperville.


n You described yourself earlier in your

career as “young and impatient, with lots of ideas.” What turned you into a leader? PD: Yes, that sounds like me. Now I’m old and impatient with fewer ideas. [laughs]



As corny as this sounds, I do think most people want to do the right thing. If you can put a case in front of people that is scientifically based, and you can engage them into wanting to get that done, success starts building on itself. And there are so many different ways for different people. Sometimes it’s simply about giving people the flexibility to do things their way. Sometimes it’s allowing for mistakes without punishment. It’s having fun. You know, celebrating a lot of small accomplishments that over time become ingrained in the way things are done. You end up with lots of talented people wanting to come up with good ideas and implement them. n Was there someone in particular who

inspired you? PD: People I work with. Every single leader I ended up hiring was someone who had a similar philosophy to me. They were independent workers — and I certainly wouldn’t tell anyone what to do. We would do our strategic planning, figure out what programs we could make an impact with, and recruit good people. We have excellent longevity with senior leaders. Even though it’s a hard job and it’s serious work, there’s a sense of enjoyment. I think I have brought a sense of fun — appropriate fun — when we’re working together. n It sounds as though that perspective

has served you well. PD: Yes, I think it has served me very well.

Favorite charity? Literacy.

Biggest changes you’ve seen in

Three things you look forward

Naperville? Growth and diversity.

to in retirement? I want to reinvent

People may laugh, but there is

myself. I want to develop some

diversity we may not always see.

Three words that best describe

books and memoirs. But I read

hobbies, and there’s some sadness

Greatest accomplishment?

you? Competitive, generous

garbage as well!

in that. And I want to give back.

Sharing a sense of the joy and fun

and I think I’m kind.

Three tips for effective leadership?

I want to teach English as a

that we have. Don’t expect that

Books on your bedside table?

The ability to say you’re sorry. Truly

second language.

I’m normal. There are so many

I’m an avid, avid reader. There are

being interested in the people you

Best reason to go downtown?

people in healthcare who really

15 books on my bedside table and

work with and wanting them to

Architecture. I love the landscape

are traditional, and that was never

I also read on Kindle. I love WWII

succeed. And a sense of joy.

of the city and I love the lake.

too much fun for me.


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y w y h m P t g g c p a a i U . v [ s A f c I d o t a


c P a i h


p o t W o t i f S e


a a t P t

Being a good sport. Being a good citizen. Not being a power monger, which is what I saw a lot of. n Speaking of power mongering, can

you tell a little about your experience with “pay to play” back in 2003, when you reported conflicts of interest at the hospital to the FBI? Was that your motivation — to be a good person? PD: Oh, yes, to be a good citizen. At the time, I was a firm believer in good government and I still am. I’ve had the good fortune of traveling to developing countries, and I’ve met good, talented people everywhere. But the thing that always hits me is that if you don’t have an infrastructure that works, then talent is just wasted and lost. For all of its ills, the U.S. government is very good and stable . . . well, I’m saying this now laughing, very tongue-in-cheek with Trump in office. [laughs] You know, as a child, reading stories of the underground railroad, or Anne Frank, or people who saved Jews from the Nazis, I thought that maybe I could do something like that, maybe I could be very clever and make a difference, maybe I could save even one child. So when opportunity came, I thought,‘Oh, I always said I would stand up and do good, and, by god, I’m going to!’

element going forward is the tremendous work being done on genetics. I think there is going to be another huge transformation. Drugs will be geared to work on each patient’s particular genetic code. Things will be more efficient. For instance, take treatments for depression, where we start a patient on a drug that doesn’t work and have to cycle through several to find one that does. There are a lot of inefficiencies, to say nothing of the toll it takes on patients. Drug treatments tailored to genetics are going to be impressive. And there’s a huge amount of work in stem-cell research that perhaps will help regenerate organs or ligaments. It’s truly an exciting time. n Do you also see challenges ahead?

PD: Here’s what’s wrong with healthcare. We spend too much money because we as a society do not want to tackle the issues. We say, here’s the amount of money we can spend, so let’s put a budget together. As an administrator, you have to force yourself to spend that money where it is most efficacious. So if you have a 90-year-old who wants heart surgery — I’m not saying that’s good or bad — we cannot necessarily afford that, because it takes money away from someone younger who also needs costly treatments.

n Did you think of yourself as being

courageous at the time? PD: No, I just thought I was doing what any good citizen should. I didn’t realize it was going to take so long or go up as high as it did. n And do you think your actions helped

put safeguards in place so that this sort of thing couldn’t happen again within the hospital? Well, no. As with saving one child, this was one episode. I think every institution has to have its own checks and balances in place. You know, the government will forever have pockets of corruption, sadly. So, no, I don’t think I made an impact, except in this one situation. n As you come up on retirement, is there

anything more you wish you had been able to do? What are you handing off to your successors? PD: Oh my gosh, there is so much more that can be achieved. I think the exciting

n Do you think the hospital has a role

to play in those decisions? PD: People in America do not like talking about good and bad in making these kinds of choices. And so we waste and waste and waste in the final six months of life when everyone knows it’s futile. It’s not free. It is not free. I can say this since I won’t be working at Edward-Elmhurst much longer, but many people will find it religiously untenable or say that it’s mean-spirited. Who are you to make a judgment? But the fact that we don’t make a judgment is having a huge impact on the amount of money we spend. And you don’t hear anyone saying, gee, I hope I’m taxed 50 percent so that we can take care of way too many people. I mean, with the longevity of the population, it truly is a mess. You know, financially, our system is tremendously broken. So going forward, I leave that in the hands of my very talented colleagues. WEST SUBURBAN LIVING | WWW.WESTSUBURBANLIVING.NET | MARCH 2017 15

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Q&A n For Edward-Elmhurst, do you envision

the same trajectory of growth in coming years that you experienced during your tenure? PD: Right now, we are still experiencing growth in patients who are admitted and patients outside the hospital. There certainly is a push, an appropriate push, to do something called ‘population management.’ That’s where admin as well as physicians are incentivized to keep people out of the hospital setting. But that curve is going to take several years to occur. In the meantime, patients are living longer and coming to the hospital for a variety of treatments — pneumonia, orthopedic work, cardiac work. We are trying to impact the population through lifestyle changes, better eating, knowing genetically early on what patients may have a proclivity for. Over time those patients, hopefully, will not have to have the same intensity of services. n Does that mean you envisage

healthcare reaching out into the community at earlier stages? PD: Yes. And some hospitals, certainly

Here’s what’s wrong with healthcare. We spend too much money because we as a society do not want to tackle the issues. not yet in DuPage county, are looking at housing and at food — bringing fresh food into communities. It’s less expensive and more efficient to do that than to wait and have somebody with, you know, an amputation because of uncontrolled diabetes. I think it is a good trend, but as with every shift, running two systems simultaneously is always difficult. n Will you stay involved with the

hospital at any level? PD: No. I honestly believe that is not a good thing to do. I have loved it here. I’ll certainly see people from this place. But no, I don’t think that’s a good thing for a leader to do.

n You’ve spent your life in the Chicago

suburbs. Do you ever wish you had taken off for other places? PD: I’m actually very adventuresome, but there’s something I like about knowing the history of a place. I was raised in this area and have raised my kids here. This is where I can make an impact on people who I feel are my neighbors. There’s that sense that I’ve given back to people I know. Maybe that’s not as noble as giving back to someone I don’t know. But for me, it makes me feel good. n Where are our readers likely to bump

into you when you’re out and about in the suburbs? PD: Oh gosh. I live in Naperville and can walk to work at Edward but have done that only once. I just haven’t gotten into that healthy lifestyle. [laughs] I love walking through North Central College, so people might see me there. I love restaurants, and taking my grandkids out for lunch or dinner. Sadly, I’m a shopper, so that’s possible. And I do volunteer. I’d like to work with children, maybe teaching English as a foreign language. n


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2/22/17 1:04 PM


Photo courtesy of Marché

Photo by Kathy Johns

Photo courtesy of Green Envee

Hidden Gems & Longtime Favorites


Kohler Waters Spa


In the northwoods Wisconsin

A full-body massage customized

From cheese and charcuterie

homes of cousins Bob Weiss and Tim Kundinger, their mothers instilled the value of all-natural products. Motivated by skin problems that ran in the family, the two used their education in chemistry to create organic lotions, scrubs, oils, bath salts and body wash with restorative and energizing benefits. The result is Green Envee in downtown Geneva (17 S. 3rd St., 630 423-7140) featuring a wide range of skin-related products like Egyptian Myrrh Sandalwood, a lotion that relieves eczema. Other products are available for treating rosacea, sun damage, age spots and much more. Children’s products such as Bottom Balm are popular and the pair is working on treatments for allergies in pets. Best sellers include bar soaps and oils sourced from 26 countries. Testers and an iPad are available to help determine which oil is best for each skin condition. Private Aroma Mixer Parties are popular for birthdays, showers or other celebrations. — Laurie Barton

to your personal needs, hydrotherapy that includes exfoliation and a Vichy shower rinse, and a foot soak in water infused with essential oils are just some of the indulgences offered at Kohler Waters Spa in Burr Ridge (775 Village Center Dr., 630 323-7674). Clients are pampered with facials, pedicures, manicures, waxing and make-up services. One of the more popular services is the All Things Kohler Massage, says staff member Toni Walton. “It starts with a foot soak, then a scalp and shoulder massage, moving on to a full-body massage.” A unique amenity, the Circle of Tranquility includes use of the whirlpool, a cold pool to get re-energized, and the sauna. The facility provides lockers, robes and sandals for guests. Kerstin Florian, Vie, Skin Authority, Naturopathica, Jane Iredale and Kohler’s signature Hollyhock brand are popular skin care, cosmetic and wellness products available for purchase at the spa. — Kathy Johns

to wines, craft beers, spirits and a distinctive array of complementary food items, there is always something new to taste and sip at Marché in downtown Glen Ellyn (496 N Main St., 630 790-8890). Browse the dozens of cheeses and cured meats and rely on the wide-ranging product knowledge of the staff in helping you to choose from among the popular pimento spread, the Humboldt fog goat cheese, the Taleggio Italian Mountain cheese, the triple crème brie and many others. Bread and breadsticks can be purchased to complement these treats. All items are cut to order, with nothing pre-packaged, and clever gift boxes can be created for any occasion. Don’t miss the beer jelly, sweets, honeys, mustards and other tasty and unusual condiments. Catering is available and classes are offered on topics like “Cheese & Chocolate,” “Alpine Cheeses,” and “How to Create a Cheese Board.” — Laurie Barton

New Store Openings Following is a sampling of new shops that have opened in the last few months in the western suburbs. For a full list, go to Nothing Bundt Cakes New branch of popular bakery serving nine flavors of cake. All are made from hand-crafted recipes and pure ingredients. 7517 S. Cass Ave., Darien. 630 541-8725

HUDSON DESIGN HOUSE A vintage boutique specializing in timeless furniture, home décor, and specialty goods from artisans. 76 Main St., Oswego. 331 999-3719

AMY TRIPPLE New studio from nationally celebrated photographer of children and families. Studio/ location sessions, plus classes and mentoring. 44 Harrison Pl., Hinsdale. 708 203-1144

The SIPPING MUSE A creative arts and BYOB studio where fun is your muse. Paint on canvas, wood or glass. Classes and supplies available. 122 N. Hale St., Wheaton. 312 672-948

Patriot Pilates Boutique fitness center based on workouts that emphasize core stability and balance. 932 S. State St., Lockport. 630 310-0476


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By Joni Hirsch Blackman

Deconstructing a President A physical resemblance leads to an unexpected career and the chance to travel the world


he year was 2001. Reggie Brown had just moved from the western suburbs to Wrigleyville. His brother stopped by, glanced at him and mentioned something quite forgettable. “You look just like this guy who plays basketball at East Bank Club — Barack.” Later that year while waiting tables downtown, a customer of Brown’s kept staring at him. Finally, she said, “I’m so sorry! You look just like my professor. His name is Barack Obama. You should Google him!” Alerted to this potential doppelgänger twice now, Brown did. “I saw a slight resemblance,” he recalls, “but he was skinny and had big ears.” The skinny guy fell off Brown’s radar until 2007. “He was a senator by then. People would come up to me and think I was him.” Walking along city streets, cab drivers yelled to Brown, “Senator Obama!” As Obama campaigned for President, attention to Brown escalated. Endlessly, he heard, “You know who you look like?” He started answering in jest,“John McCain?” Growing up in Woodridge and Bolingbrook from age nine, and graduating from Lombard’s Montini Catholic High School, Brown always “had fun with voices to make my friends laugh.” He attended University of IllinoisUrbana where he planned a career in food service, as his first love was cooking. Until the feeling that the “universe was trying to tell me something” prompted a move to Los Angeles in 2010. “You have to take advantage of opportunities when they present themselves,” says Brown, slightly unsure if he could. He learned to make fun of a person he respects — to imitate Obama’s voice,

accentuating their similarities and “compensating for the differences.” Brown got an agent. Performing at comedy shows and corporate events around the country, he bonded with other celebrity look-alikes. With faux-Sarah Palin and almost-Bill Clinton, the politically

recalls Brown. Since then, Brown, 36, has performed in 19 or 20 different countries (he has lost track), every year applying more and more makeup.“It’s hard to keep up with his aging!” While his counterpart’s aging may slow down a bit now, so might demand for

I enter as the President, and leave as myself, telling the audience my story.”

Reggie Brown as President Barack Obama

balanced team successfully traveled the world. Ironically, it was the 2011 Republican Leadership Conference in New Orleans that catapulted Brown into the public eye. “I started roasting the Republicans who were running. It seemed to make the host a little nervous,” says Brown. “I was kicked off the stage — live on TV — and they turned off my mic. I thought my career was over.” Instead, it was a catalyst. “That put me on the map — it got me on Real Time with Bill Maher. I gave so many interviews I lost my voice,”

Obama impersonators, right? “A little,” acknowledges Brown. “But he’s still a high-profile figure and I’ve changed my show to a keynote speech about how I ‘became’ president, deconstructing the character on stage. I enter as the President and leave as myself, telling the audience my story.” It’s a familiar tale of a young man whose black father left his white mom when he was five. “I talk about growing up without a father and how one day I see this man who is an amazing, intelligent person with the same background as me. I found a father figure and I had an opportunity . . . imitation is the sincerest form of flattery.” Though Brown met Obama once briefly, he was never invited to the White House. But he came close after performing at Washington D.C.’s Air and Space Museum. Walking past the White House in full character “people were freaking out saying, ‘Oh my God, look!’” “The Secret Service gave me the best look I’ve ever seen — a double-take, like ‘What the heck is he doing out here?’ Then they realized and said, ‘You got us, man!’” Yes, he did. n


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Local Authors

By Anne Knudsen

Carve the Mark The ultimate dystopian fantasy from the author of Divergent


rom Veronica Roth, author of the bestselling book and movie trilogy Divergent, comes the first in a new science fiction series. Carve the Mark is set on the planet Urek, part of a constellation of nine nation-planets regulated by the Assembly. Warring factions rule, with the Shotet settled in the warm equatorial region and the Thuvhesits in the colder north. A mystical “current” flows through all living things and is visible in space as the “currentstream.” It bestows unique “currentgifts” on adolescents approaching adulthood, endowing them with powers that are meant to shape their futures. Each gift has the ability to mold the character of the person who receives it, magnifying both

the strengths and the flaws. Some possess a gift that heals, others the power to destroy. Cyra lives with the gift of constant


Dipped in Danger

by Samantha Dench, Elmhurst

by Helen Macie Osterman,

Licensed esthetician Samantha

Homer Glen

Dench explains how to care for

pain, which — at the bidding of her brother, a brutal tyrant who rules the Shotet with an iron first — can be inflicted on others though skin-to-skin contact. Akos, son of the peace-loving oracle of the Thuvhesit, has the power to interrupt the current, enfeebling the gifts of others. When Akos is thrust into Cyra’s world after his capture by Shotet soldiers, the enmity between their families and their countries seems insurmountable. They must decide to help each other to survive — or to destroy one another. Rich with plot twists, political intrigue and complex, conflicted characters, Carve the Mark combines nascent romance with jaw-dropping adventure. Raised in Barrington, Roth is a graduate of the creative writing program at Northwestern University.

Acre’s Bastard

A woman in Oregon suffers

100 Things Blackhawks FAns Should KnoW & Do Before They Die

and protect the skin from the

a trauma leading to memory

by Tab Bamford, Westchester

1187. Salah-adin is poised to

inside out. This self-help guide

loss. Meanwhile, in a sleepy

Newly revised and updated,

conquer the Kingdom of

covers everything from healthy

Chicago suburb, Net Petrone,

this one through 100 die-hard’s

Jerusalem. For 10-year-old

diet and daily hygiene to skin

a feisty senior citizen and

guide to must-do activities

Lucca “the Louse,” it’s life as

care products and treatments,

amateur sleuth, discovers a

associated with the Chicago

break-in at The Toffee Shop

Blackhawks also includes

where she works. The women’s

interesting facts, stats and trivia.

worlds collide as Net gets

Read up on big wins and losses,

involved in solving a mystery

curses, superstitions and the

that puts her life in danger.

best places to grab a bite before

An entertaining page-turner

the puck drops. An entertaining

with a surprising twist.

checklist for fans and superfans.

all with the goal of preventing skin issues, halting disease, and slowing down the effects of aging. Readers will learn techniques to cleanse, exfoliate and moisturize the skin so that it is able to protect and heal itself.

by Wayne Turmel, Oak Park This historically-based suspense novel is set in The Holy Land in

normal. The streets of Acre — the wickedest city in the world — are his playground. But when a violent act of betrayal leaves Lucca homeless and alone, he’s drawn into a terrifying web of violence, espionage and holy war.


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AND MUCH MORE Photo courtesy of Allstate Arena


Blake Shelton March 17 The long-time judge on The Voice and best-selling country singer brings his “Doing It to Country Songs” tour to the stage at Allstate Arena in Rosemont. Call 847 635-6601.


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Calendar of Events

Photo courtesy of Drury Lane Theatre


Through Mar. 19 Saturday Night Fever Based on the 1977 hit film, this musical follows Brooklyn teen Tony Mareno in his attempt to escape the stresses of his daily life by spending weekends at the local discotheque. Drury Lane in Oak Brook, 630 530-0111.

8 p.m. rather than 3 p.m. This play tells the true story of Henrietta Swan Leavitt, one of the historic "computer ladies" at Harvard's observatory in the early 20th century, as she makes ground-breaking discoveries that pave the way for Dr. Edwin Hubble's, and many other astronomers', work. Cost: $39/36. First Folio Theatre at Mayslake Peabody Estate, 1717 W 31st St., Oak Brook. 630 986-8067 | Chicago | Wed − Sun, Mar 30 − June 11, Wed − Thur 1:30 & 8 p.m., Fri 8 p.m., Sat 5 & 8:30 p.m. and Sun 2 & 6 p.m. Recipient of six Tony Awards, two Olivier Awards and a Grammy, this musical satire tells the story of corruption in the administration of criminal justice and the concept of the celebrity criminal. Cost: $60. Drury Lane Theatre, 100 Drury Ln., Oakbrook Terrace. 630 530-0111 | Waiting For Godot | Thur − Sun, Apr 6 − 9, Thur − Sat 7:30 p.m. and Sun 3 p.m. When Vladimir and Essragon wait in a barren space for someone named Godot, they are caught in a blur of time, place, memory and hope resulting in a tragi-comedy of wordplay about mankind's inexhaustible search for meaning. Cost: $17. Martin Recital Hall at Dominican University, 7900 W Division St., River Forest. 708 488-5000

THEATRE | You Can't Take It With You | Through Mar 4, Thur − Sat, Thur − Fri 7:30 p.m. and Sat 2 & 7:30 p.m. When Alice brings her high-society fiancé home to meet her eccentric family, fireworks and zany antics nearly bring the house down. Cost: $20/13. Medinah Baptist Church, 900 Foster Ave., Medinah. 630 634-2100 | Avenue Q | Through Mar 5, Fri − Sun, Fri − Sat 7:30 p.m. and Sun 3 p.m. Filled with adult-themed humor and wit, this musical tells the story of a college grad's transition to life in New York City, specifically a neighborhood on Avenue Q. Cost: $20/18. SecondSpace Theatre at Elgin Community College, 1700 Spartan Dr., Elgin. 847 622-0300 | Good People | Through Mar 5, Thur − Sun, Thur − Sat 8 p.m. and Sun 3 p.m. The Buffalo Theatre Ensemble presents its production of this Tony Award-winning play about a woman who loses her job and turns to her high-school boyfriend for help. Cost: $35. McAninch Arts Center Playhouse Theatre, 425 Fawell Blvd., Glen Ellyn. 630 942-4000 | Saturday Night Fever | Through Mar 19, Wed − Sun, Wed 1:30 p.m., Thur 1:30 & 8 p.m., Fri 8 p.m., Sat 5 & 8:30 p.m. and Sun 2 & 6 p.m. Based on the 1977 hit film, this musical follows Brooklyn teen, Tony Mareno, in his attempt to escape the stresses of his daily life by spending weekends at the local discotheque. Cost: $58/42. Drury Lane Theatre, 100 Drury Ln., Oakbrook Terrace. 630 530-0111 | Sweeney Todd | Through Mar 19, Wed − Sun, Wed 1:30 & 7 p.m., Thur 7 p.m., Fri 8 p.m., Sat 3 & 8 p.m. and Sun 1 & 5:30 p.m. After 15 years away from London, barber Benjamin Barker swears revenge on the corrupt Judge Turpin, who seduced his wife, leading to her suicide, then adopted his daughter. Cost: $59/44. Paramount Theatre, 23 E Galena Blvd., Aurora. 630 896-6666 | Don't Drink The Water | Through Mar 19, Fri – Sun, Fri – Sat 8 p.m. and Sun 3 p.m. This farce follows an American family accused of spying. They are trapped in a rundown U.S. Embassy in a country off the tourist map when they try to break out and evade the secret police. Cost: $28/23. Steel Beam Theatre, 111 W Main St., St. Charles. 630 587-8521

| The Ballad Of The Sad Cafe | Thur − Sun, Mar 2 − 19, Thur − Sat 8 p.m. and Sun 3 p.m. When a twisted love triangle affects the Sad Cafe and the whole town, Marvin and Miss Amelia must try to settle their differences. Cost: $14/12. Studio Theatre at McAninch Arts Center, 425 Fawell Blvd., Glen Ellyn. 630 942-4000 | The Burnt Part Boys | Thur − Sat, Mar 9 − 11, Thur − Fri 8 p.m. and Sat 2 − 8 p.m. When a deadly coal mine is set to reopen in a small town, the sons of those that were killed try their hardest to keep the mine from ever opening again. Cost: $7/5. Mill Theatre at Elmhurst College, 190 Prospect Ave., Elmhurst. 630 617-3005 | Moon Over Buffalo | Fri − Sun, Mar 10 − 26, Fri − Sat 8 p.m. and Sun 3 p.m. Fading stars George and Charlotte Hay receive word of their last shot at stardom but when everything that could go wrong goes wrong, they are left trying to figure out what play they will be performing. Cost: $27/24. Theatre at Meiley-Swallow Hall, 31 S Ellsworth St., Naperville. 630 637-7469 | Madagascar: A Musical Adventure | Fri − Sat, Mar 24 − Apr 8, Fri 7:30 p.m. and Sat 2 & 7:30 p.m.; No 2 p.m. show on Sat, Mar 25. Join Alex the Lion, Marty the Zebra, Melman the Giraffe, Gloria the Hippo and the plotting penguins as they find themselves transported from the comfort of Central Park Zoo to the world of King Julien's Madagascar. Cost: $16/10. Medinah Baptist Church, 900 Foster Ave., Medinah. 630 634-2100 | The Laramie Project | Fri − Sun, Mar 24 − Apr 15, Fri − Sat 8 p.m. and Sun 3 p.m.; No show on Sun, Mar 26.; Additional show on Sat, Apr 15, 3 p.m. Based on true events, this play chronicles a community's reaction in the aftermath of the death of Matthew Shephard, an openly gay college student who was found savagely beaten to death. Cost: $20/18. Village Theatre Guild, 3S020 Park Blvd., Glen Ellyn. 630 469-8230 | Outside Mullingar | Thur − Sun, Mar 24 − Apr 15, Thur − Sat 8 p.m. and Sun 3 p.m. This play tells the tale of two family farms in central Ireland. It spans several years and concerns property legacies, disputes, an awkward romance and more. Cost: $18/15. Playhouse 111, 111 N Hale St., Wheaton. 630 260-1820 | Silent Sky | Wed − Sun, Mar 29 − Apr 30, Wed & Fri 8 p.m., Thur & Sun 3 p.m. and Sat 4 & 8 p.m.; No 4 p.m. show on Sat, Apr 1; The show on Thur, Mar 30 is at

| Girls Like That | Thur − Sun, Apr 6 − 16, Thur − Sat 8 p.m. and Sun 3 p.m. Using shifts in time to explore the evolution of feminist consciousness, this play focuses on today's digital generation and the impact actions have on other people. Cost: $14/12. McAninch Arts Center Playhouse Theatre, 425 Fawell Blvd., Glen Ellyn. 630 942-4000 | Ruthless The Musical | Fri – Sun, Apr 7 − 30, Fri – Sat 8 p.m. and Sun 3 p.m. This campy cult favorite has been described as a hilarious romp through the world of Broadway, child acting, parenthood and unbridled ambition. Cost: $28/23. Steel Beam Theatre, 111 W Main St., St. Charles. 630 587-8521

COMEDY | Megan Gailey | Thur − Fri, Mar 2 − 3, Thur 8 p.m. and Fri 8 & 10:30 p.m. This comedian was a featured performer at the Traverse City Winter Comedy Festival, a part of the 2015 Just for Laughs "New Faces," a finalist in New York City's Laughing Devil Fest and more. Cost: $22 + 2 item food/bev min. Zanies Comedy Club in MB Financial Park, 5437 Park Pl., Rosemont. 847 813-0484 | Andy Woodhull | Thur – Sat, Mar 2 – 4, Thur – Fri 8 p.m. and Sat 7:30 – 9:45 p.m. This comedian recently made his network television debut on “The Tonight Show: Starring Jimmy Fallon,” and has also appeared at many comedy festivals and contests around the country. Cost. $20 + 2 item food/bev min. Zanies Comedy Club in Pheasant Run Resort, 4051 E Main St., St. Charles. 630 584-6342 | Earthquake | Fri − Sun, Mar 3 − 5, Fri 8 & 10:15 p.m., Sat 7 & 9:15 p.m. and Sun 7 p.m. This voice actor, comedian and more visits comedy clubs around the country performing his stand-up. Cost: $28 + 2 item min. Chicago Improv, 5 Woodfield Rd., Woodfield Mall, Store K120B, Schaumburg. 847 240-2001 | Chris DiStefano | Sat, Mar 4, 7 & 9:30 p.m. Known as a regular cast member on MTV's "Guy Code," this comedian has also appeared on CBS's "The Late Show with David Letterman" and has opened up for Richard Lewis, Gilbert Godfried and more. Cost: $25 + 2 item food/bev min. Zanies Comedy Club in MB Financial Park, 5437 Park Pl., Rosemont. 847 813-0484


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Calendar of Events

| David Spade | Wed − Thur, Mar 15 − 16, Wed 7 p.m. and Thur 7 & 9:15 p.m. Known for his performances in “Benchwarmers,” “Grown-Ups” and countless other films, Spade portrays some of his most memorable characters. Cost: $44 + 2 item min. Chicago Improv, 5 Woodfield Rd., Woodfield Mall, Store K120B, Schaumburg. 847 240-2001 | Barry Rothbart | Sat, Mar 25, 7 & 9:30 p.m. Known for his appearance in “The Wolf of Wall Street” and Demitri Martin’s “Dean,” this comedian was a performer at the 2011 Just For Laughs Montreal Comedy Fest. Cost: $25 + 2 item food/bev min. Zanies Comedy Club in MB Financial Park, 5437 Park Pl., Rosemont. 847 813-0484 | Heather McDonald | Fri − Sun, Mar 31 − Apr 2, Fri 8 & 10:15 p.m., Sat 7 & 9:15 p.m. and Sun 7 p.m. McDonald has been a staff writer and regular roundtable guest on “Chelsea Lately” as well as hosting the sex-themed stand-up special “I Don’t Mean to Brag.” For ages 18 and over. Cost: $22 + 2 item min. Chicago Improv, 5 Woodfield Rd., Woodfield Mall, Store K120B, Schaumburg. 847 240-2001

MUSIC | Brantley Gilbert | Thur, Mar 2, 7 p.m. Bringing his "The Devil Don't Sleep" Tour to the stage, Gilbert is best known for his hit songs "Bottoms Up" and "One Hell of an Amen." Cost: $43/28. Rosemont Theatre, 5400 N River Rd., Rosemont. 847 671-5100 | Elgin Symphony Orchestra: Copland & Tchaikovsky | Fri, Mar 3, 7:30 p.m. Listen to different symphonies and tunes from both famous composers. For tickets, visit Cost: $45/30. Schaumburg Prairie Arts Center, 201 Schaumburg Ct., Schaumburg. 847 895-3600; Additional concerts Sat − Sun, Mar 4 − 5, Sat 7:30 p.m. and Sun 2:30 p.m., The Hemmens Cultural Center, 45 Symphony Way, Elgin. 847 888-4000

| The Prairie Winds Quintet | Sun, Mar 5, 2:15 p.m. This traditional woodwind quintet features a clarinet, bassoon, flute, oboe and French horn performing Debussy, Mozart and Ravel. Cost: $30/25. Arbor Room of the Thornhill Education Center at The Morton Arboretum, 4100 Illinois Route 53, Lisle. 630 719-2468 | Picosa Ensemble | Sun, Mar 5, 2:30 p.m. This new Chicago-based mixed chamber ensemble is known for its signature symphonic sound and virtuosity. Cost: $17. Fermilab’s Ramsey Auditorium, Kirk Rd. and Pine St., Batavia. 630 840-2787 | Angel Of Music: A Salute To Andrew Lloyd Webber | Sun, Mar 5, 3 p.m. Acclaimed Broadway and “Phantom of the Opera” veterans Glory Crampton and Franc D’Ambrosio perform Webber's music. Cost: $69/20. Arcada Theatre, 105 E Main St., St. Charles. 630 962-7000

| Peter Yarrow | Fri, Mar 3, 7:30 p.m. Known for his songs "Puff the Magic Dragon" and "Blowin' in the Wind," Yarrow shares his personal stories of being a musician in the 1960s as well as life in Greenwich Village. Cost: $45/33. Blizzard Theatre at Elgin Community College, 1700 Spartan Dr., Elgin. 847 622-0300

| Laury Shelley | Sun, Mar 5, 6 p.m. Bringing songs from her critically acclaimed "Pieces Of Dreams," this vocalist and songwriter has been nominated for an Academy Award. Cost: $35/30. Madden Theatre, 171 E Chicago Ave., Naperville. 630 637-7469

| Capitol Steps | Sat, Apr 1, 4 & 8 p.m. For more than 30 years, this comedic troupe has performed its brand of political satire which depicts current events ,song paradies and original sketches. Cost: $49/42. Belushi Performance Hall at McAninch Arts Center, 425 Fawell Blvd., Glen Ellyn. 630 942-4000

| Janis, Me & Bobby McGee | Sat, Mar 4, 7 p.m. Powerhouse vocalist Karen Irwin and her band celebrate the life and music of Janis Joplin. Cost: $39/33. Blizzard Theatre at Elgin Community College, 1700 Spartan Dr., Elgin. 847 622-0300

| Winter Jam | Fri, Mar 10, 6 p.m. This evening of live concerts features some of the biggest names in Christian music including Colton Dixon, Britt Nicole, Tenth Avenue North and more. Cost: $50/10. Allstate Arena, 6920 N Mannheim Rd., Rosemont. 847 635-6601

| Kathleen Madigan | Sat, Apr 8, 8 p.m. Continuing her 25-year career, this comedian is the only performer in the history of NBC's "Last Comic Standing" to go unchallenged by any other comedian. Cost: $40/30. Wentz Concert Hall, 171 E Chicago Ave., Naperville. 630 637-7469

| Get The Led Out | Sat, Mar 4, 8 p.m. This cover band performs the original songs of Led Zeppelin and incorporates a new twist with acoustic sets and more. Cost: $65/20. Rosemont Theatre, 5400 N River Rd., Rosemont. 847 671-5100

| BoDeans | Sat, Mar 10, 8 p.m. Known for their songs “Closer to Free” and “Still the Night,” this Wisconsinbased rock band has been performing for over 30 years. Cost: $89/39. Arcada Theatre, 105 E Main St., St. Charles. 630 962-7000


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Calendar of Events

| Brad Stirtz | Fri, Mar 10, 8 p.m. This jazz vibraphonist has gained a reputation as professional mallet percussionist from concerts in Uganda and Trinidad to around America. Cost: $20/15. Madden Theatre, 171 E Chicago Ave., Naperville. 630 637-7469 | The High Kings | Fri, Mar 10, 8 p.m. Named Ireland's "Folk Band of the Year," this Irish band showcases versatility and skills as multi-instrumentalists, bringing new songs and old favorites. Cost: $49/36. Belushi Performance Hall at McAninch Arts Center, 425 Fawell Blvd., Glen Ellyn. 630 942-4000 | Steppin' Out With Ben Vereen | Sat, Mar 11, 5 p.m. This Tony and Drama Desk Award-winning actor performs his songs and jokes. Cost: $77/27. Lund Auditorium at Dominican University, 7900 W Division St., River Forest. 708 488-5000 | Panic! At The Disco | Sat, Mar 11, 7 p.m. This alternative band, known for hit songs "Victorious" and "Emperor's New Clothes," brings its "Death of a Bachelor" tour to the stage. Cost: $265/126. Allstate Arena, 6920 N Mannheim Rd., Rosemont. 847 635-6601 | The Victor Wooten Trio | Sat, Mar 11, 7 p.m. Experience this five-time Grammy Award-winning bassist performing with drummer Dennis Chambers. Cost: $48/35. Blizzard Theatre at Elgin Community College, 1700 Spartan Dr., Elgin. 847 622-0300 | Black Violin | Sat, Mar 11, 7:30 p.m. This duo blends classical, hip-hop, rock, R&B and bluegrass, accompanied by a DJ and drummer. Cost: $50/40. Belushi Performance Hall at McAninch Arts Center, 425 Fawell Blvd., Glen Ellyn. 630 942-4000

| Ella Fitzgerald: First Lady Of Song | Sat, Mar 11, 7:30 p.m. Join award-winning Chicago actress Alexis J. Roston as she performs the music and style of legendary jazz singer Ella Fitzgerald, including songs from Duke Ellington, George Gershwin and more. Cost: $25/23. Maggie Atcher Theatre, 201 Schaumburg Ct., Schaumburg. 847 895-3600 | Alan Doyle & The Beautiful Gypsies | Sat, Mar 11, 8 p.m. Actor, producer and best-selling author Doyle brings music from his "So Let's Go..." album. Cost: $38/19. Fermilab’s Ramsey Auditorium, Kirk Rd. and Pine St., Batavia. 630 840-2787 | Los Lonely Boys | Sat, Mar 11, 8 p.m. This Texan rock n' roll trio of brothers, who debuted in 2003 with a No. 1 hit in "Heaven," has won a Grammy and critical acclaim. Cost: $65/55. Wentz Concert Hall, 171 E Chicago Ave., Naperville. 630 637-7469 | Elgin Youth Symphony Orchestra | Sun, Mar 12, 2, 4:30 & 7:30 p.m. This award-winning group is one of the largest, oldest and most esteemed orchestras in the nation and features pieces from composers such as Shostakovich, Copland and more. Cost: $25/14. Blizzard Theatre at Elgin Community College, 1700 Spartan Dr., Elgin. 847 622-0300 | Martha Reeves & The Vandellas | Mon, Mar 12, 5 p.m. Known as a Motown diva, this singer hits the stage with her band, known for songs “Nowhere to Run” and “Dancing in the Street.” Cost: $69/39. Arcada Theatre, 105 E Main St., St. Charles. 630 962-7000 | Orion Ensemble | Sun, Mar 12, 7 p.m. Celebrating its 20th season, this concert features pieces by Gustav

Mahler, Rebecca Clarke and Robert Kritz as well as an appearance by guest violinist Stephen Boe. Cost: $26/10. First Baptist Church of Geneva, 2300 South St., Geneva. | Maluma World Tour | Thur, Mar 16, 8 p.m. This Latin music youth idol has played sold-out shows in Latin America. Cost: $89/69. Rosemont Theatre, 5400 N River Rd., Rosemont. 847 671-5100 | Blake Shelton | Fri, Mar 17, 7:30 p.m. Long-time judge on "The Voice" and best-selling country singer Shelton brings his "Doing It to Country Songs" tour to the stage. Cost: $83/42. Allstate Arena, 6920 N Mannheim Rd., Rosemont. 847 635-6601 | Dala | Sat, Mar 18, 7 p.m. Singers Amanda Walther and Sheila Carabine draw upon influences from The Beatles, Joni Mitchell and more to create unique harmonies and inventive musicality. Cost: $32. SecondSpace Theatre at Elgin Community College, 1700 Spartan Dr., Elgin. 847 622-0300 | Miranda Lambert | Sat, Mar 18, 7 p.m. Hailing from Nashville, this Grammy Award-winning singer/songwriter brings her "The Weight of These Wings" album to the stage. Cost: $53/38. BMO Harris Bank Center, 300 Elm St., Rockford. 815 968-5222 | Liverpool Legends | Sat, Mar 18, 7:30 p.m. Comprised of musicians and actors hand-picked by the sister of George Harrison, this Beatles show features music and theatricals from the famous group as well as costume changes, vintage instruments and more. Cost: $40/38. Maggie Atcher Theatre, 201 Schaumburg Ct., Schaumburg. 847 895-3600

| p t b in M 7

| 2 m 2

| S D W D in F C N

| M o " P B

| c $ 6

At BMO Private Bank, we work hard to understand what is most important to you and your family. We guide you with authenticity and expert advice to create the distinct approach you need to manage your wealth.

| lo a T " A 8

We have offices in Naperville and St. Charles and we work with clients all over the western suburbs. We look forward to serving all of your financial needs.

503 N. Washington Street, Naperville, 630-420-3336

• • 1 E. Main Street, St. Charles, 630-420-3336

BMO Wealth Management is a brand name that refers to BMO Harris Bank N.A. and certain of its affiliates that provide certain investment, investment advisory, trust, banking, securities, insurance and brokerage products and services. Investment Products are: NOT FDIC INSURED - NOT BANK GUARANTEED – NOT A DEPOSIT – MAY LOSE VALUE. BMO Private Bank is a brand name used in the United States by BMO Harris Bank N.A. Member FDIC. Banking products and services are subject to bank and credit approval. Not all products and services are available in every state and/or location.


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Photo courtesy of Wheaton College

Apr. 1 Axiom Brass The winners of many national and international competitions for brass, this Chicago-based quintet is dedicated to enriching the lives of audiences as well as inspiring future musicians and music lovers. Edman Memorial Chapel at Wheaton College, 630 752-5010.

| Music At Mayslake: Acappellago | Sat, Mar 18, 7:30 p.m. From a bevy of swans to a watch of nightengales, this chamber choir's "Escape to ... Birdland" is a birdlover's delight. For ages 10 and over. For more information, visit Cost: $15/12. Mayslake Peabody Estate, 1717 W 31st St., Oak Brook. 708 484-3797 | Sons Of The Never Wrong | Sat, Mar 18, 7:30 p.m. This 24-year-old Chicago-based folk band brings its unique music to the stage. Cost: $23/20. Maple Street Chapel, 200 S Main St., Lombard. 630 627-0171 | DuPage Symphony Orchestra: Gershwin Greats | Sat − Sun, Mar 18 − 19, Sat 8 p.m. and Sun 3 p.m. The Donald Sinta Saxophone Quartet comes to the stage for William Bolcom's jazzy "Concerto Grosso," then joins the DSO to celebrate George Gershwin with "An American in Paris" and "Rhapsody in Blue," featuring pianist FeiFei Dong. For tickets, visit Cost: $38/33. Wentz Concert Hall, 171 E Chicago Ave., Naperville. 630 637-7469 | The World Famous Glenn Miller Orchestra | Sun, Mar 19, 2 p.m. Experience the unique swinging sound of this band with favorites including "In the Mood," "Moonlight Serenade" and more. Cost: $46/36. Belushi Performance Hall at McAninch Arts Center, 425 Fawell Blvd., Glen Ellyn. 630 942-4000 | Home Free | Fri, Mar 24, 8 p.m. This pop/country a capella quintet has won NBC-TV's "The Sing-Off." Cost: $125/35. Paramount Theatre, 23 E Galena Blvd., Aurora. 630 896-6666 | You've Got A Friend | Sat, Mar 25, 7:30 p.m. Two long-time friends and collaborators, Kirsti Manna and Jonathan Birchfield, perform songs from James Taylor and Carole King such as "How Sweet It Is," "Carolina in my Mind" and more. Cost: $45/43. Maggie Atcher Theatre, 201 Schaumburg Ct., Schaumburg. 847 895-3600 | Chicago Sinfonietta: More Than A Letter | Sat, Mar 25, 8 p.m. This performance reflects on self-identity and self-expression through the artistry of LGBT composers and musicians, celebrating difference, finding common ground and embracing the beauty of authenticity. Cost: $60/10. Wentz Concert Hall, 171 E Chicago Ave., Naperville. 630 637-7469

| Rickie Lee Jones & Madeleine Peyroux | Sat, Mar 25, 8 p.m. Grammy-winning singer and songwriter Jones teams up with jazz/blues singer Peyroux for a night of unique songs. Cost: $55/45. Paramount Theatre, 23 E Galena Blvd., Aurora. 630 896-6666 | Jo Dee Messina | Sun, Mar 26, 6 p.m. Known for her single "Heads Carolina, Tails California," this two-time Grammy-nominated musician has sold more than five million records worldwide. Cost: $65/55. Wentz Concert Hall, 171 E Chicago Ave., Naperville. 630 637-7469 | TobyMac | Thur, Mar 30, 6:30 p.m. This seven-time Grammy winner brings a diverse line-up for his "Hits Deep" Tour including Matt Maher, Mandisa, Mac Powell and more. Cost: $70/15. Sears Centre Arena, 5333 Prairie Stone Pkwy., Hoffman Estates. 847 649-2270 | Anthrax | Fri, Mar 31, 8 p.m. Formed in the 1980s, this heavy metal band performs songs from“For All Kings,” “Among the Living” and other albums. Cost: $99/69. Arcada Theatre, 105 E Main St., St. Charles. 630 962-7000 | Elgin Symphony Orchestra: Inside The Music With Andrew Grams | Fri, Mar 31, 8 p.m. Enjoy this 90-minute in-depth exploration of masterworks using visuals and musical excerpts to explain the history and form of the piece. For tickets, visit Cost: $30.The Hemmens Cultural Center, 45 Symphony Way, Elgin. 847 888-4000 | Axiom Brass | Sat, Apr 1, 7:30 p.m. The winners of many national and international competitions for brass, this Chicago-based quintet is dedicated to enriching the lives of audiences as well as inspiring future musicians and music lovers. Cost: $45/10. Edman Memorial Chapel at Wheaton College, NE corner of Washington and Franklin St., Wheaton. 630 752-5010 | The Smithereens | Sat, Apr 1, 7:30 p.m. Known for hits such as "Blood & Roses" and "Only a Memory," this British garage band hits the stage with its rock and roll music. Cost: $40/38. Maggie Atcher Theatre, 201 Schaumburg, Ct., Schaumburg. 847 895-3600 | America | Sat, Apr 1, 8 p.m. Celebrating its 45th anniversary, this classic-rock band is known for hits "Ventura Highway," "Don't Cross the River" and more. Cost: $70/50. Pfeiffer Hall, 310 E Benton, Naperville. 630 637-7469


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Calendar of Events

| DakhaBrakha | Sat, Apr 1, 8 p.m. Hailing from the Ukraine, this "ethno chaos" quartet, accompanied by culturally diverse instrumentation, hits the stage with their unique music. Cost: $32/16. Fermilab’s Ramsey Auditorium, Kirk Rd. and Pine St., Batavia. 630 840-2787 | Hands On Dulcimer Workshop | Sun, Apr 2, 1 & 3 p.m. Musician Dona Benkert gives an introductory instruction on these unique stringed instruments. Reservations required. Cost: $25. Garfield Farm Museum, 3N016 Garfield Rd., Campton Hills. 630 584-8485 | Mitch Paliga | Fri, Apr 7, 8 p.m. This jazz saxophonist has toured with Gary Sinise and his Lt. Dan Band since 2007. Cost: $20/15. Madden Theatre, 171 E Chicago Ave., Naperville. 630 637-7469 | Rocktopia Live | Fri, Apr 7, 8 p.m. Celebrating the fusion of classical music and classic rock, this live concert features five world-class vocalists, an orchestra and more performing the pieces of Queen, Mozart and more. Cost: $103/43. Rialto Square Theatre, 15 E Van Buren St., Joliet. 815 726-6600 | Corky Siegel: Cleftomaniac | Sat, Apr 8, 7 p.m. Known for mixing different musical genres to create innovative sounds, this musician celebrates the controversial coupling of Chicago blues with classical music. Cost: $35. Blizzard Theatre at Elgin Community College, 1700 Spartan Dr., Elgin. 847 622-0300 | Orbison & The Everly Bros. Reimagined | Sat, Apr 8, 7:30 p.m. Listen to hits such as "Pretty Woman," "Bye Bye Love" and more as performed by Dean Bourne and the Robertson Brothers in tribute to

world-celebrated recording artists Roy Orbison and The Everly Brothers. Cost: $45/43. Maggie Atcher Theatre, 201 Schaumburg Ct., Schaumburg. 847 895-3600

exhibit that shows how Elmhurst has changed and grown over the past 165 years with artifacts and the latest museum technology. Elmhurst History Museum, 120 E Park Ave., Elmhurst. 630 833-1457

| Encore! | Sat − Sun, Apr 8 − 9, Sat 7:30 p.m. and Sun 3 p.m. Listen to Assistant Principal Violinist David Taylor as he performs the "Lalo" concerto, the piece that prompted Tchaikovsky to compose his violin concerto. Cost: $49. Belushi Performance Hall at McAninch Arts Center, 425 Fawell Blvd., Glen Ellyn. 630 942-4000

| Nadia Hironaka & Matthew Suib | Through Mar 4, Mon − Thur & Sat, Mon − Wed & Sat 11 a.m. − 3 p.m. and Thur 11 a.m. − 3 p.m. & 6 − 8 p.m. These artists employ the tools and conventions of moving-image culture to offer counter-mythical visions of the contemporary world. Cleve Carney Art Gallery, 425 Fawell Blvd., Glen Ellyn. 630 942-2321


| Studio Conversations Art Exhibit | Through Mar 23, Mon − Sun, Mon − Fri 8 a.m. − 8 p.m., Sat 9 a.m. − 5 p.m. and Sun noon − 8 p.m. View works by Mary Bookwalter, Janice Meister and Carol Weber as they present mixed media collages that focus on the ideas and interactions they had with each other's artwork. Oesterle Library Gallery, 320 E School St., Naperville. 630 637-5375

| Shen Yun | Fri − Sun, Mar 10 − 12, Fri 7:30 p.m., Sat 2 & 7:30 p.m. and Sun 1 p.m. Watch the group that is dedicated to reviving 5,000 years of Chinese civilization as they perform their dance/musical show. Cost: $200/70. Rosemont Theatre, 5400 N River Rd., Rosemont. 847 671-5100. | Riverdance | Fri − Sun, Mar 31 − Apr 2, Fri 8 p.m., Sat 3 & 8 p.m. and Sun 1 & 5:30 p.m. This internationally acclaimed group of foot-tapping men and women celebrates 20 years of reels, jigs and unique performances. Cost: $60/40. Paramount Theatre, 23 E Galena Blvd., Aurora. 630 896-6666

ART | By All Accounts: The Story Of Elmhurst | Ongoing, Tue − Sun 1 − 5 p.m. A new, innovative and interactive

| Angie Lister | Through Mar 26, Mon − Sun, Mon & Sat 10 a.m. − 6 p.m., Tue − Fri 10 a.m. − 9 p.m. and Sun noon − 5 p.m. Exploring the dynamic relationships between shapes, forms and colors, this artist focuses on the interplay between the natural world and man-made objects. Schoenherr Gallery at the Fine Arts Center, 171 E Chicago Ave., Naperville. 630 637-5375 | Michael Klaus Schmidt | Through Mar 31, Tue − Sun, Tue − Thur & Sat − Sun 11 a.m. − 5 p.m. and Fri 11 a.m. − 7 p.m. This Illinois artist showcases small, mixed-media paintings and designs with unique patterns and colors. Cost: $8/7. Elmhurst Artists' Guild, 150 Cottage Hill Rd., Elmhurst. 630 279-1009


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| Kings & Queens: Pinball, Imagists & Chicago | Through May 7, Tue – Sun, Tue – Thur & Sat – Sun 11 a.m. – 5 p.m. and Fri 11 a.m. – 7 p.m. This interactive exhibition invites guests to play pinball on Chicago-designed and built pinball machines from the 1960s-1980s alongside paintings, sculptures and prints made in Chicago around the same time. Cost: $9/8. Elmhurst Art Museum, 150 Cottage Hill Ave., Elmhurst. 630 834-0202 | Alliance Of Fine Art: Best Of The Best | Mon − Sat, Mar 1 − Apr 29, Mon − Fri 9 a.m. − 3 p.m. and Sat 9 a.m. − 1 p.m. This annual exhibit features local artists who distinguished themselves over the past year. Mayslake Peabody Estate, 1717 W 31st St., Oak Brook. 630 206-9566 | Mirror Face | Mon − Thur & Sat, Mar 9 − Apr 13, Mon −Thur 11 a.m. − 7 p.m. and Sat 11 a.m. − 3 p.m. Featuring artists Sarah McEneaney, Crista Donner and Keiler Roberts, this exhibit highlights the importance of the selfportrait in contemporary art. Cleve Carney Art Gallery, 425 Fawell Blvd., Glen Ellyn. 630 942-2321 | Artrageous | Fri, Mar 10, 7:30 p.m. Watch this team of artists as they paint, sing, dance and more. Cost: $36/12. Batavia Fine Arts Centre, 1201 Main St., Batavia. 630 937-8930 | Abstract Aesthetic | Mon − Sat, Mar 10 − Apr 7, Mon − Fri 1 − 5 p.m. and Sat 1 − 4 p.m. View these works that represent the artist’s understanding and practice of the visual language of shape, form, color and more without the dependence of a visual reference. Oak Park Art League, 720 Chicago Ave., Oak Park. 708 386-9853

| Hairy Who & The Chicago Imagists | Fri, Mar 31, 6 p.m. Enjoy this special collaboration between Elmhurst College and Elmhurst Art Museum with this documentary about a significant group of artists, beginning in the 1960s and spanning two decades, who produced unique pieces. Schaible Science Center in Illinois Hall at Elmhurst College, 190 S Prospect Ave., Elmhurst. 630 617-6110 | Lorraine Peltz | Mon − Sun, Mar 31 − May 14, Mon & Sat 10 a.m. − 6 p.m., Tue − Fri 10 a.m. − 9 p.m. and Sun noon − 5 p.m. Using imagery culled from both personal history and the contemporary moment, Peltz examines the ideas of memory, place and identity, particularly in relation to women. Schoenherr Gallery at the Fine Arts Center, 171 E Chicago Ave., Naperville. 630 637-5375 | Spring Member Show | Tue − Sun, Apr 2 − May 12, Tue − Thur & Sat − Sun 11 a.m. − 5 p.m. and Fri 11 a.m. − 7 p.m. Enjoy an exhibit featuring mixed media art from the members of the EAG. Cost: $8/7. Elmhurst Artists' Guild, 150 Cottage Hill Rd., Elmhurst. 630 279-1009

FAMILY & GENERAL | World Of Wheels | Fri − Sun, Mar 3 − 5, Fri 3 − 10 p.m., Sat 10 a.m. − 10 p.m. and Sun 10 a.m. − 6 p.m. One of the largest car show series in the business comes to the area with hot rods, manufacturers displays and more. Cost: $20/6. Donald E. Stephens Convention Center, 5555 N River Rd., Rosemont. | Elmhurst St. Patrick’s Day Parade | Sat, Mar 4, noon. After musical entertainment and bands, enjoy the Chicago area's second largest parade of the

Photos by Graham Webb

| Begin To Draw Nature | Saturdays, Mar 11 − Apr 1, 9 a.m. − noon. Learn the basics of drawing nature in this course designed for beginners. Registration required. Cost: $150/138. Thornhill Education Center at The Morton Arboretum, 4100 Illinois Route 53, Lisle. 630 719-2468


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Calendar of Events Photo courtesy of Paramount Theatre

Out&about Through Mar. 19 Sweeney Todd

After 15 years away from London, barber Benjamin Barker swears revenge on the corrupt Judge Turpin, who seduced his wife, leading to her suicide, then adopted his daughter. Paramount Theatre in Aurora, 630 896-6666.

Experience a show that shatters the mold of traditional magic performances with illusions for all five senses, performed in five distinct areas of historic Mayslake Hall. For ages 12 and over. Registration required. Cost: $20. Mayslake Peabody Estate, 1717 W 31st St., Oak Brook. 630 206-9566 | Ina Garten | Thur, Mar 9, 7:30 p.m. Author of nine New York Times best-selling cookbooks and a culinary icon in America, Garten brings her stories about life and cooking to the stage. Cost: $$70/50. Rosemont Theatre, 5400 N River Rd., Rosemont. 847 671-5100 | Downtown Naperville St. Patrick’s Day Parade | Sat, Mar 11, 10 a.m. After the annual 5K, view bagpipers, floats and more at this parade. For more information, visit Naperville North High School, 899 N Mill St., Naperville. 630 375-7725 | Spring Fever Maple Sugaring | Sat − Sun, Mar 11 − 12, Sat 10 a.m. − 4 p.m. and Sun 1 − 4 p.m. Learn the timehonored method of collecting sap the old-fashioned way and see a maple tree tapping demonstration as well as hands-on activites and more. Cost: $12/8. Naper Settlement, 523 S Webster St., Naperville. 630 420-6010

holiday, which features floats, animated characters, Irish dancers and more followed by food, music and fun at the community celebration. Various locations in south Elmhurst. | Mike Super 2.OH! | Sat, Mar 4, 7:30 p.m. Winner of NBC's hit show "Phenomenon" and a finalist on "America's Got Talent" brings his magic to the stage. Cost: $150/46. Belushi Performance Hall, McAninch Arts Center, 425 Fawell Blvd., Glen Ellyn. 630 942-4000

| Girl Rising Special Event | Wed, Mar 8, 7 p.m. Enjoy a special showing of "Girl Rising," a documentary about nine girls from developing countries and how they overcame great obstacles to obtain an education, and meet one of the rescued girls, Sokha Chen. For more information, visit Cost: $36/26. Hollywood Palms, 352 IL-59, Naperville. 630 355-2665 | Threshold: A Magic Show | Wed, Mar 8, 8 − 9:30 p.m.

| Tech Savvy Conference | Sat, Mar 25, 9 a.m. − 3 p.m. Aimed at girls between sixth and ninth grades, this conference's goal is to inform people about STEM education and careers. Registration required. Cost: $10. Robert M Collins Center, 2001 5th Ave., River Grove. | Monster Truck Nationals | Sat − Sun, Mar 25 − 26, 7 p.m. View the country's best monster trucks as they roar over obstacles, soar through the air, perform stunts and compete for the medal. Cost: $43/18. Rosemont


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Theatre, 5400 N River Rd., Rosemont. 847 671-5100 | Golden Dragon Acrobats | Sun, Mar 26, 3 p.m. After touring for over 30 years, this Chinese acrobatic troupe brings contemporary music and ancient dance to the stage. Cost: $35/25. Paramount Theatre, 23 E Galena Blvd., Aurora. 630 896-6666 | Tony Venetico | Fri − Sat, Mar 31 − Apr 1, 7 p.m. Enjoy a night of magic and illusion with this magician as he performs his close-up magic, stage magic and more. Cost: $20/15. Vero Voce Theatre at the Pheasant Run Resort, 4051 E Main St., St. Charles. 630 584-6342 | Triton Troupers Circus | Thur − Sat Apr 6 − 8, Thur − Fri 7 p.m. and Sat 1 & 7 p.m. Features skilled performers in classic circus specialities such as chairs, clowning, double stunts, globes and more. Cost: $6. Robert M Collins Center Gymnasium, 2001 N 5th Ave., River Grove.

KIDS | Dream With Da Vinci | Through Apr 2, Mon − Thur 9 a.m. − 4 p.m., Fri 9 a.m. − 8 p.m., Sat 9 a.m. − 5 p.m. and Sun noon − 5 p.m. This 2,000 square-foot traveling exhibit features Da Vinci-themed hands-on activities, crafts and more. Cost: $12/10. DuPage Children’s Museum, 301 N Washington St., Naperville. 630 637-8000 | Children's China | Through Apr 25, Mon − Sun, Mon 9:30 a.m. − noon, Tue − Sat 9:30 a.m. − 5 p.m. and Sun noon − 5 p.m. Read Confucius' quotes, explore hands-on activities and immerse yourself in innovative technology and authentic artifacts to gain an understanding of Confucius' impact on modern Chinese life. Free with museum admission. Cost: $12/11. Kohl Children's Museum, 2100 Patriot Blvd., Glenview. 847 832-6600 | Ozma Of Oz | Fri − Sun, Mar 3 − 12, Fri 7:30 p.m., Sat 11 a.m. & 4 p.m. and Sun 2:30 p.m.; No 4 p.m. show on Sat, Mar 4. This modern fantasy explores the relationship between a now-teenage Dorothy and her elderly Uncle Henry as they travel to Australia but arrive in Oz again. Cost: $12/6. Children's Theatre of Western Springs, 4384 Hampton Ave., Western Springs. 708 246-3380 | Dinosaur Discovery | Sat, Mar 4, 2 p.m. Learn about the world of paleontologists and dinosaurs with activities, view live animals to see how they relate to dinosaurs and more. Reservations recommended. Free for members. Cost: $5. Lizzadro Museum of Lapidary Art, 220 Cottage Hill Ave., Elmhurst. 630 833-1616 | Chord For Kids Concert | Sat, Mar 4, 7 p.m. The 11th annual concert for children with special needs features popular tunes including "YMCA," "Spider Pig," "Spongebob" and more. Ticket required. Wentz Concert Hall, 171 E Chicago Ave., Naperville. 630 637-7469 | Doktor Kaboom | Fri, Mar 10, 9:45 & 11:30 a.m. Doktor Kaboom explores the fundamentals of electrical energy and the history of humanity's adventures into its potential. Cost: $8. Belushi Performance Hall at McAninch Arts Center, 425 Fawell Blvd., Glen Ellyn. 630 942-2220 | Thoroughly Modern Millie Jr. | Sat − Sun, Mar 11 − 19, Sat 11 a.m. & 2 p.m. and Sun 6 p.m. Based in 1922 New York City, this musical tells the story of Millie Dillmount, a young girl who is searching for a new life. Cost: $12/10. Theatre at Meiley-Swallow Hall, 31 S Ellsworth St., Naperville. 630 447-8497 | Miss Nelson Is Missing | Wed, Mar 22, 9:30 a.m. & noon. When Miss Viola Swamp, the worst substitute ever,

takes her place in the missing Miss Nelson's classroom, the students of Room 207 vow to find their teacher and show her just how much they appreciate her. Cost: $9. Paramount Theatre, 23 E Galena Blvd., Aurora. 630 896-6666 | Laura Ingalls Wilder | Thur, Mar 23, 9:30 a.m. & noon. Experience the life of the author when she was young as she travels across the unsettled Midwest with her family. Cost: $9. Paramount Theatre, 23 E Galena Blvd., Aurora. 630 896-6666 | Charlotte's Web | Sun, Apr 2, noon. Based on E.B. White's classic story, this play tells the tale of Charlotte the Spider's successful attempt to keep Wilbur the pig from becoming dinner and making him essential to the farm. Cost: $12/6. Pfeiffer Hall, 310 E Benton, Naperville. 630 637-7469

HISTORY | Freedom: A History Of US | Through Mar 10, Tue − Fri 10 a.m. − 4 p.m. This traveling exhibition from the Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History documents and illustrates critical figures and events while tracing the evolving concept of freedom from founding until 1968. Free with admission. Cost: $6/4. Naper Settlement, 523 S Webster St., Naperville. 630 420-6010 | In Her Own Right: Marion Mahony Griffin | Through Mar 12, Tue − Sun, Tue − Fri & Sun 1 − 5 p.m. and Sat 10 a.m. − 5 p.m. The story of the Prairie School of Architecture's figure and Frank Lloyd Wright's illustrator and architect is brought to life. Elmhurst History Museum, 120 E Park Ave., Elmhurst. 630 833-1457 | Inside & Out: Geneva's Faces, Places & Spaces | Through Nov 4, Tue − Sat 11 a.m. − 4 p.m. This exhibition highlights the people who designed, constructed and lived in some of Geneva's homes and buildings. Free for members. Cost: $3/2. Geneva History Museum, 113 S Third St., Geneva. 630 232-4951 | The Wilson Brothers | Sat, Mar 4, 11 a.m. Join Sharon Jones and Emily Rogers with stories of Geneva's greatest builders, Oscar and August Wilson. Cost: $5/3. Geneva History Museum, 113 S Third St., Geneva. 630 232-4951 | Discovering Marie Curie | Sat, Mar 4, 2 p.m. Enjoy this one-woman play by Maria Boundas Bakalis as she pays tribute to Marie Curie's scientific achievements, but also reveals her devotion to husband and scientist Pierre Curie, her homeland, her family and more. Cost: $12/5. Glen Ellyn History Center, 800 N Main St., Glen Ellyn. 630 469-1867 | 40 Years Of Prairie Restoration | Sun, Mar 12, 2 p.m. Learn about 40 years of steps taken to preserve the land and restore the natural features of the property. Cost: $6. Garfield Farm Museum, 3N016 Garfield Rd., Campton Hills. 630 584-8485 | History Speaks Lecture Series: Helen Keller | Sun, Mar 12, 4 p.m. View Jessica Michna's portrayal of the blind and deaf Helen Keller as she retells dramatic and uplifting experiences from the life of this remarkable woman. Cost: $10/7. Century Memorial Chapel, 523 S Webster St., Naperville. 630 420-6010 | House & Home | Tue − Sun, Apr 6 − May 25, Sun & Tue − Fri 1 − 5 p.m. and Sat 10 a.m. − 5 p.m. This national traveling exhibit from the National Building Museum in Washington D.C. features a kaleidoscopic array of photographs, objects, models and films that takes visitors on a tour of houses both familiar and surprising through past and present, challenging ideas about what it WEST SUBURBAN LIVING | WWW.WESTSUBURBANLIVING.NET | MARCH 2017 35

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Calendar of Events


Photo by Michael Brosilow, courtesy of Steppenwolf Theatre


means to be at home in America. Elmhurst History Museum, 120 E Park Ave., Elmhurst. 630 833-1457 | The Endurance: History's Greatest Shipwreck | Sun, Apr 9, 4 p.m. Author Rochelle Pennington details the courage and determination of the men aboard "The Endurance" as they moved fearlessly through the frozen Antarctic expanse where their lives were threatened daily. Cost: $10/7. Century Memorial Chapel, 523 S Webster St., Naperville. 630 420-6010

HOME & GARDEN | Orchid Show | Through Mar 26, Mon − Sun 10 a.m. − 4 p.m. Enjoy this annual orchid show featuring a 15foot tall wind chime, a gown made of fresh orchids and more. Chicago Botanic Garden, 1000 Lake Cook Rd., Glencoe. 847 835-5440

Wor th Going Downtown For Straight White Men Through Mar 19, Tue – Sun, Tue – Fri 7:30 p.m., Sat 3 & 7:30 p.m. and Sun 3 p.m. Taking a look at personal identity and privilege, this play tells the story of Ed and his three sons as they gather before Christmas. Cost: $78/60. Steppenwolf Theatre, 1650 N Halsted St., Chicago. 312 335-1650 Eugene Onegin Through Mar 20. Enjoy Tchaikovsky's opera which tells the story of Onegin after he realizes his mistake in spurning Tatiana's love. For showtimes and tickets, visit Cost: $299/17. Lyric Opera Chicago, 20 N Wacker Dr., Chicago. 312 827-5600 Breakfast With The Big Cats Sun, Mar 5, 9 − 11 a.m. Enjoy a breakfast buffet while learning about the lion prides and other feline residents as well as a Q&A with the zoo keepers. Reservations are limited. For ages 12 and over. Cost: $50/45. Kovler Lion House at Lincoln Park Zoo, 2001 N Clark St., Chicago. 312 742-2000 Hedwig & The Angry Inch Tue − Sun, Mar 7 − 19, Tue − Fri 7:30 p.m., Sat 2 & 8 p.m. and Sun 2 p.m; Also, Sun, Mar 12, 7:30 p.m. and Wed, Mar 15, 2 p.m. Directed by a Tony Award winning-director, this musical is described as a gender-bending, fourth-wall-smashing story of the origin of love. Cost: $97/32. Oriental Theatre, 24 W Randolph St., Chicago. 800 775-2000 Specimens: Unlocking The Secrets Of Life Mon − Sun, Mar 10 − Jan 7, 9 − 5 p.m. From rare deep sea-dwelling creatures to fossil brains to meteorites, there are over 30 million specimens

tucked away in the museum. For tickets, visit The Field Museum, 1400 S Lake Shore Dr., Chicago. 312 922-9410 Destiny Of Desire Mar 11 − Apr 16. Exploring race, gender and class politics through the lens of the Latin American telenovela, this play tells the story of two baby girls who are born in the same Mexican hospital that are swapped deliberately and grow up to lead different lives. For showtimes and tickets, visit Cost: $55/18. Goodman Theatre, 170 N Dearborn St., Chicago. 312 443-3800 Hubbard Street Spring Series Thur − Sun, Mar 16 − 19, Thur 7:30 p.m., Fri − Sat 8 p.m. and Sun 3 p.m. Enjoy this dance performance featuring a piece which pays tribute to Bach, a tribute to Spanish-born artist Nacho Duato and more. Cost: $102/30. Harris Theatre, 205 E Randolph Dr., Chicago. 312 334-7777 Chicago Flower & Garden Show Mon − Sun, Mar 18 − 26. Sun − Wed 10 a.m. − 6 p.m. and Thur − Sat 10 a.m. − 8 p.m. Enjoy indoor landscapes and gardens, educational programming and more. For schedule, visit www. Cost: $19/5. Navy Pier, 600 E Grand Ave., Chicago. 800 595-7437 Circus 1903: The Golden Age Of Circus Tue − Sun, Mar 21 − 26, Tue − Fri 7:30 p.m., Sat 2 & 8 p.m. and Sun 2 & 7:30 p.m. Combining the magic of The Illusionists with the award-winning puppeteers from War Horse, this event puts elephants back in the ring and tells the story of the golden

age of the circus. Cost: $62/13. Oriental Theatre, 24 W Randolph St., Chicago. 800 775-2000 Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater Wed − Sun, Mar 22 − 26, Wed − Fri 7:30 p.m., Sat 2 & 8 p.m. and Sun 3 p.m. Returning for their 46th year, this dance troupe blends ballet, modern dance, jazz and African dance techniques. Cost: $103/33. Auditorium Theatre of Roosevelt University, 50 E Congress Pkwy., Chicago. 800 982-2787 Lionel Richie & Mariah Carey Sat, Mar 25, 7 p.m. These multiplatinum-selling artists and multiple Grammy Award-winners come together for a night of songs. Cost: $500/90. United Center, 1901 W Madison St., Chicago. 312 455-4500 Katt Williams Sat, Mar 25, 8 p.m. This comedian has developed a career with thousands of stage shows in sold-out arenas and starred in many major box office hits. Cost: $125/52. UIC Pavilion, 525 S Racine Ave., Chicago. 312 413-5740 Bon Jovi Sun, Mar 26, 7:30 p.m. This Grammy Award-winning band brings their "This House is Not for Sale" tour to the stage. Cost: $50/20. United Center, 1901 W Madison St., Chicago. 312 455-4500 Aretha Franklin Fri, Mar 31, 8 p.m. Known as the reigning Queen of Soul, this singer brings her countless classics, such as "Respect" and "Chain of Fools," to the stage. Cost: $150/50. Chicago Theatre, 175 N State St., Chicago. 312 462-6300

| Gnome Homes | Through Mar 26, Sat − Sun, 11 a.m. & 2 p.m. After taking a hike to hunt for all of the hiding gnomes, create a keepsake, light-up gnome home of your own. For exact schedule, visit Cost: $10/7. Children's Garden at the Morton Arboretum, 4100 Illinois Route 53, Lisle. 630 968-0074 | Darien Garden Club's Spring Gardening Inspiration | Sat, Mar 4, 8 a.m. − 2 p.m. Enjoy a continental breakfast, lunch, vendors, raffle prizes and more while learning from eight different speakers discussing gardening and spring inspiration for your garden. Registration required. For more information, visit Cost: $45. Eisenhower Junior High School, 1410 75th St., Darien. 630 253-2125 | Backyard Bootcamp: Landscape Basics For Homeowners | Sat, Mar 4, 9:30 a.m. − 12:30 p.m. Keep your yard looking great all year with this workshop featuring easy-to-follow instructions to care for trees, shrubs and other plants growing in your yard. Registration required. Cost: $44/35. Thornhill Education Center at The Morton Arboretum, 4100 Illinois Route 53, Lisle. 630 719-2468 | Antique Apple Tree Grafting Seminar | Sun, Mar 5, 1:30 p.m. Make three grafts of antique apple trees to take home for planting. Reservations required. Cost: $35. Garfield Farm Museum, 3N016 Garfield Rd., Campton Hills. 630 584-8485 | Malott Japanese Garden Spring Weekend | Sat − Sun, Mar 18 − 19, 11 a.m. − 4 p.m. Celebrate spring by writing a season haiku, making a cherry blossom hanging scroll and more hands-on activities. Chicago Botanic Garden, 1000 Lake Cook Rd., Glencoe. 847 835-5440 | Midwest Fruit Explorers Grafting Session for Beginners | Sun, Mar 19, 1 p.m. Enjoy an informative lecture and hands-on workshop about grafting fruit trees. Registration required. Greenhouse at Cantigny Park, 1S151 Winfield Rd., Wheaton. 630 260-8265 | Planting A Lower-Maintenance Garden | Thur, Mar 23, 6 − 9 p.m. Find out which shrubs and perennials should be used when planting a lower-maintenance garden as well as finding the right location for each plant in your garden. Registration required. Cost: $44/35. Education Center at The Morton Arboretum, 4100 Illinois Route 53, Lisle. 630 719-2468 | Artful Gardening | Sat, Mar 25, 11 a.m. − 2 p.m. In this two-part class, discover how garden accents can bring a landscape together. Learn how to embellish a table, wall or fence with concrete leaf paintings.


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Registration required. Cost: $20/5. The Growing Place, 2000 Montgomery Rd., Aurora. 630 355-4000

, e e n d S

| Lombard Home & Garden Expo | Sat − Sun, Mar 25 – 26. Speak with buyers and sellers, get tips from experts and more at this expo. For times, visit website. The Westin Lombard Yorktown Center, 70 Yorktown Shopping Center, Lombard.

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| Plants For Shady Spots | Wed, Mar 29, 6 − 9 p.m. Horticulturist Marcy Stewart-Pyziak teaches classes on how to choose shrubs and perennials that thrive with limited sunlight and gives tips for growing conditions in shady spots. Registration required. Cost: $44/35. Thornhill Education Center at The Morton Arboretum, 4100 Illinois Route 53, Lisle. 630 719-2468 | Naperville Home & Garden Expo | Sat − Sun, Apr 1 − 2. Learn from homeowners, speak with exhibitors and more. For times, visit website. Players Indoor Sports Center, 1740 Quincy Ave., Naperville. | Weed Ladies Spring & Summer Sale | Thur − Sun, Apr 6 − 9, Thur − Sat 10 a.m. − 4 p.m. and Sun 1 − 4 p.m. The spring and summer sale features creative seasonal floral arrangements with silk and dried florals. Historic Daniels House at Naper Settlement, 523 S Webster St., Naperville. 630 305-5289

FASHION & BRIDAL | Spring Style Weekend | Fri − Sun, Mar 3 − 5. Three days of spring fashion, food and special sales at participating shops. Various locations throughout downtown Naperville. | Geneva Wedding Walk | Sun, Mar 5, 11 a.m. − 3:30 p.m. Meet with venues and boutique shops, then visit with some of the top wedding businesses in the area. For information, visit Cost: $45/30. Herrington Inn & Spa, 15 S River Ln., Geneva. 630 208-7433 | Bridal Show | Sat, Mar 19, 11 a.m. − 3 p.m. Find everything you need to plan your perfect wedding, get exclusive deals and individual consultations from wedding vendors and more. For more information, visit Wilder Mansion, 211 S Prospect Ave., Elmhurst. 630 998-8186

FOOD & DRINK | St. Charles Restaurant Week | Through Mar 3, Mon − Fri. Tour downtown St. Charles restaurants for specials and more. For more information, visit Downtown St. Charles. 630 443-4093 | History Of Beer In Chicago | Sat, Mar 4, 1 p.m. Dr. Connie Mixon presents on the history of beer in Chicago, featuring refreshments and beer tasting. For more information, visit Cost: $15. Blue Nose Brewery, 6119 East Ave., Hodgkins. 630 617-3600 | MB Financial Park Restaurant Week | Mon − Sun, Mar 5 − 12, Enjoy prix-fixe, three-course menus from all over the Park’s restaurants. MB Financial Park, 5501 Park Pl., Rosemont. 847 349-5006 | Bread-Baking Class | Sat, Mar 18, 9:30 a.m. & 1:30 p.m. Learn how to bake bread the 1890s way in a wood-burning oven and take home a pan of rolls with instructions and recipes. For ages 12 and over. Registration required. Cost: $40. Kline Creek Farm, 1N600 County Farm Rd., West Chicago. 630 876-5900


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Calendar of Events

| Sugar Bush Fair | Sat − Sun, Mar 18 − 19, 9 a.m. − noon. This annual celebration of nature’s sweet gift of maple sugar features authentic demonstrations of maple sugar production, a puppet show and more. Cost: $7/4. Vera Meineke Nature Center at Spring Valley, 1111 E Schaumburg Rd., Schaumburg. 847 985-2100 | Spirits Of The Prairie | Fri, Apr 7, 7 p.m. Enjoy a tasting of craft beers and locally made spirits, listen to live entertainment, participate in the raffle and more. Cost: $40/35. Prairie Center for the Arts, 201 Schaumburg Ct., Schaumburg. 847 895-3600

SPORTS | Chicago Wolves | Saturdays, Mar 4 & 18 and Apr 1 & 8; Sun, Mar 5; Wed Mar 15; and Thur Mar 9; Wed − Sat, 7 p.m. and Sun 3 p.m.; Also, Sun, Apr 2, 4 p.m. Chicago's AHL ice hockey team plays at the home rink in Rosemont. Cost: $38/11. Allstate Arena, 6920 N Mannheim Rd., Rosemont. 847 635-6601 | WWE Monday Night Raw | Mon, Mar 6, 6:30 p.m. Superstar wrestlers including Roman Reigns, Brock Lesnar and more compete. Cost: $125/20. Allstate Arena, 6920 N Mannheim Rd., Rosemont. 847 635-6601 | Windy City Bulls | Mon, Mar 6; Tuesdays, Mar 21 & 28; Wed, Mar 15; Thur, Mar 23; Fridays, Mar 3 & 17; and Sundays, Mar 4 & Apr 1, 7 p.m.; Also, Wed, Mar 8, 10 a.m. The Chicago Bulls' newest D-league team plays against various opponents at the home court. Cost: $25/14. Sears Centre Arena, 5333 Prairie Stone Pkwy., Hoffman Estates. 847 649-2270

ANTIQUES & CRAFTS | Spring Craft Fair | Sat, Mar 4, 9:30 a.m. – 5 p.m. Find one-of-a-kind works of art from both local and non-local artists in a variety of mediums including jewelry, fashion, glass and functional art, painting and photography. La Grange Recreation Center, 536 East Ave., La Grange. 708 352-1762 | Antique American Glass & Pottery Sale And Show | Sat − Sun, Mar 11 − 12, Sat 10 a.m. − 5 p.m. and Sun 11 a.m. − 4 p.m. Known as the oldest Depression Glass Show in America, this event features 24 dealers from around the country as well as glass and pottery from different ages. Cost: $8. Concord Plaza Midwest Conference Center, 401 W Lake St., Northlake. 630 851-4504 | 60th Spring Fox Valley Antique Show & Sale | Sat − Sun, Mar 11 − 12, Sat 10 a.m. − 5 p.m. and Sun 10 a.m. − 4 p.m. Authentic antiques offered by 55 dealers from different states. Cost: $10. Kane County Fairgrounds, 525 S Randall Rd., St. Charles. 815 575-1272

LITERATURE | Jerome Buting | Mon, Mar 6, 7 p.m. The high-stakes criminal defense lawyer, known for his role in the case of Steven Avery and featured in the popular show “Making A Murderer,” presents his book “Illusions of Justice” and converses with retired DuPage County Judge Thomas Dudgeon. For more information, visit Cost: $5. Community Christian Church, 1635 Emerson Ln., Naperville. 630 355-2665

| Tim Green | Thur, Mar 9, 7 p.m. This former NFL star brings his latest sports book for young readers, titled "Baseball Genius," which he wrote with Yankees icon, Derek Jeter. Anderson’s Bookshop, 123 W Jefferson Ave., Naperville. 630 355-2665 | Maddie Zeigler | Sat, Mar 11, 2 p.m. From "The Maddie Diaries," meet the young star from "Dance Moms," Sia's "Chandelier" music video and more with her autobiography. For tickets and more information, visit Cost: $25. Anderson’s Bookshop, 123 W Jefferson Ave., Naperville. 630 355-2665 | Michael Bornstein & Debbie Bornstein Holinstat | Mon, Mar 13, 7 p.m. This Auschwitz survivor tells the true story of his time at the camp and, with the help of his daughter, presents his book and research on WWII and Auschwitz. For more information, visit www. Congregation Beth Shalom, 772 W 5th Ave., Naperville. 630 355-2665 | Lyndsay Faye | Sat, Mar 18, 7 p.m. International bestselling author brings a collection of stories that spans Sherlock Holmes's career, from self-taught to publicly lauded detective that faked his own death over the Swiss waterfall, entitled "The Whole Art of Detection: Lost Mysteries of Sherlock Holmes." Centuries & Sleuths Bookstore, 7419 W Madison St., Forest Park. 708 771-7243

LECTURES | Jon Favreau | Thur, Mar 9, 7 p.m. Chief speechwriter and senior aide to President Obama during the 2008 and 2012 elections, Favreau explores the messages and moments that had the biggest impact on the most recent election including Trump's rise, Clinton's challenges and more at his lecture titled "Tweets, Speeches and Storytelling: Messages from the 2016 Election." Cost: $10. Hammerschmidt Memorial Chapel at Elmhurst College, 190 Prospect Ave., Elmhurst. 630 617-5186 | Dr. Bridgitte Barclay | Tue, Mar 14, 7 p.m. Presenting her lecture titled "Through the Plexiglass: A History of Museum Dioramas," the Assistant Professor of English explores how animal displays have shaped, and been shaped, by humans' relationship with the natural world. Registration required. For more information, visit Tapper Recital Hall at Aurora University, 347 S Gladstone Ave., Aurora. 630 892-6431 | Cancer Treatments & Particle Accelerators | Fri, Mar 24, 8 p.m. Dr. Mark Pankuch compares and contrasts the different properties of both X-ray therapy and photon therapy in cancer treatments and where each modality can be used for the greatest benefits to the patient. Cost: $7. Fermilab’s Ramsey Auditorium, Kirk Rd. and Pine St., Batavia. 630 840-2787 | Robert Wittman | Tue, Mar 28, 7 p.m. This retired FBI Art Crimes Specialist presents his lecture "The Devil's Diary: Alfred Rosenberg and the Stolen Secrets of the Third Reich," which investigates the disappearance of a private diary penned by Adolf Hitler's "chief philosopher." Registration required. For more information, visit Crimi Auditorium at Aurora University, 407 S Calumet Ave., Aurora. 630 892-6431 Information is as accurate as possible, but times and dates do sometimes change and events are occasionally canceled. Please call to verify all critical information. To have an event included in this guide, send information two to three months in advance to: Out & About, P.O. Box 111, Elmhurst, IL 60126, or


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Best of the


When it comes to knowing what’s BEST in the western suburbs, we go right to the source — our readers.

Following are your choices for the BEST the western suburbs have to offer in almost 90 categories — a very impressive list, indeed.


Best Park/Forest Preserve


Photo courtesy of Gibson’s Bar & Steakhouse

best of the west


Best Steak

Gibsons Bar & Steakhouse

Dining Best Steak Best: Gibsons Bar & Steakhouse in Oak Brook and Rosemont 2nd: Sullivan’s Steakhouse in Naperville 3rd: TIE: Ivy in Wheaton and Morton’s The Steakhouse in Naperville, Rosemont and Schaumburg Other Favorites: FoxFire Restaurant in Geneva; LongHorn Steakhouse in Berwyn, Bolingbrook and North Riverside; and Mon Ami Gabi in Oak Brook

Best seafood Best: Parkers’ Restaurant & Bar in Downers Grove 2nd: Chinn’s 34th Street

Fishery in Lisle 3rd: Shaw’s Crab House in Schaumburg Other Favorites: Catch 35 in Naperville; Greek Islands in Lombard; Pappadeaux Seafood Kitchen in Westmont; and Poor Phil’s Bar & Grill in Oak Park

Best new Restaurant Best: Choun’s Restaurant in Wheaton 2nd: Gia Mia in Geneva and Wheaton Other Favorites: The Chop Shop in Morris; European Deli in Bolingbrook; Grill 89 in Westmont; Lucky Penny Diner & Deli in Naperville; Main Street Pub in Glen Ellyn; Primo in Geneva; and Trio Restaurant & Banquet in Downers Grove

Best romantic restaurant Best: Atwater’s at The Herrington Inn & Spa in Geneva 2nd: Niche Restaurant in Geneva; 3rd: Vie in Western Springs Other Favorites: Eddie Merlot’s in Burr Ridge and Warrenville; and Ivy in Wheaton

Best microbrewery/ brewpub Best: Two Brothers Tap House in Warrenville 2nd: TIE: Dry City Brew Works in Wheaton; Emmett’s Brewing Company in Downers Grove and Wheaton; and Stockholm’s in Geneva

3rd: TIE: BuckleDown Brewing in Lyons and Pollyanna Brewing Company in Lemont Other Favorites: Avenue Ale House in Oak Park; The Beer Cellar in Glen Ellyn; Penrose Brewing Company in Geneva; and Rock Bottom Restaurant and Brewery in Lombard and Warrenville

Best Restaurant If money is no object Best: Atwater’s at The Herrington Inn & Spa in Geneva 2nd: Gibsons Bar & Steakhouse in Oak Brook and Rosemont 3rd: Vie in Western Springs Other Favorites: Adelle’s Fine American Fare in Wheaton; Allgauer’s at the Lisle/Naperville Hilton; Eddie



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Best: Ivy in Wheaton 2nd: Palmer Place in La Grange 3rd: Fiora’s in Geneva Other Favorites: Chianti’s in Geneva; Fuller House in Hinsdale; Jimmy’s Grill in Naperville; and Maya Del Sol in Oak Park

Best italian restaurant Best: Maggiano’s in multiple locations 2nd: TIE: La ZaZa Trattoria in St. Charles; Lucca’s Ristorante Italiano in La Grange and Villa Verone in Geneva 3rd: TIE: Brio Tuscan Grill in Lombard; Capri in Downers Grove; Clara’s in Lisle and Woodridge; and Roberto’s Ristorante in Elmhurst Other Favorites: Aurelio’s Pizza in multiple locations; Cucina Paradiso in Oak Park; Gatto’s in Downers Grove; Gia Mia in Geneva and Wheaton; and Harry Caray’s in Lombard

Best Sunday brunch Best: Drury Lane in Oak Brook 2nd: TIE: Ditka’s Restaurant in Oakbrook Terrace and the Red Oak Room at Cantigny Golf in Wheaton 3rd: Allgauer’s at The Lisle/ Naperville Hilton Other Favorites: Autre Monde Cafe & Spirits in


Photo courtesy of Q BBQ

Photo courtesy of Gibson’s Bar & Steakhouse

Best OUtdoor Dining

Berwyn; Egg Harbor Café in multiple locations; Nosh in Geneva; and Stockholm’s in Geneva

Best Barbeque Q BBQ

Best place for breakfast Best: Egg Harbor Café in multiple locations 2nd: TIE: Butterfield’s Pancake House in Oakbrook Terrace, Naperville and Wheaton; Jam ‘n Jelly Cafe in Darien, Lemont and Woodridge; Jelly Jam Restaurant in Berwyn; and Nosh in Geneva 3rd: Juicy-O in Downers Grove, Naperville and Willowbrook Other Favorites: Blueberry Hill Breakfast Café in multiple locations; Buttermilk in Geneva; Christy’s in Wood Dale; Egg’lectic Cafe in Wheaton; Egg Yolk Cafe in multiple locations; Honey Jam Café in Bolingbrook and Downers Grove; Mary’s Morning Mix Up in Brookfield; Millie’s Pancake Shoppe in Addison; Pages Restaurant in Hinsdale; Pomegranate Restaurant in Aurora; Poor Phil’s Bar & Grill in Oak Park; and Red Apple Pancake House in Wheaton

Other Favorites: Dickey’s Barbeque Pit in Downers Grove and Wheaton; Famous Dave’s in Addison, Oswego and North Riverside; Nicksons Eatery in La Grange; Robinson’s No. 1 Ribs in Oak Park; Russell’s Barbecue in Elmwood Park; and Sharko’s BBQ in Naperville

Best pizza

Best barbecue Best: Q BBQ in La Grange, Naperville and Oak Park 2nd: Uncle Bub’s BBQ in Westmont 3rd: TIE: FireWater BBQ in Lombard; Noble House in Geneva; The Patio in Aurora, Bolingbrook, Darien and Lombard; and Steamboat BBQ in Wheaton Photo courtesy of Portillo’s


Merlot’s in Burr Ridge and Warrenville; Isacco Kitchen in St. Charles; Parker’s Restaurant & Bar in Downers Grove; and Wildwood Restaurant in Geneva

Best: Lou Malnati’s Pizzeria in multiple locations 2nd: Armand’s Pizza & Pasta in Elmhurst, La Grange and Lombard 3rd: TIE: Charlie Fox’s in St. Charles and Papa Passero’s in Westmont Other Favorites: Antonino’s Ristorante in La Grange; Aurelio’s Pizza in multiple locations; La Barra in Oak Brook; Firehouse Pizza & Grill in Geneva; Gino’s East, multiple locations; Guilano’s in Hinsdale; Home Run Inn in multiple locations; Jet’s Pizza in Wheaton; Lucca’s Pizzaria & Ristorante in La Grange; Pal Joey’s in Batavia; Papa’s Pizza Place in Bolingbrook and Woodridge; Parker’s Restaurant & Bar in Downer’s Grove; Paul’s Pizza in Westchester; and Skuddlebutts in Downers Grove

Best burger


Best Hot Dog Portillo’s

Best: Country House Restaurant in Clarendon Hills, Geneva and Lisle 2nd: TIE: Alfie’s Inn in Glen Ellyn; Stockholm’s in Geneva; and That Burger Joint in Bolingbrook, Glen Ellyn and Naperville

3rd: TIE: The Burger Local in Geneva; Portillo’s in multiple locations; and Rockwood Tap House in Downers Grove Other Favorites: Burger Moovment in Elmwood Park; Crossroads Tavern & Eatery in Wood Dale; Empire Burgers + Brew in Naperville; Fuller House in Hinsdale; Gibsons Bar & Steakhouse in Oak Brook; Grill 89 in Westmont; Main Street Pub in Glen Ellyn; Palmer Place in La Grange; Sonic Drive-In in Villa Park; Weber Grill in Lombard and Schaumburg; and York Tavern in Oak Brook

Best hot dog Best: Portillo’s in multiple locations 2nd: TIE: Cozzi Corner Hot Dogs in Downers Grove; and Mickey’s Drive-In in Villa Park 3rd: Buona Beef in multiple locations Other Favorites: Dips & Dogs in Hinsdale; Joe’s Place in Westchester; Munchy P’s Eatery in Geneva; Parky’s Hot Dogs in Forest Park; and Tony’s Steamers in Winfield

Best ice cream or dessert Best: Oberweis in multiple locations 2nd: Kilwins in Elmhurst, Geneva and Wheaton. 3rd: TIE: Colonial Cafe in Aurora, Elgin, Naperville and St. Charles; Graham’s Fine Chocolate & Ice Cream in Geneva and Wheaton; and Kimmer’s Ice Cream in St. Charles and Wheaton Other Favorites: Andy’s



2/22/17 10:19 AM

Photo by Samantha Callahan courtesy of Kirschbaum’s Bakery

best of the west


Best Bakery

Kirschbaum’s Bakery

Frozen Custard in Bolingbrook; Angelo’s Ristorante in Elmhurst; Le Chocalat du Bouchard in Naperville; Cold Stone Creamery in multiple locations; The Daily Scoop in Clarendon Hills; Dips & Dogs in Hinsdale; Every Day’s a Sundae in Downers Grove; Lezza Spumoni & Desserts in Elmhurst; Petersen’s Ice Cream in Oak Park; and Tates Old Fashioned Ice Cream Shop in La Grange

and Prasino in La Grange

Best sushi Best: Nabuki in Hinsdale . 2nd: TIE: Sushi Mono in Wheaton and Tai San Chef in Naperville 3rd: Sushi House in multiple locations Other Favorites: JuRin Japanese Restaurant in Geneva and South Elgin; Kona Grill in Oak Brook; Shakou Sushi in St. Charles; Shima’s in St. Charles; and Wok ‘n Fire in multiple locations

Best place for vegetarian and/or healthy fare

Best asian restaurant

Best: Blackberry Market in Glen Ellyn 2nd: Kama Bistro in La Grange 3rd: Munch in Oak Park Other Favorites: Owl & Lark in La Grange; Parker’s Restaurant & Bar in Downers Grove; Pita House in Lombard and Schaumburg;

Best: Gen Hoe in Geneva 2nd: Tai San Chef in Darien 3rd: TIE: Jade Dragon in Hinsdale and Wok ‘n Fire in multiple locations Other Favorites: Big Bowl in Schaumburg; Choun’s in Wheaton; House of Emperor in Naperville; Luoing-Loi in Wheaton; Nabuki in

Hinsdale; Penny’s Noodle Shop in Oak Park; Shakou Sushi in St. Charles; Thipi Thai Restaurant in Glen Ellyn; VIP Thai in Woodridge; and Wild Ginger in Hinsdale

Best deli/ sandwich shop Best: Josef’s Elegante Meats & Deli in Geneva 2nd: TIE: Frankie’s Deli in Lombard and Shane’s Deli in Wheaton 3rd: Jason’s Deli in Naperville, Oak Brook and Schaumburg Other Favorites: Augustino’s Rock and Roll Deli in Carol Stream and West Chicago; Berto’s Deli & Pasta Shop in Downers Grove; Casey’s Market in Western Springs; Corner Grind in Elburn; Erik’s Deli in Oak Park; Everdine’s Grilled Cheese Co. in Naperville; Fontano’s Subs in Hinsdale; Jersey Mike’s in multiple locations; Jimmy

John’s in multiple locations; Made in Italy Trattoria in Glen Ellyn; and Panera Bread in multiple locations

Best coffeehouse Best: River City Roasters in Wheaton 2nd: TIE: Cafe La Fortuna in Hinsdale and Peet’s in multiple locations 3rd: Arcedium in St. Charles Other Favorites: Blue Max Coffee in Forest Park; Brewpoint Coffee Company in Elmhurst; Cocoa Bean in Geneva; Corner Grind in Elburn; and Graham’s 318 Coffee House in Geneva

Best tea room/ tea house Best: Emerson Creek Pottery & Tearoom, Oswego 2nd: The Herrington Inn & Spa in Geneva 3rd: Pinecone Cottage in Downers Grove



2/22/17 10:21 AM

Best irish pub Best: McNally’s Irish Pub in St. Charles 2nd: Ballydoyle Irish Pub in Aurora and Downers Grove 3rd: TIE: Quigley’s in Naperville and Shannon Irish Pub in Glen Ellyn Other Favorites: Claddagh in Geneva; Connolly’s Public House in Oak Park; Fitz’s Pub in Elmhurst; Irish Times Pub & Restaurant in Brookfield; and Muldoon’s in Wheaton

BEST service at a restaurant Best: Capital Grille in Lombard 2nd: Vie in Western Springs 3rd: Harry Caray’s in Lombard Other Favorites: Primo in Geneva; and Vistro in Hinsdale

best cheap eats Best: Panera Bread in multiple locations 2nd: Portillo’s in multiple locations Other Favorites: Eddie Gaedel Pub and Grill in Elburn; Honey Bee Cafe in Western Springs; Mickey’s Gyros & Ribs in Oak Park; and Zenwich in Elmhurst

Bee Cafe in Western Springs; and Nicksons Eatery in La Grange

best place to buy wine Best: Binny’s in multiple locations 2nd: SavWay Fine Wines & Spirits in Geneva, Oak Brook and St. Charles 3rd: Cooper’s Hawk Winery in Burr Ridge, Naperville and South Barrington Other Favorites: Costco in multiple locations; Sal’s Beverage World in Addison, Elmhurst and Villa Park; Trader Joe’s in multiple locations; and Village Cellar in Hinsdale

Best downtown chicago restaurant Best: Green Zebra 2nd: Cité 3rd: Tru Other Favorites: Vivere and Heaven on Seven

Best fish fry Best: Village Tavern & Grill in Carol Stream and Schaumburg 2nd: Little Owl in Geneva 3rd: TIE: Wheatstack in Lisle and Wheaton VFW


Best mexican restaurant Best: Bien Trucha in Geneva 2nd: TIE: Pepe’s in multiple locations and Uncle Julio’s Mexican in Lombard, Naperville and Schaumburg 3rd: TIE: A Toda Madre in Glen Ellyn and Jose Maria’s in Geneva Other Favorites: Altiro Latin Fusion in Geneva; Cine Mexican Taquiria in Hinsdale; and Cozymel’s Mexican Grill in Wheaton

Best Neighborhood Bar or pub Best: Fuller House in Hinsdale 2nd: Stockholm’s in St. Charles 3rd: Ballydoyle Irish Pub in Aurora and Downer’s Grove Other Favorites: Country House in Clarendon Hills and Quigley’s in Naperville

Activities & Entertainment favorite tv show Best: NCIS 2nd: TIE: The Walking Dead and This Is Us

3rd: TIE: The Crown and Game of Thrones Other Favorites: The Affair; Blue Bloods; and Nashville

Best festival or fair Best: Festival of the Vine in Geneva 2nd: Ribfest in Naperville 3rd: Hinsdale Art Fair Other Favorites: Heritage Fest in Downers Grove; Scarecrow Festival in St. Charles; Swedish Days in Geneva; and Taste of Wheaton

Best farmer’s market Best: Wheaton French Market 2nd: La Grange 3rd: TIE: Oak Park Farmer’s Market and Geneva French Market Other Favorites: Downers Grove; Hinsdale; St. Charles; and Western Springs

Best AREA Museum Best: DuPage Children’s Museum in Naperville 2nd: TIE: Cantigny Park in Wheaton and Geneva History Museum 3rd: Elmhurst Art Museum

Photo courtesy of River City Roasters

Photo by Samantha Callahan courtesy of Kirschbaum’s Bakery

Other Favorites: Suzette’s Creperie in Wheaton

Best Coffeehouse River City Roasters

best french restaurant Best: Mon Ami Gabi in Oak Brook 2nd: Suzette’s Creperie in Wheaton Other Favorites: Euro Crepes in Glen Ellyn; La France Cafe & Crepes in Lombard; and Paris Bistro in Naperville

best kid-friendly restaurant Best: Portillo’s in multiple locations 2nd: Gatto’s Italian Restaurant & Bar in Downers Grove 3rd: 2Toots Train Whistle Grill in Glen Ellyn Other Favorites: Barones in Glen Ellyn; Egg Harbor Café in multiple locations; Honey WEST SUBURBAN LIVING | WWW.WESTSUBURBANLIVING.NET | MARCH 2017 43


2/22/17 10:22 AM

best of the west

Best public library Best: Wheaton 2nd: TIE: Hinsdale; St. Charles; and Woodridge 3rd: TIE: Downers Grove; Elmhurst; Geneva; and Naperville Other Favorites: Addison; Batavia; and Oak Park

Best movie theater Best: AMC Yorktown in Lombard 2nd: TIE: Cinemark at Seven Bridges in Woodridge; Tivoli Theatre in Downers Grove 3rd: Marcus Theatres in Addison Other Favorites: Charlestowne 18 in St. Charles; The Glen in Glen Ellyn; Ogden 6 in Naperville; York Theatre in Elmhurst

Best movie in past year

Other Favorites: Graue Mill and Museum in Oak Brook; The Riverwalk in Naperville; and Tivoli Theatre in Downers Grove

Best wedding venue Best: Morton Arboretum in Lisle 2nd: Cantigny Park inWheaton 3rd: Drury Lane in Oak Brook Other Favorites: The Herrington Inn & Spa in Geneva and The Westin in Lombard

Best park/ forest preserve Best: Morton Arboretum in Lisle 2nd: Blackwell Forest Preserve in Wheaton 3rd: TIE: Cantigny Park in Wheaton and Island Park in Geneva n

Best bargain shopping/ outlet store

Best LOCAL BAND Best: Thunder Road 2nd: Niche 3rd: 7th Heaven

BEST live theatre Best: Drury Lane in Oakbrook Terrace

Best Festival or Fair Festival of the Vine

Best: Hinsdale Fine Arts Festival 2nd: Geneva Arts Fair 3rd: La Grange Art & Craft Fair Other Favorites: Art in the Park in Elmhurst; Christkindlmarket in Naperville; Naperville Fine Art Show; and Swedish Days in Glen Ellyn

Best: Nordstrom Rack in Naperville, Oak Brook and Schaumburg 2nd: Chicago Premium Outlets in Aurora 3rd: Resale Connection in Westmont Other Favorites: HomeGoods in Hillside and Lombard; Kelsey Resale Boutique in Hinsdale and Glen Ellyn

Most unique gift shop Best: The Little Traveler in Geneva 2nd: Bella Roba in Wheaton 3rd: Tuesday Morning in Downers Grove, Western Springs and Wheaton Other Favorites: Clever Girl in Western Springs; and Gift Box in Geneva

Best Women’s clothing store or boutique

Best weekend getaway

Best: Cantigny Park in Wheaton 2nd: Morton Arboretum in Lisle 3rd: Frank Lloyd Wright Home & Studio in Oak Park

Best: Oakbrook Center in Oak Brook 2nd: Yorktown Shopping Center in Lombard 3rd: Geneva Commons Other Favorites: The Promenade Bolingbrook and Stratford Square in Bloomingdale

Best: EvenFlow in Geneva 2nd: Paramount Theatre in Aurora 3rd: Arcada Theatre in St. Charles Other Favorites: FitzGerald’s in Berwyn; Jazz Up in Glen Ellyn; and Memorial Park Bandshell in Wheaton

Best craft or art show

Best historic landmark/attraction

Best Mall/ shopping center

Best place for live music

Best: Sully 2nd: TIE: Florence Foster Jenkins and Hidden Figures 3rd: Fantastic Beasts Other Favorites: Star Wars: Rogue One and La La Land

Best: Galena 2nd: Lake Geneva, WI 3rd: Geneva, Las Vegas; Milwaukee; and Pheasant Run Resort in St. Charles


Chuck E. Cheese in multiple locations

Photo courtesy of The Weinstein Company

Other Favorites: Lizzadro Museum of Lapidary Art in Elmhurst

Other Favorites: Herrick Lake in Wheaton; LeRoye Oakes in St. Charles; and Thatcher Woods in River Forest

Best place for kid’s party Best: Safari Land in Villa Park 2nd: Cosley Zoo in Wheaton 3rd: Funway Family Fun Center in Batavia Other Favorites: Xtreme Trampolines in Carol Stream; and

2nd: Paramount Theatre in Aurora 3rd: Arcada Theatre in St. Charles Other Favorites: First Folio in Oak Brook; Theatre of Western Springs; McAninch Arts Center in Glen Ellyn; and the Rialto Theatre in Joliet

Best book you’ve read lately Best: The Girl on the Train 2nd: Sahara

Best: Von Maur in Lombard and St. Charles 2nd: Kohl’s in multiple locations 3rd: Dress Barn in multiple locations Other Favorites: Carson’s in multiple locations; Jorie & June in Geneva; Chico’s in multiple locations; and Nordstrom in Oak Brook and Schaumburg

best department store Best: Nordstrom in Oak Brook and Schaumburg 2nd: Van Maur in Lombard and St. Charles 3rd: Macy’s in multiple locations Other Favorites: Carson’s



2/22/17 10:39 AM

Photo courtesy of Arrowhead Golf Club


ds n

Arrowhead Golf Club

in ox




in multiple locations; Target in multiple locations; and T.J.Maxx in multiple locations

Best jewelry store

Best: State Street Jewelers in Geneva 2nd: Razny Jewelers in Addison and Hinsdale 3rd: TIE: Bella Cosa Jewelers in Willowbrook; and Altobello Jewelers in Wheaton Other Favorites: Ancona Jewelers in Addison; Begeman Jewelers in Willowbrook; and Stone’s Jewelry in Wheaton

Best place to buy men’s clothing Best: Nordstrom in Oak Brook and Schaumburg 2nd: Kohl’s in multiple locations 3rd: TIE: Men’s Warehouse in multiple locations and Van Maur in Lombard and St. Charles

Best place for women’s shoes Best: Nordstrom in Oak Brook and Schaumburg

2nd: DSW in multiple locations 3rd: Von Maur in Lombard and St. Charles Other Favorites: Carson’s in multiple locations and Kelsey Resale Boutique in Hinsdale and Glen Ellyn

Best place to buy women’s jeans Best: Jeans and a Cute Top Shop in Downers Grove, St. Charles and Wheaton 2nd: Dress Barn in multiple locations 3rd: TIE: Nordstrom in Oak Brook and Schaumburg and Van Maur in Lombard and St. Charles

Best place to buy ChILDREN’S clothes Best: Kohl’s in multiple locations 2nd: The Children’s Place in Lombard, North Riverside and River Forest 3rd: My Sister Kate in Hinsdale Other Favorites: Gymboree in multiple locations and The Little Traveler in Geneva

Best KITCHEN AND HOUSEWARES STORE Best: Sur La Table in Naperville, Oak Brook and South Barrington 2nd: TIE: Bed Bath & Beyond, multiple locations; and Crate & Barrel in multiple locations 3rd: Williams Sonoma in Geneva, Naperville and Oak Brook Other Favorites: Carson’s in multiple locations and Marcel’s Culinary Experience in Glen Ellyn

3rd: TIE: Kelsey Resale in Hinsdale and Glen Ellyn and Second Hand Rose in Wheaton Other Favorites: Anew in Geneva; The Courtyard in Hinsdale; and My Favorite Things in Downers Grove and St. Charles Photo courtesy of CBS



Favorite Area Public Golf Course

Best place to buy antiques Best: Affordable Antiques in Naperville 2nd: Jubilee Furniture in Carol Stream 3rd: Antiques of Winfield Other Favorites: Ebenezer’s Gift House in Clarendon Hills

Best resale/ consignment store Best: Resale Connection in Lisle 2nd: Goodwill in multiple locations


Favorite TV Show NCIS



2/22/17 12:09 PM


Photo courtesy of

best of the west

Best Weekend Getaway Galena

Best place to buy appliances

Best: T.J.Maxx in multiple locations 2nd: TIE: Restoration Hardware in Oak Brook and Pottery Barn in Oak Brook 3rd: TIE: HomeGoods in Hillside and Lombard and Stockholm Objects in Geneva

Photo courtesy of DuPage Children’s Museum

Best: Sears in multiple locations 2nd: Best Buy in multiple locations 3rd: H.H. Gregg in Downers Grove and North Riverside Other Favorites: Abt in Glenview and Young’s Appliances in Glen Ellyn

Best decorative accessories for the home

Other Favorites: Anastasia in Geneva; Gia Haute & Home in Hinsdale; Kirkland’s in Bloomingdale, Hoffman Estates, Joliet and Woodridge; Pier 1 Imports in multiple locations; and 610 Home in Geneva

Best ART GALLERY Best: The Brigantine Gallery in Downers Grove 2nd: DuPage Art League in Wheaton Other Favorites: Art Quest in Hinsdale; La Grange Art League Gallery; Expression Galleries of Fine Art in Hinsdale; and Ten Thousand Villages in Glen Ellyn and Oak Park

Best place for furniture n

Best Area Museum

DuPage Children’s Museum

Best: Art Van in Downers Grove, Glendale Heights and Naperville 2nd: Tom’s Price in

Bloomingdale, South Barrington and Wheaton 3rd: TIE: 610 Home in Geneva and Bob’s Discount Furniture in Villa Park Other Favorites: Carson’s in multiple locations; The Dump in Lombard; Penny Mustard in Downers Grove, Naperville and Schaumburg; Restoration Hardware in Oak Brook; Walter E. Smithe in Geneva, Glendale Heights, Naperville and Oak Brook

Best pet STORE/boutique Best: Pet Supplies Plus in multiple locations 2nd: Happy Dog Barkery in Downers Grove 3rd: TIE: Bentley’s Pet Stuff in Elmhurst and The Barking Lot in Wheaton Other Favorites: Dog Patch Pet & Feed in Naperville; Groom Room in Lombard; and Wet Nose in Geneva and Oak Brook



2/22/17 10:23 AM

Best Farmer’s Market

Wheaton French Market BEST Grocery, food market or gourmet shop Best: Mariano’s in multiple locations 2nd: Whole Foods in multiple locations 3rd: Blue Goose in St. Charles and Pete’s Fresh Market in Oak Park and Oakbrook Terrace Other Favorites: Jewel in multiple locations; Standard Market in Naperville and Westmont; and Trader Joe’s in multiple locations

Best nursery/ garden center Best: Wannemaker’s in Downers Grove 2nd: TIE: The Growing Place in Aurora and Naperville and Planter’s Palette in Winfield 3rd: Wasco Nursery & Garden Center in St. Charles Other Favorites: Barn Owl Garden Center in Carol Stream and Vern Goers Greenhouse in Hinsdale

Best new store

Best: The Royal Wren in Geneva 2nd: Edie’s Boutique in Naperville 3rd: Gia Haute & Home in Hinsdale

Best hair salon Best: Mario Tricoci in Lombard, Oakbrook, Naperville and Schaumburg 2nd: Babette’s Hair Concepts in Geneva 3rd: TIE: Bella Hair Salon in Berwyn and The Salon by David and William in Hinsdale Other Favorites: Linea Hair Salon & Day Spa in Glen Ellyn; Sean Patrick’s Hair Salon in La Grange; Zano Salons in Batavia, Lisle and Naperville; and Zazu in Hinsdale, Naperville and Wheaton

Best Car wash Best: DuPage Auto Bath in West Chicago 2nd: King Car Wash in Westmont 3rd: Delta Sonic Car Wash in multiple locations Other Favorites: Brighton Car Wash in Naperville, Platinum Car Wash in Wheaton; and Standard Wash in St. Charles


RECENTLY CLOSED SPOT YOU’LL MISS THE MOST MOST: Dominick’s Finer Foods in multiple locations 2nd: Sweet Tomatoes in Aurora, Lombard, Schaumburg and St. Charles 3rd: Tango in Naperville Other Favorites: DuPage Inn Bar & Grill in Downers Grove Photo courtesy of Drury Lane Theatre

Photo courtesy of French Market Promotions

Photo courtesy of



Best Live Theatre Drury Lane

Best FITNESS CENTER/ HEALTH CLUB Best: Life Time Fitness in Bloomingdale, Burr Ridge, Romeoville, Schaumburg and Warrenville 2nd: Blast Fitness in Glendale Heights, Lombard, Naperville and Schaumburg 3rd: Planet Fitness in multiple locations Other Favorites: Active Souls in La Grange; DuPage Wellness Center in Glen Ellyn; Fuse Gym in Elburn; and XSport Fitness in multiple locations

Best AREA BAKERY Best: Kirschbaum’s Bakery in Western Springs 2nd: Kirsten’s Danish Bakery in Burr Ridge 3rd: Ingram’s Busy Bee Bakery in Downers Grove Other Favorites: Nothing Bundt Cakes in multiple locations; Sweet Ali’s in Hinsdale; and Sweet Natalie’s in Geneva



Best: The Herrington Inn & Spa in Geneva 2nd: Hotel Baker in St. Charles 3rd: TIE: Crowne Plaza in Glen Ellyn and The Drake in Oak Brook Other Favorites: The Carleton in Oak Park; Hotel Arista in Naperville; and The Westin in Lombard



Best Auto Repair Shop


Best: Fuller’s Service Center in Hinsdale 2nd: Ron’s Automotive Services in Geneva 3rd: TIE: Firestone in multiple locations and North Gary Auto Repair in Carol Stream

Best: Chicago Blackhawks Coach Joel Quenneville 2nd: TV weather person Tracy Butler Other Favorites: Nora Fleming, internationally known designer; Jenny McCarthy, actress; and Melissa McCarthy, actress

Best: Arrowhead Golf Club in Wheaton 2nd: Cantigny Golf in Wheaton 3rd: Cog Hill Golf & Country Club in Lemont Other Favorites: Butler National Golf Club in Oak Brook; Seven Bridges Golf Club in Woodridge; St. Andrews Golf & Country Club in West Chicago; Top Golf in Naperville and Wood Dale; Village Links in Glen Ellyn; Willow Crest Golf Club in Oak Brook; and Zigfield Troy Golf in Woodridge

Best golf driving range Best: Zigfield Troy Golf in Woodridge 2nd: TIE: Oak Brook Golf Club; and Top Golf



2/22/17 12:11 PM


Photo courtesy of Chicago Cubs/Steve Green

best of the west Favorite Chicago Area Sports Team Chicago Cubs

in Naperville and Wood Dale 3rd: St. Andrews Golf & Country Club in West Chicago Other Favorites: Arrowhead Golf Club in Wheaton; Cog Hill Golf & Country Club in Lemont; and Links & Tees in Addison

Best AREA Bowling alley Best: Suburbanite Bowl in Westmont 2nd: Pinstripes in Oak Brook and South Barrington 3rd: Brunswick Zone in multiple locations Other Favorites: Bowling Green Sports Center in West Chicago; Fox Bowl in Wheaton; St. Charles Bowl; and Tivoli Bowl in Downers Grove

FAVORITE sports bar or place to watch sports Best: Buffalo Wild Wings in multiple locations 2nd: Jackson Avenue Pub in Naperville 3rd: Fuller House in Hinsdale

FAVORITE CHICAGO AREA SPORTS TEAM Best: Cubs 2nd: Blackhawks 3rd: White Sox Other Favorites: Bears and Bulls

FAVORITE CHICAGO athlete/personality Best: Kris Bryant, Chicago Cubs 2nd: Patrick Kane, Chicago Blackhawks and Anthony Rizzo, Chicago Cubs

3rd: Chicago Cubs Manager Joe Maddon Other Favorites: Chicago Blackhawks Coach Joel Quenneville

Chicago Area FAVORITE BROADCAST NEWS PERSONALITY Best: Alan Krashesky, ABC7 2nd: Mark Giangreco, ABC7 3rd: Allison Rosati, WMAQ

FAVORITE RADIO PERSONALITY Best: Eric and Kathy, WTMX 101.9 FM 2nd: Bill and Wendy, WGN 720 AM

3rd: Steve Dahl, WLS-AM890

BEST ANNUAL CHICAGO PUBLIC EVENT OR FESTIVAL Best: Air & Water Show 2nd: Taste of Chicago 3rd: TIE: Chicago Blues Festival and Chicago Gospel Music Festival Other Favorites: Gold Coast Art Fair and Lollapalooza

town you’d want to live in (other THAN YOUR OWN) Best: Geneva 2nd: Elmhurst 3rd: Glen Ellyn Other Favorites: Downers Grove, Hinsdale, Lisle, Oak Brook and Western Springs




2/22/17 10:21 AM

What’s Your

HOME Worth?


he good news is that, in most cases, your

past five years, median sales prices have increased

home is more valuable than it was a year

27 percent in both DuPage and Will and 49 percent

ago. Overall, west suburban home values

in Kane.

continued their steady — albeit somewhat

To get a sense of how much your home might be

gradual — rise this past year, with median sale

worth, and how the residential real estate market in

prices up 5 percent in DuPage, 8 percent in Kane,

your community compares to those of your neighbors,

and 9 percent in Will counties. Better yet, over the

check out the charts on the following pages. WEST SUBURBAN LIVING | WWW.WESTSUBURBANLIVING.NET | MARCH 2017 49

HOME_VALUES_wsl_03.17 FINAL.indd 49

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What’s Your Home Worth? Highest 2016 Median Sales Prices


2016 Average Sold Price

2016 Median Sold Price

2015 Median Sold Price

Percent Change Since 2015

2012 Median Sales Price

Percent Change Since 2012

Number Closed in 2016

Avg. Market Time 2016





+ 10%


+ 38%



1. Hinsdale............... $850,000





+ 8%


+ 64%



2. South Barrington... $732,665





+ 5%


+ 30%



3. Oak Brook............ $555,000





+ 9%


+ 23%



4. Western Springs... $546,000





+ 9%


+ 155%



5. Burr Ridge........... $533,500





+ 6%


+ 61%



6. River Forest......... $471,250


$150,590 $152,000 $135,000 + 13%

7. Wayne.................. $465,000





+ 10%


+ 93%







+ 7%


+ 14%







+ 11%


+ 35%




$137,295 $142,750 $118,750 + 20%





+ 5%


+ 43%







- 7%


+ 14%







+ 5%


+ 27%







+ 13%


+ 95%



8. Clarendon Hills.... $413,900 9. Riverside............... $405,000 10. Elmhurst.............. $400,500 11. La Grange......... $399,000 12. Glen Ellyn........... $365,000 13. Lemont............... $364,916 14. Naperville.......... $356,945 15. Oak Park............ $340,600 16. Geneva.............. $325,000 17. La Grange Park...$319,370 18. Homer Glen....... $315,000 19. Wheaton............ $301,250 20. Downers Grove..... $292,250

Highest 2016 Average Sales Prices 1. Hinsdale............... $992,231 2. South Barrington... $797,850 3. Western Springs.... $655,196 4. Burr Ridge............ $652,892 5. Oak Brook............ $622,741 6. Clarendon Hills.... $534,976 7. River Forest.......... $522,904 8. Wayne.................. $507,229 9. Elmhurst................ $499,246 10. La Grange......... $431,275 11. Glen Ellyn........... $407,998 12. Riverside............. $404,864 13. Lemont............... $378,187 14. Naperville.......... $375,942 15. Oak Park............ $368,334 16. La Grange Park..... $362,246 17. Homer Glen....... $345,087



NA 71 75

NA 106 70

CLARENDON HILLS $534,976 $413,900 $480,000 - 14%


NA 186 112


$255,028 $229,950 $176,000 + 30%


NA 74 95


$150,081 $149,900 $132,250 + 13%


NA 271 58





+ 6%


+ 25%







+ 8%


+ 60%







- 1%


+ 12%




$157,224 $160,000 $141,950 + 13%


NA 74 100


$277,323 $268,000 $240,000 + 12%


NA 209 113





+ 6%


+ 62%







+ 1%


+ 42%







+ 7%


+ 33%




$206,116 $190,500 $169,950 + 12%





+ 4%


+ 14%









+ 23%





+ 7%


+ 52%




NA 278 89




$224,457 $196,500 $211,250 - 7%




$142,902 $142,950 $117,250 +22%





+ 11%


+ 13%







+ 6%


+ 47%







+ 11%


+ 18%





+ 15%

NA $98,725

NA 210 114

+ 73%




NA 98 83

INDIAN HEAD PARK $272,152 $212,000 $215,500 - 2%


NA 111 78


$286,918 $263,000 $243,000 + 8%


NA 151 74





+ 16%


+ 42%







- 4%


+ 18%



LA GRANGE PARK $362,246 $319,370 $325,000 - 2%


NA 190 87

18. St. Charles.......... $338,939





+ 16%


+ 24%



19. Wheaton............ $337,998





- 6%


+ 74%



20. Geneva.............. $337,196





+ 4%


+ 22%







+ 5%


+ 35%




HOME_VALUES_wsl_03.17 FINAL.indd 50

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2016 Average Sold Price

2016 Median Sold Price

2015 Median Sold Price

Percent Change Since 2015

2012 Median Sales Price

$139,143 $140,000 $123,250 +14%


Percent Change Since 2012


Number Closed in 2016

Avg. Market Time 2016

NA 133 92

Largest 5-Year % Median Sales Price Increase 1. Bellwood......................155%




+ 12%


+ 150%







+ 15%


+ 95%







+ 17%


+ 42%



4. Melrose Park..................95%





+ 2%


+ 10%



5. Berwyn...........................93%







+ 23%



6. Lisle.................................74%

2. Maywood....................150% 3. Carpentersville..............95%

NORTH RIVERSIDE $222,223 $223,450 $215,000 + 4%


NA 90 73

7. Hanover Park ................73%


$157,919 $170,000 $140,000 + 21%


NA 119 61

8. Willowbrook...................71%





- 6%


+ 9%



9. West Chicago...............67%





+ 9%


+ 24%



10. Aurora..........................64%

OAKBROOK TERRACE $264,433 $224,000 $285,500 - 22%


NA 22 75

11. Elgin..............................62% 12. Bensenville...................61%





+ 4%


+ 31%







+ 8%


+ 30%




$522,904 $471,250 $467,500 +1%


NA 208 114


$404,864 $405,000 $338,500 +20%


NA 131 148





+ 5%


+ 37%







+ 14%


+ 42%



18. Yorkville........................44%

13. Des Plaines..................60% 14. Streamwood................53% 15. Glendale Heights........52% 16. Villa Park......................49% 17. Hoffman Estates..........47%





+ 8%


+ 39%



19. Brookfield.....................43%





+ 16%


+ 40%








+ 6%


+ 40%







+ 5%


+ 15%



SOUTH BARRINGTON $797,850 $732,665 $845,000 - 13%


NA 64 263

Shortest Average Time on the Market (in Days)





- 5%


+ 25%







+ 2%


+ 7%



2. Warrenville......................... 60





+ 8%


+ 53%



3. Northlake........................... 61





+ 8%


+ 25%



4. Romeoville......................... 63

NA 57 121

5. Schaumburg..................... 64

1. Crest Hill............................. 58


$127,616 $136,000 $105,000 + 30%




$234,582 $196,000 $178,000 + 10%


NA 265 60

7. Carpentersville.................. 67


$507,229 $465,000 $460,000 + 1%


NA 34 208

8. Brookfield........................... 69




$250,108 $265,000 $235,000 + 13%





+ 10%


+ 41%







- 7%


+ 29%







- 2%


+ 37%



Shorewood...................... 70





+ 4%


+ 11%



Streamwood................... 70

NA 85 122

16. Glendale Heights............ 71





+ 4%

NA $132,500

+ 23%


WILLOW SPRINGS $249,527 $217,500 $215,000 + 1%

+ 49%

+ 67%







NA 116 121




$288,228 $275,000 $251,500 + 9%


$222,259 $219,000 $209,500 + 5%





+ 13%


+ 43%







+ 9%


+ 44%



DuPage County




+ 5%


+ 27% 14,369


Kane County




+ 8%


+ 49%







+ 9%


+ 27% 10,628




+ 27%

6. Rolling Meadows.............. 65

Lombard............................ 69 Montgomery..................... 69 11. Broadview........................ 70 Carol Stream................... 70 Hanover Park.................. 70


Roselle............................. 71


NA 224 96

18. Des Plaines...................... 72


NA 218 97

Elk Grove Village............. 72


+ 71%


Hoffman Estates.............. 72 SOURCE: Data provided by Midwest Real Estate Data, an aggregator and distributor providing the multiple listing service for the greater metropolitan Chicago area. MRED does not guarantee the accuracy of the data or that it represents a definitive reflection of overall real estate activity in the market. NA = Data Not Available


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2/21/17 6:08 PM

Photos courtesy of Showhomes

Go for the Sold How to prep your home to win over prospective buyers


pring home-buying season is underway, and the current Chicago-area real estate market is competitive. So, if you’re listing your home for sale this year, it’s more important than ever to make sure it stands out from the crowd. Real-estate professionals and home stagers offer advice for drawing in buyers and making them feel at home in your home, which is key to making the sale. Understand Today’s Buyer Michael Callahan, owner of Showhomes of Fox Valley, a home-staging business serving the western suburbs, says that those who have not sold or purchased a home in the past five to seven years should know that the market has shifted. “Between HGTV and the Internet, the landscape for selling homes has changed dramatically,” he explains. “Turnkey, move-in conditions are what the average buyer wants and seeks out.” While in the past, home buyers were interested in “fixer-

by Lisa Sloan

upper” projects, that is not the case today. “I am not finding any buyers out there willing to fix up anything,” says Maryanne Ligmanowski, managing broker at Norway Realty in Downers Grove. “Before, everyone wanted to get into a home and put their own footprint on it — not today.” Jan Morel, a broker at Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage in Hinsdale, agrees. “Today’s buyer is more informed on the market and less interested in homes requiring work,” says Morel. “I work hard to explain to sellers that making improvements to sell your home is very common.” Cut the Clutter Simplifying is the first step when preparing to sell. Most brokers advise removing personal items like family pictures, posters and the like, but more than that, a thorough decluttering is essential. “Make life simpler inside your home,”


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Photos courtesy of Showhomes

says Ligmanowski. “Cut down on the number of things.” Even if you have an emotional attachment to items, they will be a distraction to buyers, and your task is to eliminate distractions. If you are struggling, bring in a family member, friend or even a professional organizer to help. And don’t think you can stuff things into cabinets and closets — buyers will likely peer inside. Many brokers recommend reducing the amount of clothing in your closet by half. The same goes for overstuffed bookcases, shelves and even your pantry. “This will assure potential buyers that you have sufficient storage space in your home,” says Callahan. Store the boxed-up clutter off site, at a storage facility, if you are able. As a bonus, it will already be packed and ready for your move. Get Your Shine On After decluttering, it’s time to deep clean. “Clean, clean and clean again,” says Callahan, who points out that cleanliness is reassuring to buyers — it makes them feel confident that yours is a well-cared-for home.

“The house that is sparkling clean will sell much faster than one that is dirty and dingy. When the house is dirty, they wonder what else might be wrong,” says Chris Pequet, a broker at Village Sotheby’s International Realty in Hinsdale. In addition to looking tidy, it’s also important that your home smells pleasant, so it’s a must to eliminate any odor, from cooking to smoke to pet smells. You might need to have carpets and upholstery cleaned or replaced.

Fix and Refresh Any items you have been putting off repairing, such as a torn window screen or dripping faucet, should be addressed before putting your home on the market. These tiny issues can lead buyers to wonder whether there are bigger issues they cannot see. Callahan even suggests having a professional home inspection done before you list. It will not only point out the immediate repairs/replacements needed but also give you an idea what the buyers will see when they get their home inspection report. Beyond repairs, a home must have an updated appearance. “It is extremely important to have your house look like a model home today to sell,” says Kris Berger, a broker at Berkshire Hathaway Koenig Rubloff in Hinsdale. You have to update or your house will sit for a very long time,” says Ligmanowski. “Buyers are willing to wait to find exactly what they want.” If something needs a major overhaul, consider doing it a few years before you plan on moving so that you can enjoy it. However, any changes have to make sense for your home’s value. Instead of putting in a new kitchen, for example, you might paint or re-face the cabinetry and add new hardware and counters.


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2/22/17 12:20 PM

GO FOR THE SOLD Sometimes, updates can be quick and easy. Berger tells buyers to purchase inexpensive white or cream towels and neutral bedding as well as fresh accent pillows for the sofa. Such touches can “go a long way toward making a room look chic and hip,” she says. Make Color Corrections When you have decluttered, cleaned and fixed up, it’s time to create a crisp and clean backdrop. A fresh coat of paint on walls and trim is in order. This gives the home a clean look, and it can even help make spaces look larger or more open. “Buyers really like an open floor plan, but if you don’t have one, you can give the illusion of having one,” says Pequet, who favors a cohesive color scheme that makes it feel like one room flows into another. Neutral walls will allow buyers to envision themselves in the home. This does not mean the stark builder’s white of the past. There are many warm whites that are more inviting. If you are unsure about choosing colors, a color consultation from a certified home stager will help you select what’s right for your home. Though a color, such as gray, may currently be popular, it might not fit with the finishes or style of your home and may make your rooms look more dated, not less. Let the Light In Another step to selling your home is making sure it’s bright and appealing. Dark curtains and window coverings must be removed, replaced or tied back to let in as much light as possible. Berger advises trading patterned draperies for solids for a more current look. Consider replacing old or inefficient windows. Teresa Ryan, broker/owner at Ryan Hill Realty in Naperville, notes that energy-efficient windows are an improvement that adds value to your home. Refreshing light fixtures in your entry and dining area also provides a nice update. Berger recommends looking at popular catalogs to determine what’s in style, then heading to the home center for a similar but cheaper version. “This

inexpensive swap can really help give a room a boost,” she says. Don’t Curb Their Enthusiasm Pay attention to the exterior of your home, especially to how it looks from the front. “If you can’t get the client in the front door, you will never sell the house, no matter how good it looks on the inside,” says Ligmanowski. Make sure landscaping is neatly shaped, your lawn is manicured and your front entry is inviting and tidy. Ryan recommends resealing the driveway, planting flowers around the front of the house and along walkways and using planters or other containers to accent the front porch. Pay special attention to the area around the front door. Repaint the door and replace the doormat with a new one. Though it might seem inconsequential, Pequet also recommends polishing your doorknob. “It makes a good impression before the door is even opened,” she says. Berger agrees. “When potential buyers are standing at the front door for a minute or two while the realtor is getting the key out of the key box, they are looking at everything around the front door,” she says. Set the Stage It’s often helpful to consult a professional for assistance with color choices, furniture placement and other design issues. “As homeowners, we are generally too close to our homes to be objective. We’ve been living in the home for a while and we like it,” says Callahan, whose business works with vacant homes as well as owner-occupied homes, showing people how to declutter, freshen up and utilize what they have, bringing in fresh furniture and accessories when warranted. For those who need to move before their house has sold, Showstoppers also offers a service that gives an empty home a lived-in look that goes beyond mere furnishings. You can have one of their “home managers” take up residence in your home to keep an eye on things. The managers pay a program fee, which offsets some of the cost of home staging. “We highly recommend a stager


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when placing your home on the market,” says Ryan. “The stager will let you know which items to remove, ideal furniture placement, perhaps changing the color of a room and other recommendations to make your home appeal to more buyers.” Explore Virtual Realty Before buyers visit your home, most will have already seen it online. Because virtual tours are so important, high-quality photography is a must. “Think of it as your first showing,” says Pequet. “Every picture should be beautiful or they will pass it by.” Berger recommends prepping the entire house before taking photos. “Showing your home and how your house looks in photographs are two totally different things. If your photos look cluttered or busy, people will pass on even coming to look at your home.” It might be wise to work with a home stager and/or professional photographer to make sure your home is camera ready. “From painting to decluttering to staging, every home can be presented in the best possible light,” says Morel, who often brings in a stager at his cost prior to taking professional photography. “I never rush my listings to market. It’s worth taking the time to make sure my clients’ homes are ready for pictures.” Price It Right Pricing your home effectively for the current market is also key. Ryan says a common sellers’ mistake is wanting to overprice their home so they have room to negotiate with buyers. Today’s savvy buyers will be comparing your home’s features and benefits with similar homes on the market and an overpriced home might be passed over. Ryan notes that your broker needs to sell your home three times: “First to other agents (so they will show your home to their buyers), second to the buyer so they will choose your home above the others, and third to the appraiser when they appraise the value of your home compared to other recent sales — to confirm the value for your buyer’s lender.” n WEST SUBURBAN LIVING | WWW.WESTSUBURBANLIVING.NET | MARCH 2017 55

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Photo courtesy of Bruss Landscaping

Outdoor Inspiration

Collaborative landscape planning can yield a yard that is customized to your specific recreational and entertaining needs.

s tantalizing hints of spring appear, a look out the window at the brown expanse of last year’s garden may prompt a bit of dreaming. The time may have come to remove that old play set or do something with that crumbling concrete patio, refresh the flowerbeds or replace a dying tree. Perhaps you are ready for a complete landscape makeover and need a new vision for your outdoor living space. Whatever shape your dream garden might take, west suburban landscape designers offer help on moving your project from concept to completion, with expert tips for making the most of your particular plot of ground.


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by Sara Pearsaul Vice

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Photo courtesy of Bruss Landscaping

Collaborate on the Design Concept and Landscape Plan The first step in developing a design concept for your landscape is meeting with a landscape architect or designer to share your ideas. Be prepared to answer questions about what functions are most important to you in your landscape. For example, if you have young children, you may require more yard space than a couple of empty nesters. Your hopes may be as simple as a new planting scheme or as complex as a new landscape to match an addition to your home. At the initial meeting, the landscape designer will want to walk through your property and hear how you want to re-work it. He or she will also assess the site for issues such as grading and drainage,

levels of sun and shade, and existing plants and trees, as well as aging structures that need replacing. “At the first meeting, we will share information and start dividing up the landscape into spatial areas, where you can cook, eat, relax after dinner, or play out on the lawn,” explains Barry Conlin, landscape architect and president of CB Conlin Landscapes in Naperville. The designer will create what Conlin calls a “bubble design,” where each bubble represents a different area and purpose of the landscape. The designer may also identify areas where a water feature or a specimen tree might be installed to create a focal point. With the rough design ideas in hand, the designer will return to the studio to create a conceptual design, with more defined spaces and pathways connecting one area with another. Although computer-aided design (CAD) is often used in landscape design, Conlin likes to start with a hand-drawn design concept, which he says allows for greater creativity. The CAD design comes later when exact specifications are required for installation.

Photo courtesy of Bruss Landscaping


Share Your Inspiration Whether you find your landscape inspiration in your travels, in watching home and garden shows, or by perusing websites, books and magazines, it helps to collect your favorite ideas for possible use in your own backyard. According to Bob Hursthouse, president of Hursthouse Landscape Architects in Bolingbrook, the inspiration for landscape design now flows both ways. “Traditionally, clients would call us asking us for our vision. It has changed,” explains Hursthouse. “Most clients share a Houzz idea book or a file full of magazines. They are providing a ton of ideas.” The challenge: “Not everything will work, so how do we interpret an idea so it will work on their site?” For Susie and D.J. Paoni, clients of Bruss Landscaping in Wheaton, the inspiration to put in a new attraction that suited their now teenaged children came from the teens themselves. They had gone to camp where they enjoyed using portable hammocks and had brought that idea home to their friends where they “hang out” at Lake Ellyn. “I wanted to take that eyesore swing set away and do something they could enjoy at our house,” Susie Paoni says. The yard’s trees were not close enough for stringing hammocks so a new structure had to be designed. The result is a unique hammock grove, developed by landscape architect Michael Kehl of Bruss, who found his inspiration to create a natural looking environment by studying zoo enclosures, as well visiting tree service providers to find the right size tree trunks to install. The hammock grove is a big hit, able to accommodate up to 14 friends at one time. It is also only one section of a complete landscape makeover that includes an outdoor kitchen, a seating area around a fire pit, and a spa, where the entire family can relax and entertain guests.


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“The design is the most important step,” maintains Conlin. Budget discussions also take place during the design process. “A lot of people have no idea what something costs upfront,” observes Matt Thumm, director of residential design for Wingren Landscape in Downers Grove. “It helps to know their budget requirements. A person may describe everything they want and it costs $100,000, and they may want to spend $20,000.” One option to address budget limitations is to break a large project into several smaller projects that can be done over a period of years. “We can suggest ways to go about it in phases,” Thumm says. His firm and others work on residential projects ranging from major hardscape and plant-scape installations to small-scale planting plans.

Swimming Pool Company in Arlington Heights, “A majority of the work we do is with auto-cover pools and spas, for two reasons. Safety is very important, but these features also are able to extend the season.” Automatic pool covers are motorized and completely cover the water, which prevents accidents and conserves water and energy, allowing the pool to be used during cooler months. Downes keeps his own pool open from the end of March through December, depending on the weather. Most homeowners want both a pool and a spa, says Downes. The most elaborate pools may include such resort-like features as deck jets, fire bowls, LED lighting and sun shelves.

A Hursthouse client in Wheaton undertook a major landscape project over a period of three years, starting with the backyard first, followed by a complete reworking of the front entrance and driveway the second year, and a small courtyard the third year. “We wanted to do it and do it right,” the homeowner explains. “The landscape before did nothing to bring out the beauty of our home. Now it is bringing out the best features of our home. The curb appeal is just spectacular.” One of the largest projects that any homeowner might undertake is adding a pool, which requires re-grading the yard to provide a level surface. According to Mike Downes, owner and manager of Downes Photo courtesy of Conlin Landscapes

Work with a Master Plan When tackling an expensive landscape project, Hursthouse advises, “One approach is to develop a master plan that you can implement at whatever pace.” A master plan encompasses all the landscape projects that a homeowner would ideally like to complete. Some projects may be done all at once, while others may take years. “An equally good approach is to address problem spaces one by one, identifying the family’s changing needs.”

Photo courtesy of Downes Swimming Pool Company

Outdoor Inspiration

Give It Time For any project involving major hardscape installations such as terraces, fireplaces, pavilions and outdoor kitchens, it is essential to allow enough time for the project from design through installation. “It takes time to plan, to get exactly what you want,” advises Kehl of Bruss Landscaping. “You don’t want to rush something like this.” He estimates that the planning process alone may take several months, which can vary with the size of the project and the number of revisions the plan goes through. Once the design is final, the landscape firm will submit permit applications for such items as electricity, plumbing and


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masonry to the municipality, which can take weeks for review and approval. For a pool, Downes says the permit time can extend to months, given the many municipal requirements involved in pool construction, such as the amount of impermeable surface allowed for the lot size. The construction phase can take several months for the largest landscape projects, as materials have to be ordered and sub-contractors coordinated for the various elements. If the property has major issues such as drainage problems, Conlin explains that re-engineering may require an additional permit and involve three to four extra weeks. He says that once a contract is signed with the homeowner, the project usually can be put on the schedule in about six weeks. “It’s never too soon to start the process,” Thumm shares. He finds that homeowners often wait until May to call about starting a major landscape project, when his and other firms may already be booked for the summer months. Landscapers can still complete projects in the fall, including new plantings, as long as they can allow enough time for the plants to be established before the first freeze comes. The slow season for landscapers is winter, so it is a perfect time to start the design and planning process. Given the major investment involved with a total landscape makeover, homeowners tend to spend extra time deciding on the features most important to them before taking the plunge. Paoni recalls that she spent a year working with Kehl to make sure everything was to her liking. One of the sticking points was the outdoor spa, which her husband wanted to use year round. She wanted to avoid looking out the back wall of French doors to see the hot tub, but completely surrounding the spa with walls was not an option, due to concerns with winter freezing. Kehl devised a design that put stone walls around two sides and seat walls with plantings in between to provide green space. “What we came up with was the best possible solution,” says Paoni. “I am glad we spent the extra time.” n WEST SUBURBAN LIVING | WWW.WESTSUBURBANLIVING.NET | MARCH 2017 59

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Wheaton Old and new, harmoniously balanced

By Lynn Petrak


here is a tale of two cities in Wheaton, to borrow a phrase from novelist Charles Dickens. It’s not as much a contrast as it is a harmonious balance of old and new, from a skyline punctuated with church steeples and multi-story developments to a landscape dotted with farmland as well as shopping centers. If you walk into an independent coffee shop in which a barista spends extra time making a decorative design atop a café mocha, you see a flyer for a “beer and hymns” night, featuring local craft beers and music inspired by faith. On a balmy summer evening, you can pack a cooler, spread out a blanket and listen to a hot new band under the stars, on the same sprawling grounds as a wartime tank display and mansion that was once home to a publishing magnate. If you enjoy running, you’ll soon be able to find the newest shoes and gear at a new store located in the town’s converted historic train station. Back to Dickens. If the brick-paved sidewalks, 19th-century buildings and eclectic mix of merchants, eateries and homes don’t give it away, the fact that downtown Wheaton hosts “A Dickens of a Christmas” celebration every year underscores the cozy charm of this community of more than 53,000 residents. Located about 30 miles due west of downtown Chicago, Wheaton also serves


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as the county seat for DuPage government. Those who call Wheaton home agree that the town has an appeal that is part classic, part novel. Mayor Michael Gresk, who grew up in Wheaton and returned with his wife, also a Wheaton native, to make their home in 1976, says that his favorite places in his hometown include mainstays as well as new spots. “I like to think that what we do in Wheaton is hardly unique but truly special. It’s like coming home again, and that phrase epitomizes what Wheaton is about,” says, Gresk, adding, “The new things we’ve done are wonderful. As charming and quaint as a town may be, if you don’t grow and change, you are doomed to fail.”

Kerry O’Brien, executive director of the Wheaton Chamber of Commerce, was born in Wheaton, too, and says that like so many people who have stayed here, she is still drawn to the community for the evolving, yet endearing nature of the town and its people. “It’s still that same kind of town where families are neighbors and are involved in churches, schools and neighborhoods,” she says. Another insight into Wheaton’s balance of old and new is the fact that the Chamber of Commerce is comprised of about half longtime members and half newcomers. According to O’Brien, “We have a lot of leadership who have been in town a long time, but we are ready to build

on that foundation with new people.” So progress continues. Visit Wheaton this spring and you’ll be able to see new projects and updates in the works at historic Cantigny Park and at the new Central Athletic Complex and its garden entrance to downtown Wheaton. Peer through the windows of the circa-1925 Wheaton Grand Theatre and you can chart the progress on the grassroots-funded renovation that has been going on for the last several years. Downtown Wheaton: Shopping and Dining This western suburb’s spirit of charm and inventiveness isn’t a façade — one


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Statistical Snapshot

Think outside the “Big Box!” Find unique gifts and exquisite home decor.

2015 pop est – 53,715

 Decrease from 2000 – 3.2%  Median age – 38.9  19 and under – 26.9%  20-24 – 7.9%  25-34 – 11.6%  35-44 – 11.5%  45-54 – 15.4%  55-64 – 13.1%  65 and over – 13.6%  Male – 48.0%  Female – 52.0%  White – 87.3%  African-American – 3.8%  Asian – 6.2%  Hispanic – 4.9%

Education  High school degree or higher – 96.2%

 Bachelor’s degree

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Housing  Total households – 19,194  Family households – 69.6%  Avg. household size – 2.6  Mean price for detached houses – $390,953

 Owner-occupied units – 13,830

 Renter-occupied units – 5,364

 Gross median rent – $1,289

Business/Employment  Residents employed – or higher – 61.8%

 Graduate or professional

– 3.5%

degree – 25.8%

 Avg. travel time to work –

Income  Median household income – $87,750

can actually see it demonstrated firsthand by multi-generational, family-owned and operated businesses like the Carlson Paint, Glass and Art stores, which continue to service longtime customers alongside new businesses like Miroballi Shoes and Le Salon de Pooch, among others. Gresk says that the three Carlson’s businesses mirror the investment that many merchants have in making Wheaton the best it can be. “Carlson’s has been in business 102 years now, and it has grown by leaps and bounds. If you want to talk backbone and support for the city, they epitomize that. There is a fourth generation coming up, and that’s hard to find these days,” he points out. Paula Barrington, executive director of the Downtown Wheaton Association, says that a strength of Wheaton’s downtown is its distinct and often independently owned businesses. “The unique mix of shops and boutiques features fashion, home accessories and specialty gifts,” says Barrington, adding that “a variety of dining options can also be found downtown including French, Italian, Mexican and all-American fare.” The appeal of the downtown business district is further affirmed by several new businesses that will be opening their doors


 Residents unemployed

24.9 min Sources: U.S. Census, and

in the coming months. Among them are the aforementioned Naperville Running Company, The Burger Social and Eyes on Wheaton. Other recently opened businesses include The Sipping Muse, Notable Notes Music Academy, County Farm Bagels, OMG Café and Choun’s Restaurant. In addition to the Carlson stores, several other longtime retailers are part of the downtown Wheaton shopping scene, including Stone’s Jewelry, Midwest Cyclery, Sandberg’s Store for Men and Boys, and Toms-Price Home Furnishings, to name just a few. As in many western suburbs, Wheaton has broadened the appeal of its downtown by cultivating a thriving dining scene. To be sure, there are restaurant options for every taste, from crepes to steaks, from breakfast to dessert, and from A to Z, or at least from Adelle’s to El Zarape. They include longtime favorites like Suzette’s Creperie, Il Sogno, Ivy, The Cellar Bistro and Front Street Cocina as well as popular newer establishments like Gia Mia, Fire It Up and Emmet’s Ale House which have opened in the last few years. “I can’t say enough about the restaurants and the diversity we have. Take your pick,” says Gresk, adding


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that downtown Wheaton has also become a hot spot for cool treats. “I think we’ve cornered the market on premium ice cream. In the downtown area, you have Kimmer’s Ice Cream, Graham’s and Kilwins.” Downtown Wheaton: Events and Attractions Eating and shopping aren’t the only things to do in the central business district. You can also take a step back in time at the DuPage County Historical Museum, located in the heart of downtown in a grand stone building that once housed the village library. Run by the Wheaton Park District and owned by DuPage County, the museum preserves and collects history and offers a variety of public exhibits. Through March 10, “Changing America: The Emancipation Proclamation, 1863 and the March on Washington, 1963” highlights key events in the nation’s history with local ties. Through the end of July, “From Flame to Fluorescent” sheds light (pun intended) on the history of lighting, from candles through the advent of artificial lighting. To support the non-profit DuPage County Historical Museum, a Casino Royale event will be held on Saturday, March 11, featuring charity chips, a martini bar, appetizers, silent auction and raffle. Barrington also points to the entertainment and cultural offerings available downtown. “Wheaton Drama presents year-round live shows, and improvisational theater and comedy is offered by the Westside Improv Studio. And many of the downtown restaurants feature live music throughout the year,” she notes. Upcoming performances by Wheaton Drama include Outside Mullingar (March 24 - April 15) and The Producers (May 26 - June 18). Visitors to downtown Wheaton can also get a cultural experience at the DuPage Art League gallery, which offers classes, workshops and other programs. Across the street from the DuPage County Historical Museum is Memorial Park, the site of a variety of outdoor 64 MARCH 2017 | WWW.WESTSUBURBANLIVING.NET | WEST SUBURBAN LIVING

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events, festivals and concerts. Among the most popular is the annual two-night Shakespeare in the Park production each August. Beyond the museum and park, downtown Wheaton is the setting for a variety of other events throughout the year. The French Market opens in March and runs through November, and is considered the area’s largest and most authentic markets of its kind. Other upcoming events include a celebration of spring and Easter on April 15, a Fun Run in Color on April 22 and Taste of Wheaton slated for June 1 through June 4. Various series are held through the summer, including Vintage Ride nights beginning in mid-May and continuing through the end of August; Wheaton Municipal Band concerts from mid-June through mid-August; and Music Mondays in the park staged weekly in July. Rounding out the year: a Brew Fest and Wine Walk in August, the Bike Wheaton festival in August, the Light the Torch Night Run in September, Boo-Palooza in October, a Chili Cook-Off in November and, for the holidays, A Dickens of a Christmas, featuring a parade, horse and carriage rides, visits with Santa, a holiday stroll, a reindeer run and a gingerbread house contest. Wheaton College Visitors to downtown Wheaton may notice a lot of young adults, thanks to nearby Wheaton College. “Students can be regularly found patronizing the downtown coffee shops and eateries, giving downtown Wheaton a college-town ‘vibe,’” says Barrington. With about 2,400 full time students, Wheaton College is a private Christian liberal arts college and graduate school that dates to 1860. Among its alumni is William “Billy” Graham, namesake for the school’s Billy Graham Center for Evangelism, which includes a museum that provides visitors with an overview of the Christian faith. The Wheaton campus is also home to the Marion E. Wade Center, which houses a major research collection of the works of seven prominent British authors including WEST SUBURBAN LIVING | WWW.WESTSUBURBANLIVING.NET | MARCH 2017 65

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Photo by Ed Ahern

Resources n Community

Center 1777 S Blanchard St., 630 690-4880. Open gym, indoor track, aquatics, dance, fitness, gymnastics, league sports, martial arts and more.

n Lincoln Marsh Harrison and Pierce Ave., 630 871-2810. 146 acres of prairies, woodlands and savannas around open water marsh areas.

Wheaton Public Library - Total holdings – 302,146 - Items checked out per year – 1,136,701 - Visitors per year – 513,098

Attractions n Clocktower

Commons S Naperville Rd & E Liberty Dr., 630 690-4880. Mini golf course and skate park. n Cosley

Zoo 1356 N Gary Ave., 630 655-5534. Zoo featuring a five-acre property with a large variety of domestic farm animals and native Illinois wildlife. n DuPage Art League 218 W Front St., 630 653-7090. Not-for-profit art school and gallery featuring workshops, classes and more. n Studio

Movie Grill 301 Rice Lake Square, 630 480-9557. Movie venue with in-theater dining, a lobby bar, seat-side service and more.

n Wheaton

Bowl 2031 N Gary Ave., 630 668-4102. Bowling alley featuring 36 lanes, a video gaming arcade, pizza, bar and more.

n Wheaton

Drama, Inc. 111 N Hale St., 630 260-1820. Volunteer community theatre.


n Illinois Institute of Technology Rice Campus 201 E Loop Rd., 630 682-6000. The Institute’s west suburban location with state-of-theart technology, multiple computer training labs and affordable room rentals. n Wheaton College 501 College Ave., 630 752-5000.

Christian, academically rigorous, fully residential liberal arts college and graduate school.


n Billy Graham Center Museum 500 College Ave., 630 752-5909. Unique visual overview of the history and influence of Christian evangelism. n DuPage County Historical Museum 102 E Wesley St., 630 510-4941. An institution dedicated to the collection, preservation, interpretation and exhibition of materials which document the history of DuPage County. n Marion

E. Wade Center 501 College Ave., 630 752-5908. Museum displaying materials from seven British authors including C.S. Lewis and J.R.R. Tolkien. Exhibit items include the wardrobe from the Narnia Chronicles.

n Northside Family Aquatic Center 1509 N West St., 630 653-3345. Zero depth baby pool, volleyball and sand area, diving board, drop slide, snack bar and more. n Rice

Pool & Water Park 1777 S Blanchard St., 630 690-4880. Zero depth pool, lap lanes, three slides, three diving boards, children’s spray area, volleyball area, concessions and more. n Wheaton

Sport Center 1000 W Prairie Ave., 630 690-0887. 14 tennis courts, two swimming pools, free weight and cardio areas, racquetball, classes and personal training, day spa and more.


n DuPage County Fair DuPage County Fairgrounds, 2015 Manchester Rd., 630 668-6636. Annual summer fair featuring multiple days of entertainment.

n Arrowhead

n Festival of Lights & Tree Sale Cosley Zoo, 1356 N Gary Ave., 630 665-5534. Winter-time tradition featuring 20,000 lights in large displays, holiday trees, snacks and more.

n Cantigny

n Independence Day Celebration Downtown Wheaton, 630 665-4710. Design a parade float, watch fireworks and more at this Fourth of July event.


Golf Club 26W151 Butterfield Rd., 630 653-5800. Golf course featuring a clubhouse, fine dining and event venue surrounded by forest preserve. Park 1S151 Winfield Rd., 630 668-5161. 500-acre park offers two history-rich museums, an award-winning golf course, a concert venue, nature walks, classes, special programs and more. n Central

Athletic Center 500 S Naperville Rd., 630 260-6430. three basketball courts, three volleyball courts, two batting cages, soccer and baseball/softball training areas and more.

n Taste

of Wheaton Memorial Park, 208 W Union Ave., 630 665-4710. Annual summer event featuring the Cosley Zoo Run, Business Expo, climbing wall and more. n Wheaton

Brew Fest Memorial Park, 208 W Union Ave., 630 510-4989. Festival featuring unique brews, live entertainment, food and more at this annual event in August.

C. S. Lewis and J. R. R. Tolkien. The museum section of the center displays a variety of the authors’ manuscripts and memorabilia, most notably C. S. Lewis’ writing desk and family wardrobe, the latter of which played a prominent role in his Chronicles of Narnia series of fantasy children’s books. Local residents and visitors can take advantage of many other aspects of having an institution of higher education in town. “Wheaton College offers a rich, cultural experience for both students and local residents with its Artist Series, lectures and other programs open to the public,” says Barrington. Those programs include performances by the Chicago Symphony Orchestra at the school’s Edman Memorial Chapel on March 17 and April 21. Cantigny Park Mention Wheaton as a destination in the Chicago area, and people likely will bring up Cantigny. This 500-acre former estate of Joseph Medill and his grandson, Colonel Robert R. McCormick, longtime publisher of the Chicago Tribune, draws visitors from all over the world for its beautiful gardens, sprawling park grounds, 27-hole golf course, nature trail and the First Division military museum and the McCormick home and museum. Exemplifying Wheaton’s celebration of history and simultaneous push for improvement, Cantigny just launched an upgrade plan, Project New Leaf. “It is a multiyear revitalization effort designed to enhance our already beautiful grounds, improve the visitor experience, and make sure Cantigny is enjoyed by future generations,” explains Matt LaFond, executive director of Cantigny Park. “While some of the gardens and grounds may be temporarily closed, there are still plenty of open areas and a full calendar of events and activities.” One of the earliest and most visible parts of the project is work on the First Division Museum. “In updating the museum, we’ll be able to tell the story from the Gulf War to the present and into the future,” says LaFond. The grand


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re-opening is planned for late August. Within Cantigny, there are several pleasant surprises, including the fragrant, colorful gardens and associated horticulture classes and programs. According to LaFond, the gardens are also part of Project New Leaf, with the installation of new flower beds, lighting and a new ADA-accessible playground. Those looking ahead to late spring and summer can also plan for some special events at Cantigny, such as a woodcarving and woodworking show on April 23 and

the area’s agricultural roots. People can take advantage of hiking trails and fishing spots on Rice Lake on the sprawling Danada property. Those who enjoy the respite of green spaces can visit other natural settings in Wheaton. Margi Wilhelmi, director of marketing for Wheaton Park District, shares some examples. “Lincoln Marsh Natural Area has beautiful trails and boardwalks overlooking the natural areas. There are environmental education programs and an outdoor ‘challenge

other areas for shopping and dining in Wheaton, including Rice Lake Square, Danada Square (West and East) and Town Square Wheaton, which boasts a number of national retailers, including Banana Republic, White House-Black Market, Bath & Body Works, Chico’s, Gap, Charming Charlie’s, Victoria’s Secret and Talbots. • Wheaton Public Library in downtown Wheaton has been named as one of the country’s top libraries. Recently, the library added a new café.

24, a greenhouse open house on May 7 and a fine arts festival on June 18 and 19. Music and theater performances are held here, too, including more than two dozen evening symphony and Shakespeare events. Many other programs and activities are held during the weekdays, when it’s a little less crowded.

course’ option, plus a newly added climbing wall. Northside Park is a beautiful spot to hold a family picnic, take the kids to the playground, fish in the summer, and sled in the winter. It offers canoeing as well. And Seven Gables Park has a fantastic walking trail and includes a playground and shelter that people can rent for family reunions or birthdays.”

• Wheaton is the county seat for DuPage, with a courthouse and administration building on County Farm Road. The town is also site of the DuPage County Fairgrounds and, accordingly, the DuPage County Fair each summer. • Downtown Wheaton isn’t just home to businesses. Residential developments, including the newer Wheaton 121, bring people close to the community. Also, having single family homes surround the downtown commercial district “allows residents to stroll into downtown for dinner, ice cream, concerts in the park and other community activities,” notes Barrington. • Wheaton remains a vibrant community of faith, with upwards of 45 churches and houses of worship. “I think one of the underpinnings of the community is and will continue to be our church community, which was part of the founding of the city back in 1859,” says Mayor Gresk. n

Danada and Other Green Spaces The historic 19-room Danada House, which belonged to commodity trader Daniel Rice and his wife, Ada (hence, Danada) is owned by the Forest Preserve District of DuPage County and operated by the not-for-profit Friends of Danada. The stately brick house, which is just part of the 780-acre property, is a popular site for weddings and other special events. The Forest Preserve District also maintains the Danada Equestrian Center, which offers a variety of programs tied to the property’s history as a horse farm. A model farm is on site as well, showcasing

Other Wheaton Highlights • The Wheaton Park District runs Cosley Zoo. In addition to farm animals, native wildlife, exhibits and year-long programs, the five-acre property hosts several special events. On Earth Day, April 22, the zoo’s Party for the Planet will offer various activities and include vendors who support conservation. For adults, the zoo will hold a wine event in July, featuring wine stations, food, live entertainment and raffles. • Beyond downtown, there are several


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AND MUCH MORE Photo courtesy of The Bistro at Le Chocolat du Bouchard



The Bistro at Le Chocolat du Bouchard


athy Bouchard saw the

“Our bistro features a French-American

recommend wine pairings. Lunch is served Wednesday through

coffee shop she founded

inspired menu with classic Paris ambiance,”

in late 2007 at 129 S.

says Bouchard, adding that customer

Saturday from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. and on

Washington St., Naperville

feedback on Chef Joe Schramer’s menu

Sunday from noon to 3 p.m. Dinner service

(630 355-5720) evolve into

so far has been “very positive.”

runs Wednesday and Thursday from 5 p.m.

Le Chocolat du Bouchard, a renowned

Popular dishes include classics Beouf

chocolate shop and patisserie. Building

Bourguignon, Croque Monsieur, French onion

on that success, Bouchard recently

soup and Salmon en Croute, among others.

opened a full-fledged, 90-seat bistro

The patisserie offers a selection of about 80

on the same premises.

dessert items. On request, the wait staff can

until 10 p.m., Friday and Saturday until 11 p.m., and Sunday until 8 p.m. Diners can expect to spend $12 to $26 per person, excluding alcohol. –T.R. Witom



2/21/17 3:44 PM

Photos courtesy of Sean Henderson Photography (

GoOd food

By T.R. Witom

Warren’s Ale House Shareable small plates and craft brews in Wheaton


ith an ever-changing stock of craft beers — at last count 24 on draft, 41 bottled and 22 in cans — Warren’s Ale House in Wheaton certainly lives up to its name. But that comes as no surprise. Growing up, siblings Jorge, Jerry and Leticia Hernandez developed a taste for food service by working at various Mexican restaurants run by their father. The Hernandez’ now own Warren’s Ale House, which recently turned the corner on its fourth anniversary. It was preceded in 2009 by Ellyn’s Tap & Grill in Glen Ellyn and followed in 2016 by the family-run Lavergne’s Tavern in Berwyn. The stated premise driving Warren’s is to provide “a place that has something for everyone” by offering a diverse food menu to complement beers from around the world. Domestic craft brews dominate the extensive beer menu. Thank goodness for the pub’s knowledgeable servers whose time-saving recommendation was spot-on. Two Brothers Warren’s Wheat, a German-style hefeweizen, had a malty sweetness and a soft but elusive aroma of clove, vanilla and banana.

Two Brothers, a micro brewery based in nearby Warrenville, also produces a double India Pale Ale brewed specifically for Warren’s Ale House and its two sister restaurants. Fish Tacos The full-service bar at Warren’s goes beyond beer. It includes wine by the glass or bottle, assorted bourbon, rye and Scotch whiskeys and several handcrafted signature cocktails. Hungry diners will find familiar dishes on the menu developed by Executive Chef Mark Downing. Patrons can customize a meal to suit their preferences by ordering shareable small plates or a main-course dish — or, as we did, by picking from both sides of the menu. An unexpected appetizer, PotatoCheddar Pierogies, was listed between the Chicken Fajita Quesadilla and Bavarian Pretzels. Three of these tasty Polish dumplings came with red sauerkraut, sour cream and bits of bacon. The dish jogged pleasant memories of long-ago meals. Among other starters are Cajun shrimp, nachos and chicken wings with a variety of toppings. Featured as main-course options are

pork loin cutlets, beer-battered cod fish fry and Italian sausage with tri-colored tortellini. No less substantial was the Cubano, a noteworthy sandwich packed with pork loin, prosciutto, salami, Swiss cheese and red onions. It came plated with a mountain of thin-cut fries. Desserts follow the tried and true, such as a chocolate truffle brownie and vanilla cheesecake. A personal favorite, and the only one made in-house, is the warm apple strudel with caramel sauce. Indulge further with a scoop of vanilla ice cream on the side. Bottom line: Warren’s Ale House is a family-friendly sports bar with at least 10 large-screen wall-mounted televisions. Be prepared, however, to put up with ambient noise, especially when there’s a big game being aired or on Tuesday nights when crowds turn out for trivia. n


Warren’s Ale House

51 Town Square, Wheaton 630 462-5126

Recommended Dishes





Small plates, $7 to $14

Mon - Sat 11 a.m. – 1 a.m.

Full bar

pierogies, Cubana

Mains: $13 to $17

Sun 11 a.m. – 12 a.m.

Free parking

sandwich and warm

Desserts: $7


apple strudel


Warrens_03_17 FINAL.indd 70

2/22/17 10:16 AM

DIning Listings Following is a sampling of some of the best dining destinations in the western suburbs, including reader favorites, advertisers and a cross-section of just plain good places to grab a bite. Bon appétit! n Central DuPage n Nw DuPage & Upper Fox Valley n Sw DuPage & lower fox valley n Se Dupage & SW Cook n Ne DuPage & nw cook

n Adelle’s: 535 W Liberty Dr, Wheaton. 630 784-8015.

New twists on old American favorites served by seasoned professionals in a stylish ambiance. Capacity: 160 plus 50 on outdoor patio. Yrs in bus: 13. Chef’s Choice: White fish. Entrée prices: $18-$34. Extras: Bar, outdoor dining, banquets, wine room, carry-out, live jazz Th at 7 pm, live music on select other nights, lounge, fireplaces. T-Th 4:30-8:30, F-Sat 4:30-9:30, Sun 4-8. Reservations: Recommended. n Allgauer: 3003 Corporate West Dr, Lisle;

in the Hilton Lisle/Naperville. 630 245-7650. Classic American fare with an eclectic twist in a contemporary environment. Specializes in locally sourced, dry-aged steaks, fresh seafood and chops. Capacity:196 at 44 tables. Yrs in bus: 35. Chef’s Choice: Potato-crusted halibut. Entrée prices: $25$44; lunch menu $9-$18. Extras: Bar, banquets, family friendly, Sunday brunch, breakfast buffet Mon-Sun, lunch buffet M-F, seafood buffet on Friday. Breakfast M-F 6:30-11 am, Sat 7-11 am, Sun 7-9:30 am; Lunch M-Sat 11-3; Dinner M-Sun 4-10, F seafood & prime rib buffet 5:30-8:30, Sun brunch 10:30-2:30. Reservations: Recommended. n Altiro Latin Fusion: 308 Anderson Blvd,

Geneva. 630 232-7717. A tapas restaurant combining innovative flavors from Spanish and Latin cuisine. Capacity: 50 + 40 outside. Yrs In bus: 3. Chef’s Choice: Altiro tilapia tacos. Entrée prices: $8-$12. Extras: Full bar, carry-out, catering, patio. Lunch T-Sat 11-3; Dinner M-Th 4-9, F-Sat 4-10; Brunch Sun 10-2. Reservations: Recommended. Affiliated with Al Chulo, 1400 S Neltnor Blvd., West Chicago, 630 520-0615. n Anyway’s Chicago Restaurant & Pub 5 E Roosevelt Rd, Oakbrook Terrace. 630 932-9323. Classic neighborhood restaurant and pub serving American cuisine. Capacity: 200 at 45 tables. Yrs in bus: 20. Chef’s Choice: Izzy’s jambalaya pasta and Certified Angus burgers. Entrée prices: $7-$15. Extras: Bar, carry-out, banquets, outdoor dining, kids’ menu, daily specials. M-Th 11:30 am1 am, F-Sat 11:30 am-2 am, Sun noon-1 am. Reservations: Yes, for 10 or more. Additional location at 304 W Army Trail Rd, Bloomingdale, 630 351-8870. n Atwater’s: 15 S River Ln, Geneva; in The

Herrington Inn & Spa. 630 208-8920. Eclectic American cuisine with a rotating, seasonal menu in a European style atrium setting overlooking the Fox River. Capacity: 40. Yrs in bus: 23. Entrée prices: $24-$45. Extras: Bar, outdoor dining, banquets, catering, private dining in gazebo, event space. Breakfast M-F 7 am-11 am, Sat-Sun 8 am-11 am; Lunch M-Sun 11-2; Dinner Sun-Th 5-9, F-Sat 5-10; Brunch Sun 11-2. Reservations: Recommended.


DINING_03_17 FINAL.indd 71

2/21/17 4:55 PM

Photos courtesy of Barbakoa

GoOd food

By T.R. Witom

Barbakoa A taco and tequila bistro in Downers Grove


ince its inception in 2013, Barbakoa Tacos and Tequila in Downers Grove has built a reputation as a reliable go-to place for contemporary Latin American cuisine. The popular taqueria doesn’t veer far from the mainstream. Popular menu items include fajitas, enchiladas, tacos and paella. Barbakoa’s kitchen does a good job with these and other traditional dishes. The restaurant has an urban vibe that attracts all ages, from parents with toddlers to millennials. Chandeliers with Edison bulbs and large windows light up the place. And an attentive wait staff works to keep customers happy. A recent Saturday night dinner started with colorful black, red and plain corn chips which came with two dipping sauces — a spicy salsa verde and an almost-sweet tomato-based sauce. Guacamole fans will enjoy sharing the traditional version featuring mashed avocado mixed harmoniously with tomato, onion, jalapeno and cilantro. Other starters to consider among the dozen listed are tostada nachos; shrimp ceviche; and quesadilla (with an upcharge for tinga chicken, steak or picadillo). One can make a meal from the broad

selection of tacos, and that’s exactly what we did. Pescado al Pastor starred fresh mahi-mahi that was marinated in a mild adobo sauce, sautéed and served nested in flour tortillas Short Rib Sliders topped with pineapple. White rice and blac beans accompanied. Meanwhile, a tablemate opted for chicken enchiladas — three to a serving — as her main course. Despite a daub of red sauce added for flavor, the chicken itself was a bit on the dry side. In contrast, another diner in our party praised the arrachera asada, a flavorful 10-oz skirt steak. The savory specialty, prepared in an Argentinean fashion, was well seasoned and flawlessly executed. A handful of desserts are brought on a tray to the table, but the one to keep your eye on is the Mexican churros (a/k/a crullers). The hard-to-resist pastry goes well with the two accompanying sauces, caramel and chocolate. Barbakoa offers a shared tasting menu that requires a two-person minimum. Details are posted on the restaurant’s website. Paella is available at dinnertime Friday

through Sunday, just be prepared to allow a 30- to 35-minute cooking wait time. Three iterations of this rice dish include seafood, meat and vegetarian. A well-stocked bar has all the bases covered from sangria and signature cocktails to wine and beer. When it comes to tequila, Barbakoa shines. Don’t hesitate to try the Fuerte Margarita made with tequila, handsqueezed lime juice and agave nectar. Tequila flights provide a tasty opportunity to anyone interested in exploring this spirit in one sitting. The number of different tequilas on hand is 100. Other things you should know about Barbakoa: Live music is booked on Saturday nights, and a weekend brunch is served Saturdays and Sundays from 10:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. n



1341 Butterfield Rd., Downers Grove 630 852-2333

Recommended Dishes




Guacamole, mahi-

Starters: $9 to $13

Mon - Thur 11 a.m. - 10 a.m.; Fri

Reservations, Wi-Fi,

mahi tacos, arrachera

11 a.m. - 11 p.m.; Sat 10:30 a.m. -

weekend brunch, live


11 p.m.; Sun 10:30 a.m. - 9 p.m.

music on Saturdays.


Barbakoa_03_17 FINAL.indd 72

2/22/17 10:16 AM

DIning n Autre Monde Café: 6727 Roosevelt Rd, Berwyn.

n n n n Recently Opened

708 775-8122. Mediterranean-infused fare served in an urban setting. Capacity: 85, 75 patio seating. Yrs in bus: 5. Entrée prices: $13-$24, smaller plates $6-$15. Chef’s Choice: Pastas made fresh daily and flatbreads. Extras: Outdoor patio, private parties, catering, wine list, Sun brunch 10-2. T-Th 5-10, F-Sat 5-11, Sun 5-9. Reservations: Yes. n Barrel + Rye: 477 S Third St, Geneva. 630 402-0647. American bistro featuring craft beers, venison burgers and small shareable plates. Capacity: 32, 25 at bar. Yrs in bus: 2. Chef’s Choice: Southern deep fried chicken. Entrée prices: $9-$16. Extras: TVs, full bar, free Wi-Fi, carry-out, selection of whiskey, scotch and bourbon, patio. Sun-Th 11-midnight, F-Sat 11-2 am. Reservations: No. n Basils Greek Dining: 4000 Fox Valley Center

Dr, Aurora. 630 692-1300. Award-winning Greek/ Mediterranean restaurant with a modern flair. Capacity: 240. Yrs in bus: 7. Chef’s Choice: Oven roasted lamb shank. Entrée prices: $21-$49. Extras: Bar, banquets, outdoor dining, catering, carry-out, craft beer on tap. M-Th 11-10, F-Sat 11-11, Sun 11-9. Reservations: Yes. n Biaggi’s Ristorante Italiano 2752 Showplace Dr, Naperville. 630 428-8500. Classic and contemporary authentic Italian dining in a casual, friendly setting. Capacity: 240. Yrs in bus: 9. Chef’s Choice: Black fettuccine with lobster & wild mushrooms. Entrée prices: $10-$30. Extras: Exhibition kitchen, bar, wine list, children’s menu, gluten-free menu, carry-out, catering, private parties, family friendly. M-Th 11:30-9:30, F-Sat 11:30-10:30, Sun 11-9. Reservations: Yes. Additional location at 20560 N Rand Rd, Deer Park, 847 438-1850.


Crazy Fox Bar and Grille An eclectic mix of upscale pub fare and specialty cocktails in St. Charles wners of Crazy Fox Bar

and Daniela Zaikowski, who

present, two popular dishes

and Grille, at 104 E. Main

took possession of the site

are rigatoni with vodka

St. in St. Charles (630 940-2876)

last September.

sauce and the meat and

n The burger Local: 577 S 3rd St, Geneva.

took their time in gutting and

Crazy Fox Bar and Grille

cheese charcuterie dish. The

630 232-2806. Locally sourced beef burgers made in a rustic environment. Capacity: 100. Yrs in bus: 1. Chef’s Choice: Double Diner or Hawaii burger. Entrée prices: $11-$15. Extras: Carry-out, family friendly, full bar, outdoor seating, TVs. Sun-T 11-9, W-Th 11-10, F-Sat 11-11 (bar open later). Reservations: No.

restoring the long-neglected

debuted in mid-January. It

average per-person dinner,

premises of their new

can seat about 80 customers,

excluding alcohol, falls in the

enterprise. The bar was the

including 20 at the curving

$20 to $25 range.

only original item to survive

full-service bar. Fourteen

Crazy Fox Bar and Grille

the clean sweep.

mostly craft beers are

is open daily from 11 a.m.

n Capri Ristorante: 324 Burr Ridge Pkwy, Burr

“Nothing was left to

available on tap.

to 11 p.m. Reservations are

Ridge. 630 455-4003. Authentic Italian fare served in a warm, elegant setting. Capacity: 150. Yrs in bus: 11. Chef’s Choice: Homemade rigatoni with vodka sauce, with soup or salad. Entrée prices: $15-$40. Extras: Full bar, carry-out, catering, outdoor dining, private parties. M 11:30-2 & 4-10, T-F 11:30-10, Sat 4-11, Sun 2-9. Reservations: Recommended.

chance,” says Steven Bijelic,

Bijelic says the menu is

accepted as are take-out

the son of owners Peter

still a work in progress. At


n Carlucci: 1801 Butterfield Rd, Downers Grove. 630 512-0990. Rustic Italian restaurant serving Tuscan cuisine. Capacity: 300. Yrs in bus: 12. Chef’s Choice: Linguini bobonato. Entrée prices: $12-$33. Extras: Carry-out, private dining, outdoor dining, bar open later, live entertainment. Lunch M-F 11:30-3:30; Dinner M-Th 3:30-9:30, F 3:30-10:30, Sat 4:30-10:30, Sun 4:30-9:30. Reservations: Recommended. n Catch 35: 35 S Washington St, Naperville.

630 717-3500. A deep and interesting variety of flavorful seafood and premium steaks in an uptown atmosphere. Capacity: 192. Yrs in bus: 11. Chef’s Choice: Chilean sea bass. Entrée prices: $16-$50. Extras: Bar, private parties, family friendly, outdoor dining, valet parking T-Sat. Lunch M-Sat 11:30-4; Dinner M-Sat 4-10, Sun 4-9. Reservations: Yes. n Cine Modern Taqueria: 29 E First St, Hinsdale. 630 590-5655. Contemporary Mexican restaurant serving quality Latin fare. Capacity: 150. Yrs in bus: 3. Chef’s Choice: Mole Negro. Entrée prices: $16-$30. Extras: Outdoor dining, carry-out, delivery, daily specials, full bar, live entertainment on Th, free kids’ tacos on Sun. Lunch T-Sat 11:30-2:30; Dinner Sun-M 5-9, T-Th 4-10, F-Sat 4-11. Reservations: Yes. n CityGate Grille: 2020 Calamos Ct, Naperville.

630 718-1010. Fine dining serving contemporary American fare in a steakhouse atmosphere. Capacity: 220. Yrs in bus: 7. Chef’s Choice: Seared Diver Scallops and Steak Risotto. Entrée prices: $18-$39, Avg: $25. Extras: Live music F-Sat, private parties, catering, kids’ menu. M-Th 11:30-9, F 11:30-10, Sat 5-10 (bar open later F-Sat). Reservations: Yes. n Clara’s: 6550 S Rt 53, Woodridge. 630 968-8899. Fresh homemade pastas and sauces, fresh seafood, handmade wood stone pizzas, veal and beef dishes. Capacity: 275. Yrs in bus: 29. Chef’s Choice: Shrimp Ersilia. Entrée prices: $8-$35, Avg: $12. Extras: Bar, patio, catering, carry-out, family friendly. T-Th 4-9, F-Sat noon-10, Sun noon-9. Reservations: Yes. n COOPER’S HAWK WINERY & RESTAURANT: 510

Village Center Dr, Burr Ridge. 630 887-0123. Upscale, yet casual dining featuring award-winning wines from Cooper’s Hawk’s own winery. Capacity: 300. Yrs in bus: 8. Chef’s Choice: Gnocchi Carbonara. Entrée prices: $10-$30. Extras: Outdoor patio, bar, wine club, tasting room, retail boutique, private parties, full wine list, live music Th-Sat. M-Th 11-9:30, F-Sat 11-10:30, Sun 11-9. Reservations: Recommended. Additional locations at 100 W Higgins Rd, South Barrington, 847 836- 9463; and 1740 Freedom Dr, Naperville, 630 245-8000. n Country House: 2095 S Kirk Rd, Geneva. 630 208-8181. Steaks, burgers, sandwiches, seafood,

– T.R. Witom

salads and pasta in a casual and rustic setting. Capacity: 240 at 30 tables inside, 70 outside. Yrs in bus: 40. Chef’s Choice: Country Cheeseburger. Entrée prices: $9-$20, Avg: $12. Extras: Carry-out, bar, kids’ menu, outdoor dining, catering and banquets. Sun-Th 11-10, F-Sat 11-11; bar open until 1 am daily. Reservations: Yes. Additional locations at 241 55th St, Clarendon Hills, 630 325-1444; and 6460 College Rd, Lisle, 630 983-0545. n Davanti Enoteca: 800 W Hillgrove Ave, Western

Springs. 708 783-1060. Simple Italian fare served in a rustic wine bar setting. Capacity: 130 plus 30 on a seasonal patio. Yrs in bus: 3. Chef’s Choice: Focaccia di Recco, Burratta Salad and Davante Burger. Entrée prices: $11-$24. Extras: Brunch Sat 11-2 and Sun 10-2, full bar, daily specials, Bloody Mary bar, M-F rotating sandwich menu. M-T 11:30-9, W-Th 11:30-9:30, F 11:30-10, Sat 11-10, Sun 10-9 (bar open later F-Sat). Reservations: Yes. n Dell Rhea Chicken Basket: 645 Joliet Rd, Willowbrook. 630 325-0780. World-famous fried chicken in a 1940s-style Route 66 roadhouse featuring video gaming. Capacity: 225 at 40 tables. Yrs in bus: 70. Chef’s Choice: 50/50 burger and breakfast burger. Entrée prices: $10-$20, Avg: $13. Extras: Carry-out, bar, catering, over 50 beers. Sun-Th 11-9, F-Sat 11-10. Reservations: Yes. n Devon Seafood + steak: 17W400 22nd St,


DINING_03_17 FINAL.indd 73

2/21/17 5:01 PM

DINING n n n n Recently Opened

Restaurant Juliette A locally sourced, farm-to-table approach to classic French cuisine


ewly opened on the

Locally sourced, farm-to-

The sophisticated

site that previously

table ingredients are key to

old-world décor makes

housed Hache Modern

this classical French menu.

Restaurant Juliette an

Brasserie, Restaurant Juliette

As well as simple choices

excellent choice for a

(524 W. State St. Geneva,

such as an elegant

romantic evening, while

630 402-0288) is the latest

interpretation of French

the patio is an ideal spot

venture of chefs David and

favorite steak-frites, there

for outdoor dining. Coming

Juliette Reyes, who earned

are options for the more

soon are carry-out and

their aprons in Michelin-

adventurous palate, like the

delivery services.

starred restaurants in the

frog legs tempura, served

The restaurant is open

U.S. and France, and who

with chutney and roasted

Tues through Sat from 4 p.m.

co-own The Grandstander

squash, or the mussels in

to 10 p.m.

in downtown Geneva.

white wine and garlic.

– Anne Knudsen

Oakbrook Terrace. 630 516-0180. Sleek, upscale venue serving fresh seafood and steak. Capacity: 237. Yrs in bus: 4. Chef’s Choice: Maple Plank Salmon Jumbo Lump Crab Cakes. Entrée prices: $21-$58, lunch $11-$25. Extras: Private banquet room, vegetarian and gluten-free menus, wine list, happy hour M-F, full bar (open later), half-priced wine bottles on Mon.days. M-11-9 T-F 11-10, Sat 4-10, Sun 4-9. Reservations: Yes.

n EDDIE MERLOT’S: 28254 Diehl Rd, Warrenville.

n DITKA’S: Rt 83 & 22nd St, Oakbrook Terrace. 630 572-2200. Fine dining steakhouse also offering fresh seafood, burgers and sandwiches in a hospitable and vibrant atmosphere. Capacity: 350. Yrs in bus: 8. Chef’s Choice: Da Pork Chop and Pot Roast Nachos. Entrée prices: $10-$50. Extras: Awardwinning wine list, full bar, private rooms, breakfast on Sat & Sun 9-2, complimentary valet parking, gluten-free options. M-F 11-10, Sat 9-10, Sun 9-9. Reservations: Yes. Additional location in Chicago.

n EMPIRE BURGERS & BREWS: 48 W Chicago Ave, Naperville. 630 355-9000. Craft beers and burgers in an urban atmosphere. Extras: Carry-out, full bar, whiskey selection, live music, outdoor seating, happy hour. M-Th 11-1 am, F-Sat 11-2 am, Sun 11-midnight. Reservations: Accepted.

n D.O.C. WINE BAR: 326 Yorktown Center,

Lombard. 630 627-6666. Light, contemporary fare featuring more than 300 wines. Capacity: 150. Yrs in bus: 9. Chef’s Choice: Butcher’s block. Entrée prices: $9-$35. Extras: Full bar, carry-out, lounge, wine flights, retail shop, private dining, daily specials. M-Th 11:30-10, F-Sat noon-midnight, Sun noon-9:30. Reservations: Yes. 74 MARCH 2017 | WWW.WESTSUBURBANLIVING.NET | WEST SUBURBAN LIVING

630 393-1900. Upscale contemporary steakhouse with a lighter ambiance also known for its wine. Capacity: 260. Yrs in bus: 4. Chef’s Choice: Prime aged steaks and wagyu. Entree prices: $23-$51. Extras: Extensive wine list, outdoor dining, lounge with drink specials. M-Th 4-10, F-Sat 4-11, Sun 4-9. Reservations: Recommended. Additional location at 201 Bridewell Dr, Burr Ridge. 630 468-2098.


St. Charles 630 940-2380. Contemporary fare with an ode to the American table in a bistro-like atmosphere. Capacity: Yrs in bus: 1. Chef’s Choice: Country Pheasant and Flat Iron Steak. Extras: Artisan cocktails, craft beers, Happy Hour, family friendly, carry-out, Sunday brunch. T-Th 4-10, F-Sat 4-11, Sun 11-3 and 4-9. Reservations: Yes. n EMILIO’S TAPAS BAR: 4100 Roosevelt Rd, Hillside. 708 547-7177. Spanish tapas in an authentic countryside atmosphere. Capacity: 150. Yrs in bus:

28. Chef’s Choice: Paella and Datiles con Bacon. Entrée prices: $6-$16 per person. Extras: flowered patio, online reservations, carry-out, bar, family friendly, “Tapeo” $1.95 bites menu 4:30-6:30 M-Fri, GrubHub and Yelp Eat 24, live entertainment Fridays, full bar, catering. M 4:30-9:30, T-Th 11:30-9:30, F-Sat 11:30-10, Sun 4-9. Reservations: Yes. n Fire + Wine: 433 N Main St, Glen Ellyn.

630 793-9955. Rustic and inviting restaurant with modern Italian flair, serving small-plate fare, authentic Neapolitan artesian pizzas and classic pastas in a family friendly atmosphere. Capacity: 135. Yrs in bus: 4. Chef’s Choice: Hanger Steak and Grilled Romaine Salad. Entrée prices: $7-$19. Extras: Bar, carry-out, wine list, craft beer, family friendly, kids’ menu, private event hosting, specials. T-Th 4-11, F 4-midnight, Sat 3-midnight Sun 3-10. Reservations: Call-ahead seating. n Fogo De CHAo: 1824 Abriter Ct, Naperville.

630 955-0022. Brazilian steakhouse known for its churrasco style of cooking various meats over an open fire in a warm, contemporary atmosphere. Capacity: 200. Mths in bus: 7. Chef’s Choice: Cordeiro and Picanha. Entrée prices: Avg: $32/$49. Extras: Full bar, family friendly, valet, seasonal patio, Sunday brunch. Lunch: Sun-F 11-2; Dinner: M-Th 5-10, F 5-10:30, Sat 4-10:30, Sun 4-9. Reservations: Yes. Additional location at 5460 Park Pl, Rosemont, 847 678-7200. n Fuller House: 35 E First St, Hinsdale. 630 537-1653.

Craft beer and bar food in an industrial, rustic setting. Capacity: 140. Yrs in bus: 1. Chef’s Choice: Buffalo shrimp or brisket grilled cheese. Entrée prices: $11-$20. Extras: Updated sound system, TVs, sidewalk seating, full bar, carry-out, beer garden in The Backyard. M-Th 11-11, F-Sat 11-midnight, Sun 11-10. Reservations: Yes, for 6 or more. n Gibson’s Bar & Steakhouse: 5464 N River Rd,

Rosemont. 847 928-9900. Classic American steakhouse offering USDA Prime Steaks, fresh seafood and huge portions in a 1920s art-deco style setting. Capacity: 260. Yrs in bus: 16. Chef’s Choice: WR’s Chicago Cut. Entrée prices: $12-$52. Extras: Carryout, catering, free valet parking, private parties, piano bar (open until 2 am), entertainment. M-Sun 11-2. Reservations: Yes. Additional location at 2105 S Spring Rd, Oak Brook, 630 954-0000. n Gia Mia: 106 N Hale St, Wheaton. 630 480-2480.

Old-world authentic Neapolitan pizza in a rustic restaurant. Capacity: 120. Yrs in bus: 1.5. Chef’s Choice: Hand-crafted meatballs. Entrée prices: $6-$20. Extras: Newly renovated space, full bar, TVs, carry-out, large wine selection, fresh ingredients from local sources, mobile brick-oven. M 4-9, T-Th 11-2 and 4-10, F-Sat 11-10. Reservations: No, but call-ahead seating available. Additional location at 13 N Third St. Geneva, 630 405-5544. n Harry Caray’s Italian Steakhouse 70 Yorktown Center, Lombard; in the Westin Hotel. 630 953-3400. Classic Italian steakhouse in a sportsthemed atmosphere. Capacity: 550. Yrs in bus: 9. Chef’s Choice: Prime steaks, chops and Italian Specialties. Entrée prices: $12-$52. Extras: Outdoor dining, bar, sports memorabilia, carry-out, private events. Lunch M-Sun 11-5 (bar only); Dinner M-Sat 5-10, Sun 4-9. Reservations: Yes. Additional location at 10233 W Higgins Rd, Rosemont, 847 699-1200. n Hillgrove Tap: 800 Hillgrove Ave, Western Springs. 708 290-0055. Traditional bar fare with a creative twist served up in a family friendly neighborhood sports bar. Capacity: 115, plus 50 on a seasonal patio. Urss in bus: 1. Chef’s Choice: Nacho Bites or Bourbon Glazed Pork Chop. Entrée prices: $12-$19. Extras: TVs, 24 craft beers on tap, selection of bourbons and whiskeys, carry-out, full bar, outdoor seating. M-Th 11-midnight, F-Sat 11-1 am, Sun 11-10 pm. Reservations: Yes.


DINING_03_17 FINAL.indd 75

2/21/17 5:03 PM



By Buzz Brandt

n Holy Mackerel!: 70 Yorktown Center, Lombard; in the Westin Hotel. 630 953-3444. Fresh interpretations on fish house classics in a vintage décor. Capacity: 150. Yrs in bus: 9. Chef’s Choice: Kasu marinated sea bass. Entree prices: $9-$46. Extras: Private parties, bar, carry-out. Breakfast M-Sat 6-11, Sun 6 am-noon; Lunch M-Sat 11-4; Dinner M-Sat 4-9. Reservations: Yes.

Old Vines Aged vines deliver resplendently rich and boldly intense flavors


ust as the designation “Grand Cru” on French wine labels attests to standards of excellence inside the bottle, so the descriptor “old vines” has come to be an imprimatur of wine superiority. But, like “private reserve,” this is an ambiguous term, undefined and unregulated, and there’s no general consensus on exactly what it means. Young grapevines (less than 10 years old) are quite vigorous, producing plentiful berries and abundant canopies and leaves, but as they age toward the 20-year mark, their vigor diminishes, resulting in less fruit with smaller berries. At this point, many are ripped out of the ground and new vines are planted. But some growers choose to leave the canopies in place, allowing them to produce grapes for decades to come. The yields may be lower, but these twisted, gnarled vines with their deep, nutrientsourcing roots are able to produce grapes with greater extraction and more concentrated flavor profiles. The resulting wines can be resplendently rich, complex and boldly

intense, with a profound structure that is both layered and balanced. The oldest documented vine (over 400 years old) grows in Slovenia, followed by that of Alto Aldige in northern Italy (of approximately the same age) and Hampton Court Palace in England (250 years). A Shiraz vineyard in Australia’s Barossa Valley has been producing grapes since the middle of the 19th century and old vine Zinfandels have been thriving in California since the Gold Rush. The problem is that there are no legal restrictions for the use

of the designation “old vine” on a label. To one winemaker it can mean 20 to 30 years and to another 50 or 60, though many rely on the benchmark of 50 years. Because the term is associated with quality, it is sometimes used strictly as a marketing buzzword applied to much younger vines, prompting some growers to label their 80 years and older wines as sourced from “ancient vines.” Likewise there are no regulations as to the percentage of old vine wine that has to be present in the bottle. The best yardstick of quality is the reputation of the vineyard. n

Expert wine recommendations • Mike Montone Vin Chicago, 2827 Aurora Ave., Naperville 2013 Three Wines Company “Old Vines” Zinfandel California) $16. From 100-year-old vines, blackberries and cherries, with notes of coffee, pepper, spice and violets kissed by hints of minerality. Full-bodied and balanced, with silky tannins. 2014 Domaine Lafage “Tessellae” Old Vines Cotes du Rhone Rousillon

Rouge (France) $12 Blend of Grenache, Syrah and Mourvèdre from 70-year-old vines. Brilliant notes of cherries, spice and pepper backed by a vibrant acidity. Dense and well-balanced. • ANNA TROST Wine by TCC, 24104 W. Lockport St., Plainfield DeLille Cellars Chaleur Estate Blanc (Washington) $35. Opulent, complex Pinot

flaunts a bouquet of cranberries, cherries, spice and a hint of earth. A vibrant acidity lends backbone. 2012 J. McClelland Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon (California) $40. Nose of blueberries, black fruit and baking spices opens to rich flavors of blackberries, red and black cherries, currants and plums with overtones of smoke and vanilla.

n Kama Bistro: 9 S La Grange Rd, La Grange. 708 352-3300. Fresh and modern Indian fare with unique tastes served in an upscale and cozy setting. Capacity: 55 plus 20 on patio. Yrs in bus: 5. Chef’s Choice: Lamb Chop Masala. Entrée prices: $10-$34. Extras: Catering, gluten-free & vegan options, carry-out, delivery, patio. M 4-9:30, T-Th 11:30-9:30, F-Sat 11:30-10:30, Sun 11:30-9. Reservations: Yes. n MÉcÉnat Bistro: 821 W Burlington Ave, Western

Springs. 708 246-8668. American eclectic fare. Capacity: 110. Yrs in bus: 5.5. Chef’s Choice: Pan seared whitefish. Entrée prices: $12-$30. Extras: Outdoor dining, full bar, live entertainment F & Sat nights, private dining, retail wine shop. T-Th 4-11, F-Sat 4-midnight, Sun 4-8. Reservations: Yes. n Morton’s: 1751 Freedom Dr, Naperville.

630 577-1372. Steaks and seafood in an upscale American steakhouse featuring an a la carte menu. Capacity: 120. Yrs in bus: 7. Chef’s Choice: Porterhouse steak. Entrée prices: $40-$60. Extras: Bar, valet parking every day but M, lounge, private dining, patio. M-Th 5:30-10, F 5:30-11, Sat 5-11, Sun 5-10 (bar opens at 4). Reservations: Recommended. Additional locations at 9525 W Bryn Mawr Ave, Rosemont, 847 678-5155; and 1470 McConnor Pkwy, Schaumburg, 847 413-8771. n Maya Del Sol: 144 S Oak Park Ave, Oak Park. 708 358-9800. Casual, yet upscale New World Latin dining. Capacity: 175, 130 outdoors. Yrs in bus: 8. Chef’s Choice: Carne asada. Entrée prices: $14$36. Extras: Bar, outdoor dining, live entertainment, gluten and dairy free options, catering, carry-out, private dining. M-Th 4-10, F-Sat 4-11, Sun 4-9, Sun brunch 9-2. Reservations: Yes. n Nobel House: 305 W State St, Geneva.

630 402-0452. American comfort food and handcrafted cocktails served up at this gastropub. Capacity: 70. Yrs in bus: 2. Chef’s Choice: Big Texas Burger. Entrée prices: $10-$24. Extras: Carry-out, family friendly, full bar, free Wi-Fi, TVs, catering, brunch Sat & Sun, kids’ menu. M-T 11-10, W-Th 11-11, F 11-2 am, Sat-Sun 10-2 am. Reservations: No. n Perry’s Steakhouse & Grille: 5 Oakbrook

Center, Oak Brook. 630 571-1808. Classic steakhouse with premium steaks and fare with tableside preparation. Capacity: 300. Yrs in bus: 3. Chef’s Choice: 14–oz New York Strip steak. Entrée prices: $26-$59. Extras: Private dining rooms, island bar, seasonal patio, live music M-Sat, carry-out. M-Th & Sat 4-10, F 11-10,Sun 4-9 (bar open later). Reservations: Yes. n Plank Bar & Kitchen: 120 Water St, Naperville.

630 778-9676. Upscale bar serving tastes of local food in a rustic modern atmosphere. Capacity: 50, 12 at bar. Chef’s Choice: Beer braised short rib or Mezcal brined pork tacos. Entrée prices: $12-$28. Extras: Covered and valet parking. Breakfast M-F 6:30-10:30, Sat-Sun 7:30-11:30; Dinner M-Sun 4:30-10 (bar until 11). Reservations: Yes. n Parkers’ Restaurant & BAr: 1000 31st St,

Downers Grove. 630 960-5700. Casually elegant restaurant serving a contemporary American menu. Capacity: 250. Yrs in bus: 15. Chef’s Choice: Cedar-planked halibut and charcoal-grilled center cut pork chop. Entrée prices: $14-$65, Avg: $32. Extras: Bar, outdoor dining, private dining, live music in lounge W-Sat. Lunch M-F 11:30-2:30;


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Dinner M-Th 5-10, F 5-10:30, Sat 4-10:30, Sun 4-8:30. Reservations: Recommended.  PATTEN HOUSE RESTAURANT & BAR

124 S Second St, Geneva. 630 492-5040. A newly renovated historic landmark featuring a distinctive menu with a Cajun flair. Capacity: 250. Yrs in bus: 2. Chef’s Choice: BBQ Pork Sandwich and Honey Sriracha Glazed Brussel Sprouts. Entrée prices: $18-$30. Extras: Full bar, outdoor seating, TVs. M-Th 11-10, F-Sat 11-11, Sun 10-10. Reservations: Yes.  PATIO RESTAURANT: 7440 S Kingery Hwy (Rt 83),

Darien. 630 920-0211. Casual dining featuring American food and specializing in BBQ ribs. Capacity: 300. Yrs in bus: 27. Chef’s Choice: BBQ ribs. Entrée prices: $7-$22. Extras: Carry-out, outdoor dining, catering, family friendly, drive-up. M-Th 10:30-10, F-Sat 10:30-11 pm, Sun 10:30-9:30. Reservations: No. Additional locations at 4400 Fox Valley Center Dr, Aurora. 630 820-8800; 151 S Weber Rd, Bolingbrook, 630 226-9696; and 2780 S Highland Ave, Lombard, 630 627-2600.  ROBERTO’S RISTORANTE & PIZZERIA: 483 Spring

Rd, Elmhurst. 630 279-8486. Italian cuisine served in a romantic, neighborhood setting accented by white tablecloths. Capacity: 250. Yrs in bus: 54. Chef’s Choice: Fish entrées. Entrée prices: $14-$44. Extras: Carry-out, bar, outdoor dining, catering, family friendly, banquets. M-Th 11-11, F 11-midnight, Sat 4-midnight, Sun 2-10. Reservations: Yes. .  SULLIVAN’S STEAKHOUSE: 244 S Main St,

Naperville. 630 305-0230. Steak, chops and seafood in a 1940s Chicago-style décor. Capacity: 300. Yrs in bus: 18. Chef’s Choice: Seafood and steak. Entrée prices: $30-$60. Extras: Bar, live entertainment, valet parking. Lunch M-F 11:30-4:30; Dinner M-Th 5-10, F 5-11, Sat 4:30-11, Sun 4:30-10. Reservations: Recommended.  SUSHI HOUSE: 830 E Ogden Ave, Westmont.

630 920-8948. Sushi, sashimi and other Japanese fare. Capacity: 100. Yrs in bus: 21. Chef’s Choice: Cracker Roll. Entrée prices: $10-$20. Extras: Carryout, catering, delivery, private parties, kids’ menu, sushi bar, beer & wine. M-F 11:30-10, Sat noon-10, Sun noon-9:30. Reservations: Yes. Additional locations at 950 Warren St, Downers Grove, 630 968-0088; 1107 Lake St, Oak Park, 708 660-8899; and 281 Rice Lake Square, Wheaton, 630 221-8986.  SUZETTE’S: CREPERIE: 211 W Front St, Wheaton. 630 462-0898. Crêperie, pâtisserie, boulangerie, French country bistro and wine bar in a casual setting. Capacity: 88. Yrs in bus: 16. Chef’s Choice: Beef bourguignon crêpe and Suzette’s benedict. Entrée prices: $13-$40. Extras: Wine bar, bakery, carry-out, full bar, outdoor dining, private parties, boutique weddings, occasional live music. Pâtisserie open at 7 am, M-Sat, Sun brunch 11-2, afternoon tea T-Sat 2 pm, Sun 1 pm. Breakfast T-Sat 7-11 am, Sun 8-11 am; Lunch T-Sat 11-4; Dinner T-Th 5-9, F-Sat 5:30-9:30. Reservations: Recommended.

Experience the Finest Selection of Italian Cuisine One-of-a-Kind Gourmet Specialties, Custom Created by Experienced Chefs

 VIE: 4471 Lawn Ave, Western Springs. 708 246-2082.

Seasonal, contemporary American à la carte menu with European influences in an elegant atmosphere. Capacity: 120. Yrs in bus: 12. Chef’s Choice: Gnocchi. Entrée prices: $26-$46. Extras: Bar, new lounge space, gluten-free and vegetarian options, monthly Sunday suppers. M-Th 5-9, F-Sat 5-10. Reservations: Yes.  YORK TAVREN: 3702 York Rd, Oak Brook. 630 323-5090. The oldest, continuously operating restaurant in DuPage County, restored and updated in 2006, serving burgers and American fare. Capacity: 60. Yrs in bus: 172. Chef’s Choice: Burgers. Entrée prices: $6-$20. Extras: Carry-out, bar. M-F 11-1 am, Sat 11-2 am, Sun noon-10. Reservations: No.

483 Spring Road



Mon - Thurs 11 am - 11 pm • Fri 11 am - midnight • Sat 4 pm - midnight • Sun 2 - 10 pm


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Charitable Events of Note

Photos courtesy of Rachel MacNeill


MacNeill and Jason Schendler; Rachel MacNeill with Wheaton College Football players Tyler Sigler, Joe Nussbaum, Jon Callaway and Johnny Peltz; B/C Division Champs, Tyler Cuda, Nick Marcuccilli, Ricky Gentile, Sam Weiss, Tony Ecoli, Pat Mullally and John Wilt (not pictured).

Photos courtesy of Twinbliss Photography

The Ross K. MacNeill Foundation raised $15,706 at its first-ever Winter TOUGH Hockey Tournament, which benefits pediatric brain cancer research. The frigid early February weather did not stop the 137 skaters as they sped around the ice in round-robin games and enjoyed an outdoor beer garden and grill at the new outdoor ice rinks at the Wheaton Park District’s Central Athletic Complex. Five Wheaton children fighting brain tumors and two families who have lost their children participated in an Honorary Puck Drop, above. Others involved were (clockwise) Michael Cecala and Rachel MacNeill; Wheaton Fire Department B/C Division team, firefighters Kevin King, Mike Sinn, Nick Schlapp and Mike Franzone; Team TOUGH (front row, middle, to back row) Gary Cwik, Dan Corvo, Peter Gerardo, Jeff Kincaid, Ross A.

The 2nd annual Operation TASTE brought in a total of $45,000 to support Operation North Pole, a group that gives to families who have a child battling a life-threatening illness, by hosting a fantasy trip to the North Pole. On February 6, 325 guests had the opportunity to observe more than 20 of Chicago’s top culinary stars, including “Iron Chef America” judge Mario Rizzoti (bottom left) with Bravo TV’s Top Chef contestant Chef Carlos Gaytan of Mexique, as they served up food, offered cooking demos and more at the Café la Cave in Des Plaines. Among those attending were (clockwise from top left, left to right) Paul Guerrero of Naperville, Rina and Anthony Cervone of Chicago; Tom and Kristen Speck of Hoffman Estates; and Timothy and Dianna Funaro of Naperville, and Lyndsey Winter of Lincolnshire.


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Photos courtesy of Five Lake Arts

and Lisa Hilgenberg of Brookfield (second from right); Robert Henry and Pillars board member Sara Mikuta of Western Springs; Dr. Abd Noghnogh and Pillars board member Dr. Bana Atassi of Hinsdale; Pillars board member Louise Hillegass of Hinsdale (second from left), with Pat Hillegass and daughters Mary and Sarah; Pillars board member Stephen J. Ryan, Jr., and Beth Ryan of Western Springs; and Stephen and Heather Alderman, president of the Illinois Children’s Healthcare Foundation, of La Grange.

Photos by Autumn Moulder

Approximately 475 attendees brought in a total of $292,000 to support Pillar’s mental health and social service programming at the 2017 Pillars Ball. Guests enjoyed cocktails, dinner and gaming including blackjack, craps and roulette aT the Oakbrook Hills Hilton. The gala, the agency’s largest annual fundraiser, also welcomed many volunteers, auction and raffle donors, as well as sponsors from the local community. Pictured (clockwise from top left) are the 2017 Pillars Ball Committee led by co-chairs Rose Ashby of La Grange (fourth from right)

Attendees of The Robert Crown Center for Health Education Gallery Night recently viewed works by 15 Chicago-area artists at the organization’s location in Hinsdale. Hors d’oeuvres and wine were served throughout the evening while more than 250 guests listened to a live quartet. Approximately $14,000 was raised from art sales to support health education in the area as well as curriculum development and assisting in the expansion of programs into low-income communities. In attendance were (clockwise from above) Michele Jahelka of Burr Ridge, Elizabeth Speziale of Hinsdale, Dr. Ramsey Ellis of Hinsdale, Mary Beth DeBord of Wayne, Norine Guy of Hinsdale, Chris Blake of Hinsdale and Jill Adzia of Plainfield; artists Rhonda Brown and Julie

Lawrence, both of Chicago; Marguerite Guido of Hinsdale and Jenny Fabian of Brookfield; Katie Lyda, Parker McGuire, Shea Tillotson and Jesse

Wei of Downers Grove; and Kellee Johnson of Chicago, Debra Sunderland of Clarendon Hills and Javier Ceballos of Chicago.


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2/22/17 8:55 AM

Last Word

By Michele Weldon

Not Buying This Trendy Meal Plan Having dinners delivered isn’t worth it if you still have to do the cooking and the clean-up


our dinner is here. Just open the front door, slit open the cardboard box, cut apart the plastic vacuumsealed wrapping — one for each separate food item — go to the kitchen, and start cooking. Dinner will be ready in a bit — that is, whenever you are done making it. Help me here because I don’t get it. So many of my neighbors and friends in the suburbs and around the country are on this regular — and sometimes daily — meal-plan wagon train and I am not. They sign up for a subscription for fresh meals delivered to their homes, all prepared, measured and ready — minus the cooking part. And when I am most exhausted, that is precisely what I do not feel like doing for myself. My sentiment is that if I am going to pay for a pre-fixed meal, all I want to bring to the table is my appetite. The meal is going to be hot and ready to eat. I am not willing to pay for a team of food service people to measure the raw portions, get them ready, and then mail or deliver them to me in oodles of packaging. So I can unwrap and cook it all. And then do the dishes. When my dinner arrives, I am ready to eat. Not ready to cook. I am trying to understand this. Are those pre-packaged meal kits sent to your front door suddenly popular because so many people hate grocery shopping? Perhaps I am an oddity, but I enjoy grocery shopping, as long as it is not Saturday at noon. But even then, my dislike of battling crowds is offset by the likelihood that I will be fed samples of everything from energy drinks and tiny beef and cheddar sandwiches to burritos

“If I am going to pay for a pre-fixed meal, all I want to bring to the table is my appetite.”

and tiramisu. And I will go home stuffed and happy. Gliding through the aisles at the Jewel, Meijer, Whole Foods, Mariano’s, Fresh Thyme or Trader Joe’s, I admire the neat stacking of produce from apples to eggplants, their colors bursting from the shelves on a dreary March day. The visual abundance is appealing. The floors are clean, the produce and bakery staff smile, the cashier offers pleasantries. I am blissful in frozen foods, delirious in canned goods. The cereal aisle alone gives me pause — so much flavor, so many combinations, so many sizes. How could life ever be bad with a jumbo-sized box of honey-roasted flakes with strawberries as an option? If it isn’t the act of shopping for the ingredients that is driving the national trend to pre-fixed portions, perhaps it is all the measuring involved in meal preparation that turns people off. It could be they have an aversion to those glass measuring cups with red numbers and lines on the outside. Or maybe they experienced some traumatic baking event in home economics class that has scarred their cooking confidence for life. Of course I understand not everyone loves to cook. Some say they don’t like to experiment with tastes and recipes, preferring to leave that mess, bother and time suck to someone else. This is not me. I experiment constantly. Just recently I threw some asparagus in a skillet with fresh

garlic and olive oil, then sprinkled blue cheese on the top and garnished it with chopped tomatoes. It was exquisite. Yes, I do see the time saving factor of these meal subscriptions. It’s the money spending I don’t get. If you are going to pay someone else to save you time, why not pay for all of your time to be saved, and order carry-out? For some of these meal plans, it costs about the same. You can have an entire meal already cooked, hot, delicious and ready to devour. All you need to do is find a fork or a spoon. You can even eat with your hands. There are no pans to find, no oven to warm, no dishes to wash. You are home free. Allow me to add a disclaimer here. I do love to cook, but I am not cooking elaborate repasts every day. I make larger portions one day, then transform the main course over the next three days. Chicken with artichokes on Sunday night can turn into chicken tostadas, then become the base for chicken vegetable soup or warm chicken salad by Thursday. Perhaps the surge in pre-packaged meals is due to the fact that because you do have to heat them up, they officially can be called “home-cooked.” For me, if I am going to shell out the cash for someone to do the prep and planning, I would like my prepared dinner to skip the home-cooked and head straight into “home-eaten.” n


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West Suburban Living March 2017