Great Place, Great Food, Great Company – Flour & Wine
So if you are ANYTHING like me you LOVE going out to eat. It is one of my favorite things to do (especially for brunch or dinner) and I spend countless hours doing “restaurant research” to scout out new places to try. One of the biggest honors is having someone ask me for a recommendation of a place with some good eats! Living right outside of Chicago is great, because the restaurant industry there is fantastic … and only getting better! From hole in the walls to trendy spots opened by famous chefs and Top Chef alums … there is NO shortage of new and exciting places to try. Yet lately delicious restaurants have been migrating to the burbs --- THANK GOODNESS, because sometimes you don’t want to brave the traffic, wait a month to get a reservation, or you simply want to support your local community! So now I wish to share with you one of my favorite places and recent addition to downtown Glen Ellyn, IL that serves up fresh ingredients, homemade mozzarella cheese and pizza dough and an extensive wine and beer list. While I recognize this may not apply to ALL readers I feel like it’s an opportunity for you to share some of your favorite, local HOT SPOTS and give some of our readers some ideas when they venture across this country in search of mouthwatering spots to grab some grub! Plus … as the weather warms I am going to try one of the recipes out and attempt to recreate my FAVORITE dish (so stay tuned). And now … for FLOUR & WINE!
Now to start, flour and wine is designed with sharing in mind. Now some of us (MZ … cough cough) would rather eat the entire plate of butternut squash tortalacci without worrying about a fork sneaking across the table OR if you’re like my father … you are just DOWN RIGHT CONFUSED! “Wait, I can only eat a bite of this? How will I get full? Why is my plate so small?” But for a group of about four girlfriends or a couple out on a date night … it works out PERFECTLY! And keep in mind they have plenty of gluten free options, which works out GREAT because I have several friends who are often limited with gluten free intolerant menus!
Here are just a few of my FAVES … let the drooling commence!
Zucchini Fries – MZ, Brittney and I order these EVERY time without fail! They are the perfect thing to munch on as you sip a good wine and peruse the menu while trying to narrow down all of the delicious choices! They aren’t greasy or heavy, come with a homemade ranch dipping sauce --- and make sure to ask for fresh grated parmesan cheese to be shredded on top.
Rock Shrimp & Crab Fritters – OMG! Now my dad is allergic to ALL seafood so it was only when I was older that I realized those sea creatures were the most delicious things around! This was the only dish my out of town mother said she wished she could have hogged all to herself. They are FULL of shrimp and crab meat, not too bready, and come with delicious sautéed spinach and butternut squash.
Prosciutto & Mozzarella – Now this may seem simple, but do not be deterred! As I previously mentioned, they make their own mozzarella IN HOUSE! Now if you haven’t had fresh mozzarella you will be astounded at the difference in taste. And thanks to the influence of my lovely sister … nothing is better than prosciutto. PLUS the bread comes already perfectly toasted and drizzled with olive oil.
And the PIZZAS … OMG the PIZZAS! They are thin brick oven pizzas that taste smoky and warm! The fresh ingredients have an explosion of taste and are all interesting yet delicious combinations (don’t worry they have the classics too). Now I don’t have any pictures because they tend to get snatched up THAT FAST! However, I highly recommend the ROCKETMAN (which features fresno chilis) and the PARMA CLASSIC (umm prosciutto and arugula … HELLO!)
And now for my favorite … simple, delicious, a little different and something I can’t wait to try to make at home THE GRILLED ROMAINE – it consists of half a head of grilled romaine lettuce, giving a warm, smoky taste. Combine that with tomatoes, gorgonzola cheese, leeks and pancetta …. Ummm … done and done! It is fabulous shared or get it for yourself if you’re feeling rather selfish! This is one dish that as soon as the grill gets rolled outside I am testing out for myself! Do you think it will be as good made at home as it is at the restaurant? Stay tuned to find out!
So if you are in the area, close by or just visiting … check this spot out! I promise it won’t disappoint! Because sometimes we all just need a LITTLE break from cooking! :)