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A Day in Roscoe Village and Logan Square with Kristen Klus

   

Chicago, U.S.A.

Joining the team at Four Seasons Hotel Chicago in 2007, Chef Concierge Kristen Klus lives in Roscoe Village. A native of the Windy City, she is known as the woman about town, constantly trying new restaurants, tours and other diversions in the city:

One of my absolute favourites for brunch is Lula Café in Logan Square.  They were doing “farm to table” before everyone else was.  Lula’s culinary team has crafted a menu that rotates seasonally, such as quail with bok choy, sweet potatoes and macadamia nuts in the winter. The menu also includes a six-course vegetarian tasting menu with wine pairings. My most recent favourite for brunch was a ham and cheese panini – simple but with quality ingredients that made it just delicious.  It was followed up with their homemade chocolate chip and sea salt cookies, which can’t be beat.

Reno, a funky Logan Square café features a casual brunch with a Cowboy Killer breakfast sandwich (with maple fennel sausage, fried egg, bacon, American béchamel), wood-fired bagels and vegan baked goods. At night, Reno’s pizza shines – from the Puebla (with chicken mole, rajas and cotija cheese) to the Spanish Monster (Spanish chorizo, crimini mushroom and white mushroom sauce).

In Roscoe Village, I love to stroll up and down the "main drag,” Roscoe Street.  Hamlin Park is the perfect neighbourhood gathering place with its basketball courts, tennis courts and a swimming pool. Walking along Roscoe, I always stop in the Denim Lounge for cute accessories or a new pair of jeans.  Afterward, I pick up a sweet treat at Paciugo (a gelateria) and browse through Shangri-La Vintage if I feel like treasure hunting.  Later in the evening, I’ll stop by Volo Wine Bar for a flight of bubbles.

A bit north of the neighbourhood, I’ll venture to Amy’s Candy Bar in Ravenswood for a thoughtful hostess or party gift. Out of all of Amy’s homemade local sweet treats, the OMG candy bar is always a winner with three layers - caramel, hazelnut praline and milk chocolate ganache.

Cocktail aficionados tune in: Logan Square has no shortage of hip cocktail bars.  My favourites include Billy Sunday, Webster Wine Bar and Lost Lake.  Billy Sunday can be defined as “refined nostalgia" with classic craft cocktails; Webster Wine offers an extensive by-the-glass selection with extremely knowledgeable staff; and Lost Lake is kitschy tiki bar perfection with tropical libations and bites, such as curry udon, a Gochujang pork rice bowl with roasted nori and a duck-fat fried egg.