Sister Date: Nightwood

by Mara @ What's For Dinner? on May 2, 2013

in dinner out, family

I’ve learned a few things about Chicago restaurants in my time life living here. For one, just because a restaurant is popular does NOT mean that it’s good. Case and point: Rainforest Cafe. Sometimes, little neighborhood places can be much more remarkable without the notoriety. Another thing I’ve learned: when my sister says that a […]


Celebrating Spring at Frontera Grill

by Mara @ What's For Dinner? on March 24, 2013

in dinner out, Mexican/Latin

What do you get when you put two Spanish teachers and three band directors on a train to downtown Chicago on the first day of Spring break? Ok, that’s a really bad start to a really bad joke. Really though, to celebrate Spring Break, my friend and work teammate Matt, as well as the band […]

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A Birthday at Café des Architectes

by Mara @ What's For Dinner? on March 5, 2013

in dessert, dinner out, family, friends

When Lizz and I were first living on our own, way back in 2003, we would treat ourselves every few paychecks to what we called “grown up dinner.” The requirements were simple: The restaurant had to be a sit-down place, complete with servers. There had to be at least one “OH MY GOSH SO GOOD” […]

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Jean Banchet 2012

by Mara @ What's For Dinner? on February 9, 2013

in dessert, dinner out, family

Here in Chicago, there is an annual award likened to the “Local Emmy’s for Chefs” called the Jean Banchet Awards, named for the renowned Chicago chef. Many months ago, nominations for the annual awards began, and Chicago’s chef and foodie community wrote in the names of their favorite local chefs in many categories including the […]


Downtown Sister Date: Sixteen, avec, NoMi

by Mara @ What's For Dinner? on January 5, 2013

in dessert

For the last six or so years, my sister and I make a point to spend at least one day together downtown to take in the amazingness that is Chicago during the holidays. It really is beautiful, and it’s so much fun to have a day to just be goofy with my sister! We pretty […]