ML - Michigan Avenue

2013 - Issue 3 - May/June

Michigan Avenue - Niche Media - Michigan Avenue magazine is a luxury lifestyle magazine centered around Chicago’s finest people, events, fashion, health & beauty, fine dining & more!

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Page 77 of 147

TASTE sweet success EMERGING PASTRY CHEF LEIGH OMILINSKY EMBRACES A NEW SEASON AT THE SOFITEL. BY MEG MATHIS fresh air The inviting alfresco scene at Shanghai Terrace at the Peninsula hotel. BURGEONING EVENT GURU DEBI LILLY CELEBRATES DINING IN THE GREAT OUTDOORS. BY MEG MATHIS S pringtime in Chicago: The grass is Technicolor green, the sun shines brightly on the tulips of Michigan Avenue, and the breeze beckons us to reconnect with Mother Nature. For Debi Lilly, founder and president of A Perfect Event (a rising star in the industry whose clients have included Brooke Shields and Oprah Winfrey), it's time to celebrate the return of outdoor soirées and indulge her passion for alfresco dining at these local destinations. Howells & Hood "I'm obsessed! The patio is unbelievable; the stars are the gorgeous views of the Wrigley Building and the river. It's an iconic corner of Chicago, and you can soak it all in." 435 N. Michigan Ave., 312-2625310; Bar Toma "Tony Mantuano's innovative small plates are divine. He does these incredible grilled carrots with goat cheese and almonds. I love that patio. It's a really romantic setting." 110 E. Pearson St., 312-266-3110; Mia Francesca "This is our go-to family date night. They have this charming cobbled courtyard and candlelit coach house "I WAS ALWAYS THE YOUNGEST IN MY class," says Jean Banchet Rising Pastry Chef award winner Leigh Omilinsky, who discovered a love of pastry as a high school student when, inspired by her foodie parents, she began taking culinary classes at Kendall College. The 28-year-old executive pastry chef of the Sofitel Chicago Water Tower (who has crafted confections for Café des Architectes and Le Bar since 2010) is embracing the season with a menu of produce-driven desserts. Whether it's caramelized white chocolate with sour cherries; strawberries and crème fraîche; or a "hot pink" rhubarb sorbet (which, the chef notes, "is not kidding around"), Omilinsky remains steadfast in sourcing only the freshest ingredients. "I love my farmers. I want to use local, seasonal ingredients as much as possible, and when that happens, I'm happy," Omilinsky says, adding, "I'm usually happy." 20 E. Chestnut St., 312324-4063; Meyer lemon panna cotta is bright with springtime flavors. in the back, which I rent for special events." 3311 N. Clark St., 773-281-3310; NoMI Garden "Ooh la la! The terrace! The food! The view! I love their cocktails—produce-inspired, summerinspired, and always colorful and delicious." 800 N. Michigan Ave., 7th Floor, 312-2394030; Shanghai Terrace "It's our favorite place to sip Champagne and watch the skyline sparkle. It's just a really wonderful way to soak in the city." 108 E. Superior St., 312-337-2888; Terzo Piano "Perfection. They have amazing homemade sodas—they infuse soda water with different fruits and all-natural flavors. It's not your typical casual sidewalk café." 159 E. Monroe St., 312-443-8650; MA 76 MICHIGANAVEMAG.COM 076_MA_Flavor_GuidedTour_MayJune13.indd 76 4/16/13 10:35 AM

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