Whites and yolks are the stars of the menu at EggShells Restaurant, a little breakfast and lunch spot nestled in the Pine Ridge Courte Shopping Center. Chefs whip up four-egg omelets laden with meats, veggies, and cheeses, as well as stuff breakfast burritos with scrambled eggs and spicy chorizo. They make their own donuts, bagels, and papier-mâché chef hats in house, and receive daily deliveries of bread from LaBriola Bakery. These soft, fresh slices bookend build-your-own deli sandwiches at lunchtime, while housemade chips and other sides accompany 10-ounce steak burgers.
From behind the salon chair at Hair by Justyna Salon, Justyna removes unwanted length with a pair of gleaming scissors and bestows strands with new color using bowls of freshly mixed hair dye. Her fleet of trusty products, such as Moroccan Oil and Wella, aid her in the pursuit of revamping manes, and her fingers twist hair into chic updos and Windsor knots for special events.
Checkered tablecloths and vintage black-and-white photos from the 1940s evoke small-town Tuscany at Lauretta's Italian Bake Shop & Cafe, whose chefs have assembled authentic Sicilian-style cuisine for more than 30 years. Homemade pomodoro sauce mingles with the porcini mushrooms and caramelized onions that fleck risotto, and fresh baby clams or mussels frolic through linguine entrees. To create paninis, chefs crown toasted ciabatta bread with such accoutrement as jarlsberg swiss cheese, yellowfin tuna imported from Italy, and childhood memories of revered measuring cups. Diners complement bites with Italian beers and wines, including a crisp, fruity prosecco and a medium-bodied chianti, whose tart red-fruit and chocolate flavors pair well with spinach ravioli and still-life paintings of Hershey's bars. A family-owned Chicago bakery furnishes the eatery's fleet of traditional italian pastries, such as cannoli and more than 30 kinds of italian cookies. Lauretta's Italian Bake Shop & Cafe also proffers comprehensive catering spreads, dishing up pans of lasagna, ravioli, and chicken marsala that can feed up to 15 partygoers, or custom orders that can sate finicky flatware.
Gwen Willhite founded Cookies by Design in 1983, when an unsatisfying brainstorming session about gift ideas led her to ponder one question: why should flowers and sweets remain separate? Her solution was to design the cookie bouquet, where custom, hand-decorated cookies are displayed on sticks and arranged like flowers in gift baskets. Her invention quickly became a popular gift among locals, particularly those allergic to real blooms or too bashful to look at naked cookies.
Twenty-five years later, there are more than 200 Cookies by Design locations across the country. Each shop's team of bakers creates cookie baskets with a degree of care that matches Willhite's original vision, decorating and arranging sweet shapes for birthdays, holidays, and any other special occasion.
Sweet Whimsy pleases palates with a plethora of French-inspired pastries, breads, and other treats. All of its delectable baked goods are expertly created using high-quality ingredients such as Cacao Barry chocolate, Jr's Country Acres free-range eggs, and organically grown fruits. Like the temperament of a moody GPS unit, the bakery's menu varies daily, offering edibles ranging from classic cookies and breakfast pastries to more risqué dessert derivations, such as flourless chocolate cake with bacon and green-tea cake with orange-ginger frosting. Myriad flavors of muffins, cupcakes, tarts, cakes, crêpes, and pastries wait to tempt taste buds and tease the eye, including fanciful Frannies, pastries named and modeled after pastry chef Joshua Baudin's favorite goose. Recently introduced savories include a selection of homemade breads, such as brioche and focaccia, as well as spoon-ready soups ideal for thawing frozen tonsils before ultracompetitive caroling slams.
In 1961, Bob Terese and Corinne Owen opened a small pet shop in downtown Chicago. Part of their mission: to employ workers with developmental disabilities so they can lead productive and fulfilling lives. That little pet shop has since relocated and expanded into a 70-acre campus called Lambs Farm, which has a variety of residential and vocational programs that continue to help those in need. Nearly 250 individuals live here today in group homes and individual apartments; they have access to employment opportunities and a number of recreational services, such as camping and hobby clubs. In addition to the expansive pet shop, the campus also has a farmyard, a bakery, and assorted shops that sell goods handcrafted by Lambs Farm residents.