Where a Ballerina Eats Steak Tartare
Joffrey Ballet’s Jeraldine Mendoza shares her weekend itinerary that includes picks for brunch, cocktails, and squid-ink pasta.
Jeraldine Mendoza spends her workdays leaping and spinning across the stage at the Joffrey Ballet. After a busy workweek, the professional ballerina hangs up her flats for a few days.
“I am dancing all the time,” she said, “so when I have extra time I like to relax.” Work-free days find Jeraldine—a self-proclaimed foodie—dining with friends.
Below are her top spots in the city:
Intelligentsia Coffee (53 E. Randolph St.) | Jeraldine says: It’s right next to the Joffrey Ballet, and I treat myself once in a while there.
Southport Grocery and Cafe (3552 N. Southport Ave.) | Jeraldine says: It has a really neat atmosphere [for breakfast or brunch]. The people that work there are cool, and it has really great food. I usually get the chorizo and eggs.
Maude’s Liquor Bar (847 W. Randolph St.) | Jeraldine says: I get the tenderloin steak tartare (pictured) and the [Mezcal Corpse Reviver]. The ambiance is a French rustic type of thing.
Balena (1633 N. Halsted) | Jeraldine says: I would like to say I have an exotic palate, but I really just like something prepared well and that’s somewhat healthy for you. I get the squid-ink pasta here.
Currently, Jeraldine can be seen on stage in Christopher Wheeldon’s Continuum, one of the three featured works in the Joffrey Ballet’s winter program “Contemporary Choreographers.”
Photo of Jeraldine Mendoza: Courtesy of The Joffrey Ballet/Cheryl Mann; Photo of Maude's: Courtesy of Maude's Liquor Bar/Kari Skaflen
Friend to animals and craft brews.