Without grocery stores, urbanites would have to grow their own pumpkins in window boxes and spend hours negotiating with the family parakeet until it agreed to be milked. Let rural bounty come to you with today’s Groupon: for $25, you get $50 worth of catering services, café fare, bistro fare, and groceries at Fox & Obel.
Named Best Gourmet Market in 2011 by the Chicago Reader, Fox & Obel runs the gamut of culinary needs, bundling together gourmet catering services, bistro fare, a European-style café, and a full-service food store. Working with high-quality artisan ingredients, caterers offer snacks and entrees for pickup or delivery to an office party or hot-plate-enthusiasts’ convention. The general catering menu includes portions of bacon-loaded quiche lorraine ($19 for up to 8 servings), dessert items such as the cookie-and-brownie combination platter ($36 for 8–12 servings), and trays of poached salmon anointed with cucumber dill crème fraîche ($18/filet).
At Fox & Obel’s café, baristas whip up steaming mugs of fresh-brewed coffee to complement handcrafted pastries and sandwiches made from bread baked onsite, which saves loaves the trauma of long overseas voyages doubling as ocean buoys. The bistro’s chefs imbue lunch, dinner, and prix fixe menus with dishes such as hanger steak topped with gorgonzola butter ($9.99) and roasted free-range chicken ($8.99) snuggled up next to sweet-corn succotash beneath a gravy blanket. Inspired by the old-world markets of Paris and Milan, Fox & Obel’s market offers a variety of international fare, from fresh fish and produce to chocolates from artisans such as the Mast Brothers from Brooklyn and Willy Wonka’s brother, Hal, from down south.