Kasama

Exterior
Exterior
Interior
Interior
Truffle croissant
Truffle croissant
Bistek
Bistek
Kare-kare
Kare-kare
Adobo
Adobo
Sinigang
Sinigang
Photo of Kasama - Chicago, IL, United States
Photo of Kasama – Chicago, IL, United States
Siomai
Siomai
Lumpia talaba
Lumpia talaba
Wine list
Wine list
Tasting menu and pairings
Tasting menu and pairings

***** (5 stars)

We have been huge fans of Genie and Tim since the early days of Oriole, so we were delighted to hear about them opening Kasama, and even more delighted when they started serving a dinner tasting menu. It was our first stop on our visit to Chicago.

Kasama is a very different experience at night than during the day. During the day it's all about Genie's amazing pastries and Tim's small plates and sandwiches, much of it served to go. At night it transforms into an intimate fine dining restaurant that is pretty much perfection.

From the moment you sit down you know you are in capable hands, with absolutely pitch perfect service that always seems to be there a moment after you finish a dish or glass of wine, but never seems to be overbearing.

Even the background music is perfect, with upbeat stuff like Asian renditions of I Can't Get No Satisfaction, yet at the perfect volume for pleasant conversation levels at each table.

We certainly got satisfaction! Each dish seems to top the one before it, so it would be impossible to pick a favorite. If you are unfamiliar with Filipino cuisine it doesn't matter, because each dish has a creative twist that has turned it into something completely unique anyway.

The wine pairings are just about perfect, too, with the dish enhancing the wine and vice versa.

The pacing was great, and the amount of food and wine in the 13 courses was also perfect. Clearly Kasama deserves its shiny new Michelin star, and I wouldn't be surprised to see a second one added next time.

Kasama
1001 N Winchester Ave
Chicago, IL 60622

https://www.yelp.com/biz/kasama-chicago

Bittersweet Pastry Shop

Exterior
Exterior
Interior
Interior
Banh Mi
Banh Mi

***** (5 stars)

This is a lovely pastry shop that also has a few inside tables and makes breakfast and lunch sandwiches. I had the Banh Mi, which includes slow roasted pork, shaved asparagus, pickled carrot, cilantro, cucumber, and Kewpie mayo on a toasted baguette. Although a bit unconventional (the pork was pulled rather than sliced, and the absence of jalapeno was compensated for by an accompanying hot sauce) it was delicious, and hit the right flavor profile. It came with a lovely selection of fresh fruit.

As one might expect, the pain au chocolat (chocolate croissant) was filled with a wonderful "Bittersweet" chocolate!

Bittersweet Pastry Shop
1114 W Belmont Ave
Chicago, IL 60657

https://www.yelp.com/biz/bittersweet-pastry-shop-chicago

Maison Marcel

Exterior
Exterior
Interior
Interior
French Breakfast
French Breakfast

***** (5 stars)

This is the real deal! Bread, croissants, and pain au chocolat exactly as you would get them in Paris! Even the slowness of the service is authentic!

Nice inside, but also an excellent sidewalk dining area. Order at the counter, they bring it out.

The French Breakfast is a great way to go, as you get two eggs, any style, plus a bakery assortment of bread, croissant, and pain au chocolat, five in all. Probably enough for two to share if one of them isn't me!

Maison Marcel
3114 N Broadway St
Chicago, IL 60657

https://www.yelp.com/biz/maison-marcel-chicago-2

Patisserie Coralie

Counter

Large moccha

Interior

***** (5 stars)

This delightful french patisserie is owned by the same people at long time favorites Bistro Bordeaux and Creperie Saint Germain.

The pastries are as authentic as you’d expect, and the coffee is top-notch.

What a difference the change in decor from Cafe Mozart days! The formerly dark space is now light and airy, and a delightful place to sit and have a pastry and coffee.

The most pleasant thing about my visit was the cheerful server; she made the experience a very welcoming one.

Patisserie Coralie
600 Davis St
Evanston, IL 60201
(847) 905-0491
https://www.yelp.com/biz/patisserie-coralie-evanston

Cafe Selmarie

**** (4 stars)

Cafe Selmarie is an interesting amalgam of pastry shop, coffee shop, and restaurant.

When you enter it looks like it’s just a pastry shop with a few small tables for enjoying your purchase or sipping a cup of coffee. But proceed to the rear, and there is a fair-sized restaurant.

The menu offers American, French, Italian, and (at least the night we visited) German food, plus other eclectic international cuisines.

We shared the Brussels sprout salad, which was good, a special leek and bacon flatbread that was phenomenal (gooey topping, crisp crust), and a special German sausage plate that was also tasty.

For dessert we selected a couple of pastries from the case out front. There’s a small wine list with many selections available by the glass.

Service was friendly and professional.

The place is kid friendly, and there were quite a few families dining the Friday night we went. An adjacent open area provides outside dining when the weather is nice, and place for the kids to run around.

If you’ve not been to Lincoln Square, it’s definitely a cute neighborhood to check out.

Cafe Selmarie
4729 N Lincoln Ave
Chicago, IL 60625
(773) 989-5595
http://www.yelp.com/biz/cafe-selmarie-chicago

Incredibly Delicious

**** (4 stars)

This funky old house offers seating scattered around several rooms, and delightful baked goods, quiches and sandwiches.

You order at a well-hidden counter toward the rear, and the wait can be quite long because of the odd way things are set up.

But the wait is worth it, as you’ll discover when they bring your delicious croissant, cake, quiche or sandwich to your table. Everything is fresh and wonderful, and the  service is friendly.

Incredibly Delicious
925 S 7th St
Springfield, IL 62703
(217) 953-4348
http://www.yelp.com/biz/incredibly-delicious-springfield

Dollop Coffee & Hoosier Mama Pie Company

*** (3 stars)

Uniting two local chains, this is a place to get coffee and pie. Ironically, the best offerings aren’t either of those, they’re the sandwiches.

The large open space is bright and friendly, a good place to relax or get some work done, and there is a fair sized patio out front. Service is friendly, although it’s odd how long it takes to do something as simple as serve a slice of pie, even when you’re the only customer.

The pies are good, but they won’t change your life, and the coffee is just adequate.

But the sandwiches are delicious. I had the Ploughman, a generous serving of ham and cheddar cheese with apple slices, chutney, mustard, mayo and lettuce on a fresh baguette. The combination worked great together. If I return it will be to try the other sandwiches, especially the BLT.

Dollop Coffee & Hoosier Mama Pie Company
749 Chicago Ave
Evanston, IL 60202
(847) 868-8863
http://www.yelp.com/biz/dollop-coffee-and-hoosier-mama-pie-company-evanston