Come liven up your Saturday and Sunday weekend brunch with delicious food and drinks at Prairie Grass Cafe, in Northbrook, Illinois! Led by two-time James Beard award winning chef Sarah Stegner and Chef George Bumbaris, Prairie Grass is one of the most popular dining destinations on Chicago’s North Shore (601 Skokie Blvd.).
Prairie Grass highlights fresh, seasonal ingredients sourced from local sustainable farms to create fresh and delicious dishes. From comfort food favorites to hearty fare and everything in between, there is something to satisfy any type of brunch craving. On the first Saturday of every month, the restaurant offers its jazz brunch with live music performed by Jim Batson and his crew from 10am to 2pm.
Sarah Stegner is an extremely talented chef. In spite of her award-winning history, she is modest in the way she approaches her life as a chef, she’s an easy person to embrace, and so likeable you just want to cheer her on. As she embarks on her new venture with co-chef, partner and friend, George Bumbaris, she exudes her excitement with a grin and a gleam in her eyes.
Prairie Grass Interior
Stegner’s culinary résumé makes her one of America’s most respected chefs. Her rise to fame began in 1994 when she was named the James Beard Foundation’s Rising Star Chef. This was an award of national importance and while it gave Stegner great prestige, it did not affect the warm and very personal way in which she approaches cooking.
This all brings me back to experiencing her magnificent brunches at Prairie Grass. This restaurant has for years held a special place in my family’s heart. My grandmother, who passed away from Alzheimer’s in 2013, knew Stegner and her mother, Elizabeth, for years and always raved about her cooking. I also remember meeting her in the past, and it was an honor. My family loves going there for Mother’s Day brunch.
The current brunch menu continues to be one of the most popular weekend brunch spots on the Chicago North Shore.
From hearty brunch favorites to light and healthy fare, there is something to satisfy any type of brunch craving. Chicago is also a city with an amazing brunch reputation, and Prairie Grass fits the bill perfectly. There are plenty of egg dishes offered such as benedicts and omelets. You can also order freshly made pancakes served with breakfast potatoes. The brunch omelets are generous and fresh, with a variety of tasting options. From hearty brunch favorites to light and healthy fare, there is something to satisfy any type of brunch craving. Chicago is also a city with an amazing brunch reputation, and Prairie Grass fits the bill perfectly. There are plenty of egg dishes offered such as benedicts and omelets. You can also order freshly made pancakes served with breakfast potatoes. The brunch omelets are generous and fresh, with a variety of tasting options.
For customers with a sweet tooth, you can order lemon ricotta pancakes (with raspberry sauce and crème anglaise), or the homemade buttermilk pancakes with chocolate chips or fresh blueberry. The brunch menu also offers several fish, chicken and burgers. There are fresh salads to choose from, inspired brunch cocktails and martinis and luscious homemade desserts available.
My guest and I thoroughly enjoyed Stegner’s latest brunch at Prairie Grass. While listening to live jazz music by Mr. Batson, we enjoyed delicious egg dishes, French toast, and dessert. We were first served an incredible cinnamon pecan pumpkin cake with a sugar glaze (which was not offered on the menu). It was moist, warm and the glaze played nicely with the spiced cake. It was a light and satisfying dish.
Another sweet dish we ate was stuffed pumpkin French toast with grilled pumpkin slices on top. The dish was stuffed with a wonderful, thick cream and was hearty yet simple. A great start to the season of fall flavors!
After we finished the cake, Stegner herself came out to say hello. I had only met her once, but it was nice to see her again and reminiscence about my grandmother, and how she always loved eating at Prairie Grass.
Along with Prairies current weekend brunch, the restaurant will once again serve its popular Thanksgiving dinner menu from 2:30-7:30pm on Thursday, November 24th. Featuring favorite holiday dishes elevated with Stegner’s unique touch, the menu is sure to please everyone! The price for this delicious feast is $57 per person for adults and $18 for children age 12 and under. Early reservations are strongly recommended and can be made by calling Prairie Grass at 847-205-4433.
The Thanksgiving menu will include appetizers such as warm butternut squash soup, or an organic mixed green salad with pumpkin seeds, parmesan, and pomegranate and balsamic dressing. There will be main courses including classic oven roasted turkey with mashed potatoes and homemade gravy. Apple chestnut stuffing satisfies savory and sweet cravings, while creamy sweet potato and butternut squash toped with homemade marshmallow is the ultimate indulgence for those with a sweet tooth. Other sides include fresh vegetables and cranberry sauce. The culinary festivities will end with a choice of dessert: Mom’s pumpkin pie, pecan pie or decadent double chocolate cake. Made in-house with the help of Stegner’s mother, Elizabeth, the transcendent pies make the dessert truly special!
For families that want to entertain at home, Prairie Grass offers a Thanksgiving to Go option. Offering a complete ala carte feast, the menu includes all of the dishes served at the restaurant’s Thanksgiving dinner, as well as a plethora of other mouthwatering options like apple sage stuffing, homemade sausage and giblet stuffing and brussels sprouts with bacon and chestnuts.
Advance orders are now being accepted by phone, and must be made by Thursday, November 16th. All orders are available for pickup on November 23rd from 12-2pm. You can view the full order form and menu on the website.
Photos: Jennifer Lunz
Prairie Grass Café
601 Skokie Blvd.
Lunch: Monday-Friday 11am to 2pm
Dinner: Monday/Sunday 5-9:30pm, Tuesday-Thursday 5-9:30pm, Friday/Saturday 5-10:30pm
Breakfast/Brunch: Saturday 10am-2pm, Sunday 9:30am-2pm
For more information on the restaurant, or to make a reservation, please call 847-205-4433, or visit the website.