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Best Bites: Feb. 12, 2019

February 13, 2019

Valentine’s Day. A day of love and sweetness. A day to exchange cards, give your sweetheart a bouquet of flowers and, of course, a heart-shaped box of candy. And, a day for romantic dinners.

The folks at Papi’s Pizza Café are encouraging Mom and Dad “to show some love to the kids” while they go out for Valentine’s Day. They will be offering a one-topping, 14-inch heart-shaped pizza for $10, or couples can dine in and enjoy a heart pizza, salad and breadsticks for $20. Better yet — take the whole family out for the evening. Papi’s Pizza Café is at 150 E. Station St., Kankakee. Call 815-573-5740.

Chefs Lindsay and Nick at The Longbranch Restaurant are very excited about their Valentine’s Day specials available Friday and Saturday.

On the menu is a succulent fire-grilled New York strip steak along with jumbo shrimp, served with smashed rosemary red potatoes and Lindsay’s creamed spinach and their famous soup and salad bar. Or try an 8-ounce beef tenderloin filet with bacon wrapped scallops, served with mashed sweet potatoes and bacon-onion Brussel sprouts.

Chef Lindsay said they’ll have a spinach artichoke stuffed chicken breast served over angel hair pasta tossed with roasted red peppers and mushrooms in white wine cream sauce, sprinkled with shaved Asiago cheese along with their soup and salad bar.

For dessert, save room for a slice of the delightful red velvet and white chocolate cheesecake or the chocolate covered strawberry cake. The Longbranch is at 2713 N. 1500 Road, Clifton. Call 815-694-9748. Reservations are highly recommended.

Laura Emme, manager at Uptown Grille, will be hosting a Greek celebration for Valentine’s Day called Eros, god of love and his Roman counterpart, Cupid.

“Eros is a term which can be rendered into English as loved. Romantic love, love of family and friends and selfless love or charity,” she explained.

Choose from several entrees, including espresso rub New York strip steak with Madagascar vanilla and Chianti glace or risotto Aphrodite — carnaroli rice, rum infused langostino meat and coconut. Save room for one of their decadent desserts, such as the panna cotta or a beautiful chocolate mousse.

The event will run Thursday, Friday and Saturday with drink and menu specials with the theme of mythology and romance. Uptown Grille is at 141 S. Chestnut St., Chebanse. Call 815-697-9710 for reservations.

For that special wine and dine, why not go to the place that specializes in wining and dining — Flight 102 Wine Bar.

Owner Kelly St. Aubin shared its sweetheart specials for the evening. Entrees include an 8-ounce lobster tail and 6-ounce filet with a double baked potato and asparagus. This special will be available Tuesday through Saturday this week.

Pair your meal with the perfect bottle of wine for a truly memorable dining experience. Kelly suggested Rosso Igt Venteno “Love” — “a beautiful Italian wine brought in special just for Valentine’s Day packaged in a truly romantic bottle,” she said.

Finish the evening off with one of Chef’s sweet desserts — chocolate raviolis and a special dessert, a chocolate piano. Musician Lupe Carroll will be there entertaining guests with his sweet serenades from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. Friday.

Flight 102 Wine Bar is at 565 Main St. NW, Bourbonnais. They open at 4 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday. Find them on Facebook.

Busy hectic life? No time to cook? Tired of the usual drive-thru foods? I have the answer for you — call Crème of the Crop Catering. Not only will they prepare your dinners but deliver them as well.

Owner Suzanne Nighswander often thought how she and her staff could keep busy during the winter months. She knew about those pre-packaged or do-it-yourself meals that could be ordered, but why not a home-cooked meal prepared locally using her own recipes?

Crème of the Crop is offering five different meals per week; each is individually packaged and precooked. All you need to do is heat the meal in the oven or, if you choose, the microwave.

This month offers roasted chicken with vegetables, chicken enchiladas, veggie pasta, pulled pork and mac and cheese, and beef and broccoli. The price is extremely reasonable — only $7.50 per person, plus tax.

They will deliver the food to your home or you can pick it up at their business at a prearranged time. The meals will change often. Check out their menu selections on Facebook, as they will change in the middle of the month. She will continue testing menu items to see what works well for her customers.

This is a big help for Dave and me. I recently had surgery, and Dave doesn’t cook, so this was the perfect solution. The food is fabulous and fresh, seasoned to perfection.

If you’ve ever experienced anything from Crème of the Crop, you know it’s fresh and perfectly put together by the staff. What a great idea for families or professionals who have little or no time to cook a healthy meal. For more information, visit cremeofthecropcatering.com/family-meals-to-go-1.

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