Al forno is an Italian phrase that describes something that is at or from the oven.
I think Presidents’ Day banana bread fits that description quite nicely.
Bobby has been requesting that our overripe bananas be put to good use for weeks now. In honor of his day off yesterday, I whipped up a loaf and as usual was not disappointed by Nicole’s recipe.
Of course, it was only right that I test it myself! I chose my favorite piece – the crust!
I’m dreaming of future pairings with almond butter and jam.
Keeping with the theme, Jill and I found a new restaurant to love over the weekend. We met a friend in Wicker Park for coffee, then stumbled upon Francesca’s Forno and decided to dine there for lunch.
I found out after the fact that these are also the people behind The Purple Pig. No wonder I was a fan! Upon being seated, we were greeted with a sensational breakfast drink menu that included various mimosas and a Bloody Mary.
I decided to quench my thirst with the latter. Hey, you only live once!
Not including the Bloody Mary that Papa Bender makes, this was the best I’ve ever had! It had the perfect balance of tomato and spice, with celery salt around the rim and a beer chaser that was also very smooth. Now if only I could recreate this at home!
For my entrée, I went with a brunch menu item: the vegetarian skillet. Basically, it was scrambled eggs with sautéed vegetables, but that would certainly not be doing this dish justice. I don’t know if it was the type of oil or spices they used, but each bite permeated my mouth with rich flavor. The mushrooms were my favorite part, but the green bell peppers came in as a close second.
I am drooling just thinking about this dish again. Jill kept laughing at me because I was in food bliss! She agreed that her Eggs Benedict was top notch and we vowed to return there again.
Wicker Park, in general, was an amazing place to explore. It’s an area of Chicago that I can barely say I’ve visited, but I really want to know more about it. Perhaps when the weather gets warmer, we’ll take a day to walk everywhere.
Until then, I know where I can find delicious breakfast – as well as perfect coffee.
If you are visiting the area, go to The Wormhole. I had their vanilla bean latte and could have gone back for three more. What can I say? I’m a sucker for those perfect designs they make with the milk.
Bonus: the coffee shop has a television area with old school Nintendo. We were able to watch people play Super Mario Bros. 3 while we chatted! I am determined to play that game again soon. Talk about nostalgia! If you enjoyed Super Mario Bros. 3 once upon a time, then you will love this video.
All in all, a great long weekend.
How was YOUR weekend? Did you have Presidents’ Day off? If so, what did you do?