I met up with my friend Lauren for dinner on Monday night. Our original plan was to try out Wilde & Greene, a natural market and restaurant up in Skokie at the Old Orchard mall. We walked around for a bit and while it looked nice, there was nothing that really grabbed our eye. So we decided to forgo something new in favor of an old standby: California Pizza Kitchen.
You really can’t go wrong with CPK. I used to go there nearly every weekend of high school with my friends Alexandra and Mary back in Minnesota, and several times with my friend Caitlin during college. I almost always ordered the pepperoni pizza or barbecue chicken salad, respectively.
Ironically, CPK had an updated menu this time around, so the old standby quickly gave way to a new favorite: Quinoa and Arugula Salad.
This was amazing. Quinoa and arugula combined with red onion, sun-dried tomatoes, asparagus, toasted pine nuts and feta. It was tossed in a homemade champagne vinaigrette but was not drowning in dressing (I’m looking at you, Cheesecake Factory).
I couldn’t resist ordering the wine they recommended: a Chateau Ste. Michelle Riesling. It was definitely on the sweet side, but was very refreshing as we dined al fresco on a sunny evening.
When the waitress came by and asked us if we wanted dessert, I decided the “new favorite” trend should continue with their strawberry shortcake. One thing to know about me is that if there is ever a strawberry shortcake served with biscuits on the menu (as opposed to pound cake), I will order it. I blame Mama Bender – yet another high school tradition.
The biscuits and strawberries were the best part by far. I wasn’t as big of a fan of the whipped cream and candied lemon zest. Perhaps those should have been replaced with ice cream. Next time.
“Eye” had a great time hanging out with Lauren, as always. She even became the subject of my #PhotoADayJune: close-up. For all you iPhone photography addicts (ahem), I highly recommend the Camera+ app. Totally worth the 99 cents because it really makes your photos pop.
Although in this case, I think Lauren’s blue eyes pop all on their own!
Thanks for letting me stick my phone in your face. 😉
I’ve got a running update coming. There are just four days until showtime and I’m not a big fan of the 90 degrees and sunny forecast given my track record with warm weather runs. Here’s hoping a cloud or two will drift in unexpectedly!
Do you have any “old favorite” restaurants that you turn to again and again?