karyn’s raw bisto

March 29, 2012

I had such a fun night on Monday, and I can’t believe it’s already Thursday and I have yet to tell you about it! On Monday night, my mom, myself, her bestie Kara, and her daughter Kourtney all went out to eat downtown in celebration of my mom’s birthday which was this past Sunday. Kourtney is in fashion school in LA and follows a raw diet, so we decided to try out somewhere in the city that we would all enjoy.

After a detour in the French Market to Raw (where the macaroons came from!), we ended up at Karyn’s Raw Bistro in Lincoln Park.

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Immediately upon arriving, we all had to comment on how we loved the ambiance of the restaurant. It was fairly small — with only about 10 tables total in the restaurant. It was dimly lit, had beautiful white table cloths, and definitely had an “upscale” feel to it. On the other side of the restaurant (and divided by a door) was a raw juice bar/takeout/product store that you could purchase other goodies. Although these two were connected, it seemed almost as if the two were interdependent from each other.

March 27, 2012 003-2 Mom and me

March 27, 2012 002-2 Kara and Kourtney

After perusing the menu for a few minutes, we were all at a loss as to what to get. The entire menu looked absolutely incredible. If you’ve never eaten raw before, it is quite an experience! One thing I would advise people is to have an open mind and to remember that nothing is really going to be piping hot — it may be warm from being in the dehydrator though.

We decided to start out with a few appetizers — hummus, spring rolls, and their “famous” salad.

The hummus was actually made out of cauliflower (!!!) and was some of the best dip I have ever eaten. It was served with fresh flax crackers and cauliflower and carrots. You should be glad I don’t have any footage of us vultures going to town on these.

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The spring rolls were also delicious — they were filled with fresh vegetables and served with a dipping sauce that tasted like sweet and sour sauce.

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And the salad — oh my, the salad! It was filled with greens, onions, carrots, tomatoes, and candied pecans. It had their Caesar dressing on the side. I am not kidding you when I say that I wanted to bathe in that salad dressing. It was beyond delicious.

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We all had a difficult time deciding what to order for our entrees as well. I wish I had snapped a picture of Kara and Kourtney’s dishes. Kara ordered the pizza (which was my favorite) and was so rich and decadent. I love the taste of fresh nut cheeses! Kourtney couldn’t decide on what to order, so she ordered two dishes and was able to bring her leftovers home. She ordered the ravioli and the alfredo — both of which were also great.

I ordered the Pad Thai, which I had high expectations for. The “noodles” were made of coconut flesh, and it was served with peas, carrots, and mushrooms. It was “okay”, but it was not my favorite dish of the night. I hate when I order things that I hear are excellent but then don’t turn out as well as I think they will be!

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My mom ordered the portobello napoleon, which was filled with one of their nut cheeses and topped with tomatoes, olives, and some sort of cream sauce. It was really really good!

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Although we were all incredibly stuffed, there was no way my mom and I could pass up a raw dessert. Raw desserts are so good, and it amazes me what raw chefs can do with the ingredients they make them with! My mom and I both love tiramisu, so when we saw the tiramisu cheesecake on the menu, we had to order it.

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Yes, there are already bite marks out of that! There was no way I could use any of my self control to stop myself from trying this before I took a picture. It was better than I even imagined.

The whole dinner and experience was so wonderful. Our waitress was knowledgeable and made sure to meet our needs and answer any questions we had. Karyn herself even was walking around to see how our dinner was.

I would definitely go back to eat there again, but ext time I am ordering the pizza for myself!

Thank you to Kara for treating my mom and me to dinner on Monday — it was fabulous!

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