Cupitol excelling in breakfast game

August 28, 2017

Repost from Chicago Tribune, by Ina Pinkney

This Evanston cafe is another place that stopped me in my tracks as I stepped inside the door. It’s beautiful and inviting! Taking it all in, I saw the refrigerated cases on the wall to my left for grab-and-go beverages. To my right was a table with menus, one for each meal and beyond that a lounge area with people chatting and working. I could see to the back, where there were tables and chairs for dining.

I stepped forward and was drawn immediately to the bakery case. So much to lust after. I asked the smiling counter person how it all worked. She said to order everything with her and pay. The drinks would be made right then for me to take to my table. The food would be delivered from the kitchen. Got it.

Besides espresso (the incredible coffee beans come from Greece), juices and protein drinks, they have a glorious selection of teas. We ordered carefully because the baked goods and pastries were calling.

The mushroom omelette was filled with wild mushrooms, Gruyere and spinach. Hash browns were on the plate. So good. The sweet potato bowl with brown rice, kale, vegan coconut curry and a poached egg was a knockout.

The Number 5 was a sandwich on a croissant with ham off the bone, Wisconsin cheddar and a fried egg. One bite kept leading to another because the croissant was buttery and flaky and held the ingredients so carefully.

I looked into the kitchen through the glass window in the dining room and saw a complete pastry kitchen. Every one of the magical breads, pastries and desserts are made there by people who know exactly what they’re doing.

We were too full to order more and instead of taking anything home, I promised myself I’d try their new location in Streeterville. And I always keep my promises.

Of note: cocktails, metered street parking, fast casual, online ordering.

Shrimp makes a big impact

June 20, 2017

Repost from Restaurant Hospitality, by Tara Fitzpatrick

 

In saucy, sassy and totally original interpretations, shrimp rides the wave of ever-bolder interpretations and makes a giant impact on the menu.

BBQ Prawn

This next-level shrimp on the barbie is found at Cupitol, an all-day lounge with elements of a grab-and-go café, bakery, restaurant and bar, with locations in Chicago. Hefty prawns are rubbed with paprika, lemon, brown sugar, garlic, chili pepper and olive oil for a smoky flavor profile. Then, they’re thrown onto a hot flattop and served on a cool bed of made-to-order guacamole. BBQ Prawn has been a dinner menu star since Cupitol opened last summer.

An offshoot of the Evanston stylish all-day dining in Streeterville

June 20, 2017

Repost from Gayot

That corporate coffee chain (you know the one) may have a national foothold, but this all-day-dining café is a sign that locals are supporting their neighborhood. One might forget that people actually live in Streeterville, a district of mostly hotels and the ultimate tourist destination, Navy Pier. In this spot, stumble upon the active wear and roving worker sets, armed with their Fitbits and laptops and ready to pull up an armchair or claim one of the many communal or two-top tables in this open brick-walled dining room. Breakfast goes savory and sweet, from a flaky chocolate croissant to a sticky bun french toast with salted caramel and pecans. For lunch, a hunky, salty falafel burger is a welcome twist on tradition, while a gravlax baguette comes sandwich style with herbed cream cheese and cucumbers. The late crowd (meaning after 5 p.m.) can grab dinner. Favorites are the skirt steak with asparagus, romaine, coconut curry and roasted baby potatoes and a hormone-free chicken Alfredo. Coffee drinks are steaming hot and plentiful.