The last time I wrote about Grand Lux Café, I devoted some space to the restaurant's famed platters of the powdered sugar covered warm donuts called Beignets.
To this day, I still get reader emails about that column, most recently, from reader Ed Hewitt of Portage.
"Philip, Read your article noting the addition to the menu at the Grand Lux for Beignets. I don't think this is a new addition. We've enjoyed the Beignets on a number of occasions with the chocolate/strawberry/cream dipping sauce. We really enjoy the Grand Lux, as well as reading your columns in The Times. Thanks Ed Hewitt"
Grand Lux Café, the restaurant concept with 11 locations across the country featuring casual global cuisine in an elegant yet relaxed setting, is always thinking up creative menus additions to add to the standing favorites, like Beignets. And this weekend, with thousands trekking to Chicago this weekend to be downtown for the 2013 Chicago Marathon, Grand Lux Cafe is certain to be busy.
This nearest Grand Lux Café, along Chicago's Magnificent Mile, at 600 N. Michigan Ave at the intersection of Ontario Street, with it's signature large glass bay style dining room windows overlooking Chicago's famed shopping strip along Michigan Avenue, opened in 2002.
Added to Grand Lux Café's new menu, are other sweet finales like Molten Chocolate Cake, Warm Rustic Apple Pie and Homemade Chocolate Chip Pecan Cookies. (For any of the custom desserts, the order is placed at the beginning of the meal to assure the finale course arrive warm and fresh from the oven allowing a 30-minute window before the dessert appears at end of the dinner course.)
My favorite of their many comfort food offerings for this fall is their salute to the age-old favorite Salisbury steak, an entree I, like so many others, grew up with during my youth. Salisbury steak, made from a blend of minced beef and other ingredients and shaped to resemble a steak, is created with the finest cuts of beef at Grand Lux Cafe. Salisbury steak was originally invented by an American physician, Dr. J. H. Salisbury, who died in 1905 and was an early proponent of a low-carbohydrate diet for weight loss. Today, the term "Salisbury steak" has been in use in the U.S. as a standard menu term since 1897. Grand Lux Cafe serves it traditionally, served with gravy and mashed potatoes. Washed down with one of the Grand Lux Cafe Asian Pear martinis, it's a royal feast.
Other menu selections include rustic pizzas, burgers and sandwiches, salads, and pasta dishes, with the newest menu offerings including Buffalo Chicken Rolls, Cedar Plank Barbecue Salmon and Chicken Lettuce Wraps. The entire new menu is available at grandluxcafe.com/menu.
I'm told dishes are created "using intricate recipes, house-made marinades and sauces, and using special culinary tools and techniques such as a wood-fire grill, braising techniques and slow-roasting process" and "this special effort imparts flavors and creates meats that are succulent and tender.
Reservations are made at (312) 276-2507 or grandluxcafe.com.