The Kodiak, Alaska Crab Festival takes place far from Prairie Moon's Evanston locale, but that doesn't stop the restaurant from celebrating. It regularly features food and drink specials to honor national festivals and hosts events like a party peppered with fiery foods and a wine-themed affair during grape-crushing season.
Even if there's no festival to observe, the Moonís Sunday breakfast will make you rejoice with items like Bananas Foster Pain Perdue (French toast topped with banana rum caramel sauce) and the Chefís Choice omelet (andoullie sausage, caramelized onions and horseradish cheddar). For guests still recovering from Saturday nightís festivities, it also serves mango mimosas and champagne.
Contemporary-American regional items and fresh seafood entrees fill the lunch and dinner menus. The New Mexican Painted soup, a vegan pick, combines roasted tomato, poblano and squash soups into one delectable dish. Other favorites include the herb-crusted calamari with bruschetta relish and Mindoro Blue Steak, prime sirloin topped with blue cheese. Prices range from $8-$18.
At night, Moon occasionally hosts live bands and DJs, and its pool tables and dart boards entertain guests. It serves up a hardy selection of specialty drinks and beers that range from a $2.50 Old Style to a $10 Ommegang Belgian Ale. On the drink menu, staff anecdotes heckle the customers. Next to Magner's Cider, for instance, it reads "actual cider from actual Ireland" and next to Budweiser, "if you still donít know any better."
With three dining rooms, patio seating, a private party room, two full bars, cathedral ceilings and enormous windows, the labyrinth-like space can be a tad overwhelming. A restaurant, bar, dance club, lounge and Evanstonian heritage gallery (be sure to check out the old Evanston Township High yearbooks) in one, Prairie Moonís sure to have what youíre looking for.
Average cost: $10-$20
Centerstage Reviewer: Anna Pulley