Raw foodists will recognize Karyn Calabrese as the
Karyn, owner and operator of the nation's longest-running raw foods restaurant
, a 12-year Chicago mainstay located Lincoln Park. With a nod to folks like her husband, Jerry, who, as she puts it, "eat in both worlds" (read: cooked and uncooked foods), Karyn's River North spot features a large menu with international dishes ranging from vegetarian spring roll appetizers to grilled polenta to ground soy protein tacos.
On two separate visits, the service was warm. The hostess double-checked that our waitress had visited the table, and the waitress took special care to warn us about spicy dishes and fast-flowing teapots, plus helped us identify the source of tangy kick on our Jerry's Pizza: hot and spicy mustard. Main dishes, such as the jerk tofu wrap, the buddha bowl, and sloppy joes were full of flavor, but pleasantly absent of heavy oils and "natural flavors." From the diced tomatoes and tomato tortilla in the jerk tofu wrap to the bright, not cloying, flavor in the lemon cake, Karyn's focus remains on fresh, wholesome foods.
The atmosphere is sleek but warm, with bronze tables and wall hangings, rich, nut-colored wood floors and counters, and a glass waterfall screen situated in the back near the bar.
Average cost: $10-$20