The Winnetka Current 021617
26 | February 16, 2017 | The winnetka Current LIFE & ARTS winnetkacurrent.com Annual fundraiser with a twist STAFF REPORT In an effort to fundraise and celebrate the families enrolled in the school, the Winnetka Public School Nursery threw its Annual Benefit at the Skokie Country Club in Glencoe on Feb. 4 — this year, with a throwback 1920s theme in honor of their 90th anniversary. The evening included a live auction featuring weekend vacation homes, golf packages and a silent auction with merchandise from area businesses to parties hosted by WPSN families. Later in the evening, guests were welcome to enjoy a “speakeasy” bourbon bar, jam out to music and play poker and blackjack. Ola Muszynski, a WPSN teacher and parent, looks for her child’s portrait in the class project for the silent auction. WPSN teacher Susie Birdsell (left) and Katie Gillig, both of Wilmette, admire portraits of the WPSN students in the silent auction. Winnetka couple Jake (far left) and Paige Canepari (far right) join Winnetka Public School Nursery Board President Becky Sanderson at the school’s annual benefit at the Skokie Country Club on Feb. 4. PHOTOS BY RHONDA HOLCOMB/22ND CENTURY MEDIA Bobby Johnson, a seventh-grader from Washburne Middle School in Winnetka, photographs Winnetkans Patrick and Katie Murphy. WPSN board member Stacy Burgoon (left to right) joins board member Anna Armsby and benefit committee member Katie Murphy for a photo. The North Shore’s Most Exciting Orchestra! WHERE NATIONS MEET March 5, 2017 | Sunday at 4 pm Guest Artists: New Tradition Chorus PLUS anthems, marches, dances, chanteys and ballads! Onstage commentary by Maestro Rapchak Special Offer for Grandparents Grandchildren receive a free ticket for the March 5 concert! Call the NSO for details: (847) 272-0755. Beethoven Four Country Dances Arnold Eight English Dances Brahms Academic Festival Overture Berlin Give Me Your Tired, Your Poor Follow the NSO on Facebook! Sheely Center for the Performing Arts | 2300 Shermer Road | Northbrook, IL 60062 Pre-concert lecture with Jim Kendros at 2:30 pm 847.272.0755 | www.NorthbrookSymphony.org
winnetkacurrent.com DINING OUT the winnetka current | February 16, 2017 | 27 High-end cuisine in a snap Mirani’s At Home offers restaurantquality food for busy eaters Jacqueline Glosniak, Editor Another busy day at the office. Hours spent chauffeuring the kids back and forth. Laundry, errands and doctor appointments. Let’s face it, we all find ourselves in these dilemmas — never having enough time in the day to finish a day’s work and then relax, let alone worry about what’s for dinner. For those who find themselves in a jam when it comes to preparing a delicious and unique dinner, Winnetka couple Kaveh and Madeleine Mirani have just the perfect solution — a dining concept concocting fine restaurant quality food for delivery. The Miranis, who have owned and operated eateries in Winnetka for three decades, recently introduced their newest venture, Mirani’s At Home, in an effort to tap into a dining market they say exists too far and few between. Kaveh Mirani hopes the concept will quickly become a fan favorite in the North Shore. “Generally, this is a trend that is happening everywhere in the country — people don’t go out as much because people have children, they come home during the week and are tired, so we thought that right now, they don’t really have that much of a choice in take out food,” he said. “You either get pizzas or maybe some Asian food or you can order from a regular restaurant, but those restaurants are not really designed for take out and the prices are too high.” To understand the Miranis’ passion, one must get to know the couple’s background. Kaveh, who was born in Tehran, Iran, has a doctorate in economics and began his career as a university professor, and Madeleine, who hails from the Netherlands, originally worked in foreign affairs as a diplomat. Over 30 years ago when Madeleine’s parents came to visit the U.S., they remarked about how shocking it was that there was a vast lack of European-style coffee shops and places of old-fashioned European hospitality. At that point, the Miranis decided to change careers and venture into the world of being restaurateurs. “We did research in New York and Europe and started making the gourmet deli,” Madeleine said. “[We] felt there was a void in the market.” While Madeleine acknowledges that the hospitality scene has changed since then, she believes they are still venturing into a market with a clear need. Originally, the Miranis opened their first establishment, aptly named Mirani’s, 24 years ago on Green Bay Road as a gourmet delicatessen/French brasserie. “Gradually, customers that would come and take out food would say, ‘The food is so good, why not open for lunch?’” Madeleine said. Eventually, Mirani’s expanded to a location on Elm Street in 2006. There, the Miranis were able to focus on a full-fledged French bistro menu. After closing Mirani’s last year to focus on their Mirani’s At Home’s chicken Parmigiano ($14) features breaded chicken breast atop a bed of spaghetti in marinara sauce. Photos by Chris Pullam/22nd Century Media new concept, they officially opened Mirani’s At Home on Jan. 16, offering French, Italian and other Mediterranean cuisines. The Miranis also ensure hints of Persian and Dutch ethnic foods are present on the menu. Diners can choose from a variety of a la carte chicken, seafood, pasta, rice and salad dishes and then stop by the business in person or place orders online or over the phone, with speedy delivery ensured within 20 minutes of ordering thanks to a collaboration with Uber- RUSH. Deliveries have a $7 flat fee. With food from Mirani’s At Home, Madeleine ensures the quality is just as stellar as the old Mirani’s but with the perk of prices slashed because of less overhead. “It’s wonderful, healthy food. It’s elegant and also unavailable basically, so we decided [to] try and see how people respond,” Madeleine said. “We want people to feel that there is that comfort of staying at home [and] don’t need to go anywhere.” During a recent visit to Mirani’s At Home, 22nd Century Media editors gladly chatted with the Miranis while sampling savory menu items. The chicken Parmigiano ($12), which includes breaded chicken breast and spaghetti with marinara sauce, is a staple Italian dish for all. The spaghetti is lightly sauced and the thin chicken slices are not heavily breaded, lending to both great noodle texture and appropriate meat portion. The mustard crusted salmon ($15), one of the restaurant’s favorite dishes, features a breaded salmon with mustard sauce served over French lentils and fresh vegetables. The outside of the fish is crunchy but lends a soft and firm inside, and the dish undoubtedly stands out for its mustard flavoring that’s not too overwhelming for the natural flavoring of a well-cooked salmon. The Northbrook Tower Editor Matt Yan’s favorite was the Mediterranean chicken kebab ($11), which includes diced chicken marinated in olive oil and signature Mirani’s spices and served with grilled vegetables. Sour cherry saffron rice can also be added to the plate The fettuccine alfredo ($12 naked, $16 with shrimp) is topped with a creamy sauce, Parmigiano-Reggiano and peas. The restaurant’s beet salad ($7) blends mixed greens, walnuts, blue cheese and vinaigrette dressing. for $6. The chicken’s light grilling lends great balance to the unique grains. For $17, the steak classique features thick, 8-ounce cuts of prime sirloin simmered in a red wine sauce. Our portion was served with a side of bistro frites ($4), or french fries, which were not overly greasy or salty. The fettuccine alfredo ($11) was much tastier than your average alfredo dish, since the noodles were perfectly al dente and the alfredo was not a heavy cream leaving you feeling stuffed. For an additional $4, shrimp can be tossed in, offering a nice balance between a seafood and pasta comfort favorite. The beet salad ($7), including greens, walnuts, blue cheese and vinaigrette dressing, was a favorite of Glenview Lantern Editor Chris Pullam. For $6, shrimp or salmon can be tossed in. Finally, the Kurdish red MIRANI’S AT HOME 567 B Lincoln Ave., Winnetka www.miranisathome. com (847) 446-4646 4-8 p.m. seven days a week lentil soup ($5 for a small, $11 for a large) offers a hearty and warm complement to be served alongside any of the dishes. Mirani’s At Home is also happy to accommodate orders for catering events. Additionally, the restaurant caters to gluten-free, allergy requests and dietary restrictions as requested. With the menu served by head chef Alvaro Chavez, the Miranis offer fine food for a reasonable price. “We’ve had comments from our customers already that said, ‘I might as well have been in a restaurant, it was so amazing,’ and that’s exactly what we want,” Madeleine said.