Thursday, January 31, 2013 / 4:23 PM
Chicago-based, eco-friendly restaurant prasino will celebrate its grand opening April 1 on the new Streets of St. Charles. Prasino will focus on what’s local and what’s natural.
Even its name can be considered natural. The word, “prasino” means “green” in Greek. Owner Ted Maglaris is Greek and wanted to name the restaurant “prasino” to be consistent with his family’s background.
Prasino will offer produce, dairy, meat and even its supplies from St. Louis-based vendors.
“(Executive) Chef Jared (Case) has been researching the market and locating vendors that can meet our menu and concept needs,” Maglaris said, following the mission statement of "using organic, all natural, hormone free, steroid free and locally sourced ingredients whenever possible.” According to its website, Prasino is a member of the Greener Fields Together, a sustainability program that “engages and involves farmers, distributors, and foodservice operators in efforts to work toward safer produce from seed to fork.”
“Our unique vision of fresh, eco-friendly fare shares an eclectic composition from authentic healthy flavor profiles to gastro-kitschy indulgent fun,” said Case, who has relatives in Belleville and is temporarily relocating here from Chicago. “Some items will be Greek-inspired. Other items will complement that authenticity, like a Green Chili Pork BLT.
At our core, we value people and their experience," he added, "knowing that sitting in our space and enjoying our food is helping to leave a greener footprint on the world.” The mantra of sustainability is carried out in prasino's restaurant's design as well (see above), with careful thought given to using reclaimed building materials and energy-saving appliances throughout.
Breakfast will be served weekly from 8 a.m. to 11 a.m. Featured dishes traditional eggs benedict, garden skillet, stuffed French toast and the choice of multi-grain, gluten-free or buttermilk pancakes. The Guapo Omelet has the potential to excite the palate. It is a mix of green chili pork, cotija cheese, guacamole and charred salsa all combined in egg. Prasino will also offer Sunday brunch, popular in its other three locations in the Chicagoland area.
Prasino's lunch crowd will find whole wheat flat breads and the prasino burger (also offered in turkey and portabella). The lobster roll contains warm lobster with lemon and herbs on a traditional New England-style bun. The aforementioned Pork Belly BLT combines green chili pork with guacamole, arugula, tomato, and jalapeno gastrique all between two slices of grilled bread. Lunch is served 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.
The dinner menu is broken into kitschy sub-categories: small, really small, flatbreads, raw, roll, big, green, and hands-on. The "smalls" are sharable small plates, like chick pea cakes with arugula, harissa, and tzatziki and Kefte (above)—lamb and beef meatballs with roasted pepper coulis and feta.
We found it interesting that "rolls--as in sushi rolls, not wraps--were part of the menu mix. The Anaconda Roll (below) has lobstter, shrimp, unagi, firecracker sauce, and unagi sauce.
Those hearing their stomach growl for more might want to go "big," tempted by intriguing offerings like a Lamb Shank Tagine and Miso Glazed Black Cod.
Not surprisingly, prasino will offer a Chicago craft beer — Goose Island — in St. Charles, sharing bar space with beers from A-B and Schlafly. Expect to see 14 craft beers on tap and 25 selections in bottles. The prasino corporate mixologist, Todd Ekis, will create the bar recipes and menus.
“Late night entertainment and a large craft selection are a big part of the prasino foundation,” said Maglaris. “We will also have late night food menus, as we expect to have a lively happy hour and bar business in St. Charles."
“The Streets of St. Charles caught our eye as an opportunity to join an emerging community of food, fashion and entertainment,” Maglaris said. “Our concept is refined yet comfortable and caters to a wide demographic. We are hoping both St. Charles and St. Louis will quickly discover we have something to offer for everyone.” Maglaris called the Midwest expansion to the Streets of St. Charles "the perfect progression."
For more information on prasino, including job opportunites, visit their website.
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