Hours: Lunch, Dinner: seven days
Raw vegan food near Steppenwolf.
When they yanked my rotten tooth a few years back I lived on beer and Potato Buds for a week; when I forgot where my house was and became dizzy with nausea, it seemed like a decent excuse to duck inside Karyn Calabrese's raw food restaurant. I scarfed down a slightly sweet, soft sea-lettuce-and-macadamia-filled crepe made from dehydrated young green coconut meat. It was strange and delicious, and after a few minutes I realized that I didn't have a stomachache and--what ho?--my hangover was gone! When I could chew I came back, curious about the firmer stuff on the menu. Nuts and legumes are soaked in water and pureed, sprouted, or fermented to make "cheeses," pastes, sauces, even a delicate cashew "sour cream"; grains are soaked, sometimes sprouted, and dried to make dense, cakelike bread products. Calabrese's pasta primavera with rich, savory nut sauce, "meatballs," and mushrooms is a favorite among her waitstaff (the "pasta" is julienned vegetables). If you'd rather not gamble on the $11-$15 entrees at the sit-down restaurant, there's a take-out joint and juice bar on the side, offering organic salad for $8 a pound, sandwiches, and prepackaged meals that cost between $9 and $13.
Payment Type: American Express, Diners Club, MasterCard, Visa