January 21, 2008 at 4:18 pm (niles, wine) (, , , )

I’m not sure why , but all my favorite restaurants seem to have Cafe as part of the name. First there is ‘The Cafe’. Real name : The Nile Cafe. This is my coffee place. I go there most mornings for coffee, breakfast, and neighborhood gossip. I love the pear and fontina omelet.

Then there is the Essanay Cafe . This is a fairly new restaurant. They had a rough start but I think they are well on the way to becoming a wine country style restaurant. Fresh local foods with a growing selection of good wines. Annie ( the chef) has a way with duck. I have been to her Vintner’s dinners and I now really understand what food and wine pairing really can do. But I can’t call it the Cafe – because people get confused. Nor can I call it Essanay, because people sometimes think I am talking about The Niles Silent Film museum .

And now there is Federico’s Cafe. Federico is the chef – and he is amazing. Both Frederico and his brother have giant personalities and they love to talk about food, wine, music, the restaurant , food….I had scallops and stone crab in a vodka cream sauce over wide fresh noodles. Fresh, as in the noodles were made just before my dinner was cooked. I used to describe Federico’s cooking as Northern Italian – now I have to go with the word Continental. Really, I mean that there are world influences in his sophisticated, exquisite cooking. At least here, I won’t be confusing people – I have to call this cafe Federico’s.

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