Prairie Grass Cafe

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Chefs Sarah Stegner and George Bumbaris, best known for their award-studded tenure at the Ritz-Carlton Chicago Dining Room, have opened their own restaurant in suburban Northbrook. The restaurant is considerably less stuffy than the Dining Room, no white tablecloths, multi-course degustation menus or jackets required. Instead look for a casual room with wood-topped tables, booths and even a bar area serving the full menu in addition to lighter bar fare. The menu is contemporary American, with toned-down versions of some of duo's signature dishes. Selections change monthly (signature dishes will be offered year-round), focusing on fresh, seasonal ingredients, and most entrees will top out at $20. Prairie Grass is not only geared towards families, it's run by the family: Stegner's mother Elizabeth has been recruited to bake the pies, and Stegner's husband, Rohit Nambiar, former manager of Seasons Restaurant at the Four Seasons Chicago, oversees the wine program and front-of-house operations. The mostly American wine list features about 80 choices, with 14 by-the-glass offerings.