Prasino, the La Grange restaurant with an organic menu for breakfast, lunch and dinner, has a clear mission for fresh food served in a sustainable method. I set out on a recent weekday when reservations were not necessary, to test how such a mission tastes and feels, and how well it satisfies the palate.
Located at 93 S. La Grange Road, it is one of the two Prasino restaurants, the other in St. Charles, IL, sits walking distance from the La Grange Road Metra station, offers valet parking and has outdoor umbrella-shaded tables.
I stepped through Prasino's second set of double doors and into what reminded me of rural America—the colors and fixtures like green crops, hayfields, grain silos, earth and sun. Of course, this ambiance is due to the sustainable design, which includes wood reclaimed from Chicago's Sportsman Park and light fixtures made from recycled corrugated cardboard and used wine bottles.
I was seated quickly, sank into a surprisingly comfortable cushion on a metal wired chair, and alerted my waiter that I was there to take my time after I initially felt rushed.
I was able to thoroughly and—mostly—delightfully please my hunger and thirst for $75, including tip. With appetizers and salads for $8-$14, entrees at $14-$29 and drinks $4-$10, I could have easily spent less and been satisfied.
After finishing my meal, detailed below, it was my impression Prasino succeeds at the green dining experience.
I started with Pinkus Hefe-Weizen organic beer. Its crisp, refreshing, effervescent, body pared well with my food.
I chose risotto cakes with truffle mustard and parmesan, which I expected to taste rich and earthy with a little zing. To my delight it tasted tangy with subtle notes of the earthy truffle and parmesan. I found myself licking my lips craving the next bite.
Miso chile glazed line caught black cod, Prasino's signature and most expensive entrée at $29, was placed in front of me. The cod was served over basmati rice, julienned vegetables, and a ginger carrot puree. Cooked to perfection, the buttery sweet flavor of the fish balanced with its mildly nutty flavor of the basmati rice and the vegetables.
I thought the flavor of the ginger carrot puree was a little lost and covered up by the rice.
I had a vanilla bean Greek yogurt pana cotta with blueberries, hibiscus syrup and graham cracker. The syrup was light and added a little sweetness that livened up the fresh blueberries against the gelatinous and creamy vanilla bean back drop. I ate every bite of it.
I had Clear Creek Pear Eau-de-Vie, which is French for "water of life", for an after dinner drink. Why? Thirty pounds of Bartlett pears are used in each bottle and I love pears. I enjoyed the sweet and fruit-filled aroma of the pears, but as I sipped my joy took a 180 as its smoothness changed into quite a bit of heat. I would not order it again.