Restaurateur Amy Morton recently opened her latest Evanston dining space, The Barn, housed in a former 19th-century brick farmhouse. The “meatcentric hideaway” is a far cry from her veggie hot spot Found, and is an homage to her family lineage (her dad founded the Morton Steakhouse chain). In addition to hearty plates sourced by local farms, Beverage Director Michelle Sallemi whips up a classic cocktail menu with a number of twists, as seen in this spicy tequila drink.
Alpana Singh knew she wanted to be in the restaurant business since she was a little girl. Growing up in Monterey, California, her father was a professional chef, and her mother, a server. “Truth be told, I don’t know how to do anything else. It’s in my blood,” she says. At the age of 15, she was working in her first restaurant; by 23, she had remarkably landed a sommelier position at Chicago’s four-star gem Everest; and by 26, she became the youngest female to ever pass the Master Sommelier Exam.
I vividly remember the time I went looking for stuffed grape leaves in Chicago. I had just moved to Evanston for graduate school, and I wanted to make sure my fridge was stocked with my usual staples of hummus, grape leaves and tabblouleh.