Best of the ‘Burbs

(page 2 of 5)

The Best of Park Ridge

BEST BOUTIQUE
NEW PROSPECTS
There are many high-quality boutiques dotting downtown Park Ridge, but perhaps none with so loyal a following as Amy DeGrazio’s shop for women’s and children’s apparel. DeGrazio, in addition to being a mom and an active member of the Park Ridge community, caters to her dedicated clientele as if they were all her friends—combining warm service with a responsive, ever-changing inventory of casual clothing, shoes, handbags, and accessories, much of which slides in at $100 or less. 110 S. Prospect Ave.; 847-823-2793, newprospects.com

BEST PLACE TO BUY FURNITURE
AMPHORA
Amphora’s owners, Debi Spellman and Diane Annes, say that the hardest thing about running their newly relocated and expanded designer furniture store is helping customers understand where the stuff comes from and why it’s so inexpensive. Spellman, a veteran merchandiser, travels around the country and occasionally to Mexico to buy up top-quality show-room samples of new furniture and trucks it all back to Park Ridge, where Amphora sells it for wholesale prices. Got it? 2 N. Northwest Hwy.; 847-518-9000

BEST TAKEOUT LUNCH
ALL ON THE ROAD
Probably only Park Ridge residents know that All on the Road, a 12-year-old catering business, also serves a small menu of reliably excellent and inventive lunch and dinner carryout items available Wednesdays through Saturdays and changing weekly. Double grilled hot dog on a pita with bacon, red onions, tomato, and Porter Guinness Cheddar cheese? Freshly made chocolate-topped mini éclairs? Yes, please. 114 Main St.; 847-518-8958, allontheroad.com

BEST NOSTALGIA TRIP
PICKWICK THEATRE
The seats are hard and some theatres lack cup holders, but where else can you eat nachos and watch Up in a bona fide historic landmark—an art deco gem from the early 20th century—and a favorite childhood destination of the secretary of state, Hillary Rodham Clinton? The cavernous main auditorium seats 1,400, the biggest movie-theatre capacity in the Chicago area, according to Dino Vlahakis, who owns and operates the Pickwick with his sister, Elaine Loomos. “Our big gimmick is that we try to keep the prices low,” Vlahakis says. Kids, seniors, students, and matinee lovers get in for $5; general admission is just $7 after 6 p.m. 5 S. Prospect Ave.; 847-825-5800, pickwicktheatre.com

BEST BAKERY
BAKED BY BETSY
Starting in the late 1990s, the owner, Betsy D’Attomo, grew her business one tiny step at a time: from baking for her boss and colleagues when she worked as a lawyer, to doing it on the side as a stay-at-home mom, then renting out a commercial kitchen during its off-hours—demand outstripping her capacity at each interval. “Christmas of 2006 almost literally killed me,” D’Attomo recalls. So in July 2007 she opened Baked by Betsy in the charming storefront where the thriving business today cranks out freshly made cupcakes, pies, and all manner of cookies, including D’Attomo’s famously delectable Butter Melts. 124 S. Prospect Ave.; 847-292-1434, bakedbybetsy.com