Wondering what Bernie Laskowski did following his 2011 departure from the Park Grill kitchen? “I opened a bunch of little neighborhood bars in the south suburbs. Then I sold them all,” says the chef. He also launched a prepared meal company. Next on the agenda: Craft Urban Kitchen (211 James St., Geneva), a lunch, dinner, and weekend brunch eatery slated to open August 1.
The vision came to Laskowski as he drove around Geneva’s artsy downtown area delivering food for his meal company. The area charmed him so thoroughly that he wanted in on its restaurant scene. “It’s an eclectic community,” Laskowski says. “It reminds me of being downtown Healdsburg in Sonoma.”
On the menu: veggie-based appetizers such as smoked beets with pickled radishes, puffed quinoa, and fermented yogurt; six entrées, including handmade pasta and a burger made from a mixture of Slagel Farm beef and pork, topped with housemade pickles and tomato compote; and for dessert, pound cake with sweet yogurt and fresh berries—a recipe Laskowski and his mother-in-law have spent the past few years perfecting.