Friday, May 4, 2012

Farm to Table

Local. Fresh. Sustainable. Delicious. That pretty much sums up Prasino in Wicker Park. I have been very anxious to try out the restaurant (opened last summer) and I will definitely, hands down, go back. Designed by Chicago's Simeone Deary Design Group, I had the amazing opportunity to work on the restaurant when I lived back in Madison. As a designer for Eco-Friendly Flooring, we worked with project designers at Simeone Deary to specify the Mesquite and Ipe (pronounced e-pay) wood for the interior and exterior. Little known fact: Mesquite is a great eco-friendly choice for flooring, walls, etc. As a plant that abundantly grows in the south, mostly Texas, Mesquite is actually considered a nuisance to the locals because of how regenerative it is. It's mains use: campfire brush and BBQ smokin! When compressed and manufactured into wood planks, the resulting product is very dense and dimensionally stable. You've probably seen it a lot in furniture. Ipe is like the distant cousin of Mesquite and almost identical in coloration. Not typically grown in the US, mainly Brazil, Ipe is a very large budding tree that is ideal for timber and can commonly be seen in exterior decking or for use in wet areas. While it is not a locally sourced material, Ipe is a very durable wood and also insect repellent. At Prasino, the Mesquite is used on the interior ceiling, walls, and flooring and the Ipe is used in the exterior entryway. And a bonus, the food is delicious. Prasino in Greek means "green" and they have truly delivered a restaurant that embodies their name from the food, to the drinks to the design. I went for lunch and had their Chicken Salad Sandwhich with wedge potatoes with a Pomegranate Mimosa. Hungry yet?

                                                          Front Entry with the Ipe, love their logo!

                                                    Simple menus and clipboard drink specials

                                              Lunch and bar area, you can't tell but the light fixtures are
                                                      made from corrugated fiberboard (aka cardboard)

                                                Close-up of bar with Mesquite and bubble light fixtures

                                             Banquette/lounge seating with etched mirror design

                                            Mesquite on the walls and floor, etched mirrored wall decor

                                                        Main dining area with Mesquite on ceiling.

                               Unique private dining with black and white photographs of farm/table concept


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