Sarah Stegner and George Bumbaris
Sarah Stegner and George Bumbaris make their return to the city tonight, as they quietly open Prairie Fire, the follow-up to their successful Prairie Grass Cafe in Northbrook, located in the former Powerhouse space at Clinton and Lake.
Both chefs were colleagues at the Ritz-Carlton for more than 20 years: Stegner in The Dining Room (now sadly closed), Bumbaris overseeing the entire hotel. Their partnership with TV anchorman/cattle rancher Bill Kurtis shows up in a few dishes: Tallgrass brisket on baguette, as well as a Tallgrass penne pasta tossed in a basil-tomato-meat sauce with Parmesan and bread crumb topping.
Stegner has always been a fan of seafood - there’s a fish & chips and a sauteed Lake Superior whitefish. While Bumbaris’ Greek heritage shines through in a chopped Greek salad and a moussaka of lamb, potato and eggplant.
Even though Stegner’s mom has stepped back from baking all of the pies, her seasonal recipes are still the first dessert item listed on the dessert menu. Somehow though, the baked pear in almond cake has me slightly more excited at this point.