An Unexpected Reason to Head to the ‘Burbs: Autre Monde

The interior of Autre Monde in Berwyn, Illinois.

Why do people travel from the city to the suburbs? Most often I hear people say it’s to visit family, to have some quiet time or to hit the outlets for a little shopping, but rarely do I hear that it’s for the food. And while there are some delectable restaurants in the ‘burbs, in the city we are spoiled. There are fantastic places to eat on almost every block, so why would we even think of leaving to suss out food elsewhere? I can sense some of you city dwellers rolling your eyes, but I might know a little something you do not. In 2011 John Aranza and Christine Tully Aranza partnered with Chefs Beth Partridge and Dan Pancake (all formally of Spiaggia) to open Autre Monde.  Located in the western suburb of Berwyn, they wanted to bring fresh, Mediterranean cuisine to a new corner of the world.

As a Certified Sommelier, John has a passion for procuring unique wines to complement each seasonally inspired dish. Both husband and wife duos are passionate about sustainability and Partridge and Pancake own their own farm, Cakeridge Farms in the Ohio River Valley, where Autre Monde acquires a portion of its produce. With delicious food, fresh ingredients and a superb wine and cocktail program, Autre Monde has officially given Chicagoans a reason to dine outside of the city.

What to Eat

In French, Autre Monde translates to “another world,” and that’s exactly where the food takes your taste buds. Each dish is made from scratch, using only the freshest seasonal ingredients. With a strong Mediterranean influence, each plate transports the senses across the Atlantic, while still maintaining the familiarity of home.

The pintxos at Autre Monde with Leah Nolan of the Chicago Chic.
Photo by IMR

Mushroom Pintxos

A small section of the menu is dedicated to pintxos. These tasty, snack sized portions allow you to acquaint yourself with the flavors of the menu and are an ideal way to begin the meal. The mushroom pintxos are served on a large skewer stick as a trio. Dressed with sherry jus and topped with shredded basil and hazelnut pieces, this earthy dish will make you wish its nutty accompaniment came with everything.

Heirloom Beets

This salad showcases a medley of succulent deep red and golden beets. Delicately intertwined between each careful slice are tendrils of locally sourced micro greens and cloudlike pillows of soft whipped goat cheese. The silky texture of the cheese adds a delicately decadent contrast to the weighty beets.

The heirloom beet salad at Autre Monde with Leah Nolan of the Chicago Chic.
Photo by IMR

Octopus 

Served in Galician style, this simply cooked Spanish octopus is served over olive oil with paprika, cherry tomatoes and green beans. The straightforward preparation allows the main ingredient to shine and will give you a renewed appreciation for octopus.

Duck Sausage Flatbread

The culmination of the meal, the duck sausage flatbread, is mouthwatering. The crispy crust is a doughy vessel that helps the thick pieces of tender duck sausage and gooey provolone cheese enter your mouth. Topped with smoked tomato and chopped basil, it showcases how simple ingredients can produce maximum flavor when paired correctly.

The duck sausage flatbread at Autre Monde with Leah Nolan of the Chicago Chic.
Photo by IMR

Pot de Crème

No matter how full you might feel after indulging in carefully crafted dish after carefully crafted dish, there is always a small, extra pocket in your stomach that leaves room for dessert. That pocket should be filled with the Pot de Crème. This French chocolate custard is topped with fluffy whipped cream and luxurious pieces of toasted hazelnut. Resist the temptation to lick the bowl clean.

6727 West Roosevelt Road, Berwyn, IL 60402

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