It’s all about the food... How many times have I said that? When planning a get-together, the heart of the event is often the food. Vacations are planned around dining options. Holidays are times to gather in fellowship—nearly always around food. Our earliest memories revolve around food: the aroma of freshly baked cookies, the sizzling of burgers on the grill.
Welcome to Peoria Magazine’s first-ever food issue! We hope to make it an annual affair—after all, everyone loves food! From local cuisine to international flavors, from the business side of food innovation to the artistic aspects of presentation, from the farm to your table to the compost bin, there are so many directions to take… We already can’t wait for next year! It’s getting close to lunchtime, and now I’m hungry. But first let me run down some of my favorite locally owned restaurants—check them out in our special Food & Dining section in this issue!
- Todd Hohulin at 2 Chez is passionate about using the freshest ingredients—from his tasty sauces to the syrups for special cocktails made in-house.
- I’ve personally seen Hugh Higgins of Hearth browsing the local farmers’ markets to complete the entrees for that evening’s specials.
- At Harvest, Executive Chef Brian Jenkins (formerly of June and Noir) experiments with a range of delicious dishes—and the cocktail lounge is among the finest you’ll find anywhere.
- Not only does EDGE by Chef Dustin Allen source nearly every ingredient from a network of local farms, it nabbed the highly coveted Wine Spectator Award of Excellence for 2019.
- Troy Ummel’s Connected is famous for stellar service, delectable dishes and unique ambiance—a combination that earned it the Distinguished Restaurants of North America distinction.
- Travis Mohlenbrink has started a food and catering empire with Spice Hospitality Group: Cayenne, Cracked Pepper, Industry Brewing, Sugar, Thyme and The Warehouse on State are all top-notch.
- The Comfort family have been staples of Peoria restaurants for years! I don’t know where Jim’s Steakhouse finds those gigantic potatoes, and I often crave the Brittany salad dressing. In Peoria Heights, Jim’s Bistro is full of comfort foods—I recommend the stroganoff and the pot roast.
- Obed & Isaac’s is a favorite for food, fun and craft beers brewed onsite, whether dining in the 1889 stone church or enjoying the spacious, award-winning outdoor patio!
- Holding down the Peoria riverfront for nearly two decades, Kelleher’s is a great place for lunch, happy hour or late-night eats. The tenderloin is my guilty pleasure, and I love the corned beef sandwich.
That is just a sampling of what we have here in Greater Peoria… Now if you’ll excuse me, I’m off to get some lunch! PM