Restaurant Challenge: Deleece

"It begins bold and spicy and then turns to silk before disappearing in your mouth." I am at the newly opened Deleece location on Southport Corridor, listening as my waitress poetically – and correctly – describes the sangiovese. And lest you think our conversation borders on pretentious, I promise you Deleece is anything but. Deleece considers itself an “affordable, eclectic, and neighborhood haunt.” I would agree and further add cozy and friendly with exceptional seasonally inspired food. Deleece is proof that a truly great meal need not break the bank.

Our meal at Deleece was impressive all around, as was the service. I immediately noticed that, unlike most restaurants, Deleece offers two kinds of breads on each table, a white and a multigrain. While self-control is still a necessity when faced with that always tempting bread basket, having a more fibrous and therefore healthier option is certainly a plus.

Because I was not particularly hungry, I ordered the soup of the day and roasted root vegetable appetizer as my dinner. The soup was a soothingly harmonious combination of large white beans and chunks of butternut squash made with broth, not cream, and finished with just a bit of butter for thickness. The perfectly roasted root vegetables, a colorful mixture of parsnips, sweet potatoes, and beets, came dusted in a smoky Tunisian spice and sprinkled with sweet currants, candied walnuts, and orange zest. I need to steal this recipe!

My husband ordered the very fairly priced $24 12-ounce New York strip. To make his meal healthier, he avoided the side of fried onions and also the blue cheese butter served on top of the steak. This is a great rule to keep in mind when eating steak: skip any cheesy, creamy, or buttery accompaniment. The meat is the star and should require nothing more than a little salt and pepper to shine. The garlic mashed potatoes (note: not healthy) served with the steak were also good. If this is your kind of splurge, you will be quite satisfied!

Try Deleece at its new location at 3747 N. Southport Ave.

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  • Two words- Breakfast Pasta! Love it. Great restaurant, great review.

  • Breakfast pasta....I will definitely have to try that one! Thanks!

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