The Chestnut Street Inn is unique in that one of the owners is also a very talented chef. It is the main reason that we came to this area and to this inn. We wanted something unique and different and that is certainly what we got. Not only will Chef Monika provide you with an amazing breakfast but with a dinner that will tantalize your taste buds.
We booked our dinners at the same time that we made our room reservation. I had several email conversations with Monika discussing our likes and dislikes. These were very much taken into consideration when she planned her menu.
The first evening our meal began with an appetizer of Empanadas with Garlic Aioli. They were tender and tasty little pockets that got the meal off to a great start. The second course was Black Bean Soup with Avocado, Tomato and Fresh Goat Cheese. You see a theme here, right? There was a definite Mediterranean theme happening. The entrée was Braised Organic Chicken with Sour Cream and Chive Mashed Potatoes, Fried Sage Leaves and Baked Cucumbers. To wrap the meal up we finished with Crème Brulee.
It was an outstanding culinary experience. We don’t drink wine but there was a very fine wine list available as well as beer. We opted for ice tea. We finished with decaf and frankly I could barely get up from the table I was so full. Jeff suggested that a walk around the neighborhood might help the food to settle a bit and we decided that sounded like a great idea. It was a lovely August evening and the cicadas were chirping away as we strolled around this quiet block.
After a day out in Princeton we were ready for dinner on Monday evening. The meal began with an appetizer of Seared Ras El Hanout Shrimp with Avocado and Mango Chutney which was the perfect start. The soup was Chilled Asian Inspired Melon Gazpacho with Basil and Mint and there is nothing I love more than cold soup, this was no exception. The main course was Seared Filet Mignon with Pesto, Whipped Sweet Potatoes and Braised Heirloom Carrots. I can’t begin to tell you how delicious those whipped sweet potatoes were. I really need to get that recipe. Finally we ended with flan.
I have to say that dining at the Chestnut Street Inn was one of the highlights of our three week trip. We went out of our way to come to Sheffield for no other reason than the food and it was so worth it. The price is amazingly reasonable for the quality of the food and service that you receive. These menu that we were served are just some of the possible menus since Monika uses the freshest local produce that are available to produce her meals.
Chef Monika teaches cooking classes at the inn. Check out their website for details. She recently completed her certification through the International Association of Culinary Professionals to be a Certified Culinary Professional. Certified Culinary Professionals are those who have reached the highest level of culinary achievement. Among the chefs who have reached this level are Julia Child and Jacques Pepin and of course, Chef Monika.
Sheffield, Illinois is a sweet little town with the oldest Danish Lutheran Church in the state. The biggest attraction however is the Chestnut Street Inn and the delicious food that is created there.
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