Those who know me know that lately I have had an almost obsessive desire for crème brulee. This is not the easiest dessert to find. So, when Jeanne Millsap sent me a number of restaurants she wanted to meet for lunch on Saturday, one had crème brulee on its menu. So, that restaurant won.
Chapin’s is in neighboring Morris, but many residents of Channahon and Minooka will travel to the neighboring town for the fine-dining option offered by Chapin’s. It’s not just a dinner desitination, though.
“Chapin’s is fun for lunch with friends,” Millsap said.
During the week, she said the restaurant is full at lunch.
Chapin’s is owned by husband and wife team, Dianne and Scott Breslar. It was founded in 2004. The specialty of the restaurant, according to its Web site, is “Aged, corn-fed USDA Prime beef, broiled in a trademark 1,800 degree oven and served on a plate heated to 500 degrees to ensure the steak stays sizzling hot.”
I visited at lunchtime, so I did not order such a large meal. I had the Portobello mushroom sandwich with a cup of French onion soup. Millsap ordered the Hawaiian burger, with a cup of the seafood bisque. For my gluten-free friends who are wondering, the seafood bisque is made with a roux, which means it is off limits. But, for those who can eat it, Millsap raved about the soup.
“Oh my gosh, it’s wonderful,” she said.
The French onion soup had a great flavor and was a cheesy mess, which is just how it should be. I ordered mine without croutons. The soup avoided the trap to be too salty.
Our lunch entrees arrived and Millsap’s Hawaiian burger looked fantastic. She said it tasted just as good as it looked.
“I like that combination of pineapple and BBQ,” she said.
My Portobello sandwich came without a bun, as I requested. I was so full from a late breakfast and the soup that I ended up taking it home. When I ate it the next day, though, the Portobello had a great flavor, just a little smoky. I opted for the fruit cup instead of fries and when it arrived, it had blackberries in it, which I thought was great. Truth be told, I could have probably eaten the Portobello, but I was saving room for what I came for – Crème Brulee.
It was awesome. The top was crisp, the underneath creamy. The pieces of vanilla were visible in the ramekin. It too came with a blackberry a top a mini mound of whipped cream. I ate the whole thing.
Regular readers will notice that this column has changed from Sunday Dinners with Dawn to Dinner with Dawn. This is because not everyone can make it to dinner on a Sunday or even simply to dinner. So, please feel free to email Dawn Aulet for any meal, anytime. You pick the place and she picks up the bill.