Mother's Day is an apt time to honor restaurants where moms play a vital role, whether they're in the kitchen cooking or simply lending their recipe expertise. Here are some Chicago restaurants with that special matriarchal touch, to enjoy this weekend for Mother's Day and all year long.
Nana (3267 S. Halsted St.)
As the name suggests, family is paramount at Nana (pictured above). The Bridgeport restaurant is named after the matriarch of the Solis family, who owns the restaurant and run it together. Nana can often be found at the restaurant, along with her kids who run the front of house. Familial Latin recipes lend their breadth to the menu, filled with comforting items such as huevos rancheros, chilaquiles, and tres leches cake.
Pecking Order (4416 N. Clark St.)
Uptown's preeminent poultry spot is a labor of familial love for chef/owner Kristine Subido and her mom. The chicken-focused restaurant arose as an opportunity for Subido to tap into her Filipino roots and work alongside her mother, who has a particular penchant for pastries. Subido takes the reins on the savory dishes, which feature chicken in a plethora of preparations, while Subido's mom leads the charge on desserts, be it cakes, cookies, and anything that fits her fancy.
Siena Tavern (51 W. Kinzie St.)
Many top-tier chefs derive culinary inspiration from their mothers, and Fabio Viviani is no exception. The big name chef of Siena Tavern features many dishes on his menu that are inspired by his mother's cooking he grew up eating. Case in point: Viviani's baked lasagna, a contemporary riff on his mother's generations-old recipe. In recalling his mom's casserole-baked lasagna, which would develop crispy edges, Viviani uses mini clay pots for each lasagna, to ensure each bite has that enviably crispy patina. Mom would be proud.
Sol de Mexico (3018 N. Cicero Ave.)
Arguably the quintessential matriarch of mole in Chicago, Clementina Flores runs the show at Sol de Mexico. The mother of Geno Bahena, a chef renowned for his numerous restaurants throughout Chicago over the years, Flores has a spot on Cicero Avenue all to herself, showcasing motherly Mexican cookery in all its glory. And don't miss her incomparable moles, so rich and luscious you'd be tempted to slurp it through a straw. Or an I.V.
Photos: Nana, Pecking Order, Siena Tavern, Sol de Mexico