Glencoe’s Seasonal Delights
Botanic Gardens and Guildhall
As the temperatures drop and the city braces for another long and cold winter, savvy locals know they needn’t go far to recapture the bounty and beauty of flowers in bloom – in fact, a short trip north to the Botanic Gardens in Glencoe yields 385 breathtaking acres including 26 year-round gardens, natural areas like prairie and woods, and 81 acres of lakewater. To ring in the season, this weekend kicks off a bi-monthly winter’s farmers market celebrating the time of year with fresh produce and herbs, and artisan-crafted products like wreaths and pottery from local vendors and farms.
Once you’ve picked the cream of the regional crop, take a leisurely stroll around the gardens and enjoy the floral scents of fall, before heading for dinner at nearby fine diner Guildhall, which opened in August and works with artisan purveyors to deliver the highest quality local ingredients. Occupying a spacious former hardware store (in a historically-protected property, no less), the new restaurant already feels comfortably rustic, featuring the building’s original tin ceiling, wood support columns, and maple floor. From the kitchen, executive chef Christian Ragano (formerly NoMI and Tru) turns out locavore-friendly dishes like domestic burrata with autumn squash agrodolce, roasted heirloom carrot salad with pecans, Great Lakes whitefish with eggplant puree, and Culver Farms duck breast with braised cabbage and rye dumplings. A warm and hearty winter respite!