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Chicago transplant Lindsay Boyd longs for a garden, but finds the Chicago dining scene top notch

Chicago foodie Lindsay Boyd poses for photograph downtown Chicago Monday August 5 2013.   | Michael Jarecki ~ For

Chicago foodie Lindsay Boyd poses for a photograph in downtown Chicago on Monday, August 5, 2013. | Michael Jarecki ~ For Sun-Times Media

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Updated: August 26, 2013 11:41PM



Big city living and dining agree with Lindsay Boyd, a 30-year-old lawyer who moved to Chicago a few years ago from the tiny town of Dearborn, Mo., (population 500), to go to law school.

Growing up in her farming community, Boyd says she took for granted her mother’s wonderful homemade pies and her neighbors’ donations of surplus garden vegetables. “I want a garden so bad and would plant one if I had the space,” says the Near North Side resident.

An associate attorney with Cassiday Schade, a civil litigation firm, Boyd spends much of her leisure time going out to eat with friends. On downtown farmers’ market days, she often goes back to the office after court carrying bags full of produce.

While her career keeps her pretty busy, she cooks at home whenever possible and recently learned to duplicate her mother’s pie crust. She also is learning a great deal about wine by attending local wine tastings and visiting Sonoma and Napa Valleys.

Her favorite restaurant after a hard day at the office: “My go-to restaurant is Purple Pig. The atmosphere is not pretentious at all, and there’s a big wine list. I especially like the octopus, which is garlicky and lemony, the goat cheese schmear with eggplant caponata and crispy pig’s ear with hot pickled peppers and a sunnyside egg on top.”

Her second favorite restaurant: “I go to Publican a lot, which has really great seafood. I always get oysters on the half shell. For brunch, I love the thick slabs of maple bacon.”

When friends come to town: “I take friends to Quartino for small plates, great pizza and cheese fondue with breads, apples…I usually hog all the bread. It’s inexpensive, and you can get a house carafe of wine that is good. It has a good environment for sitting outside and enjoying the people-watching.”

Picks for sushi: “I love sushi. ‘Sushi Mike’ at Tanoshii in Andersonville makes awesome sushi with interesting combinations, like sun-dried tomatoes and truffle honey. If someone says they don’t like sushi, they should try his. Another place I like is Kai Zan in Humboldt Park. The omakase menu is outstanding. The angry crab and oyster shooters were the highlights.”

Why she likes BYOB places: “BYOBis always a plus because you know what you’re getting. It’s a good way for us to share our favorite wines with our friends.”

Carolyn Walkup is a local free-lance writer.



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