February is dominated by Valentine's Day and we are about to spread a special kind of chain love starting right now: the love for our local restaurants and chefs. Yesterday, restaurant critic Stacey Brugeman of 5280 Magazine launched the month-long spread the love series with praises for chef Mary Nguyen and her new café, Olive & Finch. We asked Nguyen to share her favorite spot.
Any time it's cold, I want food that warms and comforts me, in a place that's fun and casual where my husband and I can linger over a great glass of wine. Our go-to spot is Marco's Coal Fired Pizza in the Ballpark neighborhood. Love is always in the air there with one of my favorite couples - Mark and Kristy Dym - both in the kitchen and greeting guests, making everyone feel like they're a part of the family. On the menu, I really love the eggplant rollatini for its gorgeous flavors and textures and surprisingly gluten-free preparation. I also don't think anyone makes a red sauce like they do, with Italian tomatoes and very little else, making a perfect, clean sauce that goes with everything. We always end our evening's at Marco's with a glass of Mark's housemade Limoncello which reminds us of being in Italy.
Every day, the recipient of the praises will have a chance to pass the love around. Come back tomorrow to hear what restaurant chef Dym is obsessing over this month.