UPDATE: Candidates for "Restaurant of the Year" Try to be Customer-Oriented
Six Wheaton restaurants were nominated for the annual Wheaton Chamber of Commerce Gamon awards. One will win "Restaurant of the Year." Here are three of the nominees.
Owner Kathleen Lewis credits the unique food from local vendors for the Gamon nomination. "I think what sets the bistro apart from other restaurants is that we are constantly bringing in new things ... we have fresh features each week, we try to incorporate new vendors we come across," Lewis said. "It's that freshness and constant change in offerings." She added that she and her husband, who are in the restaurant frequently, appreciate and listen closely to feedback.
Last summer, general manager Jane Halpin went to the City Council for an ordinance change to allow the bistro to serve alcohol to patrons dining outside. "We had outdoor seating that wasn't used because there was a limit to what you could drink outside," she said. Cellar Bistro is in its fourth year of business, this is their first Gamon nomination.
Owner Dick O'Gorman says the beautiful building, outstanding chef and great service earned this year's Gamon nomination. "You have a great location, great food and great service—that's why we're the best," he said. Ivy will celebrate its two-year anniversary Mar. 2.
Special events coordinator Christine Kenny-Sheputis describes Suzette's as a real hometown place.
"We have families that celebrate certain events every year here all together ... a number of people who have celebrated weddings and baby showers." She added that Suzette's is also small enough to attend to special requests for events—from flowers to a menu item even, she said.
She credited the small eatery's support for local authors, nonprofits and charities, and numerous special events throughout the year, including a field day party, a six-course champagne dinner and almost-monthly wine dinners.
But it's not all fancy food and drink, Kenny-Sheputis said. Patrons frequent Suzette's for coffee and pastries, sandwiches, marriage proposals (at Table 23) and business meetings, "there's a lot of different things and a lot of different people we appeal to."
Suzette's will celebrate a decade of business in Wheaton in July.