Park Ridge Insider Katie Prezas on Harp & Fiddle’s cheese curds, getting pampered at Lacquer Lounge and Beautifully New Med Spa, and finding a new top at 2 Sisters Boutique
Lifelong Park Ridge resident
What you do for a living: I am an International Board Certified Lactation Consultant (IBCLC), and I own a private practice called Empowering Lactation. I help families along their lactation journey, starting during pregnancy and going all the way through weaning. I also have specialized training in perinatal mental health, so I use that knowledge as a special lens through which to approach my lactation care with clients.
How long you’ve lived here: I have lived in Park Ridge my entire life! I grew up near Washington School, where my parents still live. Now, my husband, Chris, two daughters (Evelyn 7.5 and Isabel almost 5) and I live about four blocks north, very close to Centennial Pool.
What you like best about Park Ridge: There are so many things to like about Park Ridge, I’m not even sure where to start. Now that I’m a parent, I obviously love the schools. We have also loved the experiences our girls have had with the Park District — classes, preschool and gymnastics, to name a few. In the past few years, Chris and I have really enjoyed how the restaurant scene has really grown. It’s so nice to have some great options so conveniently located.
Best meal you’ve had recently: One of my husband’s favorite meals these days (and now mine too) is More Than Pasta. Their simple menu makes the choices super easy, and the food is always fresh. If you haven’t tried it, you definitely should!
Psistaria Greek Taverna in Lincolnwood is a quick drive down Touhy and serves authentic and delicious Greek food. My husband is Greek, and we won’t go anywhere else.
Favorite restaurant in the area: Hay Caramba is hands-down our favorite spot. We head there or order takeout at least once a week, and typically order enough salsa to keep a stockpile in the fridge for the whole week. During the pandemic, ordering takeout from Hay Caramba helped keep my husband and I well-fed and happy.
Favorite “hidden gem” restaurant: Our favorite “hidden gem” is Psistaria Greek Taverna in Lincolnwood. It’s a quick drive down Touhy and serves authentic and delicious Greek food. My husband is Greek, and we won’t go anywhere else.
Best bar to grab a drink or to catch the game: Lately, when I have an event around town but I’m not quite ready to head home for bedtime (seriously though, who likes bedtime?), I meet up with some friends at Harp & Fiddle. It’s a great place to grab a drink and spend time catching up. If the kitchen is still open, their cheese curds are the first thing I order.
A great night out with friends usually includes… good food, tasty drinks and laughter! When I head out with my girlfriends, Holt’s is a fan favorite. We also love the nachos and drinks at Beer on the Wall. And since one of my best friends lives closer to South Park, Easy Street Pizza is a really good place to head to for pizza and drinks too.
When I head out with my girlfriends, Holt’s is a fan favorite. We also love the nachos and drinks at Beer on the Wall, and Easy Street Pizza is a really good place to head to for pizza and drinks too.
The best way to spend a Saturday in the winter: We love swimming. So during the winter, we try to get over to the indoor pool at Centennial Fitness Center at least a few times. Swimming for an hour or two on the weekend can help us forget how cold it is outside… until we walk home, of course!
What’s something you look forward to every winter? We live around the block from the sledding hill at Centennial Park, and I LOVE sledding. Now that we have two kiddos, they are a great excuse for me to go sledding whenever the snow allows. I remember sledding there as a kid during the Super Bowl halftime show. (Insider’s tip: There’s no one there at that time!) So much fun!
Favorite local store or best shopping area: I’ve recently enjoyed shopping along Prospect Avenue. I’ve found some great things for myself and gifts at 2 Sisters, Edie and Sooo Cute Boutique. And who doesn’t appreciate the new Athleta in town? I love being able to quickly pop into Uptown and grab a little something for a friend or a new top for an event.
Secret spot: My best-kept secret in PR is Lacquer Lounge Nail Spa. Oyuka, the owner, is wonderful, and they recently celebrated the salon’s four-year anniversary. Their staff is friendly and does impeccable work — plus you can book online! Something that makes my busy life as a business owner and mom just a little bit easier.
Underrated activity in the area: I wouldn’t call it underrated, but I think one thing every mom could use more of is time to herself! When I have a few free hours, I love spending it taking care of myself. I might go for a relaxing acupuncture treatment at Healing Point Wellness with Dr. Yolanda, get an adjustment with Dr. Whitney at Family Tree Chiropractic, have a facial at Beautifully New Med Spa or indulge in a massage at Elements. All of these are the opposite of underrated. Five stars, highly recommend!
Weekend getaway spot: I love seeing theatrical shows, specifically musicals. So one of our favorite getaways for a night or two is to get tickets to a show and stay in a hotel in downtown Chicago. We grab a nice dinner before or after the performance, have an overnight stay in a nice hotel, and then get to eat breakfast in the morning — all while having conversations and sleep uninterrupted by kids!
What have you heard great things about but have yet to try?
I know it’s been open for a few years already, but I have never been to Reyes Steakhouse! I have heard great things about it, but we haven’t made it there yet. I’ll have to add it to my list for an upcoming date night.
One of our favorite getaways for a night or two is to get tickets to a show and stay in a hotel in downtown Chicago. … all while having conversations and sleep uninterrupted by kids!