Signature Dishes: The flaky chicken pot pie and decadent macaroni and cheese at Sweet and Tart
By Trent Modglin
Sweet and Tart Shoppe
112 S. Prospect Ave. in Park Ridge
When you get Meghan O’Neill and Jamie Kendall together, it doesn’t take long to realize the owners of Sweet and Tart share 26 years of friendship. There’s lots of laughs, lots of honesty and lots of finishing each other’s sentences.
“We started with things we wanted to eat,” Meghan says of the pair opening the restaurant last summer in their hometown of Park Ridge. “And things our kids would eat. And it really took off from there.”
The menu — which focuses on a creative assortment of baked goods, small plates and a full bar with fun cocktails — has continued to evolve, and the reviews have been excellent.
“Everyone in the area has been so supportive,” adds Jamie, acknowledging the impact of Covid restrictions on local eateries. “We have a very creative team too, which has helped with the menu. It’s all been a very collaborative effort.”
“If there’s something we create that isn’t quite right, like a pastry, we figure we can always add a little booze (to the recipe) and make it better,” Meghan says with a shrug, drawing laughter from the table.
Sounds like my kind of place. And my kind of people.
Bacon macaroni and cheese
Honestly, where do we start? Maybe with the four different cheeses that are part of it, including a smoked gouda and Guinness porter. How about the fact the crust on top — made of buttery bread crumbs, herbs and spices — is toasted to a perfect crisp. And what dish isn’t improved with chunks of bacon?
The flavor combination here is delectable, and we recommend ordering a bit more than what your appetite normally allows. Reason being, it heats up wonderfully the next day and can serve as a meal in itself.
Where do we start? Maybe with the four different cheeses, including a smoked gouda and Guinness porter. Or the fact the crust on top — made of buttery bread crumbs, herbs and spices — is toasted to a perfect crisp.
Chicken pot pie
Sweet and Tart’s take on this comfort-food favorite has garnered a lot of praise around town, and Meghan and Jamie give credit to the “talented, amazing Irish women we have in the kitchen who just know what works.”
While a lot of pot pies tend to weigh you down after a few bites, this version is considerably lighter. It’s filled with peas, carrots, onions, all-natural chicken and a rich cream sauce, but the key here is the super flaky puff pastry crust. A true game-changer. Note: They are available in personal and family sizes, and a veggie pot pie is an option as well.