PEORIA, Ill. -- 2Chez bills itself as casual fine dining. But for owner and head chef Todd Hohulin its more than that.
The restaurant is a tribute to his family, particularly his grandmother Esther, who used to put him to work in her garden when Todd was just a little boy.
"I remember picking and shelling peas," recalled Hohulin. "I loved picking and shelling peas out of her garden because we would pick them and then we would set up outside on some chairs and we would shell them and I love fresh peas out of the garden. Every three that she shelled I'd eat about four."
That farm-to-table philosophy has stayed with Hohulin. 2Chez's menu is filled with selections straight from local farms.
"We do a lot of business with Jim and Lillian Buckley from Princeville at The Garden Spot Vegetable Farm. In addition to that right now I'm buying oyster mushrooms from Wes Duffy," said Hohulin.
And everything is cooked to order.
Todd's interest in music is on display at the restaurant, but his best orchestrations come in the kitchen.
One customer told me 2Chez's calamari is the best in town. And it was absolutely delicious. I started off with some as an appetizer and then had the Steaks Frites. It's a 12 ounce ribeye topped with parmesan fries and garlic aioli. Again, a fantastic plate of food.
And the steak was prepared perfectly.
My meal also came with a Caeser salad white anchovies known as Boquerones.
For dessert I couldn't resist the creme brulee. My waitress Shelby even provided some entertainment by putting on the finishing touches right at my table.
With a soft drink my bill was 35 dollars and change before tip.
2Chez is located in Mt. Hawley Plaza on the corner of Knoxville and Pioneer Parkway and is open for lunch and dinner Monday through Friday and for dinner on Saturday.
The food here is as good as it gets. I highly recommend it.
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