Chicago Restaurant Week, hosted by Choose Chicago, is in full swing and Chef Veah Larde, owner of Two Sisters Catering and Restaurant, 4800 W. Chicago Ave., is proud to represent the Austin community at the 17 days. Through April 10, the counter-service establishment known for serving an array of healthy, Southern-inspired dishes is offering a special prix-fixe menu of New Orleans favorites for Restaurant Week.
A chance connection during the 2021 Chi-Town Soul Trolley Restaurant Tour piqued Larde’s interest in Restaurant Week. Roz Stuttley, Equity, Diversity and Inclusion Manager at Choose Chicago was a guest on the tour when Larde got on the cart to hand out samples of her veggie kale leaves and homemade cornbread. House. The tasty dishes caught Stuttley’s attention.
“Miss V is an amazing cook and I was blown away by her food,” Stuttley said. “She is patient, kind and hospitable and I told her she just had to join my program.”
Larde was drawn to Stuttley’s positive spirit and decided that attending the annual event could help diversify her while helping to clarify that Two Sisters is much more than a restaurant-focused operation. Since Larde opened her brick and mortar in April 2021, business has been up and down and the creative cook admits she has struggled to help the community understand that Two Sisters is actually a restaurant in take-out serving ready-to-eat meals to the public.
Larde built a loyal following through the restaurant business she started 10 years ago and eventually found a home in The Hatchery — a food startup incubator on Chicago’s West Side. During the pandemic, Larde took the opportunity to relocate her business to its current location and begin serving hot meals to her community daily.
“I want people to know we’re here,” Larde said. “When people think of me, they think of restoration, but we are more than that.”
To entice restaurant week attendees, Two Sisters is offering a menu of Louisiana favorites that fetches the $25 price tag required for attendance. The meat lover’s plate is made up of generous portions of chicken and andouille sausage gumbo, fish court-bouillon, red beans and rice and a red velvet cupcake. A vegetarian offering includes a Southern Succotash stew, brimming with 12 vegetables, including okra, lima beans, potatoes, corn and fire-roasted tomatoes.
“I have close and dear family who live in New Orleans and okra is one of my all-time favorite foods in New Orleans,” Larde said. “I use my sister’s chicken and sausage gumbo recipe; we don’t use pork fat, so it’s a healthier version.
This is Larde’s first week-long restaurant experience, and she is ready to provide additional assistance to meet demand if needed. Loyal fans of Two Sisters’ regular rotation of comfort food like turkey meatloaf, herb-baked chicken and macaroni and cheese will still be able to pick their favorites, but Larde was quick to point out that several of its Restaurant Week Deals are good enough to earn a coveted spot in its regular recipe rotation.
Restaurant week runs from March 25 to April 10. Two Sisters is open Tuesday through Friday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Delivery is available through GrubHub and UberEats.