If ever there was a great match between food and music, between art and the entrepreneur, it’s the marriage of Wishbone restaurant and FitzGerald’s nightclub on Roosevelt Road ¡ª right at the Oak Park and Berwyn line.

Arguably running the best music club in all of Chicago, the FitzGeralds found the perfect partner when the Nicksons, another Oak Park family, decided to open a local version of Wishbone ¡ª the third version ¡ª adjacent to the club.

The music-food connection means that you can grab a table in the club, order your dinner from Wishbone and have it served right to you inside FitzGerald’s. Or you can enjoy the singular pleasures of Wishbone’s storefront restaurant, with its hard-working staff and menu choices billed as “Southern reconstruction cooking.” Plus, Wishbone is cooking during a lot of hours when FitzGerald’s patrons are still sleeping or working. Lunch is served Wednesday to Friday. Brunch arrives on the weekends.

“This is the food I grew up with in North Carolina,” says Joel Nickson, the chef in the family. But his wife, Julie, helps maintain the Southern vibe of the menu with her Alabama upbringing. She says she’s from “lower Alabama.” He shorthands it to “LA.”

Their humor particularly shows in one of their brunch dishes ¨C Crunchy French Toast. What makes it crunch? The corn flakes, of course. At home, the Nicksons make the same dish for their kids but change out corn flakes for Frosted Flakes.

Wishbone may be the only restaurant where you’ll find a smoker and a juicer. So if you want beet juice ¡ª freshly squeezed

¡ª with your pork chop, this is the spot to get to. If you want a veggie or fruit juice cocktail, this is the spot to get it.

Mainly, Wishbone serves up food that tastes good. Your food doesn’t arrive at the table looking like sculpture. You won’t need to figure out the obscure ingredient that gives your entr¨¦e that odd taste. It’s just good Southern food at a reasonable price. Expect grits as a standard side.

Filling out the family portrait, the folk art paintings ¡ª and the menu doodles ¡ª are the work of Lia Nickson, the matriarch. Guy, brother to Joel, runs the pitch-perfect Wishbone Web site.

Sushi House

This is our preschooler’s favorite restaurant. To all the transplanted sushi addicts spoiled from the vast array of quality sushi spots available in the city: You will not be disappointed.
Kat, Oak Park

George’s Family Restaurant

Good soups, good prices. Try the Tuna Volcanos. As if I need to convince you to try a tuna melt that has the word “volcano” in the name.
Beth, Chicago

Papaspiros Greek Taverna

You don’t have to drive down to Greektown to enjoy Greek food. ¡­ The food here is as good as any you’ll find in Greektown and the service is second to none. If you park in the garage on North Boulevard, you will have a short walk, mostly protected from the weather, to the back door. Try it, you’ll like it.
Allen, Oak Park


¡­ really enjoyed this very cozy place. The food and wine ¡­ very good. The atmosphere and decor ¡­ very chic. Loved the old movies playing at the bar (we saw Casablanca) instead of sports games! Got to meet both of the owners, who were very interested in our opinions and suggestions. Will recommend this place to family and friends!
Lori, Elmwood Park

Lido’s Caffe

I’ve only had their cookies so far and I have to say that they have done a great job hitting my sweet spot. They’re a great addition to downtown Oak Park, especially since we don’t have any old-fashioned bakeries on Lake Street.
Becca, Oak Park


• 6611 Roosevelt Road, Berwyn

• 708-749-1295

• www.wishbonechicago.com

• 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. Wednesday, Thursday (Breakfast and lunch until 4 p.m., dinner 4 to 9 p.m.); 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. Friday (Breakfast and lunch until 4 p.m., dinner 4 to 9 p.m.); 8 a.m. to 10 p.m. Saturday (Brunch until 3 p.m., dinner until 10 p.m.); 8 a.m. to 9 p.m. Sunday (Brunch until 3 p.m., dinner until 9 p.m.)

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Dan Haley

Dan was one of the three founders of Wednesday Journal in 1980. He’s still here as its four flags – Wednesday Journal, Austin Weekly News, Forest Park Review and Riverside-Brookfield Landmark – make...