Chicago Restaurant Week, organized 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 during the 17-day food celebration. Through April 10, the counter-service establishment known for serving up an array of healthy southern-inspired dishes is offering a special price fixe menu of New Orleans favorites for restaurant week.
A serendipitous connection during the 2021 Chi-Town Soul Trolley Restaurant Tour piqued Larde’s interest in restaurant week. Roz Stuttley, head of equity, diversity and inclusion at Choose Chicago was a tour guest when Larde got on the trolley to pass out samples of her vegetarian collard greens and house-made cornbread. The flavorful dishes caught Stuttley’s attention.
“Miss V is an amazing cook, and I was blown away by her food,” said Stuttley. “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 participating in the annual event might help her branch out while helping to clarify that Two Sisters is much more than a catering-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 had trouble helping the community understand Two Sisters is in fact a carry out restaurant serving ready to eat meals to the public.
Larde built a loyal following through the catering business she started 10 years ago and eventually found a home The Hatchery — a food startup incubator on Chicago’s West Side. During the pandemic, Larde capitalized on an opportunity to move her business to her current location and start serving her community hot meals daily.
“I want people to know that we are here,” said Larde. “When people think of me, they think of catering, but we are more than that.”
To entice restaurant week participants, Two Sisters is offering a menu of Louisiana favorites that meet the $25 price point required for participation. The meat lover’s plate is comprised of generous portions of chicken and andouille gumbo, fish court bouillon, red beans and rice and a red velvet cupcake. A vegetarian offering features a Southern Succotash Stew, briming with 12 vegetables including okra, lima beans, potatoes, corn and fire roasted tomatoes.
“I have near and dear family living in New Orleans and gumbo is one of my all-time favorite New Orleans foods,” said Larde. “I am using my sister’s recipe for chicken and sausage gumbo; we don’t use any pork fat, so it is a healthier version.”
This is Larde’s first restaurant week experience, and she is prepared to bring in extra help to meet demand if needed. Loyal fans of Two Sisters’ regular rotation of comfort food favorites like turkey meatloaf, herb baked chicken and macaroni and cheese will still be able to pick up their preferred dishes, but Larde was quick to point out several of her restaurant week offerings are good enough to earn a coveted spot in her regular recipe rotation.
Restaurant week runs from March 25 through April 10. Two Sisters is open Tuesday through Friday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Delivery is available through GrubHub and UberEats.