‘Check, Please’ highlights growth of fine dining in La Grange
Updated: December 3, 2012 1:34AM
LA GRANGE — In a culture that has been driven for decades by the power of televised images, it’s not surprising that a local TV show taping drew hundreds of people to downtown La Grange last week.
Never one to miss out on a story, photo op, or fine dining experience, I was SO there at Prasino on Friday for the filming of background scenes for WTTW’s “Check, Please.” Prasino will be featured in an upcoming episode of the popular Channel 11 show in which Chicagoans talk about their favorite restaurants and review the fare on air.
By the time my husband and I arrived for our 7:30 p.m. seating, the restaurant was jammed. It seems I was not the only one geeked out at the thought of BEING ON TV.
“We had our maximum crowd between 7 and 8 p.m. For the whole evening, we had 287 people in the restaurant,” reports one of Prasino’s managers, Felisha Arrendondo.
The crew filmed scenes inside and outside of the restaurant from about 4 to 9 p.m., according to Arrendondo.
I think my husband and I lucked out in our table location. A couple of times, I saw the bright white camera light go on and the lens sweep the restaurant, seemingly in our direction.
Using my extensive television background — okay, I was an audience member for the Oprah Winfrey show a couple of times and went to Bozo’s Circus as a kid — I tried to look interesting so we might end up in the segment.
“Why do you keep pointing to the menu?” my husband asked me, as I eyed the bright light across from us.
“Shhhhh! I am trying to get us in a shot for the show!” I said, through a clenched smile.
However, it didn’t help my future in TV when I dropped my napkin a few minutes later. As I was reaching down to pick it up, I bobbled my seat and caught myself with my other arm. As I looked back up, I noticed the camera pointed at a table nearby. I can only hope that bit winds up on the proverbial cutting room floor, lest I end up on YouTube as “Weird clumsy lady drops napkin.”
At any rate, the show featuring Prasino is slated to air later this fall on “Check, Please,” and likely will include great visuals of the restaurant’s signature dishes such as lobster-stuffed avocado, plate, beet salad,and short ribs.
This show, along with La Grange restaurants featured on another food-centric show, “Chicago’s Best,” underscores our town’s growing reputation as a fine dining destination
Steve Jasinski, a local Realtor who serves on the La Grange Business Association board, agrees.
“Between the Prasino filming, and other restaurants like Palmer Place and Q being on various TV shows and Blueberry Hill and Sushi House voted Best of the West by West Suburban Living magazine, we have a fantastic choice of great restaurants in our town,” he says. “It goes to show that all the hard work the village did a few years ago to transform our downtown has really paid off.”
You know, since many of these shows are based on diner suggestions, there’s no reason that TV crews can’t comeback to La Grange to film at other establishments. Suggest your favorites, readers, and let me know when the tapings are. I’ll have to brush up on my menu pointing skills.