Chef from Courtrights moves to Mecenat in Western Springs
Chef Jonathan Harootunian makes a melon and prosciutto at Mecenat Bistro & Gathering Place in Western Springs. | Rob Hart~Sun-Times Media
ON THE CLOCK
Mecenat Bistro & Gathering Place
821 W. Burlington Ave., Western Springs
4-10 p.m. Tuesday-Thursday
4 -11 p.m. Friday, Saturday
11 a.m. to 2 p.m. first and third Sunday of the month
Bring your own wine, $20 cork fee
Updated: August 6, 2012 6:09AM
It’s not everyday that you find a restaurant co-owned by a father and daughter,
“I am definitely a daddy’s girl, me and my dad have always been close,” said Kelly Hogan. “Every now and then we will bump heads, but it has been a pleasant experience working with my dad.”
Jack Hogan wanted to open a restaurant and Kelly had a lot of experience in the restaurant business, so they decided to go in on it together.
The Hogan’s opened Mecenat in March 2011, but hired chef Jonathan Harootunian, formerly from Courtrights, Meritage Cafe & Wine Bar, and Vivere.
“We were very excited to see Jonathan’s application, with Jonathan came a new menu,” Kelly Hogan said. “New menu, same style, just with a twist. Jonathan has added some wonderful changes, his food has really taken the restaurant to the next step.”
Harootunian’s father was a professor of ancient Japanese history, so he spent his childhood travelling the globe and gained great experience to the world’s cultures and cuisines.
“I’d describe my culinary style as contempory American, with a hint of French and Japanese,” Harootunian said.
Kelly Hogan and Harootunian agree the pan roasted lake superior whitefish is a favorite among diners, along with the wagyu burger and argula & strawberry salad.
“Jonathan doesn’t repeat recipes from previous restaurants he has worked at, but he figures out what clients are comfortable with. After he figures that out he can jump off the deep end and add his own spin on things. In this economy you have to be accomodating,” Hogan said.
She describes the atmosphere of Mecenat as, “relaxed, classy, and comfortable, but on the upscale side of things.”
“Some families come in, but mostly it is a date night type of place. We don’t have a kids menu, only on Sundays for brunch. I’d say the average age of people who come in are anywhere from mid 30s to 60 or 70,” she said.
“We have met lots of nice people, we have great customers, I am really happy with it,” Jack Hogan said.
“It has definitely been a learning experience. Western Springs is a small town, everyone knows each other,” Kelly Hogan said. “It has been good to get to know everyone. I think people like that we are a father-daughter team.”