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Markets: Winston's Market

By Lisa Shames in Food on Jul 25, 2007 5:00PM

rsz_IMG_1540.jpgWinston’s Market on Southport suffers from multiple personalities. But unlike Sybil, it’s a good thing. Opened last May, this former shoe boutique now houses a deli, a self-service restaurant, a beer and wine store, and a gourmet prepared-foods shop. Sound like they have too much on their plate? Not when we stopped by and noticed that the friendly staff had plenty of time to answer our questions, take our order (they didn’t even flinch when we asked for our bread to be toasted on the already prepared sandwich), quickly wiped down tables and chairs (why do other places always forget this?), prepared orders to go, and hand-delivered them to customers checking to make sure they had pronounced their names correctly, and waved at babies. Whew!

Then there was that sandwich: in-house roasted turkey and fig with caramelized onions, blue cheese, fig compote and watercress on crusty-chewy sourdough (even crustier with the above-mentioned toasting), which may sound like it, too, has a lot going on but turns out to be a perfect pairing of ingredients in just the right proportions (turns out executive chef Janet Kirker has worked at Charlie Trotter’s, Charlie Trotter’s To Go, as the well as the Four Seasons and Tabla in NYC). And with a choice of house potato salad or apple-tarragon slaw, the $6.95 price tag works for us, too. There are 12 other sandwiches to choose from — the house-cured corned beef Reuben with sauerkraut, Swiss and Thousand Island dressing is next on our list — salads and a build-your-own greens option as well. The big, airy room with brick walls, high ceilings, large front windows and comfy banquette seating — there’s an outdoor patio as well — make Winston’s a great place to settle in with a book.

Or forgo all that — yea, more room for us! — and opt for something to go from their prepared food items. The deli case features prepared fresh salads, such as cracked wheat with grilled vegetables, beet salad with goat cheese and house-made hummus, in addition to Boar’s Head meats and cheeses. The frozen soups — how do they get the cream of asparagus so green? — will be on our winter shopping list. We plan on serving their four cheese and roasted garlic pastry puffs at our next dinner party, but that’s our little secret.

Winston’s Market is located at 3440 N. Southport Ave., 773-327-6400. Hours: Monday-Thursday 11 a.m.-9:30 p.m.; Friday 11 a.m.-10 p.m.; and Sunday 9 a.m.-8:30 p.m.