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DISH: SAVOR Maxwell's at the Club
by Andrew Davis, Windy City Times

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At first, I didn't know what to make of profiling/reviewing a restaurant inside a health club.

Thoughts of smoothies and items made with wheatgrass formed in my head. However, it's a different story when the facility is the tony East Bank Club and Maxwell's at the Club ( 500 N. Kingsbury St.; ) is the restaurant .

Maxwell's does keep the health-conscious diner in mind, as its more healthful items have nutritional information included, such as calories as well as grams of protein, fat and carbs. However, you better believe that info isn't listed for a chocolate soufflé cake.

Overall, the experience at Maxwell's warrants a return. The turkey meatball minis were quite good ( if a little kicky ) and, thankfully, the grilled calamari was not rubbery. On the more healthful side, my friend and I tried the Brussels sprouts salad; I liked it more than my dining companion—but he's not big on sprouts, in the first place.

However, he was over the moon about the turkey-breast medallions, savory items that come with blackberry sauce and sweet potatoes. I was pretty satisfied with the Chicken in the Pot—a pretty sizeable tureen filled with vegetables and a poached chicken breast. I defy ( almost ) anyone to consume that in one sitting.

I almost felt guilty indulging at a health club—but the desserts are worth the guilt. The bananas Foster came with vanilla ice cream in one dish and the piping-hot bananas/dark-rum sauce/brown sugar in another. ( The server joked—I hope—that the chefs didn't trust him the mini-blowtorch. ) The result was absolutely sinful. We also tried the coconut snowball—vanilla ice cream rolled in toasted coconut with homemade hot fudge. We both really liked it as well, although not quite as much as the bananas Foster.

However, there's another good reason to check out Maxwell's—the Midnight Sun band. The band ( which includes a sublime vocalist ) specializes in jazz and R&B numbers, playing everything from contemporary hits like K'Jon's "On the Ocean" to classic songs by Luther Vandross and Hall & Oates. I can go for that.

My final analysis? The food and entertainment at Maxwell's are certainly good enough to entertain Mayor Rahm Emanuel, TMZ's Harvey Levin ( among those who allegedly have patronized East Bank ), you and me.

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