A few weeks after their 20th wedding anniversary, Laura and Kevin Wootton were still enjoying their honeymoon in Hawaii when they received a phone call.
“I was surprised to hear that the call was from a chef who worked at our local steakhouse, and he wanted to talk to us,” says Laura.
“He said, ‘I love your steakhouse.
I know how good it is.
I just want to tell you how much I enjoyed your steak, and I’d love to see it on your menu.'”
Laura was so excited about the opportunity to be a part of a culinary journey, that she immediately got to work.
Her first step was to take a look at the menu.
It turned out that the menu was the perfect way to introduce the Woottons to a new way of cooking.
“We really wanted to make the restaurant something unique and fun, and the best way to do that was to create a menu that was our own,” Laura says.
The Wootons were so excited to get their first taste of a new menu, they immediately got on the phone to the restaurant’s owner, Paul and Marie Wootts, to start the journey.
The restaurant’s name, Woott’s Steakhouse, was inspired by a steakhouse in the Chicago suburb of Glenview, where Laura grew up.
The menu at Woot’s was inspired in part by Woot Tietze’s recipes from the 1860s.
“Our restaurant is really a reflection of the family that I grew up with,” says Marie Wotts.
The food is inspired by everything from local seafood to the classics of Chicago cuisine.
“It’s a bit like a museum of Chicago,” Laura Wootting says.
“Every menu item is like a photo album, and it’s really cool to go through and see the food in all its glory.”
The Wotsons are open Monday through Friday, 11am-8pm, and Saturday and Sunday, 11 am-6pm.
The new menu also includes a wine list, two salads, and two appetizers.
“The whole concept is a little bit unique, but we are so excited,” says Kevin Wotting.
“This is what we always wanted to do.”
Their menu will be available at the restaurant for four weeks.
“Paul and Marie are amazing, and we’ve got to give them credit for coming up with a really creative menu, which is what makes it so special,” Laura said.
The two have already started to experiment with new recipes.
“They’re really pushing us to do things that are a little different,” says Woot.
“That’s what makes a good restaurant so special.”
The restaurant also has a new beer menu that features a collaboration between WootT’s and Chicago’s own Pizzeria Vittoria.
The beer is a collaboration with Chicagoan John Pritzker.
“There’s so much great beer around Chicago,” says Lauren Wootty.
“So, we were kind of looking for a new flavor.
We wanted to take something a little more Chicago-influenced, but not over the top.”
The beer list includes three beers from Chicago brewpub, O’Fallon Brewing Company.
The brewery is also a member of the Chicago Beer Alliance, which supports craft breweries.
“All our beer is made in Chicago,” said Marie Wop.
“And this beer is actually a collaboration of two Chicago breweries, Ovenhead and Ovenhouse.”
The two also teamed up to launch a series of cocktails that includes a cocktail inspired by their first menu.
“For the first time in our lives, we’re going to have a cocktail for every occasion,” Laura explains.
The cocktail includes two tequila shots, a Manhattan and a gin-infused margarita.
“If you drink the tequila shot, it’s a cocktail like no other,” Laura adds.
“You drink it with your margaritas, and you drink it after the cocktails.”