With so many restaurants in Naperville, choosing where to eat out can be exhausting.
Do I have a taste for Italian or Indian? Chinese or Chuck E. Cheese? Once that decision is made, that's just the start. Navigating menus without the aid of a GPS leaves me like a deer in the headlights. By the time wait staff come to my aid like the AAA offering tableside assistance, I'm almost ready to call AA!
The 200 guests at Naperville Heritage Society's 3rd Annual Dinner on the Town Saturday had no such problem. Their restaurant fete was left to Development Director John Buckley, who spun the big wheel to determine where they would eat. The evening kicked off with a reception in the grounds of the Naper Settlement, followed by dinner in a restaurant before guests returned for an auction and dessert. The event is expected to raise between $55,000 and $60,000.
"We wanted to hold an event to get folks together in an intimate setting," Buckley said. "I think everyone is having a great time."
Executive Director Peggy Frank said the main concept was to provide something different.
"Our board didn't want to do a cookie cutter event," she said. "We wanted something more fun as well as being a showcase for the Naper Settlement."
When Beverly Stengle gets ready for a night on the town, she starts by putting her best foot forward.
"I always start with the shoes," she said. "Tonight I'm wearing Naughty Monkies."
Her husband Michael, President of Sequoia General Contracting Corp. in Aurora tells me she owns 100 pairs.
The couple were excited to be trying Kuma's Asian Bistro on Washington Street.
"We tend to go to the same places so it's nice to try somewhere new," Beverly said.
You can't go to a Naperville event without tripping over a Wehrli. As one of the city's pioneer families their name is everywhere. Plus there are just so many of them. Naperville Trolley owner Don was one of 13, and he and his wife have seven children. There are Wehrlis in every line of business from appliance repair to city councilman.
But Saturday was a night off for Trolley chick Annette Wehrli. After spending weeks helping organize transportation for the event, she was out enjoying herself with two of her sisters, Mary Lou and Francie.
NCTV17's Nancy Wiersum has some insider knowledge when it comes to local restaurants. The Naperville TV station has partnered with the Naperville Development Partnership to produce a series of videos about them.
"Tonight's event is really fun," she said. "I love the suspense of not knowing anything in advance about the restaurant we will be going to."
Her husband Ken added: "There are enough opening here it's hard to keep up with them."
Every week columnist Hilary Decent will be heading out on the town for the inside scoop at Naperville's top events. Want to be considered for this column? Be sure to post your event on our site or submit it with our calendar editor.