Yes I know , it’s almost September. Those days of cold winds and blustery snow are not that far off. But its not that way yet, and we have found a place that encourages people to escape and just take it easy. It’s called “Castaways.” It is visible from Lake Shore Drive. Just look for the restaurant that looks like a big boat. Everytime I see it, it conjures up those “Love Boat ” visions in my head. Since the restaurant is brought to you from the same folks as “Tuscany” and “Riva” , I expected pretencious gourmet food. It was a pleasant surprise when the food was both simple and fun. Everything you would expect when you are at the beach.
Climbing the steps , we came to the deck at “Castaways” Casual seating adds to the atmosphere. All tables allow patrons views of the awesome skyline and the gorgeous sights on North Avenue Beach. Whether there is volleyball or people just hangin out, there is always something going on. Cocktails are part of the “take it easy” philosophy . They have got some delicious drinks on the menu too. Jen got to try a Malibu milk shake and i chose a delicious, refreshing fruit punch. She said that the shake tasted like Cinnamon Toast Crunch. Munching on some ‘guac” and chips, the music took us back to the nineties as we listened to “Hootie” and “U2” I felt like I should be heading home on a Thursday night to watch “Friends.” You definitely get a chillin vibe here.
Manager Neil loves his job. “I work here all summer and then my time is my own.” Last summer , there was even a drink named after me. ” he laughed. “We are just about relaxing and having a good time” he smiled. I thought that it was interesting that the front part of the boat was added after the establishment was bought in 1999. I also was curious about a restaurant that was obviously seasonal. “It’s all about timing.” added Neil. The restaurant will obviously close when the weather is either tornado or storm like. The season starts on Memorial Day and is due to close in about a week on Labor Day. Castaways proved to be the spot to be during last weekend’s Air and Water Show. The spot also hosts private events from Mon to Fri. I got to attend one of such events when Ladies Night Chicago had their beach party fashion show. On Sat and Sunday, the place jumps with a dj on Saturday and live bands on Sunday.
Finally we got our entrees. Feeling like I was back in LA, I ordered a light California wrap. Jen had a taste for a burger so she got that. Each entree was accompanied with spicy fries that was out of this world. Chomping on the burger, Jen agreed that it was juicy and delicious. The wrap had avocado , lettuce, and chicken with a special dressing. It was light and refreshing . We ended the meal with a little bit of sweetness, a sundae with a chocolate cookie. Everyone deserves a little sweetness.
Castaways will be closing soon, but you can still enjoy a little bit of paradise until Labor Day. They are open at 11 am and close at 11 pm unless noted otherwise. They promise only fun foods and the most delicious of cocktails. Stop in soon. You deserve a break.