WTTW's 'Check, Please!' to feature restaurants from Geneva, Algonquin
WTTW's restaurant review series, "Check, Please!" will provide exposure this season for two contemporary American dining establishments in the suburbs.
Geneva's Niche Restaurant at 14 S. Third St. will be featured in an episode airing at 8 p.m. Friday. In Algonquin, owners of Montarra Grill at 1491 S. Randall Road are gearing up for their appearance early next year.
The TV show, hosted by Alpana Singh, features a rotating panel of three guests who nominate and review establishments throughout the Chicago area.
Montarra owner George Kanellos said he's pleased to see some attention being given to the Northwest suburbs. Being so close to a major dining and entertainment hub like Chicago, he said, establishments in the area don't always get the acknowledgment they deserve.
"This is validation of what we do specifically at Montarra, but also what other restaurants do that don't happen to be within the confines of the city," Kanellos said. "I think this is long overdue that some great restaurants get recognized outside the city as well."
Niche opened about a decade ago in a repurposed historic post office in downtown Geneva, according to its website. Montarra has been in operation for more than 15 years, the last 12 of which were under Kanellos' ownership.
Though unsure who recommended Montarra or how it will be rated, Kanellos said its appearance demonstrates the loyalty of his customer base.
"It validates who we are and what we do," Kanellos said. "We have the support of the community, and they know they've got a little secret out in Algonquin."
Operators of the fine dining restaurant were informed of their upcoming appearance on "Check, Please!" after one guest nominated them and two others dined there anonymously, Kanellos said. The production crew visited Montarra on a weeknight in September to interview the manager, film shots of the restaurant and take photos of the food.
Though an air date has not been announced, WTTW representatives said the Montarra segment will be shown sometime in the second half of the season, which begins in January.