Well, dinner service still is dark at Ina's, 1235 W. Randolph (it's business as usual at breakfast and lunch) but customers clamoring for Pinkney's gluten-free chicken have won out.
On June 18, Pinkney will open the restaurant at 5 p.m. for a three-course, gluten-free prix fixe meal. Diners will get to choose between that famous gluten-free fried chicken, pan-seared salmon and vegetable risotto.
"We get at least half a dozen calls a week just about our chicken night," she says. "We need the business, and we also want to acknowledge that this is a part of the community.
"There is no crunch in the gluten-free world. They can't have fried food. It's a taste they miss, it's a texture they miss."
Pinkney doesn't have the gluten-free fried chicken on her lunch menu because she only has one dedicated fryer for potato pancakes and french fries. However, she now stocks
a "magnificent" gluten-free pita bread from Rose's Wheat Free Bakery in Evanston for sandwiches.
"Sandwich bread is really the missing link in all of the gluten-free foods," Pinkney says. "But Rose has been genius in figuring out gluten-free baked goods."
The dinner at Ina's is $30; reservations are required. Call (312) 226-8227.
And check out next Wednesday's Food pages for more on the world of celiac disease and gluten-free cooking.