Elbowing through sluggish shoppers on Michigan Avenue.
Enduring endless lines to purchase one stocking stuffer. Withstanding Christmas music reverberating through the stores. And when one needs sustenance, options can seem limited to a crammed food court.
Allow us to suggest a place of refuge: the cafe at the Ikram boutique, a calm oasis away from madness. One floor above the racks of chic dresses and exquisite accessories is the light, bright, elegantly designed cafe, open 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. every day but Sunday.
In the cafe, a respite from the holiday hustle, light streams through windows that create a bright feel but also a barrier to the bustle below. Seek out chef Christopher Sullivan’s signature salads; we liked the salmon, a regular on the menu. For something heartier, try the bison burger; for a light break between stores, lentil soup recently was an antidote to the outside chill.
Some might fear the feel is too fancy for a frazzled shopper. But this reporter accidentally dropped her salmon on the white tablecloth to no discernible disgust, offering assurance that regulars and first-timers will feel at home.
And, after all, perhaps you’ll even spy a gift. If a Fendi dress or Givenchy bag isn’t in your shopping budget, peruse the second floor’s gift-ready trinkets — a $20 black-and-white “naughty is the new nice” coffee cup might be the perfect present for someone (even yourself.)
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LINDA C. BLACK HOROSCOPES for 11/21/17