Cafe Marie-Jeanne, run by husband-wife partners Michael Simmons (chef) and Val Szafranski (front of house), is, Simmons says, "the very definition of a mom-and-pop; except neither one of us is a mom or pop."
But "mom-and-pop," or some young and modern iteration thereof, fits the restaurant reasonably well. It's an intensely personal operation, one whose easygoing attitude and excellent kitchen work make the 16-month-old Humboldt Park spot a neighborhood treasure.
Simmons and Szafranski are putting in extra-long hours to make it all happen. The restaurant opens at 7 a.m. weekdays (Simmons and Szafranski "sleep in" and open at 8 a.m. Saturdays and Sundays), locks its doors at 10 or 11 p.m. and serves most of the menu all day long. Breakfast omelet at 9 p.m.? No problem. Duck in the morning? It might take a few minutes, but you'll get it.