north pond cafe
I like the North Pond Cafe for its respect for the midwest as a source of beauty in both food and design. The setting is really lovely, reflecting Prarie School architecture in its colors and geometric accents. And it has that 'integrated with nature' feeling in its hidden away in the trees location. The ingredients are fresh and for the most part local. I haven't been there in a while, but my sense of the menu is wild mushrooms, venison, brook trout, and other such man-in-nature type choices. I had a fantastic pumpkin gnocchi with oxtail appetizer there. I'm not big on desserts, but I think that's a specialty for them. Fresh pies and the like.
On the negative side, it's pretty expensive, and I wasn't happy with the service on one visit. The waiter was reluctant to answer questions and showed no enthusiasm for the food. That's probably more characteristic of the waiter than the place in general. If you'd like to experience the not-trying-to-be-Paris elegance of the midwest and you're willing to shell out the bucks, it's a good choice for a celebration.