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Dinner in Evanston

Joan Wallace Jun 12, 2006 09:38 AM

Looking for suggestions in Evanston for a casual dinner on a Thursday night. Any cuisine...moderate prices...great food. What do you recommend?

  1. nsxtasy Feb 19, 2011 11:56 AM

    It's worth noting that, until today, all the posts in this topic were 4-5 years old. For more recent discussions of dining in Evanston, see:

    Evanston Update? - http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/702391

    Great Restaurants in Evanston, IL or Close By - http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/759538

    Good, Reasonably priced restaurants in Evanston - http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/586184

    50th Birthday dinner in Evanston...Any restaurant ideas? - http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/657784

    <$50pp dinner/lunch suggestions - Staying in Evanston - http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/697659

    1. s
      scottsol Jul 11, 2007 03:47 PM

      A small virtually unknown treasure is Vive La Crepe on Sherman.

      1. d
        dmarks Jul 5, 2007 10:59 AM

        If you like Indian food, this is some of the best I've had. Mt. Everest on Church St. Be prepared to have a longer meal. Usually it takes a while for the orders to come out, but last time I went I got my food quickly. Very fresh and well worth the wait. As for Evanston, I live about 15 minutes away and quite often I go to the movie theater there. We never know where to eat because I am mostly disappointed in the Evanston restaurants.

        6 Replies
        1. re: dmarks
          SuShiang Feb 20, 2011 11:04 PM

          "Be prepared to have a longer meal" is an understatement. At our dinner at Everest last night, they lost our reservation and then apparently lost our order and our waiter. Soups appeared fairly soon after our order was taken but the rest of the meal didn't show up for over an hour, and then only after getting another waiter to go find our waiter and/or food.

          Good food, sure, but bring a book to read. Maybe two. Big thick ones.

          1. re: SuShiang
            nsxtasy Feb 21, 2011 04:25 AM

            >> At our dinner at Everest last night

            Just to clarify... Are you referring to Everest, the expensive French-Alsatian restaurant at the top of the Midwest Stock Exchange Building in the Loop (downtown Chicago)? Or are you referring to Mt. Everest, the moderately-priced Indian-Nepali restaurant in downtown Evanston which is the subject of the post to which you are replying?

            1. re: nsxtasy
              SuShiang Feb 21, 2011 05:54 AM

              As you note, I'm replying to a post about Mt. Everest in Evanston, and the reply is also about this particular Mt. Everest. It is not about Everest in the Midwest Stock Exchange Building, it is not about Mt. Everest Restaurant in Toronto, and it is not about the overpriced and poorly-stocked snack bar at the summit of Mt. Everest in Nepal.

              1. re: SuShiang
                nsxtasy Feb 21, 2011 06:42 AM

                No need to go off on a rant! You referred to it as "Everest" which was confusing.

                Thanks for posting your experience with Mt. Everest in Evanston.

                1. re: nsxtasy
                  SuShiang Feb 21, 2011 07:08 AM

                  I probably shoulda stuck a couple smileys in there just to make it explicit.

                  1. re: SuShiang
                    nsxtasy Feb 21, 2011 10:30 AM


        2. n
          northofcentral Jul 2, 2007 07:01 PM

          Our Evanston favorites:

          Everest on Church Street. Nepalese / Indian. Good quality and variety, both vegetarian and non-vegetarian. Not as quiet as it used to be.

          Joy Yee on Davis St. - lots of Northwestern students, so it's crowded, noisy, high-energy clientele. Oriental. Not sure it's authentic anything, but great value for the money. The portions are aimed at hungry collegians.

          Noyes St. Cafe. Right next to the El tracks. Oddly enough, it's on Noyes St. Good salads, varied entrees. Haven't tried the sandwiches or Burgers.

          Pine Yard Inn - Davis St. across from the main post office. Really good northern Chinese. Consistent quality. Some dishes a little oily. They've been in the neighborhood forever (well, 34 years.) Not as busy as they used to be, which means you can get in without waiting.

          7 Replies
          1. re: northofcentral
            YummyOla Feb 19, 2011 11:34 AM

            I agree with the above reviewer about Pine Yard Inn. I actually consider it to be the best Chinese restaurant I've ever been to in the Chicago area, outside of China-town.

            Pine Yard Restaurant
            1033 Davis St, Evanston, IL 60201

            1. re: YummyOla
              chicgail Feb 19, 2011 02:27 PM

              In its early days PIne Yard was excellent. It's fallen down significantly on the quality of the food in the last five years or so.

              1. re: chicgail
                nsxtasy Feb 19, 2011 02:52 PM

                That's interesting, because my experience with Pine Yard is somewhat different. I used to go there a lot many years ago, but stopped going because it seemed to have gone downhill. That was perhaps ten years ago. Then a few months ago I had carry-out from there that was good enough that I recently ate dinner in the restaurant and did carry-out a second time, and I thought it was pretty good. Not as good as some of the places in Chinatown, but the standard Szechwan dishes were good enough that I would be happy to go back again. It's certainly not a "destination" restaurant, not worth traveling any great distance to go to - I don't think any Chinese restaurant outside Chinatown is, with the exception of Shanghai Terrace - but for those who live in the immediate area, it's nice to have decent enough Chinese food that traveling all the way to Chinatown isn't necessary. Another decent Chinese restaurant in the area is China Chef in Morton Grove. Again, both of these places are "neighborhood" places rather than "destination" places. If you have a yen (or a yuan) for Chinese food and you don't want to go to all the way to Chinatown, they're acceptable alternatives.

                As you can see, I have no basis for how it may have changed in the past five years, since I've only had their food in the past few months.

            2. re: northofcentral
              YummyOla Feb 19, 2011 11:35 AM

              I also agree with the reviewer about the Noyes Street Cafe. Everything I've ever ordered there has been good, and I've eaten their breakfasts, lunches and dinners. Their chefs really know what they are doing.

              Noyes Street Cafe
              828 Noyes St, Evanston, IL 60201

              1. re: YummyOla
                nsxtasy Feb 19, 2011 11:50 AM

                Last time I ate at Noyes Street Cafe, I thought the food was absolutely dreadful.

                1. re: nsxtasy
                  chicgail Feb 19, 2011 02:28 PM

                  Noyes St. Cafe has always overreached itself a bit. But I wouldn't call it dreadful. It's not great, but its still an acceptable second-tier Evanston restaurant for us. I'm interested in hearing what you had there that was so bad.

                  1. re: chicgail
                    nsxtasy Feb 19, 2011 02:53 PM

                    >> I'm interested in hearing what you had there that was so bad.

                    My main course was fish. Tasteless fish. I don't remember what the other dishes were, but they weren't much better. I mostly try to forget meals that were really, really bad. :(

            3. f
              foodbeast Jul 2, 2007 04:06 PM

              I have just been to tratoria DOC ok service good food but keep to the pizzas and the pastas the entrees seem to be an afterthought
              I just went to blind faith after staying away for years (Some bad experiences) I think they have gotten there act together

              1. stellamystar Apr 4, 2007 07:10 PM

                Blind Faith Cafe - I agree with the other poster - kind of strange, great service, but not for me.

                Lucky Platter - GREAT breakfast -get the apricot pastie as a bread option - YUM. Never been for dinner, but items look yummy

                Prarie Joe's on Central - My favorite - great vegetarain options, breakfast, lunches, Mexican specials - delicious

                Prairie Moon Pub - Good stuff.

                Celtic Knot - tasty. Love the cheese sandwich oddly enough. and the curry fries

                2 Replies
                1. re: stellamystar
                  EvanstonFoodGuy Apr 5, 2007 06:16 AM

                  I went out with a group to the Celtic Kont, one of the group had the cheese sandwitch and she also loved it.

                  I agree the Blind Faith Cafe can be kind of strange food-wise, I found it to be hit or miss with the food. It can be very good while others not so good, mostly because of the strange combinations.

                  1. re: EvanstonFoodGuy
                    spectra21 Jul 2, 2007 01:56 PM

                    Ate at Kuni's in Evanston last Wed night. Not impressed. The nigiri sushi had a too sweet quality to it (maybe too much sugar in the rice), and was laced with too much wasabi under the fish. It seemed like they were trying to cover up the mediocre quality of the fish. I also felt that the fish was a little warm for my taste and did not taste the freshest. One of the things we ordered was the omakase, which at their restaurant is basically what they call a chef's selection sushi platter for $32. They included a piece of uni (asked us first, and we agreed since we usually love uni and figured they would select their best pieces), but the uni was below average. While the total bill was one of the cheaper sushi dinners I've ever had for 2 people, I was very disappointed in the quality of the fish. The only thing I liked was the fried tofu appetizer. There must be a better sushi place in the Evanston area.

                2. e
                  EvanstonFoodGuy Mar 28, 2007 11:20 AM

                  I not sure you can find GREAT food at moderate prices in Evanston.

                  My recommended for GOOD food at a lower to moderate price range would be:

                  Gio's Italian cuisine - Good food, moderate prices, nice decor, and moderate priced wine selection. Sometimes they have good dinner specials; I had a good veal dish there just last Saturday night.

                  Daves Italian Restaurant- Loud but fun place, nothing is very authentic Italian here but good fresh food. Even though it is nothing special I really like eating there maybe because it’s so cheap and they have a decent fairly priced wine menu.

                  Dixie Kitchen - Pretty darn good Cajun/Creole.

                  The Celtic Knot Public House - Nice people, reasonable priced food, small but good wine selection. I almost always go with that nights dinner specials which show some flare and imagination and usually fresher ingredients.

                  1. l
                    lbs Mar 27, 2007 08:16 AM

                    I had dinner last night at That Little Mexican Cafe based on recs here and I have to say, it ws not good. And very expensive to boot. The best part of the meal was the gaucomole but priced at 7.95, not worth it seeing as it was only 2 avocados. I ordered the steak fajiatas and was brought out chicken. The waitress was no where to be seen and since we were on a time crunch, I had to suck it up and eat it. The chicken was overly charred but had no taste. It was odd. It looked like it should have taste but no, not the case. There was three red pepper strips and maybe a couple of slices of onion. And it was a $15 plate. The rice and the beans were inedible. No one at the table was able to stomach the bland taste of them. All in all, this was one of the most unsatisfactory meals I have ever eaten. The two others in my party agreed as well. Not worth the $67 without tip and no drinks. Blah.

                    1. nsxtasy Dec 16, 2006 02:22 PM

                      There are many, many excellent, moderately-priced restaurants in Evanston. I agree with the recommendations for:

                      Lucky Platter (eclectic) http://luckyplatterrestaurant.com
                      Lulu's Dim Sum (Asian) http://www.lulusdimsum.com

                      I would add:

                      Dixie Kitchen (Cajun
                      )Giordano's (pizza) http://www.giordanos.com
                      Koi (Chinese) http://www.koievanston.com
                      Lou Malnati's (pizza) http://www.loumalnatis.com
                      Lupita's (Mexican) http://lupitasmexicanrestaurant.com
                      Prairie Moon (American) http://www.prairiemoonrestaurant.com
                      Thai Sookdee (Thai) http://www.thaisookdee.com
                      That Little Mexican Cafe (Mexican
                      )Wolfgang Puck's Grand Cafe (American) http://www.wolfgangpuck.com/rest/cafe...

                      You will find great food at reasonable prices at any of these. There are still others; Evanston has so many places to choose from!

                      I disagree with the Chef's Station recommendation. It's a terrific place and the food is outstanding, but I wouldn't consider it meeting the "moderate prices" criterion.

                      BTW, the name of the new place on Main Street is Trattoria DOC, not Pizzaria DOC. I haven't been there yet, but the menu in the window shows wood-fired pizzas as well as upscale Italian food.

                      1. a
                        amandapey Dec 16, 2006 02:13 AM

                        I totally agree with Kuni's - great for no-frills sushi - and Chef's Station, which I would classify as "upscale American" - but very tasty. The type of place you take your parents to when they're in town.

                        The Lucky Platter is also great - the sweet potato fries are my personal favorite.

                        I never understood why so many people liked Blind Faith - it's cool that it's all vegetarian and what not, but everything I had there always tasted weird - like the seasoning was off or something.

                        Also should try Tapas Barcelona on Chicago Avenue - it's pleasant without being too stuffy or expensive, and the tapas there is great (especially the bacon-wrapped-dates. I would never in my life order "dates" off a menu but someone else did, and now I'm sold.)

                        1. r
                          roger spark Jun 13, 2006 02:53 PM

                          Kuni's on main street for fresh well made sushi and other Japanese specialties in a cozy and friendly venue.

                          Kuni's Japanese Restaurant
                          (847) 328-2004
                          511 Main St
                          Evanston, IL 60202

                          1. d
                            Darren Jun 12, 2006 06:55 PM

                            I love Campagnola. See metromix link below. It's Italian, on Chicago Ave in south Evanston. Excellent food.

                            Pizzaria DOC recently opened and I haven't tried it yet, but I've heard it is very good. It's on Main street in south evanston.

                            Lupita's, also on Main street, serves excellent (excellent!) Mexican.

                            Link: http://metromix.chicagotribune.com/di...

                            2 Replies
                            1. re: Darren
                              YummyOla Feb 19, 2011 11:31 AM

                              I think the reviewer above is referring to Trattoria DOC, not Pizzaria DOC. It's on Main St. in Evanston. The food is GREAT, the atmosphere is GREAT, the service is GREAT. And the prices aren't too bad either. If you like Italian, especially good pastas and pizza, as well as salads and desserts, try this place !!

                              Trattoria DOC
                              706 Main St, Evanston, IL 60202

                              1. re: YummyOla
                                chicgail Feb 19, 2011 02:25 PM

                                Sorry to disagree, but I found Trattoria DOC to be very disappointing. It had amazingly ordinary food, poor service and prices that would have suggested much better food and service. We never even consider going back there. I'm surprised it's still open.

                                Trattoria DOC
                                706 Main St, Evanston, IL 60202

                            2. u
                              Utah Jun 12, 2006 05:23 PM

                              Very surprised no one has mentioned Chef's Station, underneath one of the El stations. I have had great meals there. French/American

                              1 Reply
                              1. re: Utah
                                David Jun 12, 2006 05:38 PM

                                That is another good choice - particularly on a nice nitght with the outdoor seating -

                                also it is undet the metra tracks - between David and Church

                              2. j
                                josh Jun 12, 2006 03:07 PM

                                Blind Faith is a good veggie spot...

                                I enjoy the Davis Street Fish market. Not the best but pretty nice.

                                Link: http://www.chicagofoodies.com/2005/03...

                                1 Reply
                                1. re: josh
                                  YummyOla Feb 19, 2011 11:29 AM

                                  Blind Faith is a really good place for vegetarian selections. They used to have the most delicious quiche in the world, but alas, they discontinued making this. But for salads, stir fries, fresh juices, the place is very good, with a nice atmosphere too.

                                2. b
                                  Bob Jun 12, 2006 10:46 AM

                                  Lucy Platter is a good recommendation...very casual, almost diner style, but authentic food. Blue Moon on Central Street is very good.

                                  1 Reply
                                  1. re: Bob
                                    ege Jun 13, 2006 04:51 PM

                                    Do you mean the Blue Stone?

                                  2. b
                                    Bob Jun 12, 2006 10:46 AM

                                    Lucy Platter is a good recommendation...very casual, almost diner style, but authentic food. Blue Moon on Central Street is very good.

                                    2 Replies
                                    1. re: Bob
                                      peg Jun 12, 2006 11:00 PM

                                      That's "Lucky Platter," and "Blue Stone," not Blue Moon. The former is on Main St. just east of Chicago Ave.

                                      1. re: Bob
                                        YummyOla Feb 19, 2011 11:27 AM

                                        Lucky Platter really SUCKS. I truly don't understand how ANYBODY who appreciates good food would ever want to eat at this place. Atmosphere is funky and kinda dirty... decoration is UGLY... they try to be "original" by putting wierd twists on regular recipes, but they end up RUINING the food !!! And, it's not cheap either.

                                        Lucky Platter
                                        514 Main St, Evanston, IL 60202

                                      2. d
                                        David Jun 12, 2006 10:21 AM

                                        There was just a previous discussion on this and I have attached a link - my favorites for some dinners in evanston are:

                                        Lulu's, Blind Faith Cafe, Lucky Platter, Dave's Italian Kitchen and Sashimi -

                                        Link: http://www.chowhound.com/topics/show/...

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