Help! Dinner spot needed tween Lake Forest and Evanston
I would like to meet a friend for dinner Sunday night somewhere close to Highland Park, basically halfway between Evanston and Lake Forest. Nothing really fancy or expensive, but nothing cheap and convenience-oriented either. Any cuisine ok. The Sunday night thing could be a problem. Any suggestions?
A couple of my faviorites in Highland Park are are Hot Tamales - good inexpensive nuevo Mexican and Ravina Bistro - reasonable healthy French fare.
Another couple of nice spots in Northbrook are Francesco's Hole in the Wall - great old fashioned Italian (bring cash as they don't take credit cards) and Prarie Grass - Regional specialties.
Hmmm - Let's start up north:
Highwood has lots of restaurants - you might try Miramar Bistro (check out website: miramarbistro.com) - it can be pricey - but OK if you stick with salads, sandwiches or pastas. Fun Cuban Bar (read Hemingway) type atmosphere. Bar area can get pretty lively.
Good reasonable Italian food abounds at La Bella in Winnetka (505 Chestnut, 847-441-6002) Pleasant atmosphere for conservation.
In Wilmette you could go a little fancier (but still within reason) at Betise (1515 Sheridan Rd/Plaza del Lago. 847-853-1711. Food is quite good and again a comfortable yet classy to catch up with a good friend. Not pretentious.
For good "Chinese/Asian" try Chinoiserie (509 Fourth Street - just north of the Linden Street "L" stop - 847/251-0306 - not sure if it is closed on Sundays or Mondays...) The atmosphere is kind of like (I imagine) French Colonial VietNam - really quite nice. This is a BYOB spot - which helps keep your bill down. ALSO CASH or checks only - no credit cards we found out the hard way one night... Also, entree's come with a nice salad, rice and (oddly) garlic mashed potatos...
And one could do worse than a breakfasty dinner at The Original Pancake House (on GreenBay Road) (there is also another location in Highland Park where they serve good sandwiches too. No booze - so be prepared to get really hopped on coffee if you make it a leisurely meal...
And finally Evanston - well, Evanston has SO many good restaurants now - since one of you apparently lives in or near there - you probably know best.
Went to Lake Forest College, met fiance (now husband) who lived in Evanston. This is a subject I'm very familiar with. Francesco's Hole in the Wall was absolutely the first place that leapt to mind. Great food at a great price, but with the inconvenience of only taking cash. Also consider Francesca's North in Highland Park. Great food, but can be pricey, depending what you order. In Lake Forest proper, I've got to stick to my Lake Forest College roots and recommend The Lantern, the best burger on the north shore, if not the entire state. In Evanston proper, Olive Mountain is the best value for the money. It's middle eastern food at its best. Order the combo meal. There's also a location of Hackney's on Harms off of Lake street in Glenview(?). A close second for best burger to The Lantern, but absolutely the best onion rings (actually a "loaf") and awesome reuben. Please let us northsiders know where you end up going! Us chowhounds are also total food voyeurs!
Siam Pasta (Evanston location)has reliably good and inexpensive Thai Food with a few unusual treats (try splitting the Lime Chicken or Lime Shrimp appetizers ($5.95 and $7.95) a generous a distinctive variation on (poor man's) tempura - with interesting kale "confetti". If you open those coupon mailer envelopes (or just pick up the carry-out mail) there are $5.00 off coupons for dine in. Eat on the charming upper outdoor deck if the weather allows. About half a block west of the Dempster Street "L" station. BEFORE you go: check out the menu offerings on the inspired website www.siampasta.com - with photos of every menu item to click on an get real hungry. They also have another location on Western a few block south of Howard.