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Will downtown Downers EVER get a really good restaurant?

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Bill Pardue Feb 21, 2007 04:07 PM

This is just a frustrated screed from a DG resident who wishes downtown could get and keep a really good restaurant. It looked like Trucchi could be adequate to the task, but that's gone away. Founders Hill has never been quite what I'd hoped it would be (IMHO). Irish isn't really my thing. Word was that the space that's now the wine shop was going to be a bistro, but that never happened. I don't mind going driving around the 'burbs for a place (just ate at Isabella's the other night...great!)...but...

Don't we deserve a destination place? DG-ers chime in. I'll sit back and read replies.

--Bill Pardue

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    frustrated RE: Bill Pardue Feb 22, 2007 05:54 AM

    I couldn't agree more. My wife and I are always driving to oak brook, lombard, westmont, heck...anywhere to go out to eat. We are within walking distance to downtown DG and always laugh at the fact that there are no good restaurants down there. Get rid of Bally Doyles or that Founders Hill. You don't need both. Get rid of Herbert's Mens Store...ridiculous. There would be more activity and a sense of community with a decent place to eat.

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      redchile RE: Bill Pardue Feb 22, 2007 07:08 AM

      I ate at Comida Bebida twice last year. It was okay, not great.

      Are both Trucchi and Comida Bebida gone now?

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        RMA RE: Bill Pardue Feb 22, 2007 08:43 AM

        Is Trucchi closed? We ate there not too long ago and I thought that it was really good.

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          Bill Pardue RE: Bill Pardue Feb 22, 2007 11:13 AM

          Trucchi and Comida both closed. They were about 3/4 of the way to settling some health code issues with DuPage and then decided that it wasn't worth it to proceed any further (anyone got more of a scoop?).

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          1. re: Bill Pardue
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            Chef.David RE: Bill Pardue Apr 18, 2007 04:39 PM

            They were both recently purchased by the same group that owns The Clubhouse in Oakbrook. With new owners comes a new health inspection. The health inspectors wanted Trucchi to move the hood (that big thing over the oven that sucks up the fumes) out 4" which means a new hood - a $20,000 investment. Trucchi tried to compromise with them, got the Mayor of Downers involved to see if he could help but they still wanted it moved. They finally decided to just close down. The Mexican side wasn't doing very well anyway

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              RSMBob RE: Chef.David Apr 19, 2007 08:44 AM

              Interesting info...I knew that the Clubhouse Group bought out the locations but didn't know about the hood. Amazing it could operate before but not afterwards. That location went through about 10 name changes the last few years (3 or so at a time) and it's a shame it didn't stick. Combine the former iterations of Bamboleo, Trucchi and Pizza Capri and you've got some decent chowhound-worthy delights in a small area. I'm 2000 miles away in SoCal but I've got to believe with the new downtown housing coming in that the space will eventually be filled. And as Darwin would have it, it will be survial of the fittest...if it's good, it will not only survive but hopefully thrive.

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            redheadteacher RE: Bill Pardue Feb 22, 2007 05:41 PM

            Just had to share this - we've been to most of the Downers restaurants as we come for Cruise Nights in the summer. We tried Comida Bebida for Mexican. My husband likes spicy salsa and, after tasting what they brought to us, he asked our waiter if they had any hotter salsa. The waiter took it away and returned several minutes later setting a bowl of salsa in front of us. My husband dipped his chip, took a bite, a started cracking up. The waiter had put the salsa in the microwave thereby providing us with HOT salsa.

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              markh RE: Bill Pardue Feb 22, 2007 08:06 PM

              I guess my reaction is...with so many good restaurants within a 10-minute drive of downtown Downers Grove, does it really matter?

              Hidden gem alert: Joyful's Cafe in the strip mall at Maple and Walnut. Less than five minutes from downtown, check it out...

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                Chicago Mike RE: Bill Pardue Feb 23, 2007 01:51 AM

                Downers has that incredible ice cream shop downtown that's almost worth a stop on it's own right....

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                  CJT RE: Bill Pardue Feb 23, 2007 11:43 AM

                  What about Parker's Grill on Highland Ave just south of I-88? That's pretty close as well and I've heard good things about their Sunday brunch.

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: CJT
                    nsxtasy RE: CJT Feb 23, 2007 12:59 PM

                    I assumed the question was about places in the downtown business district only.

                    I have eaten at Parker's Ocean Grill several times (including lunch and dinner) and it has been excellent every time, particularly if you enjoy fresh, delicious seafood.

                    Parker's Ocean Grill
                    1000 31st Street
                    Downers Grove, IL 60515
                    (630) 960-5701
                    www.selectrestaurants.com/parkersocea...

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                    CJT RE: Bill Pardue Feb 23, 2007 11:46 AM

                    I forgot to mention that Lao Sze Chuan on Ogden just west of Main St is a very good place to have Chinese food like what you would get in Chinatown but right in Downers Grove. Not in the downtown center but a short drive from it

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                      RSMBob RE: Bill Pardue Feb 23, 2007 09:48 PM

                      I like to eat in Downtown Downers Grove...it doesn't take a big buck...and the restaurants really...are nice.

                      Excuse the paraphrasing of Emo Phillips comedic gem, but I found it appropriate here, even if I do live almost 2000 miles away. DG is still "home" in many ways.

                      You know what...there's a lot of good food in downtown DG, but now with the closing of the ever-changing Bamboleo/Comita Babeeta/Vivaldi/Isabella/Trucchi/Pizza Capri/more-but-I-forogt their names, it does leave a hole in upper-end dining. Yes, there's Emmet's (formerly Founders Hill) and of course, Ballydoyle, the Irish place that replaced a childhood memory (Grove Premium) is not really upscale, but other than that, it's a lot more casual. quick food...Dali's, Al's, Toot's, Falbo's, Angelo's, Aurelio's and a dozen more...probably the "nicest" of them is Giordano's. I can't comment on Emmet's having only been there once, but I do know the place has potential...it's a really attractive place and if the food and service measure up, it can fill the bill. However, one down side is that it is a huge building and may be tough to keep full and keep quality up.

                      With Station Crossing now built out and the new construction at Main and Burlington (the old Fannie May/Johnson Printing building location), I would suspect that the recently closed spaces will re-open under new ownership.

                      DG is NOT Naperville...and there is good and bad about that...and certainly not downtown Chicago, but there is very good food in and around downtown DG even if the upscale dining choices are limited.

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                        Bill Pardue RE: Bill Pardue Feb 25, 2007 12:02 PM

                        Thanks for all the replies! And we do love Every Day's a Sundae, which is kind of a destination. Again, we have no problem with any of the other non-downtown places. It's just that it would be great to have something right down there that's a bit more of a destination. Hey, Westmont's got Vincitori AND Amber! Anyway, here's hoping that something promising appears in one of the new storefronts. As for Trucchi/Comida, I thought I heard they were leaving DuPage entirely.

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                          libgirl2 RE: Bill Pardue Mar 25, 2007 11:31 AM

                          I enjoyed Founder's Hill a few years back, but was disappointed the last two times I went.

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                            wineaux RE: libgirl2 Mar 25, 2007 10:11 PM

                            I believe Founders Hill closed down a few years ago and is now occupied by Emmet's??? It appears that Downers Grove is going through the same type of renovations that others local communities have been going through. Glen Ellyn used to only have a few so-so restaurants open in the downtown area at night and over the last 5-10 years has sprouted into quite a nite spot with impressive restaurants. I'd much rather enjoy a nice dinner in a quaint downtown area than in a restaurant set up in a shopping mall parking lot!!! Be patient.... it looks like Downers Grove is headed in the right direction! And let's hope it's not trying to be another Naperville. The attractiveness of Naperville went by the wayside when they began trying to make it a Chicago Jr.

                            1. re: wineaux
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                              RMA RE: wineaux Apr 18, 2007 03:48 PM

                              Just stumbled on to this thread and saw your post from a few weeks ago. As a lifelong Naperville resident, I can tell you that, while Naperville isn't nearly as quaint as it was 20 yrs. ago (when the only restaurant was Washington Square), it is pretty nice to be able to have Hugo's, Catch 35, Tango, Heaven On Seven, Francesca's and a host of other choices within a 5-10 minute drive from my house. That said, while it's not exactly Chicago Jr., the crowds and parking mayhem can be a bit much -- and some of the newer additions to the scene (e.g., Timpano and Jilly's) leave a lot to be desired.

                              I hope Downers Grove improves their downtown. As I mentioned above, I liked Trucci Bistro and would've gone out of my way to eat there. And at this point, the Western 'burbs definitely need more places like Trucci and the ones in downtown Glen Ellyn, as opposed to the downtown Naperville-type restaurants and the ones they're putting in out by Yorktown.

                              Ron A.

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                            mcroft RE: Bill Pardue Apr 18, 2007 10:35 AM

                            The best restaurant BY FAR in downtown Downers is Let's Go Bistro right by Every Day's a Sundae. Small place, but unbelievable food.

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                            1. re: mcroft
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                              Bill Pardue RE: mcroft Apr 29, 2007 01:09 PM

                              By the way, I heard some barbershop scuttlebutt a couple of weeks ago that the purge is not over. The DuPage folks have required all food establishments to make some pretty major and expensive changes (specifically, I heard about a requirement for stainless steel walls in storage areas, but I'm reporting third-hand, so take it for what it's worth). Anyway, I've heard that it's pretty much behind the closing of Chuck's, and that Dali's and Main Street Pizza are soon to go. Don't know if it has anything to do with the closing of Flavor & More, the sandwich/catering place next to the library.

                              1. re: Bill Pardue
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                                hooboy4 RE: Bill Pardue Apr 30, 2007 10:45 AM

                                That is what is behind the decision to close Chuck's....

                                At lunch yesterday at Ballydoyle.....it was awful.....how can an Irish joint put out bad corned beef is beyond me...but they did.

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                                  swsidejim RE: hooboy4 Apr 30, 2007 11:42 AM

                                  I agree 100%, the corned beef @ Ballydoyle is terrible. The bar area looks pretty cool though, I may have to stop by and bend an elbow some night after work, I got thirsty the last time I went for lunch, and couldnt indulge, darn work..

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                              FatKat RE: Bill Pardue May 13, 2007 11:16 AM

                              I'm a Downers Grove native turned Napervillian. Downers Grove will always hold a special place in my heart, and for sure downtown Downers Grove DOES deserve a high-end, quality restaurant, but I'm afraid investors will get a load of this thread, and take their money and run.

                              I was sorry to read that Chuck's Meat Market is gone now. If you need some quality meat, try City Meat Market in Naperville.

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                              1. re: FatKat
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                                bpardue RE: FatKat May 14, 2007 03:22 PM

                                Some recent news came through one of the papers--Sun or Reporter--that DG's supposed to get an Egg Harbor in one of the new buildings and some sort of fresh market (don't know exactly what that means). Not exactly the fine dining I hoped for...although I've always liked EH, but at least it's some sign of food life. Telling that it's not in one of the older buildings, I guess.

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