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Mar 18, 2007 02:16 PM

La Petite Amelia In Evanston?

Some friends of mine will be going to France in May and I'd like to meet them for dinner at a place that will be at least a partial preview of their upcoming trip. Never been to the restaurant in Evanston and also thinking of La Sardine as an alternative. I'd like to get some ideas from people who may have been to both as to which would be better.

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  1. the place in evanston is a is ok...maybe on a good want close the the real deal go to La Sardine original spot in Bucktown...Le Bouchon at the corner of Armitage and is good honest bistro food...fair price good food pretty authentic...a bit noisy you might want to make a reservation first...

    1. If you want to stay in Evanston I can recommend Jilly's Cafe. They serve French food with a slight American influence mostly because of what is freshly available. Jilly's is reasonably priced, with a good variety of dishes that are expertly prepared and presented, and a very attentive waitstaff.

      I have eaten there many times and have never been disappointed! The place is small so if you are going on a Saturday night make reservations 3-4 days ahead.

      1 Reply
      1. re: EvanstonFoodGuy

        I can't agree about Jilly's Cafe. I had an awful meal there. The risotto was made with tomato sauce, and the bouillibaisse contained mainly farmed salmon, which is unforgivable.

        My husband recently had dinner at Petit Amelia and thought it was mediocre. We were also diappointed by the West Town branch of La Sardine, though it was far, far better than Jilly's.

        Kiki's Bistro wasn't fantastic, but it was better than any of the above. Brasserie Jo is another option. I really like the menu and I've had several good meals there, but the kitchen was a little off on my last visit.

      2. Wow I am truly surprised at your dinning experience at Jilly's. I have never been disappointed and have dined there at least a half dozen times. Petit Amelia is good but nothing special.

        1. I've enjoyed Jilly's the couple of times I've been there. The only reason I don't go more often is because there are so many other excellent choices for fine dining in Evanston (Oceanique, Chef's Station, Jacky's Bistro, the Stained Glass, Pete Miller's, Va Pensiero, Campagnola, etc). However, none of these is *really* French, which is what the OP is seeking.

          I haven't been to La Petite Amelia yet, so I can't comment on its "Frenchness". I can recommend Bistro 110 downtown, and there are many other French bistros in the city that are reasonable representations of what you'll find over there, including the ones already recommended by others above.

          5 Replies
          1. re: nsxtasy

            Ah yes Oceanique, Chef's Station and the Stained Glass probably three of the top restaurants in Evanston. Just last month had a wonderful dinner at Stained Glass, try the Port wine sampler (3 half glasses).

            1. re: EvanstonFoodGuy

              The Stained Glass and Chef's Station are both wonderful. I had one of my best meals ever with the Chef's Menu at Chef's Station (a 6-course meal of chef's choices with wine pairings each course).

              1. re: AndCalliope

                If Beth would like French food done by a pro, but not necessarily "Bistro" and be on the Northside, try Michael on Green Bay Road in Winnetka. Impressive but you can expect a $27 main course.

                1. re: EvanstonFoodGuy

                  I ate at Michael some months ago and it was outstanding in every way.

                  Read my report, and more opinions, at

                  1. re: nsxtasy

                    Yes, Michael is fantastic. Expensive, but well worth it.

          2. I think Jilly's is horrible. Two bad meals sealed its fate for us. La Petite Amelia is ok, but nothing more. La Sardine is wonderful, but not very French-like in atmosphere. If you want great food and a "French bistro" atmosphere, I would highly recommend Le Bouchon at Armitage and Damen. It is loud on weekends and the tables are close together, but it takes us back to Paris every time we're there.

            1 Reply
            1. re: mousse

              I agree with the LeBouchon recommendation. Another good choice, and never disappointing, is Mon Ami Gabi, with locations in Lincoln Park and Oakbrook Center shopping mall. The atmosphere is 'cest magnifique. As for Bistro's ok if you want a theme version of a french bistro, and reliable middle of the road food.