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cool new places in the 'burbs

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hey you foodies -

i am desperately trying to find some worthwhile new places in the northern 'burbs. i am kind of sick of italian and all the chains permeating these parts.. but for instance i found the most amazing little mexican place in glenview - el sueno - but that was by chance, and all my internet scouting is showing the same ol' overpriced places..

any advice??

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  1. There are lots of excellent places in the northern suburbs, many of which are not chains. Some are newer, some have been around for a while.

    For "casual fine dining" in a contemporary vein, excellent places include Chef's Station, Jacky's Bistro, Va Pensiero, and Jilly's Cafe in Evanston, Michael in Winnetka, Le Titi de Paris in Arlington Heights, Bistro 22 in Lake Zurich, and Gabriel's in Highwood.

    For steakhouses, you've got Stoney River in Deerfield and in Deer Park (I *loved* the mostly-seafood dishes I had there a couple of weeks ago), Pete Miller's in Evanston and Wheeling, and Tramonto's in Wheeling.

    For Mexican, Flamingo's Seafood in Mount Prospect is IMHO the very best Mexican restaurant in the entire Chicago area, and you've also got Fuego in Arlington Heights, San Gabriel's in Bannockburn, and Lupita's in Evanston.

    For French bistro food, you have Cafe Central in Highland Park, and Miramar in Highwood.

    For seafood, there's Oceanique in Evanston, Mitchell's Fish Market in Glenview, and Don's, Bonefish, and McCormick in Skokie.

    For American comfort food, there's Prairie Grass Cafe in Northbrook.

    There are lots of Thai places, the best of which IMO is Thai Sookdee in Evanston; also quite good are AltThai in Arlington Heights, Thai Pavilion 2 in Skokie, and Ruby of Siam in Evanston and Skokie.

    For breakfast and brunch, Walker Brothers is as great as ever.

    I'm sure there are many more I'm missing; these are just off the top of my head.

    With the exception of many of the steakhouses and the seafood restaurants, almost none of these are chains.

    3 Replies
    1. re: nsxtasy

      I wish I could have come up with half the answer tha nsxtasy did....

      My favorites would be Praire Grass Cafe and Tramonto's (steak and Italian) in Wheeling.

      1. re: nsxtasy

        This isn't a post for the suburbs, but if you love Thai food, "Once Upon A Thai" is amazingly good... It's in the Roscoe/Wrigleyville area, in case you're ever close.

        1. re: nsxtasy

          wow! thank you - that is very thorough info. i have heard of some of these, just by searching around, but you definitely know your stuff :)

        2. El sueno. The place on Milwaukee by Golf Mill, right? Did you happen to notice all of those Asian resto's around there? Not far at ALL, on Ballard and Potter, there is an Indian restaurant that recently got a little praise over on lth for being a very good value.
          Tandoori Restaurant
          9344 West Ballard,
          847-824-6550
          Other names you should look into that haven't been mentioned:
          Le Titi De Paris
          Fuego
          La Casa De Isaac
          Bob Chinns (I'm not a fan, but it gets love)
          Francesco's Hole in the Wall.