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Nice dinner not far from Algonquin

a
aviva1 Oct 31, 2008 01:50 PM

Birthday dinner coming up and trying to think of a new place. Am in Algonquin and don't want to go to the city or drive more than about half hour. Right now considering Montarra, around the corner, and good food. Thinking steak and/or French.

Thoughts?

  1. nsxtasy Oct 31, 2008 02:19 PM

    Right about at that half hour limit, I can heartily recommend:

    Le Titi de Paris (Arlington Heights) - www.letitideparis.com

    20-25 minutes away, I also recommend:

    Le Vichyssois (Lakemoor) - www.levichyssois.com

    Closer to Algonquin, I've heard good things about, but haven't yet tried:

    Barrington Country Bistro (Barrington) - www.barringtoncountrybistro.com
    1776 (Crystal Lake) - www.1776restaurant.com

    You can find additional recommendations in these topics:

    http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/505494
    http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/458166

    3 Replies
    1. re: nsxtasy
      l
      LikestoEatout Nov 1, 2008 05:40 AM

      We have enjoyed our 2 visits to 1776 but living 50 miles away, we aren't in that area very often. We enjoy things like their wild mushroom soup, wonderful vegetarian options, their use of local grown seasonal produce and great meat and fish options. Go to the website listed above for the menu. They also have wine tasting dinners and tapas nights. I grew up in Algonquin and every now and then like returning to Port Edward along the Fox River. I know some complain it's out of date but I like the quirky little niche seating, the views of the River and things like Shrimp de Jonge, Conch Chowder and pretzel encrusted Walleye. I haven't had it in years but Lobster Edwardo, which is deep fried is pretty good too.

      http://www.portedward.com/

      1. re: LikestoEatout
        nsxtasy Nov 1, 2008 10:03 AM

        I've been to Port Edward twice in the past two years; its omission from my recommendations was deliberate. I don't mind the old-fashioned atmosphere (and the "boat table" is still amusing, although it's too cramped to reserve it for a special occasion). However, I found it generally disappointing compared with the preparations offered by the better seafood restaurants around today (Mitchell's Fish Market in Glenview, Reel Club in Oak Brook, or even the somewhat more pedestrian Shaw's Crab House in Schaumburg). In particular, if you go, I suggest avoiding their big dinner buffet.

      2. re: nsxtasy
        t
        terve41 Nov 1, 2008 01:21 PM

        Chessie's Restaurant (847-382-5020) has just reopened in the Ice House in downtown Barrington. I like that setting better than the Barrington Country Bistro...the old Ice House is a more attractive setting, and the new management seems to be trying, with an interesting menu.

      3. g
        giveittomikey Nov 1, 2008 01:26 PM

        I am in Algonquin as well. I think it is difficult to go wrong with Montarra. We have never been disappointed there.

        3 Replies
        1. re: giveittomikey
          a
          aviva1 Nov 1, 2008 02:50 PM

          I've been to all of the above mentioned places, all are good, tho I'd hesitate about Port Edward. I rechecked Montarra's menu and prices and they seem to have gone up, but not out of the question. The one time I was at Barr Country Bistro it was not long after it opened, and I think I was sick, so had an ok meal but don't remember it too well. Le Titi and Vichy we have been to numerous times and enjoyed all. 1776 as well, and just found out my daughter's boyfriends step-dad used to be chef there. Anyway, keep the suggestions coming-- still trying to think of somewhere I haven't been...

          1. re: aviva1
            nsxtasy Nov 1, 2008 03:22 PM

            If you're willing stretch your travel time to roughly 45 minutes or so, here are two more suggestions:

            Michael (Winnetka) - www.restaurantmichael.com
            Vie (Western Springs) - www.vierestaurant.com

            Both are more contemporary American than strictly French. I've been to Michael several times in the past couple of years, and it has consistently served the best food I've eaten during that period, bar none. I've had dinner at Vie once, and it is excellent, almost as good as Michael.

            1. re: nsxtasy
              a
              aviva1 Nov 2, 2008 11:05 AM

              Thanks for the help. I really want to go to Michael, it's very high on my list of new places to try (for me). I guess distance at least for today, is playing a big role. Gave the family a choice of Montarra and Le Titi to review the menus, and Montarra it is.

              Nxstasy thanks for the always spot on advice. (along with everyone else)

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