Non-Chain Restaurants - Champaign-Urbana
This is Chuck in IL from the original long post! I was surprised to see my old post come up. There's not usually much on this board for C-U and I don't tend to check often. I will have to work on updating my list. In the meantime, I had to post about my new favorite - Escobar. (http://www.escobarsrestaurant.com/Wel...)
My husband and I tried it the first time after reading posts on the internet. With some negative and some positive comments, it was a test-dine for us for sure. But we just loved it. Have been back multiple times since and took my office there one day with the boss (based in another state) was in town. The menu is so creative. Bananas flambe sounds like a same ole, same ole type dessert but it is terrific at Escobar - the caramel sauce is made from scratch and comes out of the kitchen warm. w/ the bananas and ice cream, it is a dessert you want to just pick up the plate and lick every last drop of sauce off.
I must say that our recent experiences with Silvercreek have also been good. I am on their e-mail list so had heard they have a new chef and change their menu seasonally now. It has been very good both times that we have gone recently. We are glad because we love the interior of the restaurant but have stopped going numerous times over the years because of various things we didn't like about the restaurant. Service has never been the greatest at Silvercreek - not sure what is going on there. Examples: we were just there this past Friday. Did not have a reso, happened to be going by and they weren't busy. For the restaurant not being that busy, our server didn't keep drink glasses filled, no offer to re-fill the balsamic vinegar plate for our bread, and it's a good thing we liked our entrees because he never did come back to see if we were happy with everything.
Our favorite restaurants in town right now are Escobar, it's sister restaurant Milo's, and Timpone's. (And Silvercreek is hanging around on the edge as a possible 4th favorite ; )
-- Chuck in IL