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Oct 8, 2009 08:08 PM

Anything interesting in Oak Brook/Lombard area?

I'm staying at the Embassy Suites in Lombard for 3 1/2 days, and wondered if there was anything within walking distance fit for Chowhounds? Any price, any ethnicity welcome. (I already checked out the older threads, so do have some ideas. Anything upscale around?) TIA!

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  1. There are dozens of restaurants near your hotel: Weber Grill, PF Chang's, Claim Jumper, Buca di Beppo, and many others in the Yorktown Mall which is very close to the Embassy Suites. Just ask your concierge for a list. The Embassy Suites Discovery Bay restaurant used to have an excellent Caribbean paella on the menu but they dropped it a while back. You can walk to Yorktown Mall from there and to Weber Grill. OakBrook restaurants you will need a cab to get to. Also consider Costa's greek restaurant in Lombard, though you'll need a ride to get there.

    3 Replies
    1. re: CJT

      CJT - I'm not a fan of PFC, CJ, nor BdB (we have them here in SF, too) but since I'm a pyromaniac, I'll go to Weber. The food at the one in downtown Chicago wasn't great, but the show was mesmerizing. I'll try Costa, too. Thx for the tips!

      1. re: Claudette

        On the north side of Yorktown Mall is a relatively new Westin hotel which has 2 restaurants in it: Harry Caray's Italian Steakhouse and Holy Mackerel, a seafood place. I've not eaten there, but you might do a search for these places.

        About 2 miles west of the Embassy Suites is an excellent Italian place named Carlucci. Can definitely recommend it - nice atmosphere, good service and food. Ask for the manager Zak Dich and tell him his regualr customers sent you there. The place is in Downers Grove on Butterfield Road just west of the I-355 tollway entrance.

        I called your hotel to ask if they had restored the Paella Caribe to their menu again and they tell me their menus have shrunk even more. My guess is they can't compete with all the places which surround them.

        For a different atmosphere if you want a good lunch or light dinner, there is a Sweet Tomatoes restaurant on the west side of Highland Avenue opposite the entrance to Claim Jumper and behind a small bank: excellent salads and soups in a buffet AYCE atmosphere. We are extremely fond of their many soups: personal record is 5 bowls of their Yankee Clam Chowder.

        1. re: CJT

          CJT - you are so kind to call about the paella (one of my faves); too bad it's not available because not many restos do paella well. I'll definitely put Carlucci on my list and ask for Zak - thanks! If you ever get to Tucson or Los Gatos (CA) let me know and I'll return the favor by getting you the Elvis treatment at my regular white tablecloth hangouts. We S.T. Yankee Chowderheads have to hang together!

    2. Not a huge distance away, but you'll need a cab to get to Vie, one of the best restaurants in the Chicago area at Western Springs:

      4 Replies
      1. re: jbw

        jbw - this was exactly the kind of resto I was looking for! Thanks so much - I'll definitely go and bring my group.

        1. re: Claudette

          Im going to second the Vie recomendation. It is, far and away, the best of the list you have been given. But call well in advance especially with a group.

        2. re: jbw

          I guess it depends on your definition of "huge distance". Getting from the Embassy Suites to Vie would take about 20 minutes assuming no traffic and no road construction. But there will be traffic, and there is a LOT of road construction in that area. You're probably looking at a 30+ minute cab ride, which at suburban rates would be roughly $60-$70 round-trip. The OP would be better off renting a car from Enterprise for the day...but even then, there's the 30+ minute drive in an area that's unfamiliar to the OP, congested, and littered with road construction detours.

          Much closer to the Embassy suites are interesting places like Katy's Dumplings on Cass/Midwest in Westmont, Greek Islands behind Yorktown Mall in Lombard, and Labriola Bakery Cafe on Butterfield/22nd in Oak Brook.

          1. re: Mizer

            We are fans of Katy's Dumplings and grateful they now have a place in Naperville, but I would not send Claudette and friends to Katy's in Westmont, as it is a "hole in the wall" (not a comment on the food but on the restaurant there). Greek Islands and Costa's are both good ideas for the group.

        3. Between both of those places is Reza's...

          Reza's Restaurant
          40 N Tower Rd Ste 1, Oak Brook, IL 60523

          1. I'm staying at the Westin Lombard Yorktown Ctr for the next four days, and am looking for good food. Any ethnicity, and "hole-in-the-wall" is fine with me, since I'm dining alone. Katy's Dumplings sounds interesting - can someone give me an address?

            Any recommendations to keep me out of Harry Caray's, Boca di Beppo, PF Changs, etc. would be appreciated. Reza looks good, and the Greek Islands place sounds interesting.

            2 Replies
            1. re: Eatin in Woostah

              Katy's Dumplings is at 355 N Cass Ave in Westmont. Here's a Yelp link that includes a map (they don't seem to have their own website).
              And the link to Greek Islands in Lombard,, which I definitely recommend for good, non"corporate" food in the Oak Brook/Lombard area.
              Also for a nice Italian meal at a more upscale place, I favor Tuscany, in Oak Brook:

              1. re: masha

                The Katy's location is Westmont is a true "hole in the wall" with no atmosphere (it's a very small place) and a smaller menu than what is offered in their newer more "restauranty" place in Naperville (but the Naperville place is a bit farther form where you will be. In Naperville, we favor the dumplings in spicy sauce and the griddle cooked spareribs. We also like the Korean fried noodles (available with pork, beef, chicken, etc.). Not sure if all 3 of these are available in Westmont.
                Another restaurant in the area you are near is on the south side of I-88 on the corner of Highland Ave and 31st Street: Parker's Restaurant (used to be Parker's Ocean Grill but now changed names). They always had good seafood and we were very fond of their "bouillabaisse" .

                By the way, Katy's Naperville place is on Ogden Avenue just west of Naperville North High School (which is at Mill Street) in a mall on the south side of Ogden (entrances on Benedetti and on Cress Creek drives).

            2. So did you go to any restaurants in the nearby area and, if so, what did you like or not like? I am assuming your visit has ended by now.

              9 Replies
              1. re: CJT

                I got back late last night, and am sad to say that I wasn't able to go anywhere. The first night we had a business dinner that I couldn't choose (Weber Grill - not good at all) and the second night we worked late and they ordered in pizza. Not even good Chicago deep-dish. Last night I had to run to the airport right after meetings and ate at Macaroni Grill. Sad, sad trip for food. Wish I could have had some dumplings.

                1. re: Eatin in Woostah

                  Whatr about you Claudette? Did you get to try anything while you were in Lombard?

                  1. re: CJT

                    How sweet of you to ask: I don't fly out until Tuesday morning. I always try to gather info early enough to alert my group so they could make individual and group plans.

                    Vie is my first choice (the menu is right up my alley) but time/distance probably won't work for us. Also, they're a meat-and-potatoes crowd (during our last visit to Chicago, I had to go alone to Alinea, Tru, and Topolobampo, but I enjoyed every morsel). I'll report when I get back next Saturday, if we do anything worth reporting - no use boring you with pedestrian meals.

                    I want to compliment the Chicago board in general for extremely informative, helpful recommendations and civilized comments (it can get pretty ugly and passionate where I come from). Thanks to all.

                    1. re: CJT

                      Well, I just got back from a lovely dinner at Vie. The cab ride was $50 round trip (incl. a big tip) but it was worth it: only $100 for 5-course tasting menu with wine pairing, amuse bouche, intermezzo of peach & wine sorbet, and $7 donation to Meals on Wheels.

                      Service was well-timed, the restaurant setting was very pretty, and my waiter, who looked like a gentler, kinder Todd English, introduced me to Paul Virant, who will be the Nov. 1 Iron Chef challenger on Food Network. I'll try to recreate some of his dishes so my friends can come over to eat and watch with me. Here's a brief rundown:

                      Amuse of cheddar beignets was delicious, and the salty homemade cheddar was nicely balanced by the honey crisp apple sauce and NV Gran Sarao Cava. I'm not a cava fan, but this one wasn't bad.

                      First course of Asian pear, mustard green, pickled fennel, and marcona almonds was overwhelmed by the strong honey almond vinaigrette, but it was refreshing. It overwhelmed the 07 Champalou Vouvray, which isn't hard to do under most circumstances.

                      Second course had a well-browned but moist halibut served with farro in a delicous, light, savory/sweet sauce (which wasn't described, and which I couldn't figure out). Its accompanying snails were tender, but two of them were gritty (very odd - I've never had grit in snails before). It was paired with a terrific 08 Chateau de Parnechere Bordeau Blanc Sec - crisp, firm, fruity without a hint of oak, and easily the best wine of the evening.

                      The fourth dish was my favorite: a homemade artisan goat cheese from a woman in Wisconsin (Prairie Fruits Farm "little bloom on the prarie") that was in texture and flavor a cross between salty goat cheese and brie/camembert - remarkable! It was paired with a serviceable Barros Ruby Port. If I wasn't so full, and if it didn't cost $20, I would have sprung for a glass of 99 Kracher Trockenbeeren Auslese Grande Cuvee.

                      The dessert course consisted of a lsightly dry, unremarkable squash and cinnamon cake, lovely tahitian ice cream, and cookies paired with a fresh-tasting 08 Fox Valley Vignoles.

                      More reporting tomorrow. You Chicago C'hounds are great, and your taxi drivers are very sweet.

                      1. re: CJT

                        Before I forget:

                        Discovery Bay still does not have paella, and the manager (who's been here only two years) did not seem receptive to adding it back.

                        A fellow conference-attendee recommended Bistro Banlieue as her favorite, but I researched it and learned it's out of business.

                        Some of colleagues ate at Mon Ami Gabi with mixed reviews: good onion soup and duck, gristly steak.

                        1. re: Claudette

                          Thanks for taking the time to say where you went and glad you enjoyed Vie so much (as you learned, it is not quite in the neighborhood of your hotel). As for other comments: Bistro Banlieue closed several years ago and it was quite a good restaurant. Its owner re-opened in the same spot after that with a new name - Sequel - and a modified menu. Still very good. But when the new Westin Hotel and all the chain restaurants were built in the Yorktowne Mall parking lot, business apparently tanked for Sequel and it finally went out of business.
                          I called Embassy Suites/Discover Bay restaurant shortily after your original post and they told me they have cut back their dinner menu a lot. Paella Caribe will never come back -- they also used to serve with the Paella a conch chowder (can you believe!). Then they stopped including soup or salad with entrees, then conch chowder disappeared. Discovery Bay never promoted itself as a restaurant in the local papers and that didn't help their business.

                          1. re: CJT

                            CJT - thanks for the interesting info and helpful tips. It's too bad about BB and Sequel - that neighborhood could use more good restos. I could see that the clientele at the Embassy Suites probably wouldn't appreciate paella and conch chowder - the menu's very safe and generic now.

                            I decided to skip Carlucci's because there are so many good Italian restos where I live (Northern, Southern, Sicilian) and went to check out the Westin. Here's my report:

                            I have one word of advice for going to Holy Mackerel!: dontdoit! I dined alone, so my review is based on only one statistically-insignificant dish, but what a disappointment. Perhaps it’s my fault for coming from San Francisco and expecting to find a decent cioppino in Chicago, but the daily-changing menu of never-frozen fish sounded so good.

                            The sauce was very thick and dark, like a marinara, and so full of peppers and mushrooms that I could not find one piece of fish (perhaps it was the 5 or 6 little white flakes I saw occasionally among the veggies). Everything around the rim of the bowl was lukewarm (sauce, mussels, clams, and scallops) while the center was steaming hot (sauce, shrimp, and veggies). The crab leg on top was okay, and the toasts were buttery and perfectly done.

                            they had a decent wine list, and my glass of Cosentino Cigar Zin was nice, but my cioppino made it taste metallic. The service was friendly, the bread was terrific, and the décor very tasteful and light-hearted. $45, not including tax & tip.

                            1. re: Claudette

                              Oh do I agree about Holy Mackarel. Worst meal ever. I too ordered the cioppino & found it inedible and my husbands meal was awful too. The waiter was friendly but reeked of cigarettes. The room looked nice when we arrived but we soon discovered that it is the only way for people to get to the other bar/restaurant in the Westin & we had a constant parade of drunk people passing our table including a woman who set her drink on our table so that she could dig something out of her purse.

                              1. re: LJJB29

                                In my October 11 post, I mentioned Parker's in Downers Grove, not far from the Embassy Suites. It used to be oriented to seafood (it was known as Parker's Ocean Grill). I often ordered their bouillabaisse and it was much better than what you both reported on at Holy Mackerel. Parker's has recently changed its name and I have not been there yet to know if they still serve the bouillabaisse - hope they still do, but it might have been scrapped. Anyone been there lately?