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Nov 25, 2009 08:34 PM

New to the South side suburbs---What's the BEST of the BEST?

I am a North Sider, recently relocated to the southwest suburbs, Burr Ridge/Willowbrook area. I have never ventured south in all my years raised here. I AM CLUELESS to what is out here. I couldn't even tell you where I live without my GPS! :-)
So I am in need of my fellow chowhounders to help me out finding the following:

-A good, reasonably priced sushi place
-Indian food that is superb
- Good tacqueria or Mexican restaurant
-Italian and/or PIzza joint (preferably thin-crust, not typical Chicago style)
-Chinese that will not make me heave please
-A REALLY GOOD MARKET for fresh ingredients like olives, produce that is reasonably priced, cheeses, etc.
-Hamburger joint or a good hot dog would be nice too.
-(Ooh, and a good falafal wouldn't be bad either!)


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    1. When you have a special occasion (or just the urge for a very nice dinner), two of the best restaurants in the suburbs are right nearby: Courtright's in Willow Springs ( ), and Vie in Western Springs ( ).

      Oh, and I'm pretty sure the folks in your area don't refer to it as "the South Side"... :)

      1. Interesting how "nort-siders" and "sout-siders" sometimes feel like they live in different cities. And I don't even know where the dividing line is.

        Given that I am one of those nort-siders who knows little about your neighborhood, I can't offer much help other than to wish you every good luck in adapting to your new hood and in finding the best Chow around. From Mizer's post, it sounds like most of it is found in strip malls. Do share what you find with us.

        3 Replies
        1. re: chicgail

          You might want to read the last sentence nsxtasy wrote as well. Willowbrook is a west suburb, 25 miles from the "sout side". Burr Ridge is large geographically, spanning two counties, and I suppose it could be called either a west suburb or southwest suburb. Note that they're suburbs, not 'hoods.

          Anyway. Completely agree about Vie, though would add that it is among the best restaurants in the entire Chicago area, not just the suburbs. Courtrights...when on it's fabulous, but in the past couple years it's been more off than on (at least for me). Great wine list, though, with lots of gems at very fair prices.

          A great thin-crust pizza sounds good right now. I think I'll head over to Lemont Lanes. ;)

          1. re: Mizer

            I believe it was about a year ago that Courtright's hired their current Executive Chef, Jerome Bacle. Given his background as sous chef at Le Bec Fin in Philadelphia, that showed that the owners were aiming high to maintain their fine reputation. Chef Jerome has totally revamped the menu at Courtright's. If you haven't been there since his arrival, you might want to give it another try.

            As for Vie and its standing in the Chicago area, I think there are numerous restaurants in the suburbs that are every bit as good as comparable ones in the city. Vie is one of the best; my personal favorites in that "casual fine dining" category are Tallgrass, in southwest suburban Lockport, and Michael, in north suburban Winnetka. Lockport is a bit further to the southwest than Burr Ridge/Willowbrook, but it's not that far, and besides, Tallgrass is worth the trip from anywhere in the Chicago area.

            1. re: Mizer

              Thanks, Mizer. I did notice nsxtasy's last sentence and given that I grew up in the near western suburbs (Oak Park/River Forest, Elmwood Park), I do know the difference. But there does seem to be a dividing line where those north of it don't venture much south and those south of it don't go go north.

          2. We had an excellent dinner tonight at Cooper's Hawk Winery and Restaurant in Wheeling. They also have a location in Burr Ridge. I would assume the setup and food etc would be the same.

            They have a wine tasting room at the entrance, where they sell their wines and you can taste samples. They are reasonably priced; our favorites were the Malbec (red), Blanc de Blanc (sparkling), and Ice Wine (dessert).

            After trying and buying some wines, we decided to stay for dinner. Everything we had was excellent. If you like calamari and you like spicy food, DON'T MISS the Sweet Chili Calamari appetizer - amazingly tender and tasty, just a wonderful dish. Our other dishes (Mexican Drunken Shrimp app, Red Wine and Mustard Short Ribs main, and Pistachio Crusted Grouper main) were also excellent, as was the complimentary warm pretzel bread (yummy!). Portion sizes of both food and wine (we had a glass of the Malbec) were extremely generous, and we were stuffed; next time we'll split an appetizer.

            Here's the info on the Burr Ridge location:

            Cooper's Hawk Winery and Restaurant
            510 Village Center Drive
            Burr Ridge IL 60527

            1. Thanks for the recommendations, everyone. Can anyone make a recommendation on any of the other every day type joints I am looking for as well?