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Jan 22, 2011 09:12 PM

Any recommendations Oak Brook vicinity?

My adult daughter and I will be staying at the Renaissance in Oak Brook.
Any recommendations for Friday/Saturday night dining? We will have a vehicle.
We're looking for $$-$$$ range, Italian is good and deep-dish pizza is better.
If it's worth it to drive into Chicago, we'll do so.
Thanks Chowhounders!!!!

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  1. See this discussion for recommendations:

    Looking for good place in Oak Brook -

    For Italian, you'll find recommendations there for Antico Posto, Maggiano's, and Tuscany. The Renaissance is right next to Antico Posto and Maggiano's (as well as Reel Club for seafood and Mon Ami Gabi the French bistro); they're all clustered together on the east side of the mall. No need to drive! Tuscany is in the Marriott on the south side of the mall so you might want to drive (I'm guessing it would take you 15 minutes to walk there across the mall parking lot).

    For deep-dish pizza, Giordano's has the double-crust "stuffed" style pizza, and has a location in Oak Brook Terrace about a mile west of the mall on 22nd Street. You can find the single-crust style at Lou Malnati's, but it's not that close to Oak Brook. They have locations in Elmhurst, four miles north of Oak Brook, and in Western Springs, four miles southeast. Both are carry-out and delivery only, and Oak Brook isn't in the delivery zone for either one. The nearest full-service Malnati's are in Elk Grove Village and downtown Naperville; both are about 15 miles and 20-30 minutes away. If the weather's bad and you don't want to go far, there's a California Pizza Kitchen in the mall; I know, it's not deep-dish, but you could use it as a backup.

    I would not bother driving into the city for Italian or deep-dish pizza, since there are good places nearby for those foods.

    2 Replies
    1. re: nsxtasy

      A few miles of the west of the mall is Redstone. The food is okay (average), but it is a very cozy/luxurious space. Might be good for just a drink and appetizer. If you go a bit further west, there is Harry Caray's. As well as lots of other restaurants. There are far more restaurants in Lombard than Oak Brook, although many of them are chains. The Giordano's on 22nd St. may have good pizza, but the atmosphere and ambiance is meh.

      Harry Caray's Restaurant
      70 Yorktown Shopping Ctr, Lombard, IL 60148

      1. re: dulcie54

        What about Vie in Western Springs? It is contemporary american and has a great chef. It really reminds me of a excellent downtown restaurant. The problem with alot of the restaurants suggested, they are one of many- Mona Mia Gabi, Maggianos, Harry Careys etc. They are in more than one shopping malls or there is more than one restaurant (Harry Careys) and while they are good, they are not outstanding. But of course, deep dish pizza is a good idea for one night since this is Chicago.

    2. For Italian in that area, I'd suggest Carlucci's. It's just west of the corner of Finley and Butterfield in Downers Grove. With the construction on 22nd Street, you're probably better off taking I-88 to the Highland Ave exit get there...your hotel is very close to the westbound entrance of I-88. The 22nd Street construction will also come into play for Giordano's, Redstone, and Harry Caray's, as all three are on 22nd/Butterfield (going west, 22nd turns into Butterfield).

      Parkers' Restaurant is also in the area, but I haven't been there since it was rebranded from Parker's Seafood Grill. It was an excellent restaurant in its previous incarnation...

      1. Both Vie and Parker's are recommended (by me) in the discussion to which I posted a link above. I've been to Parker's since they changed the name from Parker's Ocean Grill to Parker's Restaurant and Bar, and added authentic Neapolitan pizza to the menu. Other than adding the pizza option, it's really not that different from before; they still have a seafood-oriented menu, still with some of the very best seafood in the area. Just like Reel Club has.

        That being said, having been to all these places, if I were staying at the Renaissance, I wouldn't bother driving to distant places when the ones right next to the hotel are just as good. If I were staying there, I'd still do Giordano's for stuffed pizza, and walk to Antico Posto rather than driving to Carlucci's. And I'd walk to Reel Club for seafood rather than drive to Parker's (I really love both Reel Club and Parker's; both have some of the best seafood in the area). For steaks I'd walk to Wildfire rather than driving to Harry Caray's. In terms of quality, they're all similar and all pretty good, so the convenience of a two-minute walk is worth taking advantage of. (By the same token, if my hotel were right next door to Parker's or Harry Caray's, I'd walk there instead of driving all the way to Reel Club or Wildfire.)

        The only place that's really different in this discussion is Vie; it features contemporary American cuisine in an upscale setting. There's nothing right next to the Renaissance that's at all similar. If that sounds like something you'd like to try, then you'll need to make the 10-15 minute drive.

        3 Replies
        1. re: nsxtasy

          I guess we're two different people, then. I would not send a visitor to a restaurant in a shopping mall when, as you said, there are equally-good (and in the case of Carlucci's, better) restaurants nearby. Don't get me wrong...Antico Posto, Mon Ami Gabi, and Wildfire in Oakbrook Mall are all good restaurants. But they have a corporate, almost-Disneyesque feel to them -- even Antico Posto, which is the best in this regard. Can't speak for Reel Club since I've never been there.

          I also like the idea of Labriola Cafe -- in addition to lunch or casual dinner, it would be a good place for breakfast, and to pick up some things for eating on the road.

          As for Vie, I noted the $$-$$$ requirement, which is why I didn't include it in my list. But I must add...while its price range is $$$-$$$$ (probably closer to $$$$), it's worth every penny!

          1. re: Mizer

            Yup, we're two different people, because to me those restaurants at the mall in Oak Brook have plenty of character and personality to them. The food is great and creative, and the servers are experienced and knowledgeable. You're welcome to your opinion, but I just don't see it; perhaps you pre-judge them instead of giving them a chance to form an impression based on the food and service instead of their ownership. I base my opinion on the experience of eating there and I've enjoyed all of them, which is why I've recommended them. I also don't think Carlucci's (which is also a corporate chain and equally "corporate" in feel, if you base your opinion that way) is any better than Antico Posto - and for someone staying right next door, for me it's a no-brainer, go to Antico Posto and save yourself the hassle of driving and parking. Finally, you should really give Reel Club a try - but if you do, please judge it based on its food, service, and decor, instead of pre-judging based on your opinion of the ownership of the restaurant.

            1. re: nsxtasy

              I'm not "pre-judging" Wildfire, Mon Ami Gabi, and Antico Posto at Oakbrook Mall. I've dined at all three at least five times in the past year or so, and in the case of Mon Ami Gabi, much more. The problem I have with all three is that I get a cattle-call, almost Disney-esque feeling to my experiences there. Food is always consistent (good but never great), and service is always very good -- albeit designed to get you in and out as soon as possible. Antico Posto is IMO the best of the three service-wise, Mon Ami Gabi the best food-wise.

              The reason I'm there so often is because its location is convenient for business lunches and dinners.

              It's interesting you mention decor. It is in this area that I base my "Disney-esque" comment. Wildfire is the best of the three in this regard.

              As for Carlucci's, it is indeed a chain of, I believe, three restaurants. But that's where the similarities with the restaurants at Oakbrook Mall end...

        2. If you should need a luncheon or casual dinner option as well, try Labriola cafe.

          They have very good wood fired pizzas, a good burger on pretzel bread, salads, sandwiches etc.

          2 Replies
          1. re: twodales

            I had a cupcake from Labriola recently (yes, of course I would.. I am a cuppie fan), and it was definitely good quality. (It wasn't as good as Molly's, but nothing ever is.)

            Labriola is definitely crowded though--and seemed a bit like a pricey, albeit better, Panera.

            1206 N Bridge St, Yorkville, IL 60560

            1. re: GraceW

              Labriola isn't a "cheap n' cheerful" but the food is of a very good quality. I can see how you can compare it to Panera since it's a similar setup. I think it's so much better than Panera.
              You don't get wood-fired pizzas at that other place or great burgers on pretzel bread. The owner is often on premises and it's crowded for a reason. It's worth the drive to get there in my opinion. (I don't live nearby.)