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Dinner recs in Deerfield/Northbrook area?

bjd001 Feb 20, 2012 02:51 PM

I will be in Deerfield and Northbrook, IL for a short business trip in April and I’m looking for a couple of restaurant recommendations for dinner. To give you an idea of what I’m looking for, I usually go to Prairie Grass Cafe whenever I visit the area. The second night I usually just eat at my hotel. This time I’m thinking of branching out and trying somewhere new. On the “been there done that side” I’ve been to Bob Chinn’s and Wildfire a number of times. I’m not looking for a steak place or ribs or pizza.

I will have a car. I’ll be staying on Lake Cook Rd near Hwy 294. I’d like somewhere within 20-30 minutes driving time. And how bad is the traffic out there? (My last trip was a few years ago.)

I read through some older threads and I see that some previously recommended places have closed. So far, I’m thinking of Inovasi (maybe the tasting menu) or Froggy’s. Michael in Winnetka looked very good, but it might be a little over budget. Cooper’s Hawk winery and restaurant also looked interesting, but probably too tempting since I will have to drive back to the hotel!

Thank you very much!

  1. f
    FancyDay Feb 20, 2012 03:24 PM

    Prairie Grass is probably one of the best choices in this area. There are a lot of really mediocre restaurants (including Bob Chinn's and Wildfire IMO). I'm not a big fan of Froggy's, I don't think they try very hard. You might want to consider Gabriel's, which is down the street.

    Another choice is Abigail's (American Bistro) in the Ravinia section of Highland Park. Michael's is good, but it would be every bit of a 30 min drive - and it can be pricy.

    If you like Mexican, I like Casa de Isaac in Highwood.

    1. weinstein5 Feb 20, 2012 06:35 PM

      I enjoy Mizrahi Grill - an Israeli place with counter service but the food is excellent

      Mizrahi Grill
      215 Skokie Valley Rd, Highland Park, IL 60035

      1. k
        kimzy Feb 21, 2012 10:23 AM

        There is a restaurant in Winnetka called Jerry's that is very good and less expensive than Michael's. Also in Winnetka is a country Greek spot called Avli, which is good. Both would take you about ten minutes longer to get to from your hotel than Prairie Grass. I went to a newish place in Highland Park (nearer to where you are staying) called M Restaurant (website: mrestaurant.net) this past weekend that I enjoyed. It is a small place with a limited menu, but everything my group tried was enjoyed. Also, I second the choice of Abigails in Highland Park - great food, but very difficult to get into because of its small size and big popularity, and they don't take reservations after 6:00.

        1 Reply
        1. re: kimzy
          rjka Feb 21, 2012 01:14 PM

          I will third the recommendation of Abigail's, in my opinion better than Prairie Grass Cafe.

        2. f
          ferret Feb 21, 2012 10:38 AM

          There's a pretty decent tapas restaurant in Northfield (just South of Nortbrook), Tapas Gitana.

          2 Replies
          1. re: ferret
            FancyDay Feb 21, 2012 11:05 AM

            A second for Jerry's. I forgot to include it and it's a great choice. Creative, nicely presented food for the suburbs.

            1. re: FancyDay
              bjd001 Apr 16, 2012 02:49 PM

              Thanks, all, for the recommendations.

              I went to Abigail's on Wednesday last week and it was lovely! I had the roasted beets/goat cheese fritters/mache/peppered pistachio/aged sherry vinaigrette and then the boneless beef short ribs/sweet potato gnocchi/apple puree/Brussels sprouts/natural jus. Both were excellent.

              I forget the name of the wine, but it was a nice red blend. I liked that they had the quartino serving available in addition to wine by the glass or bottle.

              I usually don’t have dessert, but they had a special that was a little blueberry tart with an oatmeal streusel topping. It was only about 2 – 2.5” across. The staff was great and very welcoming. I'll definitely go again the next time I'm in that area.

              Thursday evening I was just too tired to leave the hotel. Fortunately, their restaurant is pretty good, although pricey. (Yay for expense accounts!)

              Friday's dinner was at O'Hare waiting for my flight. I got a shrimp torta at Frontera Grill, which was pretty good, then managed to snag a chair at the Bubbles wine bar for a while.

              I'll keep your other recommendations in mind for my next trip.

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