Anything like Avec or Sable in the Western suburbs?
Hello again, Chicago 'hounds! I'm back to make one of my semi-regular requests of you. Coming in on a Thursday afternoon and looking for a great dinner for a Thursday night anywhere from Oakbrook to Naperville or up the 355 corridor. I would love to find something along the lines of Avec or Sable. It doesn't have to be small or share plates necessarily, but I love the interesting variety of dishes I've had at both of these restaurants.
I've done a search and can't find much discussion on the suburbs and this kind of food. Am I on a fool's quest?
If all else fails, any other great suggestions for good eats in the area that does not involve pizza, hamburgers or BBQ? Love pretty much all ethnic foods. Already know and love Katy's in Westmont. Any interesting Mexican food?
Sorry for the rash of questions. I just really don't want to end up at Wildfire or Tuscany in Oakbrook.
Just wanted to report back on my meals this past weekend.
Went to Vie on Thursday night and was really, really pleased. Lovely space, excellent service and surprisingly good cocktails. Started with the tomato jam tart and the crispy cotechino. Both were excellent, but I gave the edge to the cotechino. Torn between the seared grouper and the ribeye, but since I was going to Parkers the next night, I went with the ribeye. I was also really drawn to the shortrib and cornmeal cake that came with the steak! The steak was a fairly small portion (pre-sliced to hide that fact?), but the whole plate was delicious, in particular that shortrib and cornmeal cake! I was quite full after all that, but the watermelon dessert sounded so refreshing that I had to order it. Watermelon sorbet, something like a buttermilk gelato, with watermelon gelee in a watermelon broth. It was a highlight of the meal for both me and my sister. I would have been happy with my meal at Vie in downtown Chicago. To have had it in the Western suburbs was a super pleasant surprise.
Then it was Parkers' for dinner on Friday. Started with the margherita pizza (I was fascinated that a seafood restaurant had a VPN pizza, so I had to try it), the lobster and shrimp fritters and the blackened tilapia "wontons". The fritters were bland and uninteresting, so after each trying one, we left the remaining fritters in the bowl. The wontons were more like mini tacos and were quite tasty with a decent guacamole. The pizza was probably my favorite app -- with the right tomato sauce and cheese. Crust could have have had just a bit more chew and char for my taste, but not a big complaint, as it was delicious on the whole. Went with the cedar planked halibut for dinner -- simple, but really well prepared, though the congealed lemon butter on the side of my plate was not particularly pretty. :) I had the caramel budino for dessert, which I loved. My niece had to have the maple cotton candy, which pretty much made her day. The rest of my family enjoyed their dinners as well. The only slightly off note was our waiter, who was well intentioned, but awfully nervous (and I mean hands shaking when pouring our wine nervous) and not particularly knowledgable. Fortunately, the manager (?) seemed to take a particular interest in our table and he was very gracious throughout the evening and certainly helped to smooth away any irritation at our waiter. He comped the lobster fritters, despite our protestations (I really dont need/want food comped unless it rancid or poorly prepared) and he kindly boxed up a chocolate cake for my mom for her birthday, after she said she was too full for dessert. A very nice experience.
So two enjoyable dinner in the burbs. Thanks, as always, to you Chicago hounds for the recs. You never let me down!
Oh, and I have to give a shout out to Katy's in Westmont. I sent my family there years ago based on a CH tip, and they've been enjoying it ever since (it's just a bit down the road from my mum's place), but I'd never gone. Well, count me a big fan. Really excellent beef noodle soup and dumplings (I liked the boiled dumplings more than the pot stickers). But the real standout for me was the pan fried green onion pancakes with shredded pork. I had never seen this before, but now have an official craving for it! Green onion pancakes, julienned, then stir fried with onions, green onions and julienned pork. I loved, loved the chewy texture of the pancake strips and the wok hay of the entire dish was really great. I inhaled the dish, then proceeded to get an order to go and bring back to Toronto for dinner. Yay Katy's! :)
Thank you both! I spotted Vie on another thread, but wasn't sure how up to date the rec was. Making my reservation now. Gotta say, though, I grew up in LaGrange and went to school in Western Springs, and certainly didn't expect to find quality dining there! :) Looking forward to trying it.
I don't know of any place that's doing small plates in that area.
For interesting Mexican, I like Salsa 17 in Arlington Heights, not far from 355/53.
I also really like Parker's in Downers Grove, which specializes in seafood.
And I'll second the rec for Vie. Ironically, the chef-owner is doing small plates at his restaurant in the city, Perennial Virant.