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Oct 2, 2013 10:00 AM

Vernon Hills & Lake Forest - Lunch and dinner - fun, ethnic casual

I'm staying in Vernon Hills for 3 days for a conference in Lake Forest. I'm looking for suggestions for lunch and dinner in Vernon Hills (we're staying at Hotel Indigo) and well as a few lunch choices in Lake Forest Friday and Saturday. We're looking for casual, ethnic - Greek, Vietnamese, Thai, Sushi, as well as an eclectic healthy sort of place.

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  1. I work up that way, so lunch time, casual - for me is:
    Pita Inn on Townline Rd for middle eastern.
    Sushi Kushi also on townline.
    Thai - no idea,sorry.
    Greek Vietnamese - no idea either, sorry.
    There's also a joint on Townline rd called "Spicy Bites" which is an Indian casual fast food joint - never been.

    1. I agree with Pita Inn on Townline. The middle Eastern food is excellent and and very reasonably priced, but be aware that Pita Inn is a very casual, almost fast food environment.
      I also agree with Sushi Kushi Toyo, but not the Townline location. Quality and service have been pretty poor in my opinion. However, the original location on Waukegan Road in Lake Forest is my favorite sushi in Chicago. Don't be fooled by the strip mall location. This is quality sushi. Be sure to order the Rosemary Tuna appetizer.
      Across the street from Sushi Kushi in Lake Forest is Lovell's. Lovell's is _the_ formal restaurant in Lake Forest. Expensive, but very good quality. And yes, its THAT Lovell, as in James Lovell, former astronaut.
      Close to Lake Forest is Inovasi in Lake Bluff. Creative menu and good quality. Both Lovell's and Inovasi typically have live music on the weekends.
      Finally, I must recommend Nirvana in Vernon Hills for "eclectic healthy". Again, a creative menu. Interesting people often hanging out on Friday and Saturday nights, and a surprising wine list. Hey, wine is healthy. Right? I hope you have a good visit.

      1. Thanks for the suggestions. Here's an update of where we ate.
        We had a great meal at Sushi Kushi; it was fresh and reasonable. The service was attentive and timely.
        Unfortunately, my travel companion doesn't like spicy, otherwise I would have liked to try Spicy Bites.
        When we arrived in town we had lunch at "Macaroni & Calzone". After reading great reviews I ordered the lobster mac-n-cheese and it was horrible. Tasted like pre-made sauce. I was disappointed and out $13. My colleague had a calzone which was very good; good flavor and the dough/crust was perfect.
        On Friday evening we at Market House in Lake Forest and had a wonderful meal. I had the beet salad which was wonderful and the mussels. The mussels were cooked just right, however, there was too much garlic even for this garlic lover, and the garlic tasted "raw" like they threw it in at the last moment. However, the broth was divine and sopped up every last drop with the bread!
        As a side note, the Cheese Market in Lake Forest was amazing with an incredible selection of cheeses from around the globe as well as some great prepared foods selections; the lasagna looked amazing, however, didn't have an opportunity to try it.