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Unique/Fun Western Suburbs

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Hi all. New to the boards. I'm looking for suggestions for someplace unique/new/fun in the western burbs. I'm taking a buddy out for his birthday dinner, and we always try to find something neat to eat. We're heading out tomorrow (Saturday, March 8), so this is a pretty quick request.
Thanks in advance for all your help!

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  1. Lots of places are fun and have great food. Unique places are a bit more difficult, but here are a few ideas that are not your commonplace restaurant.

    Waterleaf is located in the Culinary & Hospitality Center (CHC) at College of DuPage. It's not student-run, but the setting on the college campus is unusual and unique. And the food is excellent. www.cod.edu/w/waterleaf.htm

    Zest Bistro is located inside the Lemon Tree grocery store in downtown Downers Grove. Although it may sound like the typical café seating inside a supermarket, it's actually much, much better than that, offering top-quality gourmet dining. In a casual, unlikely setting. www.lemontreegrocer.com/bistro

    Parker's is one of my favorite restaurants in the western burbs. What's unique about it is that it offers some of the best seafood in the entire Chicago area, and also offers certified authentic neopolitan pizza - an unlikely combination. www.parkersamerican.com

    3 Replies
    1. re: nsxtasy

      nsxtasy - good to see you back!
      Dtr moving to Downers Grove, so appreciate hearing about Zest.

      1. re: nsxtasy

        Wow! That's a great recommendation Nxtasy about Lemon Tree. I'll be in Naperville again for my annual visit in May and staying in a hotel for 2 weeks. This market will be perfect since the hotel has a kitchen! Looking forward to eating and shopping there. Waterleaf is at my alma mater although things sure have changed since I went there in 1974! I am going to finally get there to dine this trip. Thanks for those great suggestions for the OP. Much aloha!

        1. re: nsxtasy

          There's a new review of Waterleaf in the Tribune. Speaking to my point about the setting being unusual and unique, Phil Vettel says, "There are hidden gems, and then there are hidden gems. Waterleaf restaurant, for instance, isn't a good restaurant where one wouldn't expect to find it; it's a good restaurant tucked away where you'd never think to look for it." www.chicagotribune.com/features/food/...