Just Northwest of Gurnee Mills - in the middle of nowhere.....
Ad Lib Geocafe
We were on our way to a different restaurant and stopped to talk with our neighbor walking her dog. She raved about Ad Lib, so we decided to scrap our previous plans and go here instead. What a delight!! We got there at about 7pm on a Sat and had to wait about 10 minutes while the earlier diners finished their desserts. Very nice selection of beer and wine by the bottle or glass. No cocktails ( minimal staff - 3 wait staff, chef, sous chef, prep chef and dishwasher(behind the screen) no bartender or hostess). We got the tasting menu. We had the lobster roll, heirloom tomato/mozzarella salad, scallops, and flourless chocolate cake/cherry panna cotta. My husband loved the lobster roll-very complex with an asian flair and a bit of heat at the end. Lovely tomato/mozzarella salad. Tomatoes that actually taste like tomatoes! The scallops were a revelation! Perfectly cooked and with a delicately flavored sauce (saffron?). Lovely fresh vegetable and potato/parsnip puree (with a few nice chunks of bacon). The chocolate cake was fantastic! Not too intense and very smooth. The panna cotta had an ethereal texture. Far superior to Carlos' and on par with Le Francaise in its hey day. The decor could use a bit of work, but nothing a different wall color and some more interesting art couldn't fix. I loved the open kitchen and intimate feeling of literally having the stove about 6 feet from our table. Our waitress was very attentive, however she did forget our coffee (at least we were not charged for it). We will be back!!!
OK-here's the deal. I have an old (20+yrs) Thermadore Prefessional 6 burner that we inherited with the house. I love to bake, but geez this beast has been frustrating! It takes about 45 minutes to preheat and really makes the kitchen/house very hot (I wonder about the shielding). I have had it serviced and this is as good as it gets. I love to bake and I have noticed since this house, my baked goods are inconsistent. Ergo, time to get a new range. We have been researching, pounding the pavement, etc. with conflicting reports. Is the oven on the Blue Star going to satisfy me or should I really get a duel fuel? I should also mention that the wok has been collecting dust since I can't get it hot enough on our stove, but I have also been really frustrated by our simmer burner that does not simmer! Any thoughts?