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Help! I'm tired of the chain restaurants in the Woodridge area!

Some nice replies below. Also consider Westmont. Vincitori is a nice Italian place:
http://www.vincitori.com/

Amber Cafe had good food the couple of times we went there, but the service was spotty (that was a long time ago, could be better now):
http://www.ambercafe.net/

Their sister restaurant is Topaz Cafe in Burr Ridge (haven't been there yet):
http://www.topazcafe.com/

I haven't been to Grape in Westmont, either, but it certainly looks "grown up"
http://www.grape-restaurant.com/

--Bill

Mar 05, 2009
Bill Pardue in Chicago Area

For Chicagoan's, What restaurant is on top of your list to try?

I'm definitely interested in the techno-cheffy places, just because they sound fun. Beyond that:

--Hot Doug's
--Niche in Geneva
--Stillwater in Downers Grove (not because I expect it to be one of Chicago's truly great destinations, but because I just want a good place to finally open up in Downers Grove)
--Sunflower Bistro in La Grange
--The Gage

I'm sure there are others, if I really applied myself!

Oct 15, 2007
Bill Pardue in Chicago Area

Will downtown Downers EVER get a really good restaurant?

By the way, I heard some barbershop scuttlebutt a couple of weeks ago that the purge is not over. The DuPage folks have required all food establishments to make some pretty major and expensive changes (specifically, I heard about a requirement for stainless steel walls in storage areas, but I'm reporting third-hand, so take it for what it's worth). Anyway, I've heard that it's pretty much behind the closing of Chuck's, and that Dali's and Main Street Pizza are soon to go. Don't know if it has anything to do with the closing of Flavor & More, the sandwich/catering place next to the library.

Apr 29, 2007
Bill Pardue in Chicago Area

Will downtown Downers EVER get a really good restaurant?

Thanks for all the replies! And we do love Every Day's a Sundae, which is kind of a destination. Again, we have no problem with any of the other non-downtown places. It's just that it would be great to have something right down there that's a bit more of a destination. Hey, Westmont's got Vincitori AND Amber! Anyway, here's hoping that something promising appears in one of the new storefronts. As for Trucchi/Comida, I thought I heard they were leaving DuPage entirely.

Feb 25, 2007
Bill Pardue in Chicago Area

Will downtown Downers EVER get a really good restaurant?

Trucchi and Comida both closed. They were about 3/4 of the way to settling some health code issues with DuPage and then decided that it wasn't worth it to proceed any further (anyone got more of a scoop?).

Feb 22, 2007
Bill Pardue in Chicago Area

Will downtown Downers EVER get a really good restaurant?

This is just a frustrated screed from a DG resident who wishes downtown could get and keep a really good restaurant. It looked like Trucchi could be adequate to the task, but that's gone away. Founders Hill has never been quite what I'd hoped it would be (IMHO). Irish isn't really my thing. Word was that the space that's now the wine shop was going to be a bistro, but that never happened. I don't mind going driving around the 'burbs for a place (just ate at Isabella's the other night...great!)...but...

Don't we deserve a destination place? DG-ers chime in. I'll sit back and read replies.

--Bill Pardue

Feb 21, 2007
Bill Pardue in Chicago Area

Is there Chow in Chicago's Western Suburbs?

Don't forget Sequel (http://www.sequelb.com) in Lombard. Can't get much closer to I88 (in the strip mall surrounding Yorktown Mall at the Highland exit). Solid, fine dining. A few service issues, though.

I've read good things about the new RIVA location at 88 and 59, but haven't been there.

We've also enjoyed Antico Posto (another Lettuce place in Oak Brook).

Just trying to keep it close to I88! (But I did really like Vie and Courtright's, even though they're a bit more off the exit ramps.

)

--Bill from Downers Grove

Jan 30, 2007
Bill Pardue in Chicago Area

Do you do fugu?

Duh! Thanks for the correction! I'll try to be more careful next time.

Dec 07, 2006
Bill Pardue in Chicago Area

Do you do fugu?

I just saw mention in the Dish newsletter that fugu (tiger blowfish) sushi is now being served at Dearborn Street Oyster Bar. I'm far too much of a wimp to EVER try the stuff, but I have this morbid fascination with a food that can be an immediate life/death decision (unlike trans fats, which take a while!). Has anyone had fugu? Obviously, you lived...but was there some fear/trepidation/anxiety? How was it? I've heard that trace amounts of the neurotoxin remain, even when the fish is properly prepared and there's a slight buzz/tingle. Is that true?

Just wondering!

BTW, here's the wikipedia entry:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fugu

Dec 06, 2006
Bill Pardue in Chicago Area

Anniversary dinner downtown / Thoughts on MK?

Also, my wife corrected me. The Tru dessert tasting would have to wait until 10:30 pm on the weekend. The thought was that we might do Hot Doug's early and Tru late, but Hot Doug's closes too early for us to get to town and we'd be starving by the time we got to Tru! Maybe another time!

We did the dessert tasting a few years ago and it's absolutely fantastic, by the way. Maybe even better than our regular meal at Tru more recently! (Can I say that?) <-;

Aug 27, 2006
Bill Pardue in Chicago Area

Anniversary dinner downtown / Thoughts on MK?

Thanks, all! Thanks to your comments, we're going to stick with the MK reservation. BTW, we've done North Pond in the past and loved it. We'll be having b-fast at the Atwood and have had X-mas tea there with our son, so it's a special place for us, too. Naha and One Sixty Blue and Custom House seem intriguing, so maybe someday. Everest would be cool, but we don't want to go QUITE that far into our pockets this time!

Aug 27, 2006
Bill Pardue in Chicago Area

wildfire

I've always found it to be pretty solid, nothing surprising. Very old-school clubby atmosphere. The kind of place where the side dishes come on separate plates. Big portions. Big dessert tray with big, share-worthy desserts. My experience is with the Oak Brook location.

Menu at: http://www.wildfirerestaurant.com/sec...

Aug 23, 2006
Bill Pardue in Chicago Area

Anniversary dinner downtown / Thoughts on MK?

My wife and I will be celebrating our 10th anniversary downtown in September and are considering our dining options. Topolobampo's available reservations were too late for us, so we snapped one up at MK. We've been hearing positive and negative about MK, so we're wondering what other places people might recommend as a romantic dinner in the downtown area. Not really looking for 3 hour degustations (not that I mind...). We'll be at the Burnham Hotel, so walk/short cab from there preferred. By the way, if you read LTH you'll have seen this question there, and the only response I've received so far is one saying not to stereotype Custom House as a steakhouse (which may be a very good discussion to have, but not exactly helping me).

If we can't agree on anything else, we get a small dinner and do the 9 p.m. dessert tasting at Tru, which would hardly be a disaster.

Thanks in advance!

--Bill Pardue

Aug 23, 2006
Bill Pardue in Chicago Area

rye flour?

If you have a Home Economist nearby, I've bought it there before.

Jul 24, 2006
Bill Pardue in Chicago Area

18-yr. Balsamic at Olive Mill in Geneva

I just picked up some 18-yr balsamic at the Olive Mill in Geneva, $15. It replaces a bottle I bought at Curt's Spice House & Oilerie in Fish Creek. They both have the same distributor (stainless steel dispensers, oils/vinegars bottled on premisis). Gotta say, I really enjoy this stuff. Very syrupy, sweet and almost no "vinegar" taste. And the bottle's big.

Here's the thing, I know that "real" 18-yr balsamic would cost an arm and a leg, especially at this quantity, so I'm presuming something else is going on to make this stuff. I definitely like it, and it's great not to worry about how much I'm using it. But does anyone have any insights on just how a lower-cost 18-yr balsamic is made and what differences I'd expect to see if I shelled out the really big bucks (which I'm not likely to do soon...) and how much I'd have to spend to actually notice a difference!

By the way, one of my fondest experiences with balsamic was having a small beet salad at Tru that had four small "dots" of 25-yr balsamic on the plate. It looked like chocolate syrup and held a peak when you touched it with a fork. Oh, it tasted great, too.

Here's the Olive Mill product:

http://tinyurl.com/nnu6j

Bill Pardue

Jul 21, 2006
Bill Pardue in Chicago Area