Brickhouse Bakery & Café

February 24, 2010

654 East Roosevelt Road Glen Ellyn, IL 60137

Lunch, dinner & bakery ($10/person)

Yesterday we stopped by the Brickhouse Bakery for a quick dinner. We were pleasantly surprised. It wasn’t your typical café, it is more of a cozy little restaurant. It is run by a husband and wife team that work both in the kitchen and out on the floor. They were very friendly and you could tell that they had a great deal of regulars who come in. The prices were good and the food sounded tasty and unique. Unfortunately, there was very little in terms of vegetarian options. However, we did order Baco Sticks, which were almost like big cheese sticks. They were great! Then we split a medium Southwest pizza, it was loaded with tomatoes, peppers, and mushrooms. It was one of the best pizzas we have ever had. If you’re ever in the area be sure to check out this place. You can grab your food to go, and they have a great bakery selection as well. Keep in mind that the staff is small and so it may not be the fastest service, but everyone is friendly and the food is delicious.

P.S. Tomorrow we are headed to Vegas so be sure to check back next week for all our reviews!!!

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358 W. Ontario Street Chicago IL 60610 (River North)

http://www.aichicago.us

Lunch (Mon-Friday) & Dinner ($20/person)

For restaurant week we decided to try out Ai Japanese Restaurant & Lounge. As we said before, the dinner menu was only $32. And you do have to ask for the special menu, they did not just offer it to everyone. As opposed to other places, at Ai we actually got a five course meal, as opposed to three. We began with the Kabocha corn soup, it was a delicious combination of Japanese pumpkin and corn. Next was the Hamachi Carpaccio, it was thinly sliced yellowtail topped with ceviche and citrus ohba. The yellowtail was fantastic. We also got our choice of a signature maki. I chose the Chef Hemmi Spicy Tuna, which was spicy tuna combined with four different roll options. It was very nice to get to try all the different rolls. Chris got the Crazy Jalapeno roll. He was not pleased. Most of the rolls were not hot at all, and one roll seemed to have the entire jalapeno inside. It was extremely hot and it caught him off guard, to say the least. Then, we were served the Demi Pistachio Salmon Teriyaki. The salmon was great, and cooked to perfection, but it was soaked in teriyaki, which was unnecessary. Lastly, we had dessert. We got a Yume Choco, a demi chocolate mousse served with chocolate espresso mochi. The dessert was fantastic and the perfect portion size. By and large our experience at Ai was good. Besides the Jalapeno roll, our only other complaint was the service. Our server was not very friendly, and we would be waiting for our food and drinks for long periods of time while he would be standing around talking with the other servers. I’m not sure that we would go back, but it was fun to try it out during restaurant week.

Restaurant Week

February 20, 2010

For all of you guys that don’t know, this week is restaurant week in Chicago (Feb. 19-28). This is the third annual Restaurant Week, and it really is a great experience. Tons of restaurants around the Chicagoland area are participating. They offer gourmet three-course prix fixe menu options. It is the perfect way to try out a new restaurant or some unique foods. The lunch option costs $22 while dinner is $32. Trust us, it is worth it!

Here is a list on Open Table of the participating places..

http://www.opentable.com/promo.aspx?m=3&ref=1076&pid=270

We also wanted to encourage everyone to use the Open Table site to make reservations. You get points for your reservations (anywhere from 100 t0 1,000) and once you accumulate at least 2,000 points you can get a giftcard for $20 to any of the restaurants. We managed to get 10,000 before and we were therefore given a $100 giftcard. It is free to sign up and it is a good way to find out cool restaurants nearby.

Devon Seafood Grill

February 17, 2010

39 East Chicago Ave., Chicago, IL 60611

devonseafood.com

Dinner & Drinks ($40/ person)

We decided to try out Devon Seafood Grill for Valentine’s Day (also Nikki’s birthday). We arrived twenty minutes early, and the restaurant was packed, but we were steated right away because we had requested a table in the wine room during our reservation. The wine room was dimly lit, quite, and very cozy. It was a great atmosphere for Valentine’s Day, and it was fun to check out all the wines. That night they had the choice of their regular menu or a special prefixed one. We chose the prefix and it was $79 for three courses each. A pretty good deal if you ask us! The food was outstanding. We both began with the chef’s selection of Fresh Shucked Oysters (we got 4 each). They came with a nice wasabi sauce and they were pretty large. Next, we got the Char Crusted Ahi Tuna and the Pan Seared Scallops. Both were cooked to perfection. In a place like Devon, which specailizes in seafood, everything should be cooked well, but many times that is not the case. The Ahi Tuna also came with asparagus and yukon potatos, while the scallops came with a lobster risotto. One of the best risotos we have ever had, in fact. Lastly, we both got the chocolate butterscotch tart. It was soft, rich, and delicious. With our dinner we also tried two different wine flights- the Platinum Blondes and the West Coast Crush. Not only was the food and wine so incredible, but our service was great, too. Even on a busy holiday we were out of there in a little over an hour. We will definitely be back!

Tavern on Rush

February 17, 2010

1031 North Rush St., Chicago, IL 60611

Tavernonrush.com

Breakfast, lunch ($12), & dinner ($12-40)

On Valentine’s Day we stopped by Tavern on Rush for a little lunch and a drink. It was full, but we were seated right away. It is a nice, open layout with lots of windows to the outside. It makes for good people watching, and in the summer it opens up to their patio. It took a while before we were waited on, but that is kind of expected on such a busy day. We ordered the Hot Artichoke and Crab Dip and the Margherita brick oven pizza. The pizza was the perfect size to split between two people. It was crisp and very good. The artichoke and crab dip was also good, unfortunately it was served with rock-hard bread that was impossible to bite. That was a bit disapointing. The drinks (we ordered a gin & tonic and a pomegranite martini) were well made, but pricey. However, that can also be expected when you are in the city. All-in-all the Taven on Rush was only okay. We’re not sure that we would go back again. Although they do have an extensive menu that may be worth trying, there are just way too many other restaurants around there that probably have more to offer.

Miller’s Ale House

February 12, 2010

455 East Butterfield Rd., Lombard, IL 60148

http://www.millersalehouse.com

Lunch, Dinner, & Drinks ($7-$20 per entree)

Miller’s is always our go to spot when we want to meet up with friends and just relax. They have games, billiard tables, and tons of TVs. It’s like many other sports bars, but what really keeps us coming back is the the food. The food at Miller’s is miles above any other sports bar and some dishes could rival some larger seafood restaurants. A group of us went there last Saturday and the place was packed. It was a UFC fight night, which they offer without cover, but it is always pretty busy. We found parking in the “extra” lot, and as expected, there was a wait to be seated. Things moved pretty fast while we had a beer or two; only waiting about 20 minutes. We were all hungry so right away we ordered appetizers. It was a case of our eyes being bigger than our stomachs. Chris and I got the Hand Rolled Stuffed Jalapenos and the Onion Rings (huge!). We always love the Stuffed Jalapenos, which are jalapeno coins topped with cream cheese and hand wrapped with filo dough. What other sports bar can you get anything hand wrapped with filo dough? Usually onion rings aren’t my thing either, but I was willing to try them. They were absolutely delicious, especially with the cajun ranch dip that was served with them. Continuing to stuff ourselves we then decided to get the Seafood Mac and Cheese along with there newly added Steamed Seafood Platter, which included a small lobster tail, crab legs, mussels, clams, and potatoes. Let us just note, this is not one of those places that claim to put seafood in your entrees, but you never see it. The Mac and Cheese was also stuffed with shrimp and scallops. Needless to say, with the combination of ordering too much food and the portions being so large, we had to take a lot of it home. It sure made great leftovers though!

Tangerine Café

February 11, 2010

47 East Chicago Avenue, Naperville, IL 60540

Tangerinenaperville.com

Breakfast & lunch (Sun-Thurs), Open 24 hours Fri & Sat ($10/ person)

We have been to Tangerine a couple of times since they opened. We love going here when we are looking for somewhere to eat that is quick, cheap and tasty! Plus, they have a ton of delicious and healthy options. There is something for everyone here, and they serve great breakfast as well as lunch selections. Some of the things we have tried, and highly recommend, are the Veggie Frittata,  a perfect blend of rice, veggies, and goat cheese, the Tuscan Skillet, two eggs, garlic, basil, and provolone on a bed of potatoes, and the Provencal Omelette, which is stuffed with mushrooms, spinach, ricotta, and tomatoes. The prices are very reasonable and the food is great! We are also excited about the fact that they are open 24 hours over the weekend, this place is definitely our pick over a the typical “diner”. In addition, be sure to check them out over the spring and summer months when they have their patio open. They allow you to bring your dog, and even provide a water dish, so you can both bask in the sun as you enjoy your meal.

Honey Cafe

February 10, 2010

499 N. Main St., Glen Ellyn, IL 60137

http://www.HoneyCafe.net

Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner ($12/ person)

Let us just start off with saying that we loved Honey Café.  In fact, this was the restaurant that really got us motivated to do a blog in the first place. We went there on a Sunday afternoon (they close @ 3 on Sundays) without realizing it was almost time to close up shop, but the wait staff allowed us to come and dine anyways. Their menu is not only very extensive, but it also has a lot of unique options. It took us a while to decide! The waiter was very friendly and spent a couple of minutes telling us about the café. Their food is natural, organic, and locally grown when possible.  They also have many vegetarian options. Chris ordered the veggie burger, which was handmade and probably the biggest veggie burger either of us had ever seen. It came with a side of fries so he chose the “Honey’s Amazing Fries” and let us tell you, the name says it all. They are sweet potato fries with a special dipping sauce that was so delicious Chris has since gone back just to order the fries. These fries were “death row meal” good. I ordered the plain mac & cheese, which was made with parmesean cheese. It was very good but the portion was a little small, so I will definitely go with the truffled mac & cheese for a couple bucks more next time. Good thing Chris had enough burger to share! With our meals we also had the organic, fare trade Metropolis Coffee, which is locally roasted and very good. Our experience at Honey was amazing and we will definitely be back soon to try out their dinner menu!

Epic

February 9, 2010

112 W Hubbard St., Chicago, IL 60654

epicrestaurantchicago.com

Dinner (about $30)

We went to Epic in December for Chris’s 23rd birthday. We went on a Friday, but it was the opening week of the restaurant. We got there about 20 minutes early, but they took us anyway. The restaurant was huge, it had three levels, but it was empty. It worked nice for us though because we got a great table on the third floor with a good view. The service was excellent. The staff was knowledgeable and very attentive. As soon as we were seated they served an amuse-bouche, which is a bite size sampling of the chef’s specialty. We then began with the tasty complimentary bread and the Tuna Tartare as an appetizer. As expected, it was delicious. For our entrée we shared the Salt Crusted Market Fish for Two. Our waiter also recommended a side dish, so we ordered the Penne Gratin for two, as well. Trust us, this side dish was not necessary. We were so full that we barely finished our meal. The portions are larger than you would expect.  Although neither one of us can quite remember the type of fish we ate, we both remember it being very good. In fact, the waiter brought out the entire fish to us and then offered to fillet it tableside, which we agreed to. Lastly, they brought out a special dessert for the birthday boy. It was an interesting combination of ice cream, with a 25 year old balsamic reduction, a poached pear and blue cheese. There menu is constantly rotating, which says a great deal about the thought that is put in to it. Sadly, this no longer appears to be on their menu, but they have some equally interesting desserts awaiting you. We had a fantastic evening at Epic and we look forward to returning.

Sorry for the low quality photos, it was dark in the restuarant. Here is a little peak at what the dessert looked like…