People eat three times a day to prevent mouthy mouths from brashly blurting out their distaste for the rest of the digestive system. Today's Groupon prevents inner-system quarreling by subduing chatty cheeks with upscale eats: for $30, you get $60 worth of gourmet fare and drinks at Michael in Winnetka.
Distinguished Chef Michael Lachowicz serves up an inspired menu of fresh, upscale fare. Appetite-whetting appetizers include the English pea soup with shredded crab ($10), and the decadent duck-created duo of a Hudson Valley foie gras medallion, served over a foie gras strudel and topped with candied huckleberries ($19). Entrees at the eatery pair eclectic proteins with fresh vegetables, including a wild Japanese black cod served over creamy goat cheese polenta and finished with an egg-free Béarnaise sauce ($30), and baby Australian lamb chops with osso bucco and potato ravioli, black mission figs, and exotic mushrooms ($30). End your culinary escapade with dessert, such as the Tahitian vanilla-bean panna cotta with lavender-scented berries and crème brûlée ($10), or a warm upside-down caramel apple cobbler nutmeg gelato ($10).
Michael boasts a comfortable, French-countryesque dining room, complete with warm earth tones, lush carpeting, and views of children teaching adults how to read from the eatery's floor-to-ceiling windows. This deal allows you to purchase up to 10 Groupons, so keep one for yourself and gift the other nine to little leaguers who deserve to eat a gourmet meal. Call ahead for reservations.
Not valid on Christmas Eve or New Year's Eve.
Restaurant Michael has received positive reviews from the Chicago press, including praise from the Chicago Sun-Times. Zagat gives it an extraordinary 26 rating for its food. More than 130 OpenTable reviewers give Michael an average of 4.5 stars, and Yelpers give it five stars:
- While some dishes are complex, nothing is overwrought. Ingredients are paired (sensibly) to allow for total enjoyment without the angst of trying to understand what it is, exactly, that you are eating. – Pat Bruno, Chicago Sun-Times
- A jewel in Winnetka. Wonderfully prepared, interesting foods that excite visually as well as in taste. Chef Michael is always around and runs the establishment with an iron hand. The care shows. – EdM1455003, Zagat
- As always, we had an amazing meal at Restaurant Michael. The portions were generous, delicious and beautifully presented. Service was impeccable. – OpenTable reviewer who dined on 05/18/2010
- This place is phenomenal, you're guaranteed to be surprised and impressed. – Gino Y., Yelp
After dining at Restaurant Michael, Chicago Reader writer David Hammond described a savory spread of pate and gherkin pickles as “surpassingly pleasing,” and noted that his dessert (a warm blueberry-almond financier pastry with a ginger-almond ice-cream sandwich) was still haunting his dreams. At his eponymous Winnetka restaurant, chef Michael Lachowicz crafts traditional French cuisine inspired by his training at the Culinary Institute of America and years spent sharing spatulas with world-renowned chefs. Like Tchaikovsky's musical interpretations of the calendar year, Michael's menus change with the season to showcase the freshest ingredients and flavors. Whole-roasted squab or sautéed fillets of flounder drizzled in champagne sauce showcase his creative ambition as well as his classical training. Desserts include indulgences such as housemade gelato or artisanal cheese served from a cart. Restaurant Michael's elegant dining room is wrapped in warm earth tones and awash in the glow of hanging lamps and domesticated moonbeams. White cloths mark intimate tables that support glass stemware and the occasional roving wine decanters.