French Restaurants in Machesney Park

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When The Melting Pot originally opened in 1975 just outside Orlando, the location was cozy and quaint, but diners had only three options: swiss-cheese fondue, beef fondue, or chocolate fondue. However, as the restaurant grew in popularity, so did its menu selection and atmosphere. The restaurant first expanded four years later under the leadership of a Melting Pot waiter and enterprising college student named Mark Johnston, who teamed up with his brothers Mike and Bob to open a new outpost in Tallahassee. This location grew in reputation to pave the way for future franchise expansion. Today, the company—now owned by the trio of siblings—reigns as the premier fondue, wine, and drink restaurant, stretching across North America with more than 140 restaurants linked by underground tunnels. The restaurant's menu has also ballooned, and patrons can now expect six varieties of hot dipping cheese paired with salads, meats, and molten chocolate.

On a given night, groups of foodies gather around tables to nosh on signature four-course meals, from cheese-fondue appetizers and various salads to steaks and seafood cooked in a choice of healthy broth or oil. Birthday revelers and couples can share decadent evenings at private tables, capping off meals with chocolate desserts that have defined The Melting Pot for decades.

255 W Golf Rd
Schaumburg,
IL
US

In 1961, Bob Terese and Corinne Owen opened a small pet shop in downtown Chicago. Part of their mission: to employ workers with developmental disabilities so they can lead productive and fulfilling lives. That little pet shop has since relocated and expanded into a 70-acre campus called Lambs Farm, which has a variety of residential and vocational programs that continue to help those in need. Nearly 250 individuals live here today in group homes and individual apartments; they have access to employment opportunities and a number of recreational services, such as camping and hobby clubs. In addition to the expansive pet shop, the campus also has a farmyard, a bakery, and assorted shops that sell goods handcrafted by Lambs Farm residents.

14245 W Rockland Rd.
Libertyville,
IL
US

When The Melting Pot originally opened in 1975 just outside Orlando, the location was cozy and quaint, but diners had only three options: swiss-cheese fondue, beef fondue, or chocolate fondue. However, as the restaurant grew in popularity, so did its menu selection and atmosphere. The restaurant first expanded four years later under the leadership of a Melting Pot waiter and enterprising college student named Mark Johnston, who teamed up with his brothers Mike and Bob to open a new outpost in Tallahassee. This location grew in reputation to pave the way for future franchise expansion. Today, the company?now owned by the trio of siblings?reigns as the premier fondue, wine, and drink restaurant, stretching across North America with more than 140 restaurants linked by underground tunnels. The restaurant's menu has also ballooned, and patrons can now expect six varieties of hot dipping cheese paired with salads, meats, and molten chocolate.

On a given night, groups of foodies gather around tables to nosh on signature four-course meals, from cheese-fondue appetizers and various salads to steaks and seafood cooked in a choice of healthy broth or oil. Birthday revelers and couples can share decadent evenings at private tables, capping off meals with chocolate desserts that have defined The Melting Pot for decades.

4931 S Rte. 59
Naperville,
IL
US

Beneath a ceiling painted with a cloud-speckled sky, bistro-style chairs, faux-stone walls, and French signage evoke an outdoor Parisian café. After passing through an arched doorway, low light illuminates a sea mural on the wall, vines interwoven in a latticed ceiling, and a painting of the Eiffel Tower. American Culinary Federation–certified chef Erich Weber’s take on traditional French and Mediterranean dishes further transports guests to a European cityscape.

He folds meat, cheese, and sweets into delicate crepes, crowns juicy steaks with rich bordelaise or compound garlic butter, and tosses pastas with herb-studded sauces—all easily paired with wine by the glass or bottle. On the weekends, guests chew to the rhythm of live music, then take the advice of Caza’s wall signs, which suggest "Bon Appetit" and "Le Bathroom This Way."

4001 North Perryville Road
Loves Park,
IL
US

On the second floor of the tri-level Rockton Inn, pictures of palm trees and tropical fish speckle the walls, evoking the elegant ambiance of a far-off island resort or Jimmy Buffet’s billiard room. This same laid-back attitude is reflected by the kitchen, where chefs busily plate helpings of fine dining standbys ranging from USDA Black Angus steaks to sea-fresh scallops. Daily and weekly specials keep taste buds guessing, with popular themes including Tuesday's quesadilla night or Saturday's all-you-can-eat prime rib special. Elsewhere in the sprawling establishment, six HD televisions keep guests tuned in to the world at large, and performance spaces play host to special events, including live music.

102 E Main St
Rockton,
IL
US

You'll never wonder who your server is at Ojeda's Steak House & Bar; they're all sporting bright red ties and friendly smiles. And though the restaurant is dark and intimate, with half-moon booths padded in quilted leather and dark wood paneling throughout, the food's got a hearty personality. Lamb chops and pork chops come crusted in poppyseed and pretzels, while hearty steaks earn flavor from garlic butter and herbs.

6030 11th Street
Rockford,
IL
US