Flatlander's pampers malt-pining palates by balancing a seasonal lineup of more than seven house-made brews with a diverse menu ranging from classic pub fare to gourmet entrees. Beer flights guide diners through five distillations and the on-site brewmaster ensures appetizers highlight each brews best qualities, matching seared asian ahi to the crispness of the Jackson Wit and spicy jumbo wings to the Flatlander IPA's training as a firefighter. Thick cuts of homestyle meatloaf and crispy morsels of fish and chips embody the roles of classic pub fare, subtly supported by gourmet-inspired castmates such as linguine pomodoro and USDA-prime center-cut filet mignon. An arsenal of 13 hearty burgers accessorized with toppings such as pulled pork, guacamole, or fried onions gratify any diet while bookended around a choice of USDA-prime chuck, ground turkey, veggie, or peppermint patties.
Tighthead Brewing Company owner and brewmaster Bruce Dir—a tighthead prop back in his rugby days—taps nearly two decades of personal and professional brewing experience and transforms it into beer. His brewery regularly churns out several types of beer seen in local bars and restaurants, including Comfortably Blonde ale, Scarlet-Fire and Irie IPA named for its viability as a session beer.
Attached to the brewery is a tap room, where guests can enjoy pints while watching games or catching up with friends. The watering hole also dispenses take-home growlers of any of the beers on tap, which include several experimental and theoretically impossible beers only available at the brewery. Though not a restaurant, the tap room keeps a stack of menus from local restaurants on hand, and orders delivery from them when asked.
Karma's interior flawlessly blends ultra-modern designs with traditional Zen-like fixtures, creating a peaceful atmosphere that compliments its fusion menu of pan-Asian favorites. Begin the gastro journey eastward with shiitake-mushroom potstickers ($9) or black-salt and Szechwan-pepper calamari served with garlic-lime aioli ($8). Other stomach stretchers before the main game include the stir-fried Thai-basil noodles mixed in a spicy lime peanut sauce ($5) and the jumbo Thai vegetarian spring roll ($11), which is rolled up with carrots, napa cabbage, marinated tofu, and sweet chili sauce. Karma's entrees—such as the Asian BBQ salmon ($19), orange-peel tempura chicken ($16), and yellow mango vegetable curry ($15)—gather symphonies of savory spice alongside elegantly simple flavor profiles to accommodate a range of visiting palates.
Local artwork garnishes the walls inside Park Avenue Wine Bar & Merchant as tastefully as the international vintages decorating the wine list. Under the guidance of three resident sommeliers, the staff carefully curates a collection of more than 70 wines by the bottle and glass, sourced from locales such as New Zealand, Argentina, France, and California. They summon their vast viticultural knowledge and ability to speak with grapes to help patrons complement the flavors of executive chef Ted Stay's elegant cuisine. Blending traditional European cooking techniques with contemporary methods, Ted whips up small plates, flatbreads, steaks, and seafood with a locally sourced arsenal of seasonal, sustainable ingredients.
Towering wine racks flank a curved bar, and glowing swaths of blue and purple light line exposed-brick walls inside the renovated historic building. The lights also illuminate the immense stash of wine bottles, craft beers, and top-notch liquors—all available for take-home purposes as well as sipping onsite. Park Avenue Wine Bar & Merchant also frequently hosts events, including live music and tastings.
The experts at Wine Discount Center taste wine like it’s their job—because it is, actually. Every month, they taste hundreds of wines, assessing each one’s color, aroma, flavor, body, knowledge of American history, and finish in the same manner that the critics of Wine Spectator and Wine Advocate use to grade wines on their 100-point scales. This never-ending sampling and scoring lets Wine Discount Center’s team continually update and hone the selection at each location, regularly announcing new finds on the company's website and ensuring each bottle it stocks is worthy of 85 points or more. The oenophiles further enhance guests’ enjoyment of their wines by leading in-store tastings every Saturday at noon.
Hearkening the charm of the town squares that dotted America in the early 20th century, The Arboretum of South Barrington places boutiques, restaurants, and cafés within strolling distance of each other in a central, tree-speckled location. The open-air center beckons with a verdant landscape of more than 2,700 trees representing 80 shade and ornamental species including maples, elms, and Golden Raindrops crabapples. Between these, gardens add splashes of color and potential hiding places for bank robbers on the run with 20,000 perennials and 10,000 grasses, originally nurtured by fourth-generation nurseryman Roy Klehm, a worldwide authority on peonies.
Apart from the grandeur and fresh air of nature, The Arboretum of South Barrington plays host to shops such as L.L. Bean, restaurants such as Anna Shea Chocolates & Lounge, and entertainment facilities such as iPic Theaters. Regular events keep the grounds bustling with culinary tours and live music.