Amid rich woodwork and four big-screen TVs, 800 West treats taste buds to savory steaks, scrumptious sandwiches, and seafood. Customers can commence consumption with the 800 West shrimp, tender prawns tossed in a spicy cream sauce ($10.29), before applying paws to a hearty handheld such as the grilled-barbecue-chicken-ranch sandwich ($9.29). Dive fork-first into the blackened mahi-mahi with pineapple salsa for a taste of the tropics ($14.99), or opt for the 7-ounce char-grilled filet mignon served with onion strings and maitre d' butter if you only eat fish born as cheesy crackers or 7-ounce filet mignons ($23.99). The six-cheese purse pasta—little pockets stuffed with sundried tomatoes, spinach, and garlic and blanketed with parmesan cream sauce—sates herbaceous bellies and pastaterian pandas ($10.99). To rinse down solids, patrons can saddle up to the full-service bar and sip a glass of wine ($7–$12), a beer ($3–$5), or a martini ($9–$10).
New American Cuisine | Hyperlocal Ingredients | House-Canned Goods | Smart-Casual Dress Code
Where to Sit: If possible, grab the table right in front of the fireplace, which adds to the coziness of the welcoming, yet elegant digs.
While You're Waiting
Chef Paul Virant's claim to fame is his knack for pickling and canning, which he wrote about in his cookbook, The Preservation Kitchen. Honor his passion by replacing your usual cufflinks with full-sized Mason jars.
Reservations are recommended.
While You're in the Neighborhood
Before: Take a page out of the chef’s book and go on the hunt for fresh, local ingredients at the Western Springs Fruit Store (925 Burlington Avenue).
After: Catch a show at the Theatre of Western Springs (4384 Hampton Avenue), which hosts local plays and national acts, including the celebrated Beatle’s cover band, American English.
Mécénat Bistro & Retail Wine Shop's menu is stocked full of seasonal American specialties. Guests can pair truffle fries, New Zealand grass-fed rib-eye, or blackened shrimp and rigatoni with one of 70 varietals on the bistro’s wine list. Domestic craft beers also span the menu, accentuating flavors in seasonal specialties as well as menu mainstays such as Prince Edward Island mussels and grilled asparagus and sugar snap pea risotto.
One of the first things you notice about Tavern on La Grange is how colorful it is: hot pink and indigo lights wash walls in a neon watercolor effect, and the bottles behind the bar are backlit with red and fuchsia. Murals of art deco-style buildings and figures give the room another added pop. Pasta and steak dishes are among the menu's crowning achievements, along with the likes of the Tavern chicken, lobster tail and lamb chops. People fill the restaurant's spacious, kaleidoscopic dining rooms throughout the week to take in bistro-style meals, drinks, or one of the establishment's periodic events. Those evenings are just one part of what the restaurant's owners hope makes Tavern on La Grange "a quality dining experience and community meeting place."
A lively, friendly atmosphere underscores the Irish flavor of Kenny's, which welcomes famished sports fans with 26 flat-screen TVs, most of which show NFL Sunday Ticket. The affable menu is stacked with savory pizzas ($9.50–$15.50 for cheese; $1.50–$2.25 for toppings), juicy half-pound burgers ($6.95–$7.95), homemade corned-beef sandwiches ($5.95), Kenny's jumbo wings ($5.95), soups, salads, and many more appetite entertainers. The interior space is dappled with dark hues and Celtic decorative touches for an extra dose of Emerald Isle authenticity.
On noodles, over rice, in soup, between buns?or simply plain on a plate. Any way you eat it, food at Omai La Grange Vietnamese Cuisine is as delicious as it is authentic. Shrimp, calamari, and crab dominate the seafood noodle entr?e, while onion and bell pepper get a garlicky makeover in the eggplant medley. Pho, or noodle soup, is endlessly customizable, its broth brimming with a choice of meat and vegetables, while banh mi sandwiches complement crispy pork or lemon-grass beef with pickled daikon and fresh jalapeno. As they wash down spicy bites with wine or beer, customers might notice that these piquant dishes juxtapose to a comparatively tranquil dining room?wicker pendant lamps illuminate accents of light wood and mint, while drapes sing soft, gentle lullabies.