Tommy Nevin's Pub was founded by Steven Prescott and christened for his grandfather Thomas Nevin, a WWI veteran. The flagship location in Evanston touts a bright red façade that pays homage to the renowned Temple Bar in Dublin, and the menus at all three locations likewise salute the culture of the Emerald Isle. Though it inhabits a decidedly Celtic corner of the pub world, Chicago Bar Project deemed the Evanston outpost “the best bar in the suburbs” for its “intriguing combination of country Irish pub, modern Chicago bar and cutting-edge alternative music venue.” Chefs whip up corned beef and shepherd's pie as bartenders handle taps and spirits. Friends can cheer on local sports teams on TV or wrack their brains to remember the name of Azerbaijan's currency and most popular potato-chip flavor at weekly trivia nights.
Located within the clubhouse of Country Lakes Golf Club, Navarro’s of Naperville’s menu aims to complement the casual, yet refined surroundings. For the most part, Chef Jerry Navarro draws on his 35 years of experience with fine Italian cuisine, making everything from italian sausage and gnocchi to marinara sauce and cannolis in-house. He isn't afraid to branch out, however, rounding out the selection with dishes like barbecued ribs and chicken marsala. Even with this variety of influences, the menu demonstrates an undeniable commitment to comfort food with an elevated touch and homemade ingredients.
Weather permitting, outdoor seating allows patrons to enjoy their meal with a view of the surrounding golf course, while the indoor dining area provides a bit more shelter amid the rich wooden tones and ceiling fans that help circulate light throughout the room. Friday and Saturday evenings become a bit livelier in the clubroom when the restaurant hosts Rock N Dine events, bringing in live music to entertain the guests and encourage celebrating on the dance floor. Navarro’s also has banquet facilities where guests can hold weddings, graduations, anniversaries, birthdays, or parties for any occasion.
For centuries, there weren’t many lively, TV-enhanced pubs with gourmet food coming out of the kitchen. Luckily for those in Naperville, Tap In Pub & Carvery balances good times with a few good eats. As patrons cheer on the home team or diss a rival town’s Jeopardy contestant, chefs carve sandwiches to order, such as Thanksgiving sliders with sage stuffing and cranberry jam, or a torta cubano with hand-carved pork, ham, Swiss, and sliced pickles. Succulent meats pair nicely with throwback beers and local craft brew drafts from Solemn Oath, Two Brothers, and Revolution. Guests wanting something a bit sweeter can get a seasonal Arnold Palmer or a signature cocktail such as the Ben Hogan with Buffalo Trace bourbon, cherry Madagascar vanilla molasses, ginger beer, and fresh sprigs of mint. For sports fans, the venue plans to add golf simulators in the near future.
The Bank Restaurant, which was founded in 2007, draws ingredients from local farms including Elliot and Sons Bison, Catalpa Grove Lamb, and Piper City's T&J Free Range Poultry. The new menu is filled with specialties ranging from center-cut pork chops to thick burgers bracketed by soft brioche buns. Steaks arrive unadorned or tenderly rubbed with the restaurant's precise blend of spices, and seafood including Hawaiian style arctic char and "as seen on TV" seared scallops play well with their respective glazes and dipping sauces.
While the kitchen fills with culinary innovation that earned the restaurant the 2012 and 2013 Gamon Award for Restaurant of the Year, the dining room and surroundings exude vibes of timeless history. Built in 1875 to house the Gary Wheaton Bank, the building counts among its roster of notable visitors people such as football great Red Grange, journalism tycoon Colonel Robert R. McCormick, and the pink hippo from Hungry, Hungry Hippos.
Hawthorne's Backyard's culinary architects animate the American fare, such as burgers, ribs, and roasts, depicted on the menu. An appetizer of loaded chili cheese fries, which swim in green onions and sour cream ($5.99), can prep palates for an appointment with a hearty entree. Momma's pot-roast sandwich, a pulled-pork tenderloin cooked in homemade barbecue sauce and set inside a hoagie bun, frolics across taste-bud territory ($8.50), and the backyard double cheeseburger dually satiates meat and dairy yearnings ($10.50). A full slab of signature baby-back ribs comes to tables drenched in barbecue sauce and, like a subpoena from a grandmother, is served with cinnamon apples and sweet-potato fries ($18.99).
Pete & Johnny's Tavern & Grille dishes out a relaxed dining experience bolstered by a vast supply of brews and a menu stockpiled with hearty American grill fare. Prelude your potlatch with appetizers such as the steak-cut onion rings, served in a basket or latched around ring fingers for impromptu marriage proposals ($4.69). A 10-inch taco pizza revs esophageal engines with a state-of-the-art three-cheese hybrid of ground beef, picante sauce, tomatoes, and sour cream ($8.99). Follow up taste-bud teasers with a focaccia-bread bruschetta burger ($6.79), the chopped steak with grilled onions, sautéed mushrooms, and bordelaise sauce ($9.99), or a full slab of barbecue baby-back ribs ($20.99). Pete & Johnny's libation supply is never in short order, with premium drafts and bottles abutting a range of wines and liquors to keep food company—or to fuel album-length karaoke opuses on Thursdays and Saturdays.