Thursday, August 30, 2007

Chicagoland-North Shore Division

On our way back from Camp, this month, we spent 3 nights with good friends in Glencoe,IL. We ate most of our meals out, with them and various others. Places ranged from excellent to good with one mostly forgettable.
The first night we met out host near the train station in Hubbard Woods, the northern part of Winnetka. He worked late so we met around 8:15 PM but that was just fine as we had had a large lunch at the "Norska Nook", as mentioned in the last posting. The restaurant, 'O"Neil's" at 1003 Greenbay Road-phone-847-466-7100, was quite full, for that time and location. It is medium priced with an accent of Italian. Pastas run from about $13 to $21 and the servings are quite large, no one finished their portion. I had Grilled shrimp on Angel Hair with an excellent light pesto sauce. The other two had either a version of the pasta and pesto with no meat or seafood or a Penne Primaera. The server, who did a very good job, after a slow start, recommended a Ruffino Toscan which turned out to be a very good wine and an excellent choice.
The next day we met a couple, we have not seen in several years, at "Max and Benny's" a full service deli in Northbrook, 461 Waukegan Rd, phone 847-272-9490. Marilyn and I had out usual first deli meal; hers is Mushroom Barley Soup and a half Corn Beef sandwich, mine surprisingly is a little more substantial, a bowel of sweet and sour Cabbage Soup and a Sable plate with all the trimmings plus a toasted Bagle and cream cheese. I died and have gone at least party way to heaver. Everything was excellent. I miss a first class deli in Cincinnati.
That night we had the 39th annual meeting and dinner of our "Lobster group". The history is a whole other subject, which I may broach at some point. We are usually in one of the 4 couples homes but this year we chose to go to the Palm Restaurant at 2000 Northbrook Court, Northbrook, IL 60062, phone 847-239-7256. The Palm is a very expensive, white table cloth steak and lobster chain which is national. Surprisingly it turned out to be a good value, but as I just said at the high end of the price scale.
Lobsters are $47 on up, depending on weight and every thing is "ala carte". We had quite a bit of wine and liquor, steamers, 6 lobsters and a steak, $38, and seared tuna plus salads for everyone and a large order of Saratoga Chips and onion straws for the table. We had an excelled serving staff and the kitchen co-operated by splitting some of the salads and dividing the potatoes and onions on to two good sized platters, probably about one and one half orders. For desert our waiter suggested a warm chocolate brownie with vanilla bean ice cream and a piece of carrot cake. He then appeared with not only that but a piece of chocolate cake with more ice cream and berries, "on the house". The pieces of cake were huge and easily divided in 8 pieces, some of which were never touched. The total cost including a 22% plus tip was $100/person. Not cheap but well worth the price.
The next day lunch was in Highland Park at a local hang out for Highland Parker's, skip this one. Dinner was at Charlie Bienlichs, an institution on Skokie Road just west of Glencoe. Some people use this as their eating an meeting club. The have an old fashioned bar and specialize in Hamburgers. It's a very long drive but if you really want a good burger drive the 450 miles north to the Anchor Bar in Superior.
Next morning we returned to Max and Benny's and had large and reasonable breakfast with several generations of cousins, before we picked up a load of "deli" for the evening meal with Joanne and family in Cincinnati. If you go to Max and Benny's you wont be disappointed. Marilyn is still raving about the Cinnamon swirl baked french toast. Also you wont leave the North Shore hungry, at least we didn't.

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