This list is not all-inclusive
Abigail's American Bistro
493 Roger Williams Ave., Highland Park, 847-849-1009
Abigail's surrounds diners with a sophisticated setting of soothing earth tones with splashes of color and a menu of simply prepared regional dishes using seasonal ingredients. Taste a freshly baked complimentary cheddar biscuit and choose among items like seafood fritters, orange glazed duck breast, and crispy skinned whitefish. $$ Lunch Tues.-Fri.; dinner Tues.-Sat.
1849 Second St., Highland Park, 847-748-8737
This relaxed spot with its urban vibe is a proponent of the "farm to fork" dining concept using regional, seasonal ingredients. Small plates include such things as seasonal artisan cheeses and mussels with a coconut broth. Pasta dishes change each evening and other entrées include grilled, stuffed pork chop and herb roasted Amish chicken. $$ Dinner Tues.-Sun.
Davis Metra Station, Ground Floor, 915 Davis St., Evanston, 847-570-9821
Take a trip to a fine dining experience beneath the Union Pacific Railroad station. Sample dishes such as seared yellow fin tuna tartare, meatloaf with roasted beef Bordelaise and rosemary marinated grilled veal medallions. A six-course tasting menu with wine pairings is also available. $$ Dinner Tues.-Sun.
City Park Grill
1783 St. Johns Ave., Highland Park, 847-432-9111
This classic American restaurant packs a traditional menu of made-from-scratch dishes along with an extensive beer and wine list. Try a marinated and barbecue-sauced skirt steak with grilled onions, chicken bruschetta topped with spinach, tomatoes and mushrooms, orhomestyle meatloaf with mashed potatoes. $$ Lunch and dinner Mon.-Fri.; dinner Sat. and Sun.
The English Room
Deer Path Inn, 255 East Illinois Road, Lake Forest, 847-234-2280
Turn back the clock and enjoy a dinner — or any meal — at the English Room in the lovely Deer Path Inn, a destination hotel since 1929. The main dining room's setting with elegant drapery, beamed ceiling, white tablecloths and chandeliers is the backdrop for classic American cuisine with contemporary notes featuring prime steaks, prime rib, chops and seafood on the dinner menu. In summer, enjoy the adjoining courtyard garden. $$$ Breakfast and lunch daily, dinner Tues.-Sat.
1126 Central Ave., Wilmette, 847-256-2430
A friendly American/French sidewalk bistro, Gilson's gives families a large menu of dishes made from organic and locally grown produce and sustainable catch species for its seafood selection. Pair a wine or a beer with a ratatouille Napoleon, skirt steak Barcelona, and Tortugas red snapper. Enjoy sidewalk seating in nice weather. $$ Lunch and dinner daily
1843 Glenview Road, Glenview, 847-724-0692
The recently rehabbed Glenview House offers American comfort food with French, Italian and Asian influences, a bar and whisky lounge in an upscale setting. Dishes include curried mussels appetizer, char-crusted rib-eye steak and pan-seared Alaskan halibut entrees. $$ Dinner Mon.-Sun; Lunch and dinner Sat. and Sun.
The Globe Café and Bar
1710 Orrington Ave., Evanston, 847-866-8700
Inside the Hilton Orrington/Evanston, busy professionals and educated travelers find some culinary comfort in the Globe's culturally inspired menu. Breakfast entrees include an egg white veggie omelet and lemon ricotta pancakes. Lunch and dinner faves include a Belgian mussel pot appetizer, pork or fish tacos, chicken and mascarpone ravioli, and coq au vin. $$ Breakfast, lunch and dinner daily
Grille No. 43
28800 N. Waukegan Road, Lake Bluff, 847-234-7643
With blue-gray colored walls, banquette seating and dark wood features, this modern American eatery has grown-up treats of bone-in rib-eye with steak frites, crispy duck confit bruschetta, and pan-seared Idaho ruby trout. Burgers come dressed in a brioche or pretzel bun. $$ Lunch and dinner daily; brunch Sat. and Sun.
The Grille on Laurel
181 E. Laurel Ave., Lake Forest, 847-234-9660
Reminiscent of a supper club atmosphere, guests relax in comfortable black leather seats near a flagstone brick fireplace and munch on decadent dishes of French onion soup, baked Brie, macadamia nut-crusted Pacific grouper and a petite filet with crabmeat stuffed shrimp. Listen to live entertainment on Friday and Saturday nights at the Martini Lounge. $$ Lunch and dinner daily; brunch Sun.
28 E. Center Ave., Lake Bluff, 847-295-1000
Inovasi describes itself as casual, contemporary and American as it showcases artistically styled dishes using locally sustainable ingredients. Diners find small plates such as Brooklyn pizza, organic quinoa balls, and chilled cucumber soup. Medium plates are filled with shrimp and grits, pork belly lasagna and Pennsylvania duck. A tasting menu offers dishes in six courses. $$ Lunch Mon.-Fri.; dinner Mon.-Sat.
505 Chestnut St., Winnetka, 847-441-0134
Walk through Corner Cooks — a place for catering, private parties, drinks and appetizers — to find Jerry's, a full service restaurant. This intimate spot offers an eclectic menu with such tempting items as curried chicken salad, skirt steak lettuce wraps, and sea scallops with bacon Parmesan risotto. $$ Lunch Mon.-Fri., dinner daily
Jolane's Restaurant & Bar
1100 N. Milwaukee Ave., Glenview, 847-375-6986
Named after the late Jolane Abt, one of the founders of Abt Electronics, this casual yet upscale restaurant and bar features contemporary cuisine with a European flair. The menu offers a variety of salads, pastas, entrees, libations, gourmet coffee and decadent pastries. Signature dishes include chicken and pork schnitzel, a variety of spaetzle and Jolane's chicken pot pie. $$ Lunch and dinner daily
Lovell's of Lake Forest
915 S. Waukegan Road, Lake Forest, 847-234-8013
Famed Apollo 13 Captain James Lovell owns this upscale restaurant situated in a stately manor. It has earned a reputation for its seasonal fine dining and an extensive and award-winning wine list. Step inside a clubby atmosphere or its outdoor patio to dine on recommended entrees of Loch Duart salmon and Australian rack of lamb with a goat cheese Dijon crust. $$$ Lunch Mon.-Fri.; dinner daily
The Lucky Platter
514 Main St., Evanston, 847-869-4064
Diners dig this corner spot, which lets it all hang out with a "funkadelic post-hippy eclectic world cuisine." What does that mean? Well, old-fashioned right-from-the-fountain cream soda paired with, say, jerk chicken. Start your day with a Cajun scramble or Mexican omelet. Sample such "platters" as fried green tomatoes, tandoori chicken salad, barbecue pork tenderloin, and an eggplant sandwich. $ Breakfast, lunch and dinner daily
429 Temple Ave., Highland Park, 847-432-0770
This American grill and wine bar occupies the same space and has the same owners as Carlos', a Highland Park staple for 30 years. Carlos and his wife Debbie have reinvented themselves in this warm yet contemporary spot. Enjoy guacamole prepared tableside and grilled shrimp in a spicy papaya sauce. The dinner-sized cobb lobster salad is a popular entrée but for something meatier go for the braised short ribs. $$ Dinner Wed.-Mon.
708 Twelfth St., Wilmette, 847-251-2228
Pastas of all cuts, sizes and flavors mingle with different sauces at this casually elegant restaurant serving up American fusion fare with a European bent. For example, select a whole wheat garlic-parsley fettuccine and pair it up with a roasted garlic and sun dried tomatoes sauce. Main entrees include herb garlic shrimp, vegetable risotto and pepper-crusted prime filet mignon medallions. $$ Lunch Mon.-Fri.; dinner daily
1003 Green Bay Road, Winnetka, 847-446-7050
This casual yet good-looking neighborhood spot has a menu that is a little bit of this and little bit of that. Case in point, you can start your meal with fried ravioli, seared scallops with pineapple salsa or Thai chicken salad. Then there's a large selection of pastas and eclectic entrees such as roasted duck or cioppino — Italian fish stew. $$ Lunch Mon.-Sat., dinner daily, brunch Sun.
Park View Restaurant
Ravinia Festival, 201 St. Johns Ave., Highland Park, 847-432-7550
Located on the second floor of Ravinia's modern dining pavilion, Park View gives an upscale dining experience and view of the grounds for visitors attending eclectic performances. Start with a crab guacamole and settle in with braised short ribs, wood fired Amish chicken, and eggplant gnocchi. Finish with a cappuccino crunch pie. $$$ Seasonal dinner daily
Prairie Grass Café
601 Skokie Blvd., Northbrook, 847-205-4433
Creating a cuisine inspired by a prairie homestead setting, the chefs present a sophisticated contemporary menu featuring grass fed beef and produce from Chicago's Green City Market and local sustainable farms. The inventory includes house made paté in a crock, sautéed Lake Superior whitefish with portobello mushrooms, Tallgrass beef penne and filet of beef with chargrilled red onions and watercress. $$ Lunch Mon.-Fri.; dinner daily; brunch Sat. and Sun.
1625 Hinman Ave., Evanston, 847-570-8400
Located in the Homestead Hotel, Quince, a fruit used in jams, jellies and preserves, brings all kinds of worldly flavors with a touch of whimsy. A seasonal menu presents entrees such as mushroom ravioli, halibut with red pepper jam, and pork with endive. Diners can choose to eat the chef's creations through five-course tasting menu or from a grand tasting menu. Go across the hall to Q2 for cocktails and a light supper. $$$ Dinner Tues.-Sun.
2nd Street Bistro
1825 Second St., Highland Park, 847-433-3400
The food is the thing at this cozy spot but feel free to BYOB, with its invitation: "You pick the drinks; we will make your dinner." The "minors" include such things as summer corn bisque and a vegetable antipasto that changes daily. Under "substantial" is roasted Door County whitefish with braised red quinoa and wilted baby spinach. $$ Dinner Tues.-Sun.
The Stained Glass Bistro
1735 Benson Ave., Evanston, 847-864-8600
With over 250 bottled wines in addition to 100 bottles on the reserved lists, and 32 wines by the glass, this fine dining bistro allows diners to select their favorite beverages with their entrees. Try the bacon and eggs appetizer — deviled eggs with smoked salmon "bacon," salmon caviar and black truffle purée. Entrees include Australian rack of lamb, and barramundi with an artichoke and cheese crust. $$$ Dinner daily
Townhouse Restaurant and Wine Bar
695 Deerfield Road, Deerfield, 847-948-9700
Surrounded by warm wood-paneled walls and floor-to-ceiling windows, customers receive an elegant yet casual feel here. Try a two-handed spicy Asian turkey burger, Mardi Gras jambalaya, a petite filet or wild mushroom risotto. $$ Lunch and dinner daily
525 Rockland Road, Lake Bluff, 847-295-7140
Alek's, a sports bar and family restaurant, pairs American fare with a variety of events. Finger-favorite specialties include Buffalo wings, Angus sliders, bison burgers, Chicago-style pizzas and ribs. Enjoy a Friday night fish fry. Come on in for trivia nights on Thursdays and a live jazz brunch every Sunday. $ Lunch and dinner daily; brunch Sun.
10027 Skokie Blvd., Skokie, 847-933-9800
E.J. welcomes visitors longing for supper club style dining and professional wait staff catering to their every need. The woodsy lodge offers prime aged steaks, seafood and Italian specialties. Dishes include rib-eye steak, calf's liver with onions, handmade ravioli in a vodka sauce and veal limone. $$$ Dinner daily
1241 N. Harms Road, Glenview, 847-724-5577
1514 E. Lake Ave., Glenview, 847-724-7171
Hackney's majors in old-fashioned comfort food with its famous freshly ground burgers placed inside dark rye bread slices, sandwiches and various entrees. Specials include its french-fried onion loaf, a blue cheese-topped burger, French dip sandwich and fish and chips. $ Lunch and dinner daily for both locations
The Happ Inn Bar & Grill
305 Happ Road, Northfield, 847-784-9200
North Shore restaurateurs Carlos and Debbie Nieto go casual and neighborly in this good-looking, comfy spot. Feel right at home with big burgers, sandwiches, salads, hand tossed wood-fired pizzas, Mexican dishes such as tilapia tacos and the house specialty golden fried chicken. $ Lunch and dinner daily
J.P. McCarthy's Pizza and Grill
509 4th St., Wilmette, 847-853-9999
This place offers something for everyone whether it's grabbing a beer and watching a game or eating with the family and friends. Its legendary thin crust pizzas come in interesting names. The North Shore has sun-dried tomatoes, fresh basil and goat cheese while the Wall Street is "bullish" on grilled chicken, artichoke hearts, red onions and tomatoes. $ Lunch and dinner Tues.-Sun.
The Glen, 2601 Navy Blvd., Glenview, 847-832-9000
9525 N. Skokie Blvd., Skokie, 847-673-9700
Specializing in American cuisine with modern touches, Jameson's is a cozy setting with locations on the North Shore, northwest and west suburbs. Its dinner menu serves steaks, chops and fresh fish featuring such items as crab cakes, prime sirloin, baby back ribs and a number of fresh from market fish selections. $$ Glenview dinner daily, Skokie breakfast, lunch and dinner daily
Johnny's Kitchen & Tap
1740 Milwaukee Ave., Glenview, 847-699-9999
Johnny's, a family-friendly neighborhood place, fires up the grill with its barbecue baby back ribs and its famous wood-roasted rotisserie chicken. Savor other selections such as a charbroiled Black Angus New York strip steak topped with blue cheese or a grilled chicken sandwich topped with Gruyere and cranberry sauce. $$ Lunch and dinner daily
Market House on the Square
655 Forest Ave., Lake Forest, 847-234-8800
With its building certified as a national historic landmark, the Market Square makes its mark by making everything in house, including baking fresh bread daily. Starters include bacon cheeseburger egg rolls with all the fixings. Entrees offer an updated retro fave: "Hamburger Help Me" — tagliatelle noodles with a meaty Bolognese sauce and white cheddar cheese. $ Lunch and dinner daily
1855 Deerfield Road, Highland Park, 847-831-4445
Customers come to this long established sports-themed restaurant for familiar offerings of burgers, sandwiches and salads and other special items. Try a seafood ranchero entree with shrimp, salmon and scallops and vegetables over a bed of mildly spicy rice. Choose a favorite such as roast duck, Ellyn's fettuccine portobello or grilled turkey steak topped with peppers, onions and mushrooms. $$ Lunch Mon.-Fri.; dinner daily
The Ridgeview Grill
827 Ridge Road, Wilmette, 847-251-2770
Gourmet flavors permeate this neighborhood eatery serving American comfort food all day long. The breakfast menu has skillets, omelets, crepes and specialties such as brioche French toast and multigrain pancakes. The evening portion has mile high meatloaf, roast turkey breast with sage dressing and salmon seared with peppercorns. $ Breakfast, lunch and dinner daily
625 Rockland Road, Lake Bluff, 847-234-6660
Known by its tall shape, the two-level Silo provides a rustic, comfortable setting for anyone who craves pan-style and thin crust pizzas, juicy hamburgers, sandwiches, steaks and chicken. Get a whole meal when ordering giant stuffed baked potatoes. $ Lunch and dinner Mon.-Sat.; dinner Sun.
Trax Tavern & Grill
833 Unit A Deerfield Road, Deerfield, 847-236-0203
Make tracks to this family-friendly grill that has American and Italian dishes. The selection includes Caprese salad, grilled chicken Caesar sandwich, classic red chili, a hamburger topped with grilled tomatoes and fresh buffalo mozzarella and 20-inch hand-rolled New York-style pizzas. During the summer, Trax opens its rooftop patio. $ Lunch and dinner daily
Valley Lodge Restaurant
2132 Waukegan Road, Glenview, 847-724-7440
This warm and cozy lodge welcomes hungry diners with a scenic lakeside view and Greek and American comfort foods. Come in for burgers, garlic shrimp, chopped sirloin steak and a combo platter of dolmas, moussaka and pastitsio. $ Lunch Mon.-Sat.; dinner daily
1880 Tower Drive, Glenview, 847-729-9273
This restaurant's mission is to offer one of the largest selections of draft beers, a large menu of diverse American food accompanied by a selection of classic rock music on a state-of-the-art sound system.Pick from such "snacks" as deviled eggs, truffle fries, and shrimp ceviche. Bigger plates include burgers, pizza, and such specialty items as porcini crusted halibut and pepper-crusted filet mignon. $$ Lunch and dinner daily
1137 Greenleaf Ave., Wilmette, 847-256-1133
153 Akira specializes in creating attractive sushi and sashimi plates and Osaka-style Japanese entrees with French accents. Start with salmon carpaccio. Look for the tilapia in a delicate garlic, olive oil and citrus sauce and a holiday roll — King crab, tuna, and shrimp wrapped in soy paper. $$ Lunch and dinner Mon.-Fri.; dinner Sat.
3223 W. Lake Ave., Wilmette, 847-251-0384
With its Japanese grocery store, Akai Hana offers visitors a casual, culinary respite. Taste sushi made with octopus, yellowtail and shrimp or sample full entrees of sea bass teriyaki, asparagus beef maki and a healthy combo bento box with seaweed salad and tofu steak. $$ Lunch and dinner daily
227 Waukegan Road, Lake Bluff, 847-295-7811
Come here for a mix of Thai and Japanese dishes served in an intimate, contemporary setting with tables and banquettes. Summer rolls are a favorite served all year long. The sushi is artful and features the Ommera maki roll with tempura shrimp. Noodle panang is a spicy dish with a choice of meats and basil in a panang coconut curry sauce. $$ Lunch and dinner daily
Hana Asian Bistro
9434 Skokie Blvd., Skokie, 847-677-4262
With soft lighting emanating from wooden pillars and stone walls, Hana presents both Chinese and Japanese entrees and a long list of sushi. Get a raw fish fix with hamachi sashimi with jalapenos or have a roast duck salad for starters. Main entrees include seafood combo Korean style and noodles with salt and pepper smelt. $$ Lunch and dinner daily
Joy Yee's Noodles
521 Davis St., Evanston, 847-733-1900
If you tried to eat your way through this noodle shop's expansive menu of chow mein, chow fun, udon and other noodles it would take quite an effort. All favorites are here such as pad thai and lo mein as well as something a little different like woon sen — clear noodles. Stir frys are available over rice and the menu also has Vietnamese sandwiches. $ Lunch and dinner daily
1320 Shermer Road, Northbrook, 847-562-0064
Kamehachi introduced sushi to Chicago in 1967 with the opening of its first restaurant downtown in 1967. Meaning "eight turtles" in Japanese, Kamehachi has everything from a beginner's sushi platter to marinated garlic-sesame soy sauced lamb chops. In between, there is an assortment of noodle dishes, meat teriyakis and specials such as a fatty bluefin tuna tartare and breaded crab claws. $$ Lunch Mon.-Sat.; dinner daily
624 Davis St., Evanston, 847-866-6969
Koi surrounds itself with modern architecture and greenery as the setting for dishes from the eight different regions of China, as well as sushi. Stroll through the Chinatown menu to find Szechwan cold noodles and braised pork belly. Hop over to the Shandong region for Peking duck bao — soft steamed buns filled with duck — or mu shu wraps. $$ Lunch Mon.-Fri.; dinner daily
566 Chestnut St., Winnetka, 847-501-5699
Lemongrass bring a bright flavor to Thai creations. Have beef, chicken, tofu and shrimp tossed in different flavored sauces or red, yellow and green curries with sides of steamed jasmine or brown rice. Chef specials include sweet chili chicken and salmon curry. $ Lunch Mon-Sat.; dinner daily
1900 First St., Highland Park, 847-433-7007
Creating a soothing setting, this eatery presents Chinese and Taiwanese specialties. Start with scallion pancakes. Discover pork in a sweet brown soybean paste sauce, chicken and tofu in a light garlic sauce and steamed seasonal fish with rice wine, ginger and shredded pork. $ Lunch and dinner daily
804 Davis St., Evanston, 847-869-4343
This intimate downtown restaurant is committed to healthy Pan-Asian cooking and fun flavors. The dim sum menu offers myriad choices from soup to black steamed mussels to salt and pepper calamari with tomato-ginger dipping sauce. Try the refreshing Vietnamese Rice Noodle Salad — chilled rice stick noodles, grilled beef, lettuce, crispy spring roll, ground peanuts, cilantro and mint. $ Lunch and dinner daily
Niku Niku Toyo
840 S. Waukegan Road, Lake Forest, 847-234-8797
A sibling to Sushi Kushi, this spot specializes in steak, seafood, barbecue and sushi. Peruse the barbecue selections such as boneless short ribs, skirt steak and garlic shrimp. Try the Japanese style pancakes of pork and veggies or chicken and veggies or go for a specialty roll such as the lobster tempura roll. $$ Lunch Mon., Wed., Thurs., Fri. and Sat.; dinner Wed.-Mon.
2601 Aviator Lane, Glenview, 847-510-1100
This vibrant place specializes in creative sushi with fun names and imaginative cocktails. Start with pineapple cheese wontons or a creamy edamame and spinach dip, served warm with wonton chips. Enjoy signature sushi such as the Tootsy Maki — crab mix, shrimp and cucumber rolled and topped with crunchy tempura bits and drizzled with a sweet eel sauce. Pick a lively Ginger Blossom cocktail — Hendrick's Gin, St. Germain, muddled strawberry, pink grapefruit juice, lime juice and a splash of ginger ale. $$$
3420 Milwaukee Ave., Northbrook, 847-390-8390
Come in for authentic Korean cuisine in a spacious and cozy atmosphere. Traditional dishes include bulgogi, sliced tender beef and vegetables marinated in a special sauce, and galbi — beef or pork short ribs. Be prepared to have complimentary kimchi and several side dishes come to your table. $$ Lunch and dinner daily
503 Main St., Evanston, 847-332-2302
Siam offers a Pan-Asian approach with its menu. The Thai section tosses meats in a spicy basil or red curry mixture. The Chinese selection includes mu shu pork and Mongolian beef. The Korean side has hot bean curd with meat or seafood and sweet and sour beef. Sushi, yakisoba and teriyaki represent the Japanese stop. It offers an all-you-can-eat menu Sunday and Monday nights. $ Lunch and dinner daily
Sushi Kushi Toyo
825 S. Waukegan Road, Lake Forest, 847-234-9950
Locals come for fresh sushi, sashimi, maki rolls and kushi — Japanese shish kebabs made with ingredients such as quail, liver and chicken wing. The eatery also offers an extensive menu of teriyakis, pan-fried and cold noodles, tempura and meat combos and chef's specials. $$ Lunch Mon.-Sat.; dinner daily
Sushi Kushi Too
495 Central Ave., Highland Park, 847-681-8997
A sister restaurant to Sushi Kushi Toyo, this sibling provides a cozy atmosphere and an authentic Japanese menu and extensive sushi list. Choose from various teriyakis, donburis, udon and soba noodle dishes along with other items such as onigiri — rice balls — or oyster and vegetables in a flavored red miso soup. $$ Lunch Tues.-Sat.; dinner Tues.-Sun.
2857 Pfingsten Road, Glenview, 847-272-0007
Known for his critically acclaimed Chicago restaurants of Szechwan House and Mandarin, Austin Koo shares his famous Chinese cooking with North Shore residents. Specialty Chinese entrees include dan dan noodles with spinach and minced pork, san bei chicken with garlic and ginger in a basil sauce served in a sizzling hot pot and sole fillets in a sweet sake sauce. $ Lunch and dinner daily
Tokyo & Beijing Restaurant
339 Ridge Road, Wilmette, 847-251-2666
Two popular Asian cuisines — Japanese and Chinese — reside under one restaurant along with some Thai dishes thrown in for good measure. Search through a list of sushi and makimono rolls, fried rice omelets, Thai spicy basil beef, grilled salmon teriyaki and a Szechuan meat and seafood combination. $$ Lunch and dinner Mon.-Fri; dinner daily
730 Waukegan Road, Deerfield, 847-317-9453
Wildfish creates a striking, contemporary sushi and grill restaurant with its ceiling high bamboo, dramatic red accents and private wood-accented booths. Take a tuna sashimi flight or a vegetarian nigiri sushi combo. Or try the N.Y. Strip steak paired with lobster in sake and garlic butter. $$$ Lunch and dinner Mon.-Sat.; dinner Sun.
Hecky's Barbecue Restaurant
1902 Green Bay Road, Evanston, 847-492-1182
Hecky's uses a family Creole recipe to spice up its baby back ribs, rib tips and chicken. Other offerings include pulled pork, hot links combo, jumbo wings and a barbecue turkey burger. Leave room for sweet potato pie. If you know someone who misses Hecky's, the sauce ships nationwide. $ Lunch and dinner daily
Little Ricky's Rib Joint
540 Lincoln Ave., Winnetka, 847-784-1444
Little Ricky's loves barbecue and shows it in its casual dining menu. Find barbecued baby back ribs, half chicken and pulled pork. Other options include skirt steak, stir fry shrimp salad, grilled salmon and fish and chips. $ Lunch and dinner daily
Ravinia BBQ and Grill
592 Roger Williams Ave., Highland Park, 847-433-1111
Placed in a popular business district, patrons either pick up hearty items for their lawn seat picnics at Ravinia Festival or have a dinner inside sipping on one of the eatery's specialty martinis. Start with mini Sloppy Joes then go with the grill's claim to fame: cooked-to-order chicken dishes and barbecued baby back ribs. $$ Dinner Mon. and Wed-Sun.
Annie's Pancake House
4900 Oakton St., Skokie, 847-675-7562
On a corner spot, Annie's attracts folks with crepes, pancakes, fruit-topped waffles and sandwiches throughout the day. Wake up with a peach blintz or Hawaii Five-O omelet stuffed with pineapple, bacon, ham and Monterey Jack cheese. Find hearty sandwiches such as a beef muffaletta or a triple decker turkey club. $ Breakfast, lunch and dinner daily
113 E. Scranton Ave., Lake Bluff, 847-295-3344
At this breakfast spot and delicatessen, visitors can grab coffee, smoothie or a shake along with a sandwich or a salad or sit down for an unrushed homestyle breakfast or lunch inside or outside. The café offers its specialty Doug's club sandwich — chicken salad, bacon and cheddar cheese on toasted wheat or the sunny salad — a mixture of lettuce, carrots, tomatoes, Parmesan cheese and poppy seed dressing. $ Breakfast and lunch Mon.-Sat.
Caffé Buon Giorno
566 Chestnut St., Winnetka, 847-784-8899
This daytime bistro infuses an Italian flair with its breakfast and lunch items. From-scratch items include blueberry pancakes, a broccoli and English cheddar cheese omelet, eggs with crab cakes and eggs with capicolla — a grilled Italian ham. Lunchtime items include hot panini sandwich, such as the turkey, asparagus and Gruyere cheese. $ Breakfast and lunch daily
Egg Harbor Café
The Glen, 2350 Lehigh Ave., Glenview, 847-998-1101
512 N. Western Ave., Lake Forest, 847-295-3449
A well-known daybreak chain surrounded by country decor, Egg Harbor thrives on presenting gourmet breakfast and lunch creations for all ages. There's no shortage of egg entrees from frittatas to scramblers to omelets and Benedicts. Personal creations include its famous black bean chili, Sir Dugan frittata and Door County chicken salad. $ Breakfast and lunch daily
The Glen, 2000 Tower Lane, Glenview, 847-998-5111
This spot serves breakfast and lunch daily showing its sunny side up in a bright contemporary setting. Begin your day with a mile high omelet or a super mushroom, spinach skillet. For lunch, choose a chicken salad wrap or a Greek Island salad. $ Breakfast and lunch daily.
Mrs. D's Wilmette Diner
415 4th St., Wilmette, 847-256-2580
For more than 50 years, this local storefront diner gives customers homey breakfasts and lunches in a fun atmosphere with newspaper clippings on the wall and stool seating. Dig into tropical French toast with bananas, pecans and toasted coconut, a Philly cheese steak sandwich or a grilled veggie wrap. $ Breakfast and lunch daily
The Original Green Bay Café
568 Green Bay Road, Winnetka, 847-446-7698
An out of the way place, this little gem of a café serves unique daytime entrees of bread pudding French toast and tamale corn flapjacks. Another signature item is the Chutney Bay Chicken, a chicken salad with chutney, almonds and a kick of curry. $ Breakfast and lunch daily
1615 Waukegan Road, Glenview, 847-724-0220
620 Central Ave., Highland Park, 847-432-0660
153 Green Bay Road, Wilmette, 847-251-6000
Popular with families, this homey, all-American eatery offers breakfast all day and into the evening with creations of challah French toast, banana pancakes, a lox plate, Western baked omelet and a specialty apple cinnamon pancake topped with vanilla ice cream. $ Breakfast, lunch and dinner daily
4999 Old Orchard Center, Skokie, 847-677-0100
Traditional, Old World family Jewish recipes grace this deli's refrigerated cases. Come in for a smoked whitefish platter, a cheese blintz or a Devon Avenue combination sandwich of pastrami, corned beef and Swiss cheese on rye. Hot delicacies include a boiled beef tongue, baked beef short ribs or hoppel-poppel — an omelet with diced frankfurter or salami, potato, green pepper and onion. $ Breakfast, lunch and dinner daily
Blind Faith Café
525 W. Dempster St., Evanston, 847-328-6875
Describing itself as a "certified green restaurant," this cafe and bakery serves up an all vegetarian menu and an array of bakery treats to fit all diets and tastes. Cafe offerings include a barbecue seitan sandwich, enchiladas verdes and spinach lasagna. The bakery has everything from chocolate éclairs to vegan chocolate cupcakes. $ Breakfast, lunch and dinner Tues.-Sun.
The Chicago Botanic Garden Café
1000 Lake Cook Road, Glencoe, 847-835-3040
With spacious and beautiful gardens as backdrop for the cafe, guests satiate their appetites by choosing made-to-order omelets, bakery items, flatbread pizzas, soups and sandwiches. At dinner, the seasonal outdoor grill has hamburgers, ale-braised Sheboygan bratwurst, and entrees that change weekly. $$ Breakfast, lunch and dinner daily
Convito Café & Market
Plaza del Lago, 1515 Sheridan Road, Wilmette, 847-251-3654
This perennial favorite is a market and a café. The café offers a regional European menu with a focus on French and Italian preparations. From "openings," select an onion tart — caramelized onion, pancetta and vanilla creme fraiche. Choose one of the pastas such as whole wheat roman rigatoni with Tuscan broccolini, oven roasted tomatoes, crispy onions, ricotta, extra virgin olive oil and lemon zest. $$ Lunch and dinner Mon.-Sat.
Max and Benny's Restaurant and Deli
Brookside Plaza, 461 Waukegan Road, Northbrook, 847-272-9490
Popular with customers of all ages since 1985, this restaurant, deli and bakery puts forth a whopping menu of Jewish and international comfort food classics in a 300-plus-seat setting. Go for the restaurant's famous Reuben sandwich piled high with corned beef, chicken pesto salad, smoked whitefish platter or an open face hot turkey sandwich on challah bread. $$ Breakfast, lunch and dinner daily
191 Skokie Valley Road, Highland Park, 847-831-0600
Max's calls itself "Chicago's New York deli." One big reason from a New Yorker's perspective would be the egg creams — a fountain drink with chocolate syrup, milk and seltzer water that originated in New York. Then there's the chopped liver, matzo ball soup, latkes, and, of course, the overstuffed sandwiches of such favorites as pastrami, corned beef and roast beef. $ Breakfast, lunch and dinner daily
Noyes Street Café
828 W. Noyes St., Evanston, 847-475-8683
After seeing the exhibits at the Noyes Cultural Arts Center, enter here for refreshments. The café combines freshness and visual presentation with its Greek and Italian entrees such as pasta with smoked salmon, spinach, black olives and cheese, and half a spring chicken sautéed in butter with fresh basil and honey. $$ Lunch and dinner Mon.-Fri.; brunch and dinner Sat. and Sun.
Prairie Joe's/The Real Joe's
1921 Central St., Evanston, 847-491-0391
By day this café offers a funky mix of American, Mexican and vegetarian fare in a fun atmosphere. Highlights include biscuits and gravy, burgers, homemade soups and thick milkshakes. In response to a request from customers it added an evening dinner service and slapped on a different name — all at the same location. Keeping it eclectic, the dinner menu offers such things as batter-fried cod tacos and build-your-own falafel sandwich. $ Breakfast and lunch daily; dinner Tues.-Sat.
833-C Deerfield Road, Deerfield, 847-267-1700
This café "hums" with a steady beat to provide all kinds of items. Daytime dishes include a breakfast quesadilla, a tomato, bacon and spinach frittata, pumpkin and walnut pancakes and a veggie burger. The dinner list includes traditional chicken Vesuvio, a seared tilapia in a white wine, lemon and garlic sauce and black and blue London broil with cracked black pepper and blue cheese. $$ Breakfast, lunch and dinner daily
Wilde and Greene
Westfield Old Orchard, I-94 and Old
Orchard Road, Skokie, 847-679-2019
What fun. This restaurant and natural market occupies a 30,000-square-foot space in Old Orchard mall. It features a market-style restaurant, a natural market where local, organic, vegan and gluten-free items can be found, and a roof top bar that offers tapas and light meals. At the main restaurant, choose from an assortment of food and beverages such as salads, pastas, pizzas, fresh juices, crepes, and gelato, made in-house in one of the 18 different stations. $ Lunch and dinner daily
Cajun, Creole, Southern
1636 Old Deerfield Road, Highland Park, 847-831-0595
Step inside this casual eatery to sample a mixture of modern American Southern flavors that mingle alongside global fare. Enjoy Tavern Pale Ale, the house beer, while dining on dry rub-seasoned barbecue ribs, jambalaya, a mushroom broil sandwich and tempura-battered Maryland soft shell crabs. Leave room for Key Lime pie with Chantilly cream. $$ Lunch Tues.-Fri.; dinner Tues.-Sun.
Dixie Kitchen & Bait Shop
825 Church St., Evanston, 847-733-9030
Sit a spell to admire all the nostalgic signs from yesteryear, bait shop tchotckes and Creole and Cajun cuisines. Choices include fried green tomatoes, breaded fresh oysters, gumbo, whole baby catfish, shrimp Creole po' boy sandwiches and peach cobbler. $ Breakfast, lunch and dinner Mon.-Fri.; brunch, lunch and dinner Sat. and Sun.
675 Central Ave., Highland Park, 847-748-8954
The owner of this place is from a small town in Kentucky where she was schooled in the fine art of southern cooking and good bourbon. Both are featured on the menu, as well as southern hospitality. Begin with fried green tomatoes with smoked tomato cream sauce. Try the hangar steak with mustard green grits or prime bone-in rib-eye with balsamic red onion marmalade. $$ Lunch and dinner Tues.-Sat.
Bank Lane Bistro
670 Bank Lane, Lake Forest, 847-234-8802
Classic French cooking with an American twist is the offering at this charming second floor bistro that overlooks Market Square. First courses include lobster bisque and tuna tartare. Select entrees of striped bass with Swiss chard, Berkshire pork rack with potato hash or the classic coq au vin. Or choose a four- or six-course tasting menu. $$$ Lunch Tues.-Fri.; dinner Tues.-Sat.
618 Church St., Evanston, 847-424-1483
Come for the authentic French food in this downtown Evanston that places an emphasis on locally sourced ingredients. Begin with steak tartare or pan-fried Delaware Bay oysters. Entrees include classics such steak pommes frites and bouilbaisse. Finish off your meal with a selection from the cheese plate. The bistro offers a wide selection of reasonably priced French wines. Dinner daily; brunch Sun.
455 Central Ave., Highland Park, 847-266-7878
Owners Carlos and Debbie Nieto place a slice of French country bistro heaven in Highland Park's downtown area with this charming storefront café. Diners sit at cozy white linen-covered tables to dine on Burgundy escargot, braised lamb shank, risotto of the day and roasted chicken seasoned with herbes de Provence. $$ Lunch and dinner Tues.-Sat.; dinner Sun.
Frank & Betsie's
51 Green Bay Road, Glencoe, 847-446-0404
Frank & Betsie's combines a sunny California-influenced cuisine with a French accent. The menu changes daily and seasonally in this warm and inviting spot. Recent selections included paté a la maison, grilled mahi mahi, and steak frites with a rich bordelaise sauce. $$ Lunch and dinner Mon.-Sat.
Froggy's French Cafe
306 Green Bay Road, Highwood, 847-433-7080
Froggy's white-paned double doors open to guests who find a flavorful French cuisine inside a romantic brick structure. Along with a selection of 300 French and American wines, diners choose from marinated Gulf shrimp, escargot casserole, chicken a la Nicoise, grilled beef medallions and a wild game plate. $$$ Lunch Mon.-Fri; dinner Mon.-Sat.
310 Green Bay Road, Highwood, 847-433-0031
Chef Gabriel Viti's eatery serves French and Italian cuisines in an elegant dining room of white linen, mahogany and etched glass. Diners view hardworking chefs in the European style open kitchen as they create culinary masterpieces of whole roasted calamari crostini with warm arugula, grilled veal porterhouse with pommes frites, and house made lobster and mushroom tortelloni with lobster and basil sauce. After your meal, enjoy the French tradition of an assortment of cheeses with house made brioche. $$$ Dinner Tues.-Sat.
2614 Green Bay Road, Evanston, 847-869-7636
Jilly's imbues a French ambiance with its countryside decor, handpicked flowers and friendly wait staff. French dishes with an American twist include smoked salmon over potato pancake, include a mushroom risotto, a seasonal vegetable melange with house made cornbread and bouillabaisse. $$ Lunch Tues.-Fri.; dinner Tues.-Sun.; brunch Sun.
301 Waukegan Ave., Highwood, 847-433-1078
This prominent corner spot, also owned by Gabriel Viti, blends French bistro cooking with a "lost in time" Cuban culinary flair. Antique mirrors reflect the entrees appearing on wooden tables. Eat fresh oysters, seared ahi tuna with walnut vinaigrette, steak with black peppercorn sauce and bouillabaisse with Pernod broth. Enjoy the seasonal outdoor patio. $$ Lunch and dinner daily; brunch Sun.
727 Elm Street, Winnetka, 847-441-5590
Mirani's surrounds itself in pale pink walls, antique tapestries and paintings as it presents brasserie bistro cooking. The menu has various steak frites, a cheese plate, sautéed whitefish and steamed mussels. $$ Lunch and dinner Tues.-Sat.
64 Green Bay Road, Winnetka, 847-441-3100
Chef/proprietor Michael Lachowicz uses his fine French cooking repertoire to create imaginative entrees. Choices include pan-roasted diver scallop, crispy veal sweetbreads, a duo of roast tenderloin and galantine of pork, roast duck breast and stuffed hen a l'orange. $$$ Dinner Tues.-Sun.
566 Chestnut St., Winnetka, 847-446-9300
Found in the back of the Laundry Room Mall, this "courtyard restaurant," as its name translates, presents fresh and authentic Greek dining in a friendly, relaxed setting. Dine inside or on the outdoor patio and enjoy pita flatbreads, Greek spreads, an artichoke and vegetable moussaka, and scallops with Greek spaghetti. $$ Lunch and dinner daily
Curry Hut Restaurant
410 Sheridan Road, Highwood, 847-432-2889
At this full-service establishment, Indian and Nepalese cuisines come together giving many full-flavored vegetarian and meat choices for guests. Find lamb with spinach, mint and yogurt marinated chicken and tandoori lobster. The Nepalese side has goat simmered in spices and herbs and a chicken filet marinated with Himalayan spices. $ Lunch and dinner daily
660 Lake Cook Road, Deerfield, 847-940-0777
Patrons seat themselves in a festive "open-air" taverna setting as they taste Grecian delights. A popular dish is pastitsio — macaroni with braised lamb and beef.
Choose chicken breast and artichokes in a white wine and lemon cream sauce or sautéed tilapia with tomato sauce, onions, capers and olives. $$ Lunch and dinner Mon.-Fri.; dinner Sat. and Sun.
1154 Central Ave., Wilmette, 847-256-1002
This spot specializes in flavors from the eastern Mediterranean. Begin with such classics as hummus, babba ghanoush and dolmades — rice stuffed grape leaves. Pick from several platters to sample a variety of tastes including a grilled beef and chicken platter. $ Lunch and dinner daily
215 Skokie Valley Road, Highland Park, 847-831-1400
Come for a taste of authentic Israeli cuisine in this warm and casual Glatt Kosher restaurant. Fill plates with a variety of meat kebabs, falafels, pita sandwiches and salads. Signature offerings include marinated turkey and lamb shawarma. $$ Lunch and dinner Sun.-Thurs.; lunch Fri.
Mt. Everest Restaurant
630 Church St., Evanston, 847-491-1069
Mt. Everest also scales the culinary world to bring Indian and Nepalese dishes to its customers in an elegant atmosphere. The Indian side offers chicken with almonds and a minced lamb kebab. The limited Nepalese menu has boiled lentils sautéed with spices and chicken cooked with local spices. $ Lunch and dinner daily
Periyali Greek Taverna
9860 N. Milwaukee Ave., Glenview, 847-296-2232
Enjoy a trip to Greece in food and atmosphere. All Greek favorites can be found on the large and inviting menu from the two-handed gyros to a variety of authentic appetizer spreads to tender grilled octopus. Choose a combination platter to get a good sampling of the cuisine. $$ Lunch and dinner daily
1910 First St., Highland Park, 847-266-9990
Eastern Mediterranean flavors permeate Phoenicia's dishes. Most receive a side a grilled vegetables. Choose from meat and couscous dishes, whole red snapper or a refreshing fattoush salad with toasted pita and vegetables. $$ Lunch Tues.-Sat.; dinner daily
254 Green Bay Road, Highwood, 847-432-3311
Reminiscent of an Irish village pub, McKenna's offers a friendly welcome and traditional Irish entrees of shepherd's pie, Irish cheddar vegetable quiche, and beef Guinness stew. Signature sandwiches feature a grilled chicken breast marinated in an Irish whiskey glaze and a hamburger topped with blue cheese, mushrooms and red onion marmalade. $$ Lunch and dinner Tues.-Sun.
The Celtic Knot Public House
626 Church St., Evanston, 847-864-1679
This cozy house presents Irish fare with other European dishes under a candlelit ambiance. Order potato-crusted cod and bacon-wrapped asparagus or sample a Celtic collection of lamb stew, fish and chips and corned beef and cabbage. Afternoon tea is available on Wednesdays and Saturdays. $$ Lunch and dinner daily; brunch Sun.
8266 N. Lincoln Ave., Skokie, 847-675-9600
An Irish spirit and friendliness fills the air when guests come to have a "craic" — a good time. Typical Irish fare includes chicken-filled cottage pie, Guinness beer battered fish and chips and boxtys — a traditional stuffed potato pancake with chicken, vegetables, seafood or corned beef. $ Lunch and dinner daily
1868 Prairie St., Glenview, 847-724-1390
Grandpa's evokes a simpler time and even has a bar that dates back to 1891. This Irish-influenced tavern provides diners with hearty items of fish and chips, chicken kebabs, a barbecued pulled pork sandwich and a hot corned beef sandwich. $ Lunch and dinner daily
Tommy Nevin's Pub
1450-1458 Sherman Ave., Evanston, 847-869-0450
Tommy's fire-engine red facade pays homage to the Temple Bar in Dublin and alerts diners to its Irish-American comfort foods. Some of the samplings include melted three-cheese sandwich, a lamb burger, bangers and mash and a pot roast boxty. $$ Lunch and dinner daily
Alex's Washington Gardens
256 Green Bay Road, Highwood, 847-432-0309
Proud of its history and Italian heritage, "the Gardens" dates back to 1932 when Angelina Scornavacco opened a beer and wine garden on the corner of Railway and Washington avenues. Besides thin-crust pizzas, house specialties are penne with fresh peas, lasagna Bolognese, Cajun martini whitefish and baked boneless chicken breasts in a lemon, white wine and herb sauce. $$ Dinner daily
Bertucci's Steak and Seafood
246 Green Bay Road, Highwood, 847-432-6663
An Italian-American steakhouse, Bertucci's serves Mama Lena's classic recipes. Find everything from filets to chicken to veal and pastas. Some choices include veal Bertucci — sautéed with asparagus, artichokes, lemon and fontina cheese, porcini-dusted scallops over angel hair, and tortellacci pasta filled with spinach and three cheeses. $$ Lunch Mon.-Sat.; dinner daily; brunch Sun.
The Shops at Deerfield Square
711 Deerfield Road, Deerfield, 847-607-2300
This Deerfield location joins six other Biaggi's in Illinois serving up plentiful portions of Italian entrees in a comfortable and relaxing atmosphere. Diners choose from house made and imported pastas, pizzas, strombolis, steaks, pizzas, and seafood. Select dishes such as jumbo lump crab cakes, smoked hanger steak with tomato chutney, garlic shrimp oreganata, ziti pasta in a lobster cream sauce, and pan seared cod. $$ Lunch and dinner daily
Bravo! Cucina Italiana
1701 Maple Ave., Evanston, 847-733-0917
2600 Navy Blvd., Glenview, 847-724-8400
Come to this casual, white-tablecloth restaurant for classic Italian food such as lasagna Bolognese. View the open kitchen as it creates a show of preparing wood grilled steaks and chops, signature dishes such as chicken Parmesan Milanese. $$ Lunch and dinner daily
609 N. Milwaukee Ave., Glenview, 847-729-2268
A Glenview fixture for more than 15 years, this intimate café and full-service bar draws people with regional Italian cuisine influenced by French, Mediterranean and American flavors. Sample prime filet mignon carpaccio, wild mushroom ravioli, pappardelle in a duck ragu and a duo of roasted chicken and Italian sausage in a garlic and white wine sauce. $$ Lunch Mon.-Fri.; dinner daily
815 Chicago Ave., Evanston, 847-475-6100
Italy's green farmland fields serve to inspire Campagnola as it presents rustic, full-bodied dishes. The menu includes bacon wrapped pheasant breast apple, braised short ribs with caramelized root vegetables, and linguine with grilled shrimp, tomato, black olive and lemon zest. $$ Dinner Tues.-Sun.
Dave's Italian Kitchen
1635 Chicago Ave., Evanston, 847-864-6000
Making healthy and traditional Italian food at inexpensive prices is the goal for Dave's and has been for more than 35 years. Customers enjoy fresh-baked bread and entrees such as spaghetti marinara with broccoli, red pepper and carrots, brown rice risotto, stuffed green peppers, balsamic chicken, and spinach ricotta cheese pie. $ Dinner daily
842 Western Ave., Lake Forest, 847-295-8888
825 Waukegan Road, Lake Forest, 847-615-1000
The family-owned, family-friendly Ferentino's restaurants use grandmother's recipes of thin crust and pan pizzas, pastas and Chicago classic beef and sausage sandwiches. Visitors create DIY pasta dishes from seven sauces and three meats or make a panini or sub from a variety of meats and foccacia or French breads. $ Lunch and dinner daily Waukegan Road; lunch and dinner Mon.-Sat. Western Avenue
293 E. Illinois Road, Lake Forest, 847-735-9235
1145 Church St., Northbrook, 847-559-0260
Good, simple northern Italian cooking at reasonable prices is what makes Francesca's a favorite spot in Chicago and throughout the suburbs. Menu selections include tri-color carpaccio, shell shaped pasta with asparagus and pine nuts, and roasted salmon with mushrooms, leeks, tomato and sage. $$ Lunch Mon.-Fri.; dinner daily Lake Forest; Lunch and dinner daily Northbrook
Francesco's Hole in the Wall
254 Skokie Boulevard, Northbrook, 847-272-0155
Francesco's takes guests to a quaint, rustic atmosphere reminiscent of a small intimate trattoria. Diners see selections on the ever-changing wallboard menu based on daily fresh ingredients. Entrees may include a red snapper Vesuvio, a trio of mushroom, asparagus and spinach ravioli and osso bucco with risotto. $$ Lunch Mon., Wed-Fri.; dinner Mon., Wed.-Sun.
1631 Chicago Ave., Evanston, 847-869-3900
Gio presents a comfortable dining area with its colored murals, soft lighting and its popular brick oven wheat crust Roman pizzas. Other dishes include duck ravioli with shiitake mushrooms and red wine sauce, pappardelle with lamb shank and red peppers and grilled sirloin with portobello and polenta in a Chianti sauce. $$ Dinner daily
Gusto Italiano Ristorante
1470 Waukegan Road, Glenview, 847-729-5444
A taste of the Mediterranean is what Gusto puts on its large and varied menu, served up in a welcoming atmosphere. Check out the goat cheese platter, whole wheat pasta primavera, authentic bone-in chicken Vesuvio, veal with baby artichokes, mushroom and spinach, shrimp Dijon and its popular eggplant Parmigiana. $$ Lunch Mon.- Fri.; dinner daily
1850 Second St., Highland Park, 847-433-8600
This downtown spot celebrates the simple spirit of Italian cuisine by presenting dishes comprised of five or less ingredients. The chef calls it "forward thinking food," made with fresh, local produce and sustainable meats. The arancini are crispy risotto balls with marscarpone and fresh herbs. Garlic confit pizza combines dried cured olives, capers, grana padana and arugula. $$ Lunch Mon.-Fri., dinner daily
1566 Oak Ave., Evanston, 847-475-7779
Tucked inside the historic Margarita European Inn, Pensiero Ristorante offers a charming atmosphere and Italian fare prepared from imported ingredients. Choose from seasonally inspired dishes and such creations as Pappardelle Rustiche, housemade and hand-cut pappardelle pasta in a wild boar Bolognese, or Risotto Carnaroli. $$ Dinner Thurs., Fri., and Sat.
Pizano's Pizza and Pasta
1808 N. Waukegan Road, Glenview, 847-486-1777
Born into a Chicago pizza empire, Rudy Malnati Jr. built his own pizzeria emphasizing fresh and quality ingredients. In addition to its deep-dish and thin-crust pies, the menu offers entrees of chicken Parmesan, bowtie pasta with sun-dried tomatoes and hearty beef, sausage and meatball sandwiches. $$ Lunch and dinner daily
Rosebud Italian Country House & Pizzeria
560 N. Waukegan Road, Deerfield, 847-914-0900
This addition to the Rosebud family specializes in homestyle Italian dishes that first gained the restaurant acclaim in Chicago's Little Italy. Enjoy classics like sausage and peppers, chicken Vesuvio, and handmade pappardelle pasta with marinara sauce. $$ Lunch and dinner daily.
706 Main St., Evanston, 847-475-1111
Wood-fired pizzas, topped with fresh mozzarella, vegetables and meats, are the specialty here. Other menu attractions include rack of lamb with light lemon cream sauce, lightly grilled salmon and tilapia, and chicken in a tomato sauce with fresh mozzarella. $$ Lunch and dinner daily
810 Sheridan Road, Highwood, 847-266-8900
Southern Italian cooking Sicilian style finds a home here. Have a chilled Peroni beer and pair it with pastas such as rigatoni with vodka sauce. Other offerings include a beef filet with Barolo wine, basil and cream, and various fish selections such as the popular whitefish. $$ Lunch and dinner Tues.-Sun.
1358 Shermer Road, Northbrook, 847-559-8785
This family-owned trattoria spotlights pizzas and dishes from central Italy. Uncover such dishes as salmon carpaccio on a bed of arugula with capers, rolled pasta with proscuitto in a tomato cream sauce, linguine with portobello, and veal piccata in a caper lemon sauce. $$ Lunch Mon.-Fri.; dinner daily
Trattoria Valle D'Itria
581 Roger Williams Ave., Highland Park, 847-266-0600
This trattoria "transports" diners to a southern Italian countryside where they dine on steamed mussels in red or white wine sauce, personal brick oven pizzas and main dishes. Select manicotti stuffed with ricotta and spinach, gnocchi with a choice of sauces, chicken Marsala or whitefish puttanesca. $$ Lunch Mon.-Fri.; dinner daily
1139 Wilmette Ave., Wilmette, 847-251-3111
Stop at this eatery for Latin American-inspired dishes set against a brightly decorated interior. Try a bowl of Mayan chicken-lime soup or duck mole enchiladas for an appetizer and then go to main entrees such as a chipolte-rubbed ruby red trout and surf and turf combo of grilled flank steak with chimichurri sauce and grilled jumbo shrimp. $$ Dinner daily
El Jardin Norte
1831 Tower Drive, Glenview, 847-729-9888
Located in the busy Glen Tower Center, El Jardin gives diners fresh traditional Mexican fare of burritos, chile rellenos, flautas, enchiladas, and mixed meat and seafood fajitas. Celebrate a dinner with a frozen margarita or a margatini — a combination of margaritas and martinis. $$ Lunch and dinner daily; breakfast Sat. and Sun.
Guanajuato Contemporary Mexican & Tequila Bar
73 Green Bay Road, Glencoe, 847-242-0501
Find savory and authentic Mexican dishes that make the mouth water. Guanajuato has a fair amount of seafood and vegetable entrees. Its signature dish is the El Molcajete —_steak, grilled cactus, onions, black beans and salsa simmered together. $$ Lunch and dinner daily
2545 Prairie Ave., Evanston, 847-733-0899
This Nuevo Latino restaurant opened for breakfast, lunch and dinner is located in on boutique-lined Central Street. Start the day with a chocolate croissant or huevos rancheros. For lunch choose a smoked trout salad. For dinner order small plates such as short ribs or large plates of scallops with poblano. $ Lunch Tues.-Fri., dinner Tues.-Sun.
La Casa de Issac
431 Temple Ave., Highland Park, 847-433-5550
At this festively decorated house owned by Issac and Moishe Nava, diners watch chefs prepare Mexican fare of steak fajitas, pollo relleno and chipotle barbecue marinated grilled salmon. Signature entrees include King David's quesadilla filled with lox with onion, chive cream cheese and melted cheese. $$ Breakfast and lunch Mon.-Fri. and Sun.; dinner Mon.-Thurs., Sat. and Sun.
La Casa de Issac & Moishe Restaurant
2014 1st St., Highland Park, 847-433-7400
This second restaurant from owners Issac and Moishe Nava is located around the corner from the first and gives diners more seating room. Guests dine on house made salsa and chips along with dishes emphasizing the Navas' region of Huitzuco, Guerrero, Mexico such as a salmon goat cheese burrito. $$ Breakfast, lunch and dinner Mon.-Thurs. and Sat. and Sun.; breakfast and lunch Fri.
San Gabriel Mexican Café
2535 Waukegan Road, Bannockburn, 847-940-0200
Hungry diners can fill up on tableside prepared guacamole or some other starters including shrimp empanadas. Mainstays include snapper Veracruzana and molcajete — steak, chicken or shrimp in a bubbly mix of tomatoes, onions, sweet peppers and three-chile salsa cooked and served in a large bowl made of volcano rock. $$ Lunch Mon.-Fri.; dinner daily
Yolo Mexican Eatery
5111 Brown St., Skokie, 847-674-0987
Yolo, a family-owned casual and romantic dining spot, distinguishes itself by providing an upscale twist to traditional Mexican cuisine. Take a journey with dishes such as whole fried pompano fish in a cilantro sauce and grilled steak with a fresh tomato and Serrano pepper sauce. $$ Dinner Tues.-Sat.
992 Willow Road, Northbrook, 847-559-0939
Honoring the memory of Mexican revolutionary Emiliano Zapata, this cantina celebrates Mexico's many regional dishes. Some include shrimp and crab meat ceviche, an almond-crusted tilapia with Mexican-style shrimp fried rice, pork tenderloin tacos, and tomato and chipotle-stewed chicken enchiladas. $$ Lunch and dinner daily
Davis Street Fishmarket
501 Davis St., Evanston, 847-869-3474
Davis Street is a great catch for fresh fish and seafood offering an extensive menu to peruse. Dishes include Maryland crab cakes, wild Alaskan salmon roasted on a cedar plan, a Louisiana seafood chili, and a soft shell crab sandwich. Meat lovers will find ribs, chicken and filet mignon. $$ Lunch and dinner Tues.-Sun.; dinner Mon.
2124 Northbrook Court, Northbrook, 847-498-4321
Billing itself as an Italian seafood house, this modern, sophisticated spot creates dishes with a global twist. A meal can start with sushi or Prince Edward Island mussels in garlic and white wine broth. Entrees include the popular tilapia Milanese and Alaskan king crab legs paired with meat or seafood. $$ Lunch and dinner daily
Maestro Seafood Grill
500 Anthony Trail, Northbrook, 847-272-8111
A painted blue sky mural draws patrons looking for a relaxing atmosphere. This restaurant prides itself on seafood and meat specialties of Chilean sea bass with Hawaiian salsa, coconut crusted dragon tiger shrimp, and roasted duck with black currant sauce. $$ Lunch and dinner Mon.-Fri.; dinner Sat.
505 Main St., Evanston, 847-864-3435
Oceanique prepares its fresh fish and seafood with French-American flavors in a charming 1920s Spanish-style building. The menu changes often reflecting fresh catches from around the world. A recent cold plate menu offered Diver sea scallops sashimi and chilled Massachusetts Peter's Point oysters. Hot entrees include bouillabaisse Oceanique. $$$ Dinner Mon.-Sat.Copyright © 2015, Los Angeles Times