Hours: Lunch: Monday-Friday; dinner: Monday-Saturday
John des Rosiers's North Shore bar and restaurant.
It's a schlep out to Inovasi, John des Rosiers's Lake Bluff restaurant, but it's well worth it, and the Metra stop's a mere block from the place. A cozy wood bar welcomes you, offering craft cocktails and top-notch spirits and artisanal bourbons from makers like Noah's Mill and Prichard's. The Prairie-style dining room features a semi-open kitchen, where des Rosiers works intently alongside two other chefs. He improvises his seasonal, sustainable menu with the help of his staff, changing about three to four dishes a week. It's divided into vegetable, meat, and seafood categories and reasonably priced, with many dishes around $13; another option is a six-course tasting menu. A salad of local organic arugula and red oak lettuce stood out, served with hearty house-made bacon and slivers of fried ginger and shallots to complement a sesame vinaigrette. Even better were the Manila clams in a spicy sriracha broth that may leave you longing for additional toasts. Lamb ravioli were the evening's sole slight misfire—the elements never came together for me. But a nice Malbec helped to compensate—as did the "inovacchia," cappuccino capped with thick goat's milk froth. Read the full review >>
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