Wine on the Topaz Cafe Deck

Topaz Cafe

by Administrator on June 7, 2015

After visiting Topaz Cafe, we wondered why we hadn’t encountered and tried this venue before. With a fine dining menu, beautiful dining room, expansive and covered outdoor deck, coupled with extremely friendly and knowledgeable service, this restaurant became one of our favorites after just one visit. The outdoor deck alone is so wonderful, that it is worth a visit when Chicagoland weather allows for it – and being covered, it could easily be a three season destination.

Since we arrived slightly before the restaurant’s opening time, we sat and enjoyed some wine by the glass in the large bar. Having a good selection by the glass, we also enjoyed an appetizer at the bar accompanied by great service for the short time we waited for our table on the outside deck.

Inside Topaz Cafe

Inside Topaz Cafe

Wine beautifully displayed at Topaz Cafe

Wine Beautifully Displayed at Topaz Cafe

While at the bar, we tried the Spicy Beef Tartar with black garlic emulsion, apricot, cornichon, aged gouda, brioche, and Calabrian chili. It is a wonderful twist on tartar and provided a great start to our evening.

Spicy Beef Tartar

Spicy Beef Tartar

Once seated outside on the deck, we continued our meal and everything exceeded expectations.

The Deck at Topaz Cafe

The Deck at Topaz Cafe

The mushroom risotto was especially good, with the pureness of mushroom flavors coming through every fork full.

Mushroom Risotto

Mushroom Risotto

A special for the day was a seafood appetizer which could be ordered both as a half and full order – I don’t think there is anything better than fresh chilled seafood eaten outside on a beautiful Chicago (in this case Burr Ridge) afternoon.

Seafood Appetizer

Seafood Appetizer

For entrees, we tried the filet which was perfectly prepared and the ricotta gnocchi, with the latter prepared in a short rib and orange creamy beef jus. Outstanding.

Filet of Beef

Filet

Gnocchi

Risotto

Cobbler for dessert capped everything off wonderfully.

Cobbler

Cobbler

After this wonderful visit, I am sure we’ll be back again and again. Especially in summer to enjoy the deck, but also year round to enjoy the wonderful food, wine and service. Visited June 2015.

{ 0 comments }

The Boarding House Dining Room

The Boarding House

by Administrator on June 7, 2015

What a wonderful restaurant. Considering the uniqueness of the building itself, the bar and casual dining area on the first floor and the more formal (though still casual and comfortable) third floor dining room, this restaurant packs visual appeal in addition to having spectacular food and wine.

The Boarding House First Floor Bar Ceiling

The Boarding House First Floor Ceiling

Third Floor Ceiling

The Boarding House Third Floor Ceiling

The food at the restaurant is stellar. We sampled the bread service with pull apart rolls and garlic butter, beet and goat cheese salad, and the burrata with poached pears and hazelnut vinaigrette. All were fantastic with touches of uniqueness to distinguish these offerings from those of other restaurants.

Bread Service at The Boarding House

Bread Service at The Boarding House

Beet and Goat Cheese Salad

Beet and Goat Cheese Salad

Burrata

Burrata with hazelnut vinaigrette

For entrees we sampled the barramundi, the spring pea risotto and the pork chop. Again, all were delicious with tastes of mint in the risotto or pancetta with the barramundi which made the dinners unique.

Barramundi

Seared Barramundi with Sautéed Asparagus

Risotto

Spring Pea Risotto

Pork Chop

Bone In Berkshire Pork Chop

SAVE ROOM FOR DESSERT!

Strawberry Rhubarb Cobbler

Strawberry Rhubarb Cobbler

Carrot Cake Roulade

Carrot Cake Roulade

All-in-all a wonderful experience with great service and of course, a very diverse and deep wine list. Visited June 2015.

{ 0 comments }

Deka Brasserie

May 30, 2015
Thumbnail image for Deka Brasserie

A fairly unique and well executed take on a French Brasserie with some non-traditional menu items as well. A nice, bright dining room with colorful accents make for a pleasant dining environment. A fairly good wine list with reasonable pricing. We were there early on a Saturday and had great service by a very knowledgeable […]

Read the full article →

Seasons 52

May 29, 2015
Thumbnail image for Seasons 52

What a great surprise! This restaurant prides itself on using all fresh ingredients to create seasonally inspired meals and it works. Wonderful appetizers such as Sonoma Goat Cheese Ravioli with roasted garlic and fresh basil and Grilled Chipotle Chicken Skewers with spicy BBQ sauce, summer corn relish and guacamole all deliver spectacular flavor and make […]

Read the full article →

ZaZa’s Tavola Italiana

May 28, 2015
Thumbnail image for ZaZa’s Tavola Italiana

A gem of a local Italian restaurant. Excellent regular menu in addition to seasonal and other daily specials. Attentive service, with a nice dining room, and good Italian music adding to the ambience. We now go at least once every few weeks – there is enough variety and rotation of specials to keep each visit […]

Read the full article →

Catch 35

May 23, 2015
Thumbnail image for Catch 35

We have been to both restaurants of this name, in Chicago and Naperville, and they are both very good. We frequent the location in Naperville much more often. Although the restaurant bills itself as a seafood and premium steak place, the seafood is so good with inventive toppings and seasonings, that we’ve never had a […]

Read the full article →

Sullivan’s of Lincolnshire

May 22, 2015
Thumbnail image for Sullivan’s of Lincolnshire

In our ongoing search for al fresco dining, we stumbled onto a wonderful patio at Sullivan’s of Lincolnshire. We were lured by a special three course dinner, from appetizers to desserts, which seemed to include most of our favorites at a very reasonable price. We had dined at the same location before at two different […]

Read the full article →

Chicago Prime Steakhouse

May 17, 2015
Thumbnail image for Chicago Prime Steakhouse

One of the food styles for which Chicago has plenty of options is steak, so trying another steakhouse was not high on our list. We tried Chicago Prime because someone we know in the restaurant business took a job there. We have become regulars ever since. This restaurant has a great deal of classic steakhouse […]

Read the full article →

Saranello’s

May 15, 2015
Thumbnail image for Saranello’s

An always lively, casual Italian restaurant, Saranello’s has a few things going for it. The atmosphere is “loudish” since there are a lot of wood surfaces in the restaurant. Having said that, there are six good sized booths in the main dining area along with several in the bar. The booths tend to be just […]

Read the full article →

RPM Italian

May 12, 2015
Thumbnail image for RPM Italian

One of our top choices for Italian in the city of Chicago. Both RPM Italian and Osteria Via Stato are very popular and within blocks of each other. RPM Italian tends to get a more vibrant crowd and you must plan ahead and make reservations, especially for weekends. All the food choices are outstanding and […]

Read the full article →