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.

 

Quince

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

 

American Traditional

Aleks' Restaurant